Dim Bulbs

Apparently, in order to do anything other than create jobs, the Republicans yesterday attempted to repeal a light bulb bill that was written by a Republican and signed by Bush.






61 replies
  1. 1
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    Because who’s gonna remember it was crafted by Republicans, over ‘GUBMENT TAKIN’ OUR LIGHTBULBS AWAY?!’

    The point was never to actually repeal the damn thing. It’s seeding more of that good ol’ fashioned ‘Evil Gubment Green Fascism’ bullshit.

  2. 2
    Han's Solo says:

    The Republicans hate light bulbs because it takes 172 Republican Congresscritters to change one. One Republican Congresscritter screws in the bulb while the other 171 blame the original bulb burning out on Obama.

  3. 3

    There has been a good deal of distress over something that isn’t even real. Incandescent bulbs are and will be available for purchase.

    Really. Some people have too much time on their hands.

  4. 4
    The Moar You Know says:

    My wife hates CFLs. I’m finding a lot of women do.

    The alternative? At the moment, $20/bulb LED bulbs. The work for most applications in our house, but it hasn’t been cheap, and it hasn’t been enough to stop her from stockpiling a boatload of incandescents.

    The LED bulbs are probably going to be a break-even proposition, given how must they’ve cost. But I’ll say this – they do save power. A bathroom fixture that burned 400 watts of power, when replaced with CFLs drops to 92. When replaced with LEDs…36 watts. 400 to 36 isn’t bad. Too bad that those damn flatscreen TVs use so much power, if they were more efficient we’d be on the winning end of the electric bill. Until the next rate hike, anyway.

  5. 5
    bemused says:

    Now there’s an energy policy.

    They don’t care how stupid or foolish they look. Then again, They’re too dumb to know this.

  6. 6
    PreservedKillick says:

    When all you can do is nothing, Do It With Gusto. Bravo!

  7. 7
    kindness says:

    How is it that Republicans and even TeaBaggers don’t see that they are being led by the stupids I can’t understand. Oh sure, I can see that people believe what ever they want to believe, and it’s especially easier when you have a PR firm like Fox News constantly feeding you the company line. But honestly…..aren’t these folks just a teensy bit embarrassed by the overflow of idiocy? I am saddened to say I guess not.

  8. 8
    patrick II says:

    Turn out the lights, the party’s over…

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The stupid in this particular case is just so overwhelming that I despair.

    This culture deserves to die. It really does. When the stupid gets this thick, it’s time to just throw up your hands and give up.

  10. 10
    kindness says:

    Han’s Solo@2

    The Republicans hate light bulbs because it takes 172 Republican Congresscritters to change one. One Republican Congresscritter screws in the bulb while the other 171 screw the American public and blame the original bulb burning out on Obama.

    There, fixed it for ya.

  11. 11
    bemused says:

    The new bulbs improve and go down in price as more people buy them just like anything else. Market forces at work. Why do R’s hate the market doing what it’s supposed to do? Actually, I think the bill was introduced just to distract and thrill their disgruntled teatard voters.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    Where’s ED Kain to tell us how without inefficient light bulbs, none of us are truly free?

  13. 13
    nick1936 says:

    a repuk bill signed by Bush and Obama is to blame the same with the space program Bush signed it’s ending and yet it’s Obama fault. Well here is the question of the day for Boehner you have had the house since January name one Job creating bill that you passed

  14. 14
    nick1936 says:

    a repuk bill signed by Bush and Obama is to blame the same with the space program Bush signed it’s ending and yet it’s Obama fault. Well here is the question of the day for Boehner you have had the house since January name one Job creating bill that you passed

  15. 15
    SFAW says:

    But honestly…..aren’t these folks just a teensy bit embarrassed by the overflow of idiocy?

    Embarrassed? Hell, they revel in it. It’s a badge of honor for them.

    It would be nice if there were some “I fought Reality, and Reality won” moments for these idiots, but I’m afraid that such moments would require the collapse of the country.

  16. 16
    joes527 says:

    The Moar You Know

    Part of the equation for CFL’s saving money is that the bulbs are supposed to last longer than incandescent. That just hasn’t been my experience. The damn things burn out quicker than incandescents.

    We haven’t bought incandescent bulbs in years, but we go through a disturbing # of CFLs. (Disturbing due to the $$, but also the hazardous waste. Fortunately, my city has a hazardous disposal yard where they can be handled properly, but it is still waste)

    I know incandescent bulbs are stressed by hours of use and CFLs are stressed by on-off cycles.

    What I’d like to know is whether there a threshold (bathroom: turn on. brush teeth, turn off. repeat. repeat. repeat.) where, taking into account the manufacturing through disposal costs of the bulb, incandescents actually turn out to be greener. I’m not claiming that there is.

    But I sure wonder every time I have to replace one of those CFLs

  17. 17
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    My U.S. Rep., Todd Akin, of the famous remark, “Liberals hate God”, is all over this one. I was just on his website. Is he worried about the budget negotiations? No! Is he worried about a possible default? I didn’t see any indication. Is he worried about job growth? I didn’t see anything. But he IS worried about light bulbs and Missouri river management. Well, thank the Lord that I have a representative in Congress who has his priorities straight.

    These weasels are not to be believed.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    Part of the equation for CFL’s saving money is that the bulbs are supposed to last longer than incandescent. That just hasn’t been my experience. The damn things burn out quicker than incandescents.

    Well, if we’re using anecdotes for evidence. My porch light is a CFL and I haven’t changed it in 3 years.

    The CFL bulbs in my bathroom have also been going strong for over a year.

  19. 19
    The Moar You Know says:

    joes527: I’ve noticed this as well. The CFLs in my work environment, in particular, burn out faster than incandescents do. That should not happen.

    While it doesn’t bother me, I have to admit that my wife has a point about the color temperature of CFLs. They make people look jaundiced, most of the time.

    But my LED bulbs at home are doing great. Can’t wait to see what hits the market in the next few years, and can’t wait for the prices to start falling as more people get on board with the idea.

  20. 20
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Cacti:

    Where’s ED Kain to tell us how without inefficient light bulbs, none of us are truly free?

    Q: How many Libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: None. The Free Market will fix it!

  21. 21
    Bulworth says:

    This is so awesome.

    Also, too: the old light bulbs suck. Had to replace them every couple of months.

  22. 22
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Q: How many Republicans does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: None. They are too busy screwing the whole country to bother with pesky lightbulbs.

  23. 23
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The only thing I don’t like about the CFLs is that you can’t use them in any fixture that has a dimmer. The ceiling fans in my apartment have dimmers and if I use CFLs in them they flicker when you try to turn the lights of while keeping the fans on.

  24. 24
    shortstop says:

    If the “Democrat Party” came out against fratricide, third-degree burns and eating rat poison, the entire GOP caucus would promptly murder its brothers, set itself afire and down some D-Con. We really seem to have reached that point.

  25. 25
    PreservedKillick says:

    FWIW, my experience with CFLs has been that they last many times as long as incandescents. When we moved into our current house, 12 years ago, I replaced every damn incandescent with a CFL. A lot of those replacements are still going strong.

  26. 26
    PreservedKillick says:

    And, BTW, you can get dimmable CFLs.

  27. 27
    PreservedKillick says:

    And, BTW, you can get dimmable CFLs.

  28. 28
    shortstop says:

    My wife hates CFLs. I’m finding a lot of women do.

    I love the concept and hate the quality of the light. I live with the quality of the light because some things are more important. And they’re getting better at manufacturing CFs that produce warmer light.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    On CFL’s lifespan…well it doesn’t seem to be the 7 years that’s written on the packaging. But I’m using them. I’m honestly looking forward to the next gen, LED’s though.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    I replaced all my incandescents with CFLs about 5 years ago, and haven’t replaced a single one of them. Though I am such a minimalist and fanatic about only having lights on that I need to keep from injuring myself stumbling around in the dark.

    I didn’t like the light they put out at first, as seemingly less crisp than the filament ones. But got used to it, similar to when I stopped drinking sugared cokes, for the diet kind. Hated it at first, but now cannot stand to even taste a sugared coke.

  31. 31
    joes527 says:

    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford

    They make dimmable CFLs. They cost the earth, and the dimming range is pretty narrow. (they jump right from off to brighter-than-you-wanted, and then the ramp up to full strength pretty fast)

    I bought some, but am not going to bother again. When they burn out I’ll replace the dimmer with a switch and just get ordinary CFLs

  32. 32
    techno says:

    I loved the “BULB” act because it was such a perfect example of why no one should pay attention to Michele Bachmann.

    Good discussion of this matter, including links to a delightful essay from the Green Building folks, at this address.

  33. 33
    Bulworth says:

    written by a Republican and signed by Bush.

    Ah, the pre-Teabag Party Age. Those were the days….

  34. 34
    joes527 says:

    The Moar You Know

    With LED bulbs, does each bulb have its own converter, or is the converter in the fixture? It would be cool to be able to afford LED for all lighting and just have a DC bus* in the house dedicated to lights.

    *don’t know whether transmission loss would make this a bad idea.

  35. 35
    Judas Escargot says:

    Most folks probably already know this, but CFLs are really just a bridge technology to keep the lights on until LEDs get cheap/pretty enough to be affordable and practical.

    Using my Home Depot Litmus Test, it does look like LEDs are about to go mainstream. Saw a whole aisle of them (and bought two for my outdoor lights… unlike CFLs, LEDs can start up normally in the cold of winter outdoors).

  36. 36
    Han's Solo says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    Most folks probably already know this, but CFLs are really just a bridge technology to keep the lights on until LEDs get cheap/pretty enough to be affordable and practical.

    I hope you are right. I invested in Cree with that assumption, but it hasn’t done so well of late.

  37. 37
    Chris says:

    @ Villago Delenda Est,

    The stupid in this particular case is just so overwhelming that I despair.

    This culture deserves to die. It really does. When the stupid gets this thick, it’s time to just throw up your hands and give up.

    Yeah, I feel you. I’m not one for saying that any civilization “deserves” to die, much less my own, but if it does collapse, we the people of these United States will have no one to blame but ourselves.

  38. 38
    Judas Escargot says:

    With LED bulbs, does each bulb have its own converter, or is the converter in the fixture? It would be cool to be able to afford LED for all lighting and just have a DC bus* in the house dedicated to lights.

    The converter’s inside the bulb itself, to fit inside standard fixtures.

    And yes, long-term it would be more efficient to have a pure DC bus at a lower voltage just for LED lighting… but that would require changes to long-standing electrical codes (which will, of course, take decades).

  39. 39
    jinxtigr says:

    I’m using some Cree LED lights- stupid expensive, but they’re like halogen spots, and also real cool in summer.

    I’ve stuck yellow taillight-repair tape over the center LED to try and fix the color temp which is icy-cold, but the light just burns the stuff clear! These Cree LEDs are pretty startling. Just seven of them and it’s like a 50W halogen spot…

  40. 40
    Rosalita says:

    the CFLs don’t fit in some lamps, take a bit to come to full brightness and only just recently came with an outer shell so that you don’t have to look at the curly bulb through clear light covers. Ditto the dimmer thing.

  41. 41
    The Moar You Know says:

    With LED bulbs, does each bulb have its own converter, or is the converter in the fixture?

    joes527: Each bulb has it’s own converter.

    A dedicated low-voltage DC bus would be a horrific idea both for the reason you mention – the transmission loss even over short distances is tremendous – and would be a real safety hazard. DC is the stuff that will really stop your heart but quick if you get hit with a jolt.

    The transmission loss issue is why solar installers use 24 or 48-volt panels (if they know enough, I’ve found most solar guys don’t know jack about what they’re dealing with), keep the wire runs as short as possible, and have that DC hit an inverter as soon as possible.

  42. 42
    scav says:

    I’m one of the crowd that hasn’t had to replace some of my CFL bulbs since I installed them a decade ago. Clever if unpredictable little things: I’ve no idea why they choose to pick on some people and not others. I like the little curly shapes all in all — it’s rather like being illuminated by Dairy Queen.

  43. 43
    someguy says:

    @ Cacti

    Well, if we’re using anecdotes for evidence.

    Anecdotes are evidence. They aren’t data, which is probably what you’re thinking of. Not unless you have a whole lot of them and they were collected and analyzed in an appropriate manner…

    And my data – collected anecdotes about the randomly purchased CFL’s I’ve been using for three or four years – is that the one’s I have had suck. The tone of light makes my eyes hurt and they generally burn out fast. I’m willing to accept some added costs to help out Gaia but I’m not quite able to swallow $15/per LED yet.

  44. 44

    @Judas Escargot:

    And yes, long-term it would be more efficient to have a pure DC bus at a lower voltage just for LED lighting…

    I don’t think it’s going to be just for lighting. We have tons of little gadgets that run on DC, and each one needs its own DC power supply. Many of those power supplies run all the time, wasting a little bit of power here and a little bit there, and most of them are designed more for low production cost and convenience than high efficiency. A household DC system could be more efficient than separate individual converters.

    The advantage will be even bigger when more people have rooftop photovoltaics or similar systems that produce DC directly. Powering things directly off that DC will eliminate the need for an inverter as well as the DC power supplies. That’s a big win.

  45. 45
    Pococurante says:

    Quality LED bulbs are still upwards of $25. I can buy 4-8 bulb packs of full spectrum CFL at that price point. But then I too have had problems with CFL lasting more than a few years and they tend to take longer to hit full brightness as they age.

    I got more savings replacing my climate control, clothes washer/dryer, and dishwasher. Both solar screens on my windows (about $450), and re-roofing my house with a metal roof while leaving the old shingle roof in place (about 8K) had dramatic results.

    With insurance and energy savings the roof paid for itself the seventh year, and it is rated for sixty years as opposed to the seven years normally allotted for traditional shingle.

    It will take longer for the appliances to pay for themselves, but as comparison I keep my two-story home pegged at 72 degrees all day all (Texas) summer and my electric bill is about $240. My neighbor runs hers at 85 degrees when she gets home in the evenings and her bill ranges from $500-650.

  46. 46
    PurpleGirl says:

    Rosalita: I had the problem of CFLs not fitting in some lamps. The manufacturers have changed their sizing and I’ve found bulbs that fit. One thing to do when you go shopping is to write down the height of the bulb space and bring that with you and a ruler or tape measure so you can measure the CFL while at the store.

    Now that manufacturers are producing better incandescent bulbs (and have spent money to do the engineering of new bulbs and modify production lines) do the Republicans think they will spend the money to go back to older bulbs? The stupid it burns (but not brightly).

  47. 47
    joes527 says:

    Judas Escargot

    I wonder how much power we could save if a 12v DC bus became standard in every house. If a large fraction of the devices in my house with individual wall warts could just plug into the wall and use the power w/o going through a conversion/transformation step at the point of use, I would expect savings from efficiency of a central converter. (also air conditioning savings by moving the converters out of the living space)

    Whether the actual savings would be large/small/imaginary/negative is something that would have to be worked out very carefully … but it seems like an interesting direction.

    Of course the changes needed to reach this nirvana both in housing construction and appliance manufacturing make conversion of the nation to CFL/LED look like child’s play, so this will remain a “wouldn’t it be cool.”

  48. 48
    Pococurante says:

    @46 PurpleGirl

    … do the Republicans think they will spend the money to go back to older bulbs? The stupid it burns (but not brightly).

    It’s all about playing to the base, who believes this was a liberal bill that forces consumers to buy efficient bulbs.

    Doesn’t matter how many times you point out to these idiots that incandescent bulbs are still sold or demonstrate this was GOP legislation. “Everyone just knows” and “you can’t trust the lamestream media”.

  49. 49
    joes527 says:

    I see The Moar You Know poo-pooing the idea of a DC bus, and he is probably right. (I am not an EE and do not even play one on TV)

    I once met a guy who had a nice telescope with a DC motor that he powered off his car’s 12v system. He had a 50 foot extension cord so that he didn’t have to use the telescope inside the car. It turned out that the system worked better with an inverter in the car, AC through the extension cord, and back to DC at the telescope.

    My intuition said that all that conversion _must_ be terribly inefficient. But I guess that mostly means that my intuition about DC transmission loss isn’t calibrated correctly.

  50. 50
    PurpleGirl says:

    Pococurante: I had a fight with a neighbor over the bulb thing. She’s stocking up on her preferred bulbs. I know she’ll never realize that the bulbs she’s buying are probably newer ones that will still give her the better efficiency. At least. she won’t have to use those damn CFLs that that tyrant (she actually uses the n-word) wants to force us to buy.

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    When God said “let there be light” he didn’t ask fat Al Gore’s permission did he? Huh? Huh? Whatcha gon’ say ta that?

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    @4.The Moar You Know

    The LED bulbs are probably going to be a break-even proposition, given how must they’ve cost. But I’ll say this – they do save power. A bathroom fixture that burned 400 watts of power, when replaced with CFLs drops to 92. When replaced with LEDs…36 watts. 400 to 36 isn’t bad. Too bad that those damn flatscreen TVs use so much power, if they were more efficient we’d be on the winning end of the electric bill. Until the next rate hike, anyway.

    FWIW I went from a 32-inch CRT set to a 55-inch LED-lit LCD set that uses less power, so the efficiencies are attainable. IIUC most LCD sets are still flourescent-lit and use more power and of course, plasmas gobble more power still (although less than before).

    I have a gajillon flourescent bulbs–screw-in and tube type–around the house and halogens everywhere I cannot use flourescents. I believe I’ve gotten rid of every damn Edison bulb in the place, other than one one in the oven. Yes, the family and I suffer greatly for the indignity oppression.

    Have also replaced every plumbing fixture in the 80-year old joint, which makes it a lot more liveable.

    Upgrading the main panel to 200 amps took care of premature bulb death. I didn’t realize we had a problem, but after the upgrade I found bulbs that formerly had to be changed every few months now last for years. Turns out the voltage spikes and dips are murder on lights, appliances, electronics and the like.

  53. 53
    Mike G says:

    Repuke logic – when you’re doing something stupid and worthless, Do It Loud.

  54. 54

    The entire republican delegation from Missouri covered themselves in glory on this one – striking a blow for Luddites everywhere.

  55. 55
    Ash Can says:

    @Cacti:

    Where’s ED Kain James Joyner to tell us how without inefficient light bulbs, none of us are truly free?

    Fixed to correct name of actual whiner (although I give JJ points for showing up here at all).

  56. 56
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    Michael @54. My beloved Todd Akin has it all over his website. Do you often feel that Missouri would have to really step up its game to get to be less backward than, say, Alabama? We certainly seem to have a lot of second stringers representing us. When I think of Tom Eagleton, Stuart Symington, his son, Jim, John Danforth and Tom Curtis, and compare them with the losers that represent us today (Jesus, Roy Blunt!), I want to cry.

  57. 57
    JR says:

    According to NRO, the light bulb law is actually a job-killing nanny-state slap in the face to truth, justice and apple pie. The screed is called something like “Democrats: Turn the Light Out on the Working Man.” I actually shot some coffee through my nose when I read that headline.

  58. 58
    Bender says:

    was written by a Republican and signed by Bush.

    What? Signed by Bush? Then it must be conservative orthodoxy, like illegal alien amnesty and bailouts! Thanks for noting again that Bush was far more centrist than Obama can pretend to be.

    Next thing you know, Ball-Juicers will be disagreein’ with President Fast and Furious! No, it’ll never happen…

  59. 59
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @58 I have no idea what your point is. Do you just shake your fist at things all day long?

  60. 60
    Judas Escargot says:

    I see The Moar You Know poo-pooing the idea of a DC bus, and he is probably right. (I am not an EE and do not even play one on TV)

    I’m a EE by training, if no longer by profession (traded in that first “E” for an “SW” awhile ago).

    The argument of DC versus AC is as old as Tesla versus Edison. Moar’s right in that AC, as a general rule, will be lower-loss and cheaper to implement for most long-range power transmission.

    Some countries do use high-voltage DC (HVDC), which can actually give lower loss-over-distance, though at a higher cost per mile.

    At the scale of a home, it’ll be a few tens of feet. A well-balanced DC circuit can handle that (a 747, for example, has multiple DC power busses spanning the length of the airplane– plenty long enough for your typical home). Again: More expensive than an AC circuit, but higher potential efficiency when working with DC devices.

    Just like everything else in the alt-e world: More efficiency, but with a higher up-front cost.

    As far as safety goes, it’s the current that kills you, not the voltage. Wintertime static shocks can be in the tens of thousands of volts, but they don’t kill you because it’s only a tiny fraction of an ampere passing into your body. Meanwhile, your standard US AC house circuit is “only” 120 volts, but obviously those 15-20 amps can shock you quite nicely if you stick a fork into your nearest outlet (not recommended).

    The real obstacle is building codes, which are ultra-conservative by necessity. As on-site solar and LED lighting becomes more prevalent, I’d expect some general solution to be arrived at… but IMO that’s many, many decades in the future.

  61. 61
    pattonbt says:

    This is the same as the “tire gauge” mockery the Republicans tried to pull in the election (2008), which of course backfired. Boy they were so happily chuffed with themselves on mocking that perfectly simple comment. They even made up little tire gauges with the writing “Obama’s energy plan” on them. Soon the Republicans will be selling candles and oil lamps with a US flag painted on them.

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