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Power United States Technology

US To Extinguish (Most) Incandescent Bulb Sales By 2012 1106

Posted by timothy
from the arrogance-of-power-switch dept.
Engadget has noted a report in the New York Times that that the US has "passed a law barring stores from selling incandescent light bulbs after 2012. 'Course, the EU and Australia have already decided to ditch the inefficient devices in the not-too-distant future, but a new energy bill signed into law this week throws the US into the aforementioned group. Better grab a pack of the current bulbs while you still can — soon you'll be holding a sliver of history."
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US To Extinguish (Most) Incandescent Bulb Sales By 2012

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  • by pyric (123877) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:29AM (#21805280)
    From TFA:

    Congress has not specifically outlawed incandescent bulbs, only inefficient ones.
    • by TheMeuge (645043) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:42AM (#21805408)
      That's true, although it'll be hard to get incadescents to meet those energy standards.

      However, I am again disturbed by the ability of our politicians to play the "ban it" game in order to appear capable of taking action. They are getting exquisitely efficient at banning various things we use in everyday life. Really, if politicians ban something every time they need to raise $100'000, in a couple of decades they probably will have banned procreation.

      Seriously though, if they really cared about the efficiency of the bulbs, and wanted to spend more than a passing gaze at dealing with the problem, I think they would've refrained from such massive ridiculousness. Granted, incadescents are not efficient, but CFLs don't yet have as complete and warm a spectrum (I use them everywhere though), and many decorative light fixtures simply require incadescents.

      Wouldn't it have made more sense, to pressure the market economically, rather than legally, and simply levy enough of a tax on the incadescent bulbs, to make them more expensive than the fluorescents, while at the same time using the money to subsidize the LED and CFL technologies?
      • by BVis (267028) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:56AM (#21805560)
        You've got a couple good ideas, but there's some issues there:

        If the bulbs were not made unavailable (banned) then there are those that would continue to use them because of either some perceived benefit of incandescents over CFLs, an irrational aversion to change, or for no other reason than to be contrary.

        The additional market for CFLs that this will generate will create consumer demand for CFLs with as identical a color spectrum as physically possible to an incandescent bulb. I've got several of these bulbs in my house and the light is plenty warm enough for me.

        Passing a ban on inefficient technology is orders of magnitude easier than passing a 'new tax'. Try that and you'll get the GOP all up your ass about increasing the tax burden on the working class. Besides, CFLs have enough critical mass for the industry to innovate without requiring government subsidy, and the market for LED lighting is potentially so ginormous that industry will take the chance on the investment required.
        • Try that and you'll get the GOP all up your ass about increasing the tax burden on the working class.

          Not that it ever stopped them before, but that would be pretty piss-poor logic. The Democratic/sane person response would be: "No, the working class will SAVE MONEY by using compact fluorescents. We're just making the savings a little more obvious and up-front." Yeah, the GOP prides itself on being anti-tax, but I don't really understand how can BANNING something be easier than taxing it. Surely there
    • by mea37 (1201159) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:30AM (#21805902)
      Yeah, I submitted a more accurate summary of the Energy Independence and Security Act the other day, but forgot that if it isn't sensationalized it gets rejected around here.

      Actually, the new law doesn't ban incandescants (which would be an incredibly bad law); it merely sets efficiency standards where before there were none (which is actually a pretty good law). And G.E. claims to be well on the way [news.com] to making incandescants that will meet the new standards.

      (By the way, the standards that phase in over the next few years are still well below the efficiency of a CFL. Even the backstop provisions for 2020 -- 45 lumens per watt -- are at the low end of what a CFL can do. So if G.E. can make incandescants compete with CFL, as they say they can, then there's no issue here.)

      Also, there are a bunch of exemptions and exceptions. Those allegedly-decorative candelabra bulbs have a different standard (nothing above 60W). Many special-purpose lights are exempt, and in some cases that just means the light has to be marketed as "for such-and-such use only".

      But by all means, let's all panic.
  • What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tripwirecc (1045528) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:30AM (#21805290)
    Until there's full spectrum fluorescent lights, you're not going to pry incandescent bulbs out of my hands!
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by phozz bare (720522) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:34AM (#21805316)
      That's fine, we'll just wait for your hands to melt.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by penix1 (722987)
      Sure they will. They will do it the same way they do other products. Ever try to buy a blank reel-to-reel tape? How about a betamax blank tape? Heck, it's even getting hard to find blank cassette tapes these days. In short, they will make supply so low that demand will push them out of the market with way higher prices.

      Personally, I hate the CF lights. They ALWAYS give me big pounding headaches. Thank god I have my own office at work where I can turn off the fluorescent lights and turn on my circa 1940 lamp
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KillerBob (217953) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:45AM (#21805456)

      Until there's full spectrum fluorescent lights, you're not going to pry incandescent bulbs out of my hands!


      There... are. I have a 32W full spectrum CF light in a lamp by my computer that I affectionately call my "artificial sun". With an effective brightness equivalent to a 120W incandescent, it's quite good at keeping me awake long hours.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by blincoln (592401)
        I have a 32W full spectrum CF light in a lamp by my computer

        Fluorescents by their nature are not full-spectrum. They have tall, narrow spikes right in the middle of where our eyes are sensitive to red, green, and blue, and virtually no output anywhere else in the spectrum.
        It's enough to fool human eyes, and not much else. I wouldn't be surprised if pets had trouble seeing by fluorescent light.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MrSteve007 (1000823) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:12AM (#21805720)
      I hear people frequently complain that CFL's don't cast off as 'natural' of light. That may have been true for the earlier models, but now nearly every single bulb casts a much nicer hue of light.

      If you don't believe me, check out this study that Popular Mechanics did earlier this year on the color temperature and subjective quality of light bulbs.

      http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/home_improvement/4215199.html [popularmechanics.com]

      For their subjective part of the test, they put in 3 interior designers in color-neutral rooms and had them comment on what they thought about the light sources. Going into the test, the designers said they did not like the quality of color from CFL's, but by the end every single designer rated the CFL's higher than the incandescent bulb. To say the least, they were surprised and have changed their out-dated CFL hating ways.

      Also, here's some tips I've learned from installing hundreds of CFL's:
      -Don't buy the cheap ones, they frequently buzz. Go with name brands like Phillips or GE, I have yet to have a problem with them.
      -Don't install bulbs on dimmer switches, unless they're specifically designed for dimmers - they'll last only a couple weeks.
      -Some large CFL's can't be mounted upside down, beware.
      -CFL's don't play well with motion sensor activation - they will burn out in months.
      -IKEA recycles CFL's for free! (and batteries too)
      -The vanity light shaped CFL's currently have a fairly long warm-up time, about 30 seconds. I hope they keep this, as I don't like blinding light first thing in the morning. The gradual warm-up is nice at 5am.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MtViewGuy (197597)
      That would be true in the past, but the latest CFL's have a more neutral, whitish light that is comfortable for book reading.

      By the way, I like CFL's because they run a LOT cooler, which helps on hot summer days.
  • by effigiate (1057610) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:36AM (#21805332)
    I've been using 240V / 250W bulbs in my house for a while now. The filament life is related to the how hot it gets and for how long it is on. 250W bulbs have a MUCH larger filament than 60W bulbs because they're supposed to get brighter. If you run a 240V bulb at 120V, you get out about 1/4 of the wattage, making that 250W bulb look like 50W and also lasting at least four times as long.
  • by $exyNerdie (683214) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:36AM (#21805338) Homepage Journal
    Energy saving is fine but the compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury and there aren't enough recycling places to make it convenient for Jane Doe to not dump them in trash bags. This means that all this Mercury will end up in landfills and leak and become part of the food chain.
  • Well crap (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jupiter Jones (584946) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:37AM (#21805346)
    Guess I'll have to finally upgrade my EZ-Bake oven.
  • Lead in CFL Bulbs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Velcroman98 (542642) <Velcroman98 AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:37AM (#21805348) Homepage
    Anybody study the effect of mercury contained in those CFL bulbs? I know many people that use CFLs, half seem to know about the lead, less than half of those properly pay to dispose of them properly.
  • by crow (16139) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:38AM (#21805372) Homepage Journal
    This is a case of legislation done right. Instead of banning specific technologies that are inefficient, or mandating specific technologies that are better, the law simply set efficiency standards. While this currently appears to force a shift from incandescents to fluorescents, it leaves the door open for any other technology that comes along, from high-efficiency incandescents to LEDs.
  • Too soon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueParrot (965239) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:44AM (#21805440)
    The law itself is sound but they should have made it 2020 with an intermediate period of indirect taxation on incadescent ones starting 2015. I fear this one is too strict and may very well backfire if a latter administration decides to overrule it.
  • by cheebie (459397) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:48AM (#21805494)
    ...need to use light bulbs outside, since fluorescents don't
    tolerate cold well. ...need a light that turns on and off frequently (like traffic
    lights), cause that uses a lot MORE energy in a fluorescent. ...want dimmer switches, since fluorescents don't work with them.

    This is just silly. Sure, use the more efficient fluorescents
    where they make sense, but don't ban all incandescents just because
    the commercials on HGTV keep telling you it will save the universe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darth_brooks (180756)
      Yep. Those dastardly liberals are FORCING god-fearing Americans like ourselves down a path towards hippydom. It's a travesty I tell ya.

      Get over yourself. No, current CFL's don't work that well in extreme cold. Normal CFL bulbs do take longer to warm up, and you can get sealed CFL's designed for outdoor use. Ditto for dimmer switches. I've only seen the low-wattage dimmable bulbs at Home depot, but they do exist.

      Traffic lights? Dude, new traffic lights have been using LED's almost exclusively for a long time
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      need to use light bulbs outside, since fluorescents don't tolerate cold well.

      It was 5F this morning and the lights in my garage sure came on quickly and brightly enough. Hint: don't buy the cheapest bulbs you can find and put them outside.

      need a light that turns on and off frequently (like traffic lights), cause that uses a lot MORE energy in a fluorescent

      Breakeven for a fluorescent lamp is about 23 seconds [kwc.org]. After that, it's all profit.

  • by e**(i pi)-1 (462311) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:10AM (#21805706) Homepage Journal
    I like the warmer light of light bulb. The spectral distribution of fluorescent light is different and I personally consider it more aggressive light. It might be due to higher spikes in the spectral distribution. Hallogen light is the worst. I find it aggressive. Banning incandescant light makes sense but I want to be able to buy alternatives which have a similar feel and spectral distribution. When comparing fluorescent, incandescant and LED light one always focuses on the cost and efficiency and not also on the effect it has on people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PietjeJantje (917584)
      I wonder how you got modded 5 Interesting. There is no such thing as "the warmer light of the light bulb". Light bulbs and CFLs come in a variety of color temperatures. You can have a warmer CFL than your normal light bulb. Hey, I don't think computers will get anywhere with their low resolution displays, only 32 colors and little memory. Oh wait, that was 15 years ago. It's funny how people that should be technology savvy become twits when it comes to CFLs. Yet, the lack of knowledge didn't seem to stop yo
  • GE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:12AM (#21805722) Homepage
    GE is supposed to release a new incandescent bulb in the next year or two which will have the same effeciency as those crappy CFL's. Has anyone yet done a study of the cost to produce and dispose of incandescent vs CFL? I would not be shocked to find what the common bulb gives up in use it gains back in using less resources.
  • by at10u8 (179705) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:21AM (#21805810)
    I suppose I'll have to make do with Jamie Zawinski's version [jwz.org] as I retire the real ones.
  • An antidote for FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by csnydermvpsoft (596111) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:37AM (#21805980) Homepage
    The amount of misinformation that has been spewed here astounds me. Get the facts:

    • CFLs do contain mercury, but it is only a problem if the bulbs are broken or disposed of improperly. The amount of mercury in an average CFL is about 1/100 the amount contained in one of those old mercury thermometers. Also, the largest man-made source of mercury pollution is coal-fired power plants, which CFL usage will reduce. In addition, newer CFLs are being released that contain much less mercury than current ones (source [pdf] [energystar.gov]).
    • It is true that some CFLs don't live up to their rated life. All Energy Star compliant bulbs are required to include at least a two-year manufacturer warranty (source [custhelp.com]).
    • CFLs are available in all sorts of variants, including candle (regular and candelabra base) [1000bulbs.com], globe [1000bulbs.com], reflector [1000bulbs.com], three-way [1000bulbs.com], etc.
    • CFLs are available in a wide range of color temperatures, from 2700K ("warm" incandescent) to 5100K ("daylight"). Many CFLs are indistinguishable from their incandescent equivalents (that is, until you touch them and don't get burned).
    • Dimmable CFLs [1000bulbs.com], which work on standard dimmer switches, exist. While they do not have exactly the same dimming behaviors as incandescents, I've found them to be more than adequate.
    • While most CFLs do not tolerate colder temperatures, there are many that do, all the way down below 0 degrees F
    • While older CFLs didn't come on instantly, newer ones, with electric ballasts, do. They do not start at full brightness, but are plenty bright to see when entering a room, and reach full brightness quickly, often in under a minute.
    • CFLs with electric ballasts don't "hum" like the old ones did.


    The main thing to do when purchasing CFLs is to avoid the junk that's sold at Wal-Mart, Meijer, Home Depot, etc. Also, try to look for bulbs with the Energy Star label, which guarantees that they have electric ballasts (instant-on, no hum), lifespan ratings of at least 6000 hours, and at least a two-year warranty.

    I order all of my bulbs online from 1000bulbs.com. While I've had a few issues with bulbs prematurely burning out, but replacements are always quickly sent, free of charge, without requiring me to ship the defective bulbs back.

    I haven't bought an incandescent bulb in over two years, and have helped friends and family switch as well. Since I buy bulbs online I can get them in any variant needed - including dimmable, "warm," flame-shaped bulbs for the light fixture in the dining room at my mom's house; PAR-30 shaped bulbs for the cans in my in-law's house (they are far from being environmentalists, but were sick of incandescents burning out, and have been very pleased in the six months they've had the CFLs so far); and 5100K "daylight" bulbs for some areas in my house.

    Politics aside, please actually do some research before spouting off FUD.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:59AM (#21806244) Homepage
      * CFLs do contain mercury, but it is only a problem if the bulbs are broken or disposed of improperly. The amount of mercury in an average CFL is about 1/100 the amount contained in one of those old mercury thermometers. Also, the largest man-made source of mercury pollution is coal-fired power plants, which CFL usage will reduce. In addition, newer CFLs are being released that contain much less mercury than current ones (source [pdf] [energystar.gov]).

      I guarentee that 90% of all CFL bulbs that have been disposed of over the past 5 years by consumers went into the trash bin and NOT a special bulb recycle bin. This is a trend that will not change as people are lazy.

        * It is true that some CFLs don't live up to their rated life. All Energy Star compliant bulbs are required to include at least a two-year manufacturer warranty (source [custhelp.com]).

      Most bulbs bought by americans are in the local stores and home improvement stores, they dont order high quality, they grab what is cheapest on the display. Most cheap crap CFL's die early and overall suck with long warm up times and nasty coloration.

        * CFLs are available in all sorts of variants, including candle (regular and candelabra base) [1000bulbs.com], globe [1000bulbs.com], reflector [1000bulbs.com], three-way [1000bulbs.com], etc.
              * CFLs are available in a wide range of color temperatures, from 2700K ("warm" incandescent) to 5100K ("daylight"). Many CFLs are indistinguishable from their incandescent equivalents (that is, until you touch them and don't get burned).


      Really? then why do most CFL's get hot enough to be painful? EVERY SINGLE CFL in my home is at least 150 degrees at the ballast, bulb base.

      * Dimmable CFLs [1000bulbs.com], which work on standard dimmer switches, exist. While they do not have exactly the same dimming behaviors as incandescents, I've found them to be more than adequate.


      I call BS, I have tried to find dimmable CFL's that dont suck. and have yet to find any. even the specalty $49.99 each dimmables from the specalty online shops are no better than the crap GE bulb for $9.25 at Walmart. None ofthese work in home automation or normal dimmers. Give me make and model numbers of what you have that work perfect in dimmers and I'll try it to prove you right.

      I would LOVE to have CFL's out there and reccomend them to clients. but I cant. I cant find ANY CFL lamps that are worth using in a upscale home or even a home where people like dimmers and instant on light. the biggest savings would be in outdoor lighting wher you have 500 watt bulbs as the norm and CFL still fails. I need motion lights to be on at 80% bright in -5C in less than .5 seconds. NONE of the CFL's on the market do this. only the $95.00 each 9 watt LED nichaLED PAR40 bulbs I have do this. multiply that by 8 bulbs and only the incredibly rich can afford them.
  • by Pontiac (135778) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:48AM (#21806106) Homepage
    Just add one more thing to the list of stuff people smuggle back from Canada or Mexico

    Alcohol, Check
    Prescription Drugs, Check
    Other Drugs, Check
    Light Bulbs, Check

  • Business Opportunity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorest (877315) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:09AM (#21806386) Journal

    Just like going to a hamfest -or- vintage electronics show/flea market, you too can set up shop next to the vintage vacuum tube sellers...

  • by jezor (51922) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:09AM (#21806402) Homepage
    This isn't exactly correct, and I thought it might be helpful to clarify it.

    With regard to the law, the version sent to the President for signature can be found here [gpo.gov].

    In fact, the law does not actually prohibit the sale of indcandescent bulbs by 2012. Rather, beginning in Section 312, the law sets efficiency standards, phasing in over time, that current incandescent bulbs cannot meet, but doesn't specify the type of bulb that should be used. Interestingly, it also includes the following provision in Section 321(h)(1) (found on page 95 of the document I linked to):

    "REPORT ON MERCURY USE AND RELEASE.--Not later than
    1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary,
    in cooperation with the Administrator of the Environmental
    Protection Agency, shall submit to Congress a report describing
    recommendations relating to the means by which the Federal
    Government may reduce or prevent the release of mercury
    during the manufacture, transportation, storage, or disposal
    of light bulbs."

    USA Today's story [usatoday.com] does a good job of summarizing this issue. {ProfJonathan}
  • by edunbar93 (141167) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:16AM (#21806482)
    Why are people clinging so strongly to incandescent light bulbs? GE et al have been fooling you for *years* by making you believe that you were buying *light* bulbs. They're actually *heat* bulbs that happen to produce light as a waste product. Now, while this was a slight improvement over candles back in 1887 (inasmuch as they started fewer fires), it's not exactly something you want in the summertime when it's 35 C, is it? But hey, I guess that's what air conditioning is for. You just use more power to take away the heat from the things that use power in your house.
  • text of the bill (Score:5, Informative)

    by ffflala (793437) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:54AM (#21806920)
    Ah, bills. The legislative equivalent of TFA -- no one bothers to read them. Once again, an article about an act of Congress that doesn't even bother including a bill #, or even the proper short title. Why not just refer to it as "that there new energy bill done passed by them there politicians"?

    The section discussed here is about as long as TFA. It's 9021 of HR 3221 ("Short Titles.--This Act may be cited as the ``New Direction for
    Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act'')
    (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/useftp.cgi?IPaddress=162.140.64.182&filename=h3221eh.txt&directory=/diska/wais/data/110_cong_bills [gpo.gov],

    In it, you can see that the only bans are based on efficiency standards, not type of manufacture. For example, 100 watt lamps that do not provide 60 lumens/watt or better are banned. Issues of color spectrum are anticipated and basic measures put into place.

    Now if we could apply this method to fuel efficiency we'd actually start making a dent.

    Relevant excerpts:

    PART 2--LIGHTING EFFICIENCY

    SEC. 9021. EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS.

    (a) Prohibition.--
    (1) Regulations.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Energy shall issue regulations--
    (A) prohibiting the sale of 100 watt general service incandescent lamps after January 1, 2012, unless those lamps emit at least 60 lumens per watt;
    (B) prohibiting the sale of general service lamps manufactured after the effective dates shown in the table below that do not meet the minimum efficacy levels (lumens/watt) shown in the following table:

    Minimum Efficacy Levels and Effective Dates

    Minimum Efficacy

    Lumen Range (Lumens/Watt) Effective Dates

    200-449 15 1/1/2014
    450-699 17 1/1/2014
    700-999 20 1/1/2013
    1000-1500 22 1/1/2012
    1501-3000 24 1/1/2012

    (C) after January 1, 2020, prohibiting the sale of general service lamps that emit less than 300 percent of the average lumens per watt emitted by 100 watt incandescent general service lamps that are commercially available as of the date of enactment of this Act;
    (D) establishing a minimum color rendering index (CRI) of 80 or higher for all general service lamps manufactured as of the effective dates in subparagraph (B); and
    (E) prohibiting the manufacture or import for sale in the United States of an adapter device designed to allow a lamp with a different base to fit into a medium screw base socket manufactured after January 1, 2009.
    (2) Exemptions.--The regulations issued under paragraph (1) shall include procedures for the Secretary to exempt specialty lamps from the requirements of paragraph (1). The Secretary may provide such an exemption only in cases where the Secretary finds, after a hearing and opportunity for public comment, that it is not technically feasible to serve a specialized lighting application, such as a military, medical, public safety
    application, or in certified historic lighting applications using bulbs that meet the requirements of paragraph (1). In addition, the Secretary shall include as an additional criterion that exempted products are unlikely to be used in the general service lighting applications.
    (3) Additional lamps types.--
    (A) Manufacturers of rough service, vibration service, vibration resistant, appliance, shatter resistant, and three-way lamps shall report annual
    sales volume to the Se
  • Tax, don't ban (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:57AM (#21806956) Journal
    There are some legitimate uses for old-style bulbs. For example, we have a few spots in our house that don't fit the newer kind. There's simply not space in that area. Rather than outright ban them, why not just tax them heavily. That would discourage use without removing the choice altogether. Plus, it's nice revenue for the gov't. I thought they liked that. It's like a "sin tax" that you find on cigarettes, booze, etc.
       
  • Sucks for migraines (Score:3, Informative)

    by CustomDesigned (250089) on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:36PM (#21807438) Homepage Journal
    I have a daughter with migraine headaches. Florescent lighting is a common migraine trigger - so it doesn't belong in her bedroom. I have been buying a few CFLs for 15 years, hoping for the technology to improve. The first ones I bought died in 6 months (electronics died), and you couldn't buy a new base to reuse the perfectly good bulb (with mercury). So I have been installing traditional magnetic ballast flourescents - which actually do last 12 years. I bought a batch of CFs at WalMart 6 months ago, and they aren't dead yet - a good sign. They are annoying because they are dim when you first turn them on, and reach full brightness only after several minutes. This is probably a good thing, and means the electronics are designed to run hot.

    There are energy saving applications that CFs are no good at. "On demand" lighting, that is turned on for only a few minutes while you are in the room (florescent lights of all kinds hate rapid power cycling). Dimmers. Winter. Incandescent lights are great for winter. The light is warmer both literally (90% infrared) and psychologically.

    Fortunately, banning a particular technology, while boneheaded, is not nearly as boneheaded as mandating a particular technology. People with flicker sensitive migraines can purchase LED lighting - although it is currently quite a bit more expensive. I suppose christmas lights will have to go the LED route also. Sigh. At least the expense will discourage those gaudy "cover the entire house with tiny lights on 2 inch spacing" displays.

    I am really sick of this nanny state business.

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