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Canada to Ban Incandescent Bulbs by 2012

Here's something that'll piss off the average conservative.

OTTAWA - Canada will ban the sale of inefficient incandescent light bulbs by 2012 as part of a plan to cut down on emissions of greenhouse gases tied to global warming, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said Wednesday.

Canada is the second country in the world to announce such a ban. Australia said in February it would get rid of all incandescent bulbs by 2009.

"Making the switch to more efficient lighting is one of the easiest and most effective things we can do to reduce energy use and harmful emissions," Lunn told a news conference.

Since the average conservative is still using whale oil to light their homes perhaps they wont be concerned much with trends like this... but I've started using compact fluorescent lamps at home, and the ones I use now are giving me the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent bulb with only 20 watts of electricity consumed.

I never much cared for the "quality" of fluorescents for reading, but with these new bulbs I haven't noticed any difference, although the light is slightly less warm than standard incandescents. That probably varies from brand to brand.


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Comments (24)

cirby:

Since the average conservative is still using whale oil to light their homes

http://www.onebillionbulbs.com/Group/Instapundit

Xennady:

Nope Lee wrong again! Or should I say still because you haven't stopped being wrong yet.I already use fluorescent bulbs everywhere I don't have a dimmer switch.And I don't much care what Canada does, period.

BillyBob:

I guess the Canucks have not thought about what to do with all that Mercury that's in those curly bulbs. Wait till a few folks break some and folks die from it or babies are deformed (Oh yeah, you folks just abort those and keep on trying, right).

I'm sure they'll try that down here, but I plan to buy a lifetime supply before you idiots make that happen.

jp:

something is seriously wrong when the government decides it wants to create black markets for light bulbs.

cirby:

The really funny thing is going to be a couple of years from now, when much of the planet is switching over to CFL bulbs, and we overrun the total production capacity of the world.

You see, once everyone switches over to CFL, there won't be nearly as much demand as there is for regular old light bulbs. Not a big deal, right? Except you need to HAVE a lot of bulbs. If everyone in the developed world (hell, just call it 500 million households) needs only ten CFL bulbs in their house at one time, that means someone has to MAKE five billion bulbs in order to fill that demand, in very short order.

The problem is that after you get everyone fully-installed, demand will slow precipitously. With a lifetime of 2.5 years or so per bulb (probably closer to five, on the average, since most bulbs are on only a few minutes per day), that means that after you get everyone set up, demand drops to two billion bulbs a year, or less.

Which means that all of the excess capacity you built to force everyone to switch is no longer necessary.

Who's going to build a giant factory to make that many bulbs, when it's going to be completely outmoded and empty in less than a couple of years?

You could, instead, just wait for people to do it the smart way, and buy CFL bulbs (and other lighting systems as they become available) at a moderately increasing rate, until everyone is converted over. I've been doing this for a bit now, and as my old incandescent bulbs burn out, I install CFLs that I find on sale at Target - they have one model of GE CFLs that I like the color of, and they often have them on sale for a couple of bucks each (they usually only have a couple left each time I go by the store).

Of course, the biggest impetus for CFL use in the United States is... Wal-Mart, which is selling big multi-packs of CFL bulbs for a buck or so per bulb.

Paul Hamilton:

We switched all the lights in our house to compact fluorescents. That's 36 bulbs.

Regarding some of the points raised earlier...

- Yes, the mercury is an issue, but probably less of an issue than all the gases generated by power plants to operate 19th century-tech incandescent bulbs.

- CFLs are available for dimmer use. See 1000bulbs.com which is where I buy my bulbs. The cost is a little steep at $8.65 each IIRC.

- Regarding the changeover, it will be gradual enough that it's very unlikely there will be any issue with excess production capacity.

- Finally, I'd remind you that there is allegedly a black marked for old toilets as well. Fortunately, the new low-flow toilets work at least as well as the old ones. We have two of them so I know what I'm talking about - they clog less often than our old ones.

P. Bunyan:

Cirby, socialists don't get all that pragmatic and free market stuff. The government has to force things on people in their reality.

The bulbs save money in the long run so it's smart to buy them (unlike hybrid cars). Conservatives do things like that.

Concerned Student:

Well once again we have a completely idiotic post and slap at the "conservative" block for no other reason than to do it. I have long been using CFL's, and as another poster mentioned doing, I am also slowly switching out all the bulbs in my new house... as the old ones die.

So why is it that conservatives use whale oil? Because we are behind the times and all progressives are smart and hip? Why wouldn't conservatives want to switch over to CFL's? The fact of the matter is they probably would, and do. Practically speaking CFL's pay for themselves, they expend less energy expended per bulb, cost less money per bulb, etc. So why would conservatives not like this idea? I will tell you why. and I am going to go slow just in case we haven't put on our thinking caps since this morning.

Conservatives

believe

in

a

free

market.

Government regulation, especially in this case, is against free market principals. If there is a better product out there the free market will clean it up eventually. You see laser discs around anymore? That is because they were absurd. How about cassettes? Apart from die hards you can't hardly buy them anymore. Because people eventually get the idea there is something better/cheaper/cooler, whatever the case may be people switch. Incandescents will be a thing of the past eventually... enough people will realize they can save 10 dollars a year, be nicer to the environment, and still get the same functionality by using CFL's. Why do we need to eff the free market system up by forcing the hand of everyone right now? Because it fits someone's socially constructed view of how things should be? You know what that is under a different name? Totalitarianism. Just because right now everyone gets all touchy feely and warm about it doesn't make it right it just makes everyone cheering it on dupes. So there you have it Lee, it seems you have been duped. I just hope you figure it out before they dupe you into thinking they really give a crap about you.

"You could, instead, just wait for people to do it the smart way, and buy CFL bulbs (and other lighting systems as they become available) at a moderately increasing rate, until everyone is converted over."

Smart thinking cirby - you've got a good point.

Just another reason to blame Canada.

When does the algore switch to CFL for one of his twenty estates?

Too bad that carbon credit fiasco got blown out of the water -- no more cheap guilt relief for hypocrit moonbats.

And, I switched to CFL last year. I guarantee that more conservatives have switched than lefties.

Just as conservatives contribute twice as much than libs to charity, we don't sit around and wait for the government to make us do something that makes sense.

Libs will argue for CFL assistance before embracing the technology.

cirby:

Regarding the changeover, it will be gradual enough that it's very unlikely there will be any issue with excess production capacity.

...but with countries like Canada and Australia mandating the switch in five years or less (with much of Europe looking to do the same, as well as California and a couple of other US states), a gradual changeover can't happen. Which means that they either have to ignore the deadline, create factories to make all of those extra bulbs, or create a massive demand that can NOT be filled.

Just like politicians. They want to use the force of law to coerce people into doing what they, the politicians, think best. That's NOT what government should be for. I use fluorescents where I want and incandescents where I want. AND IT'S NONE OF ANY OF YOU PEOPLES' DAMN BUSINESS. Keep your stinking busy-body control-freak laws out of my living room!

Wanderlust:

Lee, I just stopped by to have a look at your blog. After all, I thought that finally having your own platform to post from, you might calm down on the personal attacks and actually post something that is thought-provoking.

Sadly, the vast majority of your posts here are filled with invective, and in my opinion (for what it's worth), your writing style reminds me of papers one might find in a middle school.

This blog represents a chance for you to challenge our thinking. So why not actually do just that?

If you do, you might discover that the rest of us just might want to hang around, instead of just glancing and running.

p.s.: I've also been using CFL bulbs in my home since they first became commercially available in Charlotte, NC (where I was living at the time) in 1990. I've used them consistenly since then, as much as possible, excepting fixtures that had dimmer switiches.

Care to take back your silly "whale oil" smear?

Bo:

Some places I use CFLs, some places I don't. High-use lights, bedside lamps, and places where changing bulbs are a real b**ch are ideal locations for me. They don't, however, put out a good light for reading, and they don't do well at all in closed closets.

Now, as technology with these (or perhaps an all-new energy-saving alternative) advances, even the reservations I have with them now will likely be alleviated. Already, they come on faster, last longer, and cost less than they did five years ago. So an "all-CFL" house for me isn't necessarily a huge stretch, but they're going to have to be a little more advanced than they are now before I go that direction.

On a slightly different front, does anyone know what the Canadian (or Austrailian) provisions are regarding QHs? They're fairly efficient, in a senses that a lower wattage is required to put out a VERY strong, bright, white light, but they're in essense very efficient heaters that tend to put out a lot of light as a side-effect, and as such require more energy be used during the warm months to offset that added heat. Still, they seem to have a great deal of promise in applications where heat isn't a factor. Thoughts?

Bo:

One more light-bulb related question...anyone ever had a incandescent bulb explode (not blow, mind you...just burst violently) while the light was off and cool?

Alexandra:

Have anyone read the package? You cannot use CFL light outdoor. I put one in my garage and have to take it out because the package that the bulb came in, did not mention that it takes 2 min for the light to reach full strength. It also does not mention that it has mercury in it and how to dispose of it safely.

BillyBob:

CFL bulbs suck, plain and simple. They do not put out decent light, they are expensive, and they create hazardous waste.

This whole CFL thing will make the Phillips (a European company) stockholders very happy.

I removed all the CFL bulbs in my house and put back the good old fashioned halogen bulbs in ceiling cans. Man, what a difference. Bright light. My attitude has changed already for the better. No wonder libs are such sour pusses when they have to read and live by CFLs. They want the whole world to be like living in Seattle.

cirby:

I dunno, BillyBob, the GE CFLs I bought are pretty decent. The higher-wattage ones (100w equivalent) are bright enough, and the color is very close to the incandescents I've been using.

They do take a couple of minutes to get up to full brightness, but the only place I notice that is in the bathroom (and I sorta prefer that, for those 4 AM toilet runs).

My big problem is that I have some fixtures and lamps that won't hold the wider base of the CFLs - can't put one in the lamp next to my computer, for example.

Matt:

I've started the switch to CFL. I buy them when they are on clearanc at WalMart, otherwise they are cost prohibitive.

I like them okay, however I don't use them anywhere I need lots of light immediately when I flip a switch.

They do throw out better light than my old Whale Oil lamps, so that is a plus. I don't worry about the quality of the reading light, being an arch-conservative I don't read much, and go to bed as soon as it is dark anyway.

I am saving my old incandescents to sell on the black market. When the mercury filled CFL finally dies they can be recycled as fishing floats, bobbers etc.

cirby: "The higher-wattage ones (100w equivalent) are bright enough, and the color is very close to the incandescents I've been using."

That matches my experience also. I was pleasantly surprised by the improvement that seems to have been made in the CFLs available now, vs. the CFLs of say two years ago....

matt: "They do throw out better light than my old Whale Oil lamps, so that is a plus. I don't worry about the quality of the reading light, being an arch-conservative I don't read much, and go to bed as soon as it is dark anyway."

And does Wal-Mart still stock whale oil, or do you have to make a special run down to "Blubbers are Us?

Paul Hamilton:

Once again, catching up on comments since my last post in this thread:

Cirby: Yes, there will be spikes when large states and nations mandate a changeover, but it's not like there will be lightbulb cops who make sure that on January 1st, every bulb must suddenly be changed. People will swap them out as they burn out.

Bo: I've never had a CFB explode, but once, we've had an unnerving situation where the base of the bulb started emitting some sort of pungent vapor. It wasn't really like smoke and it smelled really bad. But it was just once and we've had CFBs for several years now.

Everybody: You need to check the temperature of the bulb when you buy it. A 2700 is just about the same shade of light as an incandescent bulb and it's the one we use most often. What they call a "full-spectrum" bulb is 5000 or 5100 but it's a very blue tint and looks odd for regular lighting. My wife says they give her a headache. I don't have that issue, but I do notice they have a lot of glare.

SilentStorm:

I also am working my way up on CFL's, though I get mine in packs of 6 from Home Depot.

I'm taking the same tact as Cirby, and just replacing as old ones go.

I'm also not a stickler for detail on outputs and what not (using 60w/75w equivalents), I just want it to light things up enough that I can see fine. It's all I ask.

Side note to Paul - I did respond to your post at Wizbang about questions on WBB. If you choose to, please take a gander. I'll be more than happy to respond back if you want me to.

cirby:

Yes, there will be spikes when large states and nations mandate a changeover, but it's not like there will be lightbulb cops who make sure that on January 1st, every bulb must suddenly be changed.

Not on January 1, but when you completely outlaw the old style of lamp on that date (or whichever day you choose), you only have a couple of weeks of backlog before people start needing lots and lots of CFL bulbs to replace the incandescents that burn out. Within six months, you pretty much have to have enough to replace EVERY incandescent that burns out. At five times the replacement rate you're going to need after everyone is using CFLs.

...and with multiple countries doing that at the same time, you start getting shortages. And while there may not be "light bulb cops," you're not going to be able to sell the old style bulbs that you just outlawed.

And if you think a government will just "not prosecute" when they have a dandy way to fine people and get a large short-term revenue stream, you're crazy.

Or you could do the rational thing and just let the market decide. It's doing so right now, since CFLs have crossed the "cheap enough and good enough" line, but aren't to the "everybody changed over" line.

Until the factories can reach the "steady state" production level, with enough "push" production to be able to give us the extra CFLs, the best option is to let capitalism work. And it's doing so. You just didn't notice.


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