Let there be Light. And there is light, just not inefficient light anymore. In the United States, incandescent bulbs ranging from 100 Watts to 40 W are being phased out in the name of energy efficiency. 100 W incandescent bulbs were phased out late last year and the manufacture of 75-Watt lamps halted yesterday. This has been a move heralded by environmentalists, energy officials, and CFL/LED light manufacturers and a move despised by incandescent producers, consumers wary of alternative lighting (quality, application, safety, Mercury), and ruttists (see a previous entry). Sure, Compact Fluorescent Lamps and Light Emitting Diode bulbs produce comparable light, require less energy, and run longer than incandescent lights. But why give them up?
Why should we stop incandescently illuminating our homes and businesses?
While we’re at it, we might as well ask why Ford Model T’s aren’t produced anymore or why doctors no longer ‘bleed‘ patients to cure illness.
In an age where information and technology evolve at a blinding pace, the new and the better replace the old and the obsolete. Advances in automotive fuel efficiency are generally commended instead of shunned as too fancy. No one is complaining about owning a laptop that doesn’t take up an entire room. And who looks at their smart phone and thinks, “This should be the size of a brick!?” Lighting technology has surely improved enough that we shouldn’t want or need a century-old relic anymore. Incandescent lighting produces 90% heat and 10% light….extremely inefficient unless you try to market light bulbs as winter heat lamps.
Don’t get me wrong. Without incandescent lighting, we might’ve had a difficult time in the lab advancing fluorescent and LED technology. Incandescent lighting has a long and diverse history; incandescent light has had vast impacts on life and society. But it’s time to bow out and let CFL and LED technology illuminate society. As for me, I’m investing in LED lighting. Life spans of 25,000-60,000 hours, 5-10 Watts comparable to 30-75 Watt incandescent, NO mercury like CFLs…a worthwhile investment for me!
Think about it this way.
I think this is a slightly older study, as LED and CFL technologies have improved while cost has declined. But you get the picture. There certainly is a bright future in LED lighting. LEDs even work for specific situations now, like Candelabra fixtures or enclosed fixtures. (Just be aware of myths about LED lighting.)
I suppose some folks aren’t so much opposed to alternative lighting as they are outraged that the government has shattered their lighting trends. To that I don’t have a correct answer. But I will say we are simply joining the growing list of nations that are phasing out inefficient lighting in efforts to reduce energy use, stifle pollution production, and minimize waste (think bulb lifespan). Thank you light bulb and thank you Mr. Edison for brightening up our days. But it is time. Switch off!