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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 @10:29AM (#21805280)
    From TFA:

    Congress has not specifically outlawed incandescent bulbs, only inefficient ones.
  • by lukas84 (912874) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:31AM (#21805300) Homepage
    There CF bulbs that can be dimmed...

    e.G.

    http://www.vosslighting.com/storefrontB2BWEB/browse.do?action=refresh_browse&ctg_id=547 [vosslighting.com]
  • by $exyNerdie (683214) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:36AM (#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.
  • Dim bulbs (Score:4, Informative)

    by JonTurner (178845) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:37AM (#21805366) Journal
    CFs dim nicely. Just drop the temperature to 40 degrees F or less. The ones in my garage are barely visible below freezing. IOW, they are impractical for outdoor applications in most climates.

    (Dim bulbs. Oh, the temptation to make a political joke is strong...)
  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:42AM (#21805406)

    Specifically, I'm talking about lights that dim... CF bulbs do not dim.


    Actually there are dimmable CF bulbs [wikipedia.org]. At present they don't work quite as well as incandescents for dimming applications but they do exist and work acceptably for many applications. They typically cannot dim all the way to no light, with most stopping at about 20%. Many are reported to buzz when dimmed as well though I've not experienced this myself yet. They also are quite expensive still. A 3W dimmable (equivalent to a 15W incandescent) from Home Depot costs $6.35 last I checked. I use some in my house and they work reasonably well if not quite as well as the non-dimming CF bulbs I use.
  • Stupid idea (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@NOsPaM.gmail.com> on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:42AM (#21805418) Journal
    They will last longer alright, but they will emit more of their energy in the infrared region, and hence be much less efficient for the purpose of lighting. That's called black body radiation. [wikipedia.org]
  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:47AM (#21805474)
    LEDs can dim quite a bit. Theoretically they can dim down until they're emitting individual photons.
  • Re:Dim bulbs (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgd (2822) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:47AM (#21805480)
    You bought lousy bulbs then. The tubes in my garage will light instantly well below freezing, and I have three R30 CFLs outside my house which will light instantly at zero (F).

    With CFL, unlike incandescent, you get what you pay for. If you are going to put a bulb outside, get ones meant for being outside. If you need ones that dim, buy the ones that dim.

    The biggest problem I've had in switching my whole house to CFL is the lack of non-cold-cathode candelabra lights. They are all cold cathode and tend to be 4w or so, whereas a lot of light fixtures that need them expect 30w bulbs (so more like 8-9w in CFL terms)... so you just don't get enough light unless you are using full-size bulbs.

  • by tgd (2822) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:52AM (#21805522)
    Have you found standard-fitting LED bulbs that can dim?

    Its not easy to find (at least locally) dimmable CFLs but I can't remember ever finding a high-lumen (700+) LED bulb that can dim at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:55AM (#21805554)
    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

    Incandescent bulbs ARE much more expensive than fluorescents. If manufacturers had to clearly inform consumers about the cost of buying and then using a certain type and brand of light bulb over a normalized time of 10000 hours, more consumers would realize that the operating costs exceed the price of the bulb by far. Unless you're in very cold climate, the heat from incandescent bulbs is useless, or even increases the cost of air conditioning. On the other hand, if you're using AC, the environmental and economical cost of incandescent lighting is almost negligible...
  • Re:Impressive.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by phsdv (596873) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:00AM (#21805614) Journal

    LED's aren't produced large-scale

    I beg to differ. Lumileds, Cree and others are making high-power leds on a large scale

    You can tell when a light is pulsed, even to hundreds of pps

    The advantage is that LEDs can be turned on in a few nanoseconds, which means that you could us PWM (pulsing) to dim leds at very high frequencies, 100KHz and higher is possible. However I am sure that at 500Hz you will not even notice it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:12AM (#21805716)
    I have two 27W CFL (replaced 2x150W)outside my house that work well into the -18 Celsius (0 Farenheit)
    that we get several times a year in Montreal. The box did say that the could be used in cold weather but were no more expensive
    than the other brands that did not. They were bought in the local big box renovation center.

    I am guessing but I think cold weather bulb availability for a national chain would depend where the buyer lives.
    If they live in Montana or North Dakota (or Montreal) they may think it was an issue otherwise maybe not.
  • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrSteve007 (1000823) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:12AM (#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.

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:30AM (#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.
  • Re:wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by blincoln (592401) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:31AM (#21805920) Homepage Journal
    I have yet to have a bulb last more than 6 months.

    That's better than my results (except for very small values of less than six months). I love the colour spectrum of the GE 6500K CFLs, and bought the 100-watt-equivalent type to replace all of the overhead lighting in my apartment (10 sockets). Most of them have lasted somewhere between 1 and 4 months.
    This is a relatively new building, and in three years of living there I've never had a problem with any other electrical or electronic device. Incandescent bulbs tend to last me about a year. My only theory is that it has something to do with the fixtures, but IMO if CFLs are so fragile that they can't operate correctly in a fixture designed for incandescents that put out considerably more heat, they are not ready for prime time.
    Since CFLs are (AFAIK) the only replacement bulb type that's at all economical, their lack of reliability should prevent any consideration of phasing out incandescents in favour of them.
  • Re:mod parent up. (Score:3, Informative)

    by kyofunikushimi (769712) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:32AM (#21805928) Homepage
    Bear in mind that (despite all of its evils) Wal-Mart had a sizable role in pushing the CFLs out to a large chunk of the populace.

    "Wal-Mart announced yesterday that the company has blown past an ambitious goal of selling 100 million compact fluorescent light bulbs by the end of 2007 -- three months early"

    Google "Wal-Mart CFL"
  • by Wolvie MkM (661535) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:34AM (#21805950)
    Home Depot offers a recycling program, that's pretty convenient. And the Mercury FUD has been debunked about a million times here.
  • Re:wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:35AM (#21805962) Homepage
    Problem is CFL's are INCOMPATABLE with the better energy saving systems like home automation. the Top of the line systems like Crestron and vantage has problems with the CFL's out there because they are built really low end. the ballasts are screwy and dont handle dimming or SCR control. a very tiny selection of high end CFL lamps work but those are impossible to fine anywhere but in mail order and cost 4X the price of a home depot CFL bulb/lamp.

    Home automation can save you an additional 60% of energy costs by dealing with lighting so that no lights are on when not needed as well as the heat and shade control. So most of my clients still use old bulbs (Hey soft on and off are incredibly elegant and when you have a 22 million dollar home you want elegant for some reason) and a few are letting us help switch them to LED lighting. Problem is, LED lamps like the popular PAR30 for can lights are so crappy in quality we get a 45% return rate from customers having dead led's in the array and they are at least 20 times dimmer than a CFL of the same wattage.

    Also CFL's have NASTY coloration. even the good "warm white" CFL's dont look good over artwork (plus they have a crapload more UV output and destroy artwork)

    When they actually fix CFL lamps so they look good, have zero UV output, and can handle the automation systems that save even more energy they will be an option. Until then, they suck.
  • An antidote for FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by csnydermvpsoft (596111) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:37AM (#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 @11:39AM (#21806000) Homepage
    Switch to LED lighting. they dim very well.

    Problem is decent LED lights for home fixtures cost around $70.00 a bulb. the cheap crap off ebay fail with some dead led's in the array or other failures like color shifting within a few weeks.

    I have 4 ceiling cans in the family room with about $380.00 in LED PAR30 bulbs that are bright enough to be 60 watt replacements. Wife loves the coloration of the warm white and I like how I can dim them down as much as regular bulbs.
  • Re:What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MtViewGuy (197597) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:47AM (#21806082)
    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.
  • Re:wow (Score:2, Informative)

    by slashname3 (739398) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:59AM (#21806242)
    This idea to replace all incandescent bulbs with CLFs may not have been thought through completely. Very few people talk about the dangers of CLFs. They contain mercury and lead. If not handled and reprocessed correctly old CLFs will be end up in the landfill where those toxic materials will leach into the soil and the water table.

    And what about your kids when they knock over that lamp and break the bulb? They will be breathing that very same mercury and lead. But I guess a few IQ points is worth reducing our energy consumption.

    http://www.uis.edu/facilityservices/fluorescent_bulbs.htm [uis.edu]

    Check it out if you don't believe it. We could be poisoning the next generation by imposing laws that require the use of dangerous materials. And the costs are going to be more than expected since special hazardous material handling processes will need to be implemented to safely discard the millions of bulbs that will burn out and be broken every day.

    I can see every house having to have a chemical protective suit that can be worn in case a bulb is broken.
  • Re:Mercury poisoning (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:03PM (#21806308)
    http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/english/consumers/questions-answers.cfm#mercury [nrcan.gc.ca]

    there is less mercury in a cfl than there is in a watch battery.
  • by jezor (51922) on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:09PM (#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}
  • Re:wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by BVis (267028) on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:17PM (#21806492)
    The LED 'bulbs' actually have a finite life. They don't "burn out", but they do dim over time. Currently the useful life is put at 35,000 hours (at which point the bulb is putting out 70% of its initial brightness), vs 8,000 to 10,000 hours for CFLs and 1,000 for incandescents.

    CFLs are not a perfect technology, yes. There are lower-mercury lights on the market, but people don't buy them due to the additional expense and non-tangible benefit. LEDs are certainly the way things are looking to go; the State House Christmas tree is lit with LEDs this year. (We sourced them for those.)
  • Re:mod parent up. (Score:3, Informative)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:26PM (#21806598) Journal
    Wal-Mart is for cheap hillbillies.

    Not all rednecks live in the hills, y'all.
  • I like the LED Idea. Osram(Bulb Manufacturer) is getting ready to release a package that is as bright as a 60watt bulb. Slick.
  • Re:wow (Score:4, Informative)

    by cecil_turtle (820519) on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:28PM (#21806630)
    Thanks for pointing that out, I'll have to do some research as to proper disposal.

    BTW, it seems they contain mercury but I didn't see any information suggesting CFL's contain lead. You may also be interested in this [wikipedia.org]:

    A June 2007 article calculated that the overall mercury emission by compact fluorescent lamps is less than the mercury released into the atmosphere by coal-fired power generation for series of equivalent incandescent lamps over the same period.[36] Of course, not all electricity is coal-fire generated, but with proper disposal, not all the mercury in spent CFLs will be released into the environment.
    Check out the graph as well.
  • text of the bill (Score:5, Informative)

    by ffflala (793437) on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:54PM (#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
  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <.info. .at. .devinmoore.com.> on Monday December 24, 2007 @01:02PM (#21807030) Homepage Journal
    Here's an led bulb that supposedly works with a dimmer:
    http://www.ccrane.com/lights/led-light-bulbs/cc-vivid-led-light-bulb.aspx [ccrane.com]
  • text of the bill (Score:2, Informative)

    by ffflala (793437) on Monday December 24, 2007 @01:07PM (#21807090)
    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:

    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 Secretary. If the Secretary determines that annual sales volume for any of these lamp types increases by 100 percent relative to 2009 sales in any later year, then such lamps shall by subject to the following standards:
    (i) Appliance lamps shall use no more than 40 watts.
    (ii) Rough service lamps shall use no more
  • by ajlitt (19055) on Monday December 24, 2007 @01:08PM (#21807106)
    Home Depot already takes bulbs back for recycling.
  • LED's not CFL's (Score:3, Informative)

    by IvyKing (732111) on Monday December 24, 2007 @01:15PM (#21807184)
    You've got an excellent point about the hazards of CFL's. What may be a less hazardous and more effcient option is using LED's.


    The other big guys did you think this through before passing the law issue is light dimmers. Most of the incandescant replacements do not handle dimmers very well if at all and there are a scheissload of dimmers in houses.

  • Sucks for migraines (Score:3, Informative)

    by CustomDesigned (250089) on Monday December 24, 2007 @01:36PM (#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.
  • MOD PARENT DOWN (Score:5, Informative)

    by glindsey (73730) on Monday December 24, 2007 @01:39PM (#21807472)
    The "OMG THEY CONTAIN MERCURY" scare tactic is the biggest load of anti-CFL bull put forth out there. The average CFL today contains around four milligrams of mercury, and already several companies are making bulbs that contain about two milligrams. Meanwhile, the increased power consumption from billions of incandescent bulbs being burned puts out kilograms of mercury vapors into the atmosphere every year.

    As for lead content, you'd better stop using computers of any kind, because all of them use far more lead during their production than any CFLs do.
  • Re:wow (Score:2, Informative)

    by roaddemon (666475) on Monday December 24, 2007 @01:43PM (#21807510)
    1) More mercury enters the environment through the burning of fossil fuel to generate electricty than is contained in a CFL.
    2) An old mercury thermometer has up to 100 times the mercury as a CFL.
    3) Quit spreading FUD.

    http://www.epa.state.oh.us/pic/cfl_info.html [state.oh.us]
  • Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (Score:2, Informative)

    by mrjackson2000 (733829) on Monday December 24, 2007 @02:27PM (#21808000) Homepage
    Alot of computer parts are now RoHS compliant, thus contain no lead.
  • by Dire Bonobo (812883) on Monday December 24, 2007 @06:55PM (#21810162)
    >>> According to Wikipedia, the OSHA maximum occupational exposure to mercury is 0.1 mg/m3.

    And according to OSHA [osha.gov], that's the acceptable amount for a full 8-hour shift of work. At roughly 1L/s [anaesthetist.com], that's about 3.6m3/hr, or about 3mg/shift.

    Or the entire contents of a CFL every day and a half.

    >>> Somehow you haven't quite convinced me that inhaling four milligrams directly into
    >>> my lungs isn't going to be a bad, if not a deadly, thing for me.

    One presumes you don't go around snorting CFL bulbs; if you don't, you're never going to get the entire contents in a short period of time. Indeed, you're highly unlikely to get the entire contents at all if you simply air out the room like everyone suggests, and based on the shape of CFLs it's unlikely that anything less than crushing a bulb would release more more than a fraction of the mercury.

    It's probably not a good idea to take up huffing CFLs, though, as the "immediate danger" level of mercury vapour is set at 10mg/m3. At ~5L/breath, that's about 20 breaths per mg, suggesting that rapid inhallation of large amounts of mercury isn't going to be much fun. It's pretty questionable whether it would be damaging, though, as animal studies [cdc.gov] show that mild organ damage occurs after an hour of 30mg/m3 exposure - a human in that environment would have breathed in over 100mg of mercury by then.

    >>> When I start buying as many computers as I do light bulbs, I'll try to remember your enlightening comparison.

    Try also to remember that computers are often bigger than light bulbs. Size - as you may have heard - matters.
  • by dasunt (249686) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:13PM (#21811028)

    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.

    If you want dimmable + home automation, this post won't help you.

    But you can use normal CFL bulbs in lamps if you plug the lamp into a modified X10 appliance module.

    Take a AM466/AM486 (the only difference seems to be the ground wire) and cut a diode to eliminate most of the local current sensing voltage [idobartana.com]. This stops the "flicker" that some bulbs get. Of course, you may lose local control, or still have some voltage. To eliminate all of the local current sensing voltage, cut the jumper the link tells you to as well. With just the diode cut, I still have local control, but YMMV.

    I've been using two CFL lamps on AM466 controllers since this fall and haven't had a problem with either so far.

    If you are wanting to control overheat lights, you need to add a neutral wire to the switch, which may or may not be possible depending on your wiring setup.

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