from the abstract-standards-mean-more-flexibility dept.
lee1 writes "A law in the US that is due to take effect in 2012 mandates such tough efficiency
standards for lightbulbs that it has been assumed, until recently, that
it would kill off the incandescent bulb. Instead, the law has become a
case study of the way government regulation can inspire technical
innovation. For example, new incandescent technology from Philips that
seals the traditional filament inside a small capsule (which itself is
contained within the familiar bulb). The capsule has a coating that
reflects heat back to the filament, where it is partially converted to
light. The sophisticated ($5.00) bulbs are about 30% more efficient than the
old-fashioned ($0.25) kind, and should last about three times as long.
So they are less economical than compact fluorescents, but should emit a
more pleasing spectrum, not contain mercury, and, one supposes, present
the utility company with a more desirable power factor."
"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the
sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment."
-- Richard P. Feynman