White House notes advances in light bulbs and energy conservation


L-Prize-winning bulb from Philips North American Lighting -- a 10-watt LED bulb to replace 60-watt incandescent bulbs

L-Prize-winning bulb from Philips North American Lighting -- a 10-watt LED bulb to replace 60-watt incandescent bulbs

From the White House blog, something you probably didn’t see in your local newspaper and/or Tea Party organ:

Bright Ideas: Thomas Edison would be amazed. The conventional light bulb now has some serious competition. Philips Lighting North America has invented a revolutionary 10-watt light emitting diode (LED) bulb. Phillips is the first winner of the Energy Department’s Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize(L Prize). The L Prize challenged the lighting industry to develop high performance, energy-saving replacements for conventional light bulbs that will save American consumers and businesses money.

Some business gets an award for lights that conserve energy?  Rats, there goes Rand Paul’s raison d’etre — all but for the lack of a toilet Paul could flush on his own.

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24 Responses to White House notes advances in light bulbs and energy conservation

  1. heydave says:

    But…. Michelle of the Bells had her big governmental moment with the Light Bulb Freedom act! That’s gotta count for something, right?

    Like

  2. Flakey says:

    I used to need to buy packs of 6 light bulbs several times a year to replace blown ones. 5 years ago I replaced all my light bulbs with CFLs, and in those 5 years I have had not one bulb go on me. Not even counting the savings on energy bills, I am saving on the costs of the bulbs themselves over time, even if they are more expensive per bulb.

    Sure seem an inferior product to me Steve.

    Like

  3. James Kessler says:

    To quote:
    But the law explicitly bans the manufacture and sale of those bulbs.

    And yet when the law was introduced it was at the behest of the lightbulb manufactures and sellers of lightbulbs. In other words..they requested it.

    Why?

    Because they’d rather have one federal standard then 50 state standards which is what was going to happen. Why? Because one standard to adhere to is cheaper then having to adhere to 50 different standards.

    So here we have a law that manages to be good for businesses, good for the people, good for the environment and good for the energy policy and national security policies of this country…….

    …..and you’re bitching about it.

    Does critical thinking ever appeal to you?

    Like

  4. James Kessler says:

    To quote:
    It’s easy to back up. There is no reason to ban a product that people want.

    Yeah except incadescents weren’t banned.

    Tell me…if the gas mileage on, say, a ford mustang is improved (i.e. its made more efficient) does that mean the ford mustang has been banned?

    To quote:
    They did it because of the strident cries of the green minority. The law simply bans the sale of incadescents.

    George Bush and the republican congress listened to the “green minority”?

    To quote: So tell me: where do you buy your LED bulbs?

    The local hardware store. The local drugstores, the hardware and drugstore in the neighboring town. Lowes 10 miles away. Home Depot 15 miles away. Target and Walmart 10 miles away. Actually…there’s 5 targets and 4 Walmarts all within a 10 mile radius.

    Like

  5. Ed Darrell says:

    I had such a good week because I traded from the viewpoint of S&P, Moodys, and the world in general. In short, I traded against the US dollar.

    Yeah, betting against America is always popular.

    At least you recognize what you’re doing. The Tea Party doesn’t do it for profit, but out of . . . some sort of misplaced pique. They think betting against America is a sin, even as they do it.

    Like

  6. Pangolin says:

    Anybody who’s ever run a bricks and mortar business as vs. something with a keyboard and an office you lease from somebody else knows a certain thing. Changing bulbs in lighting is almost as expensive as turning them on.

    Putting an employee on a ladder to change a bulb is a very expensive proposition and any employer wants to do that as rarely as possible.

    So what will happen is at some time in the near future it will become cheaper to change out every fluorescent fixture in an entire building for LEDs rather than keep changing bulbs. This is what cities are doing already with traffic lights.

    So go ahead and keep your incandescent bulbs. just don’t use them all; they’ll be valuable as antiques.

    Like

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s easy to back up. There is no reason to ban a product that people want. There is no reason to force people to buy an inferior product that they do not want. That should be enough for anyone who believes in the free enterprise system.

    If you want to invest in an incandescent bulb factory, please be my guest. Texas passed a law giving breaks to encourage someone to do just that in Texas, in part to defy the federal energy standards. But of course, even with a law protecting the manufacture, no one has stepped forward to do the job. The law really doesn’t “ban” the bulbs, it requires manufacturers to hit energy conservation standards. Those standards won’t go into effect for years, but the last light bulb manufacturer in the U.S. closed up last year (see referenc in my previous post). It’s cheaper to make any bulb in China right now. Market functions, you know.

    Capitalism sucks for incandescent bulb addicts, I guess.

    The marketplace has spoken. Welcome to capitalism.

    As to LEDs, they may be a solution in the future, but they are not part of the situation as it now stands. The goverment is not pushing LEDs as the solution.

    You might want to actually read my post, and maybe follow the links. The U.S. Department of Energy just awarded the L-Prize, worth $10 million, for the creation of an LED bulb to replace 60-watt incandescents. The LED version Philips won with uses only 10 watts. I would regard that as at least a government nudge — though, of course, you’re free to buy whatever you want to buy.

    The only reason we are hearing anything about LEDs is because the public knows it is screwed on this issue.

    And LEDs are really neat, and energy saving, and showing up everywhere. BMW, Cadillac, Nissan and Saturn, among others, use LEDs in their autos as original equipment. As I noted before, LEDs have been leading the way in traffic light replacements — they are much more energy efficient, they tend to last a lot longer, freeing city workers from the task of replacing burned out bulbs, and they save money big time. Funny consequence: Because LEDs use so little energy and waste so little as heat, they don’t melt snow and ice as the lightbulbs do. So now traffic signal manufacturers are building heaters into the housings of the lights to keep snow from blocking the lights.

    And, of course, the White House was talking about the L-Prize won by Philips — who has created a great LED replacement for 60-watt incandescents, the most common and popular-sized bulb.

    You’re hearing about LEDs because they work great.

    The goverment did not pass the law to save consumers money or to give them a better product.

    It was part of the drive to save money for consumers and to promote U.S. energy independence from imported oil. That the energy-saving lights are better products is a bonus.

    You may not have noticed, but electricity costs a lot, compared to old rates. It’s a major problem for the poor, aged and middle class. Congress acted, with the approval and requests from U.S. light bulb manufacturers, to promote less energy use, and save consumers a lot of money on electricity. You could read the bill, you know.

    They did it because of the strident cries of the green minority. The law simply bans the sale of incadescents.

    You misstate the history of the bill, and you appear wholly unclear on the history of energy conservation, particularly with regard to this 2007 law. “The green minority” has never been able to pass legislation (you must have had a temporary clouding of your mind — legislation requires a majority to vote for it, in both houses of Congress, before it becomes law).

    So tell me: where do you buy your LED bulbs?

    Lowe’s, Home Depot, Autozone, REI, Bass Pro Shops, and I’ve got a few on-line for speciality uses.

    You don’t buy them, do you? They aren’t available; isn’t that correct?

    We switched to LEDs on our Christmas tree three years ago. Last year I couldn’t find much else out there. Have you been shopping for light bulbs lately?

    I’ve been using LED flashlights for over a decade. We’ve used LEDs in electronics controls for 20 years or more. There are not LEDs available for many auto uses, to replace incandescent lamps. I agree they are tough to find.

    And LEDs for home use are not cheap in the initial outlay. As with many high quality products, you save money over time, but not with initial purchase.

    When your incadescents burn out, what are you going to replace them with; The presently available bulbs that are more costly and less efficient, or the non-available bulbs of the future that may or may not be cost effective and may or may not be as good as our goverment says they are.

    I’m not sure about how to replace some of the candelabra-based bulbs — but we use dimmers on all of those to extend their life and reduce energy use. At present rate of use, our stock of those bulbs should last about another decade.

    I like the light from a clear, tungsten filament bulb. None of those have been manufactured in the U.S. for about a decade, and most of the those bulbs I use haven’t been manufactured in the U.S. for 20 years or more.

    I’ve been impressed with some of the CFL spot- and flood-lights, and those prices are more than competitive with incandescents. I’ve got a flood light that requires the 24-foot ladder, and I’d love to be able to replace it less than one a year.

    Check out the home furnishing magazines, or especially the New York Times fashion and style supplements. Watch when you go into a hospital. Look at the dramatic improvements in lighting at places like JerryWorld (the stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play), where the world’s largest video display is completely done in advanced lighting. Look at the ads on the signs as you drive down the freeway. Used to be paper glued on wood, lit by incandescent bulbs — paper changed once a month or so. Today, those signs are massive LED displays, with ads rotating every 30 seconds. Look at any modern NBA arena — you’ll see LEDs used all over the place in dramatic displays in advertising or team promotion.

    Lighting is dramatically improved in the last 20 years, and the pace of improvement is increasing. Thomas Edison’s 1892 bulbs are not the cat’s meow anymore.

    Like

  8. Ed Darrell says:

    But the law explicitly bans the manufacture and sale of those bulbs.

    No it doesn’t. Both manufacture and sale of the bulbs is legal — the plants closed down because the markets for the bulbs is disappearing. Most of your neighbors and most Americans figured out that using less electricity is a good idea. Incandescent bulbs waste as heat between 75% and 90% of the electricity they use.

    Incandescent bulbs are dying as a function of the free marketplace. It was the Tea Party and Rand Paul who suggested the authoritarian, almost- totalitarian rules to make the bulbs stay on the market. The Washington Post provided a longer explanation last year, and it’s not a happy story all the way around by any stretch — several hundred workers in Virginia are out of work. Welcome to the “creative destruction” of capitalism.

    It’s capitalism replacing your bulbs. You’ve got it backwards.

    Like

  9. Big Steve says:

    I wandered onto this blog by accident, and it has been fun to exchange views. I am not a Tea Party member or a Republican. I am a businessman. I’m not upset that a Democrat is the President or that the Republicans control the House. I worry about my bottom line. Last week, when the public at large (bleeding hearts included) were watching their savings and investments shrink by the day, I had my second-best week of the year.

    I had such a good week because I traded from the viewpoint of S&P, Moodys, and the world in general. In short, I traded against the US dollar.

    Because the majority of the world believes we are in trouble, the majority of the trades were all basically in the same direction. And we all won.

    Those of you who traded from the President’s view of America had a very bad week.

    It’s time for me to saddle up and give my pony his head. Take care y’all don’t fall off those clouds. If you ever come down to earth, come visit me at Reality, USA.

    Like

  10. Big Steve says:

    You’re right. No law required those plants to shut down. But the law expliciting bans the manufacture and sale of those bulbs. And since all they make are light bulbs, and since light bulbs are now banned, those poor plant owners decided they would voluntarily shut down.

    So you’re right. But 20,000 workers are still unemployed because of this stupid bill.

    Like

  11. Big Steve says:

    Stockpile them for me too, Ellie. In a couple of months, you will not see them on the shelves. The law has been passed. The ban is in place. All we are doing right now is using up the last of the stock before they are illegal to sell.

    This isn’t a proposed bill or a bill under consideration. This bill has passed and it is law. There is no wiggle room.

    Like

  12. Big Steve says:

    Sorry, dude. The plants weren’t shut down because of lack of business. People are stockpiling bulbs because they don’t want to live in the gloom of these new bulbs.

    But for what it is worth, if I want to buy a useless, outdated product, it should be my right to buy it and it should be the right of the manufacturer to sell it to me. I can still buy buggy whips, if I choose. It makes no sense that I can’t buy light bulbs of my choosing.

    Like

  13. Ellie says:

    Big Steve asks: “When your incadescents burn out, what are you going to replace them with;”

    Hey Ed! I’m going shopping tomorrow. Want me to get a few extra incandescent bulbs to send you so you can hide them away where the LBBS can’t find them?

    They’re still widely available in my area, sold right out there in the open. We don’t have to search out a Black Market or buy them from the guy who sells stuff out of his trunk (it fell off a truck).

    Like

  14. Big Steve says:

    It’s easy to back up. There is no reason to ban a product that people want. There is no reason to force people to buy an inferior product that they do not want. That should be enough for anyone who believes in the free enterprise system.

    As to LEDs, they may be a solution in the future, but they are not part of the situation as it now stands. The goverment is not pushing LEDs as the solution.

    The only reason we are hearing anything about LEDs is because the public knows it is screwed on this issue.

    The goverment did not pass the law to save consumers money or to give them a better product. They did it because of the strident cries of the green minority. The law simply bans the sale of incadescents.

    So tell me: where do you buy your LED bulbs? You don’t buy them, do you? They aren’t available; isn’t that correct? When your incadescents burn out, what are you going to replace them with; The presently available bulbs that are more costly and less efficient, or the non-available bulbs of the future that may or may not be cost effective and may or may not be as good as our goverment says they are.

    Like

  15. Ed Darrell says:

    But yes, they have been outlawed. We have already closed all the light bulb factories in America. We lost 20,000 jobs. Those jobs are now in China where they are manufacturing all of the new bulbs. We lost jobs. China gained jobs. The light bulbs are now more expensive and less useful. Nobody won, except China. Thank your bleeding heart legislators.

    The bulb manufacturing plants closed down months and years ago. No law required it, except the capitalist laws of supply and demand.

    Blame Adam Smith. Blame Milton Friedman. But don’t claim, falsely, that some law required those plants to close. It’s not so.

    Like

  16. Ed Darrell says:

    As far as I know, the old bulbs haven’t been outlawed.

    That’s absolutely right, Ellie, but Tea Partiers can’t afford to let facts get in the way of their rant. If they can’t believe the fairy tales about the goose that laid the golden egg, they’ll just have to make something up about why it doesn’t work.

    Tea Partiers would bite their own noses to spite their their faces if they had prehensile mouths. Why in the hell should anyone want to save money and energy? Isn’t it fun paying high electric bills? Don’t we want to support those oil dictators in Venezuela, Libya and Saudi Arabia?

    If one pays attention, one can hear the Tea Partiers sticking the shiv into the few patriotic Americans who accompanied them to toss the tea.

    When stupidity is outlawed, only Tea Partiers will be illegally stupid.

    Like

  17. Ed Darrell says:

    You won’t see such crap being touted by the Tea Party because these new light bulbs are much more expensive than the old ones. Plus, they are much more harmful to the environment.

    It’s a great line, Steve — but I’ll wager you can’t back up your claims.

    LEDs especially, should be much, much less expensive than incandescents. Some cities in California who swtched to LED stoplights realized a full 25% savings on their city electrical bills. Tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands — the bulbs paid for themselves and balanced the municipal budgets.

    But, please, by all means, tell us why you think LEDs are environmentally harmful and show us your calculations on life of the bulb costs.

    Have you even bothered to look for such data?

    You won’t see “such crap being touted by the Tea Party” because they’re brain dead and morally corrupt, but for no other reason, and surely no good reason.

    Like

  18. Jim says:

    Hi Ellie!

    The tinfoil hatters strike again.

    They failed miserably in claiming President Obama has secret plans to round up conservative Christian teenagers and place them in re-education camps (claimed by Bachmann, Beck and Pat Robert$on). They struck out pathetically in their fantasy about “Barry Sotero” and his Islamo-Kenyan plot to destroy America (claimed by Donald Trump, most all Tea Partiers and dozens of GOP lawmakers).

    Now they are left with little else but light bulbs and Victoria Jackson’s moonbat crazy claim that POTUS has plans to raise a secret militia of heavily armed thugs who will terrorize churches and intimidate conservative voters.

    They are running out of conspiracy theories faster than they did the last time we had a Democratic President. You remember those days, don’t you? Vast tracts of U.S. territory handed over to the UN. Secret coded messages on road signs. Black helicopters. Seances in the Oval Office.

    There are days, my friend, when I wish Harold Camping had actually been correct!

    Blessings!

    Jim

    Like

  19. Pangolin says:

    I would like to encourage all Tea Party types to keep using incandescent bulbs as this burns their money needlessly. Meanwhile out here in “Liberal California” we’re installing LED lamps in our streetlights and enjoying the savings.

    Heck, I think you should go down to Walmart and insist they pull all their socialist fluorescent tube lighting and replace them with good, conservative, incandescents. Why should you ever shop in a store that bathes you in the glare of socialist lighting.

    You folks in Texas and Oklahoma, what you need is some ten-gallon per flush, Rand Paul special, toilets. There might be a few problems with using the last of your drinking water to bathe fecal matter but I’m sure you’ll sort them out among yourselves. Just don’t cross the border to another state would you. We admire your self reliance too much to see you spoiling it by leaving when things get tough.

    Like

  20. Ellie says:

    Yes, Scrooge. Start looking over your shoulder now. I’ve managed to avoid the Light Bulb Brown Shirts for the moment, by purchasing my light bulbs at the supermarket instead of Home Depot. They cost a bit more, but the LBBS haven’t caught on yet, so it’s worth a few extra pennies to remain safe at home and not behind bars for Felony Light Bulb Possession.

    Like

  21. Scrooge says:

    But but but will they work in my refrigerator. I looked around my house and it looks like I use two old style bulbs. Now I don’t know what world big steve lives on but do we have to be worried about the light bulb police here. Will they follow me home from home depot if I purchase one there.

    Like

  22. Big Steve says:

    Then you are not up on the story. Buy your incadescent bulbs now, because the law has already been passed. We’re just waiting for the day of implementation. But yes, they have been outlawed. We have already closed all the light bulb factories in America. We lost 20,000 jobs. Those jobs are now in China where they are manufacturing all of the new bulbs. We lost jobs. China gained jobs. The light bulbs are now more expensive and less useful. Nobody won, except China. Thank your bleeding heart legislators.

    Like

  23. Ellie says:

    As far as I know, the old bulbs haven’t been outlawed. At least….the Light Bulb Brown Shirts have not yet busted down my door….Oops! I heard a noise. Perhaps that’s them now….

    Like

  24. Big Steve says:

    You won’t see such crap being touted by the Tea Party because these new light bulbs are much more expensive than the old ones. Plus, they are much more harmful to the environment. There is no reason to outlaw a good product like the incadescent light bulb until there is a viable alternative. Even when there is an alternative, why would you outlaw something. Why not let the public decide if they want good strong cheap light bulbs or expensive underperforming ones. Telling me that I must spend more money for less product is not a good alternative. it helps no one.

    Like

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