New Year Bulb News

Posted January 13, 2011 // Tagged as Blog // 7 Comments ↓

The opening of 2011 has seen the introduction of the first stage of the incandescent ban in California, a year ahead of the general ban in the USA. The requirements are less onerous than we face in Europe requiring in the first year a saving of 22% in energy used by lamps that were 100W. This is well within the capabilities of the halogen incandescent replacements so no loss in light quality.

In the bigger USA political picture there is much more resistance to the legislation that we saw in Europe. The legislation in question is the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which proposed a rolling ban of “inefficient” light sources starting in January 2012. There has also been another legislative measure proposed that largely reverses a ban, The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act ( BULB!) proposed by Rep.Joe Barton of Texas, Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas and Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennesee has I believe died at the end of 2010 however the pressure for repeal of EISA is growing.

Other interesting things that have come up recently are the revised guidelines for dealing with CFL breakage in the home from the USA Environmental Protection Agency. These are much like what was advised before however they do acknowledge that the vacuum cleaner is a pretty essential tool in the removal of glass and other lamp debris from the living room (or bedroom) carpet! The web page is here or you can download a PDF of the full instructions.

The L prize from the USA DoE has turned into a bit of a damp squib. Despite the vast fortune on offer only the richest lighting company in the world, Philips, returned an entry for the 60W GLS lamp category. This submission, I expect, is now being examined carefully for compliance with the competition rules however no date has been announced for the results. Meanwhile the L prize competition for PAR 38 replacement has been suspended presumably to fix the rules so they will get more than one heftily funded entry. The competition is slated for re-launch in May at Lightfair.

Howard Brandston’s work and campaign on the issue of health challenging radio frequency emissions from CFLs is ongoing, this link to a Makezine article about a Ham Radio transmitter made almost completely from CFL ballast bits kind of proves these things have the potential to emit seriously in the Radio Frequency range.

And finally it is nice to see someone other than the big lamp manufacturers making money out of the incandescent lamp ban. Kerry Nicolaou runs a TV repair shop in Twickenham and is busy doing a roaring trade in incandescent lamps. He is scouring the UK for remainder stock and selling them quite legally from his shop as was reported in the London Evening Standard

Lastly a Call-Out to all those who have provided info through articles, tweets and emails for this New Year Round up:

Howard Brandston
The Light Collective
Kevin Theobold
LEDs Magazine

A guid New year to ane and aw! as we say in Scotland

7 Responses

  1. Kevan Shaw

    January 20th, 2011 at 14:12

    A brief update on this post , Private Eye 7 January has an entry in the Funny Old World column reporting that a shopkeeper in Hungary is also selling heat globes and is importing these from China!

  2. peter

    February 8th, 2011 at 18:00

    Yes good to see the American resistance
    I am in contact with a lot of the backroom staff of that and of a coming Bill against the ban.

    Incidentally, I have recently redone the site
    It’s more clearly focused on energy efficiency and bulbs, while keeping the overall perspective

    I also wrote a new conclusion, not least in relation to President Obama’s recent State of the Union address,
    praising American creativity and Einstein
    ( incandescents are also called “Edison bulbs” there
    though yes, Humphry Davy and Joseph Swan of course also had input into earlier bulbs)

    end words

    When it comes to energy politics, as with all politics, the actual issues should be dealt with, and the interest of ordinary citizens should be put first – not last:
    Not behind the employment interest of bureaucrat cronies,
    not behind the profit interest of lobbying industrialists,
    and not behind the legislative desire of politicians themselves,
    the itchy urge to bang down the gavel,
    to legislate just for the sake of legislation because of having a role as a legislator.

    Most politicians seem to prefer small meaningless decisions ahead of big effective decisions, which is perhaps not surprising if there is an easier way to “be seen to be doing something”:
    What is more visible than turning lights on and off?

    Waving a light bulb around = Fun Politics
    Meaningfully dealing with the issues = No Fun Politics

    There is also the broader question of living in Free Societies, or Regulated Societies:
    Regulation is clearly needed for safety and security reasons, but in this case, it’s about telling people how they can or can’t use the electricity they pay for, despite there being no electricity shortage, including future and low emission electricity, and despite the alternative and direct ways of actually dealing with energy and emission issues if such a need was perceived.
    Where there is a Problem: Deal with the Problem.

    On a deeper level, it’s about celebrating Creativity – not Destruction.

    Celebrating creativity is about recognizing the advantages that different products have.
    That is why they exist for people to choose.

    President Obama, State of the Union Address 25 January 2011:
    “What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people.
    We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices,
    the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers”

    Yes Mr President, Creative America, the nation of Edison:
    Would you not have allowed him to create his popular light bulb?

    And so it came to pass, in the autumn of 1879, after tireless effort working with different materials, Thomas Edison finally arrived at the ingenious invention we still see today, the Edison light bulb, the world’s single most popular electrical appliance and the oldest electrical invention in widespread common use:
    A beautifully simple, safe, cheap, bright light delivering construction.

    Maybe the time will come when, like its cousin the gleaming radio tube, it gradually fades away, the passing of old technology.

    But let it be a democratic passing by the will of the people,
    not a passing by committee dictats and decrees.

    How many American, European or other officials should it take to change a light bulb?
    How many citizens should be allowed to choose?

  3. peter

    February 25th, 2011 at 10:51

    Update on USA resistance to the ban:

    Current USA Repeal Bills:
    Click on co-sponsors:

    US House of Reps:

    US Senate:

    Around 50 Congressmen in all so far…
    Those inclined can always voice support on the politicians Facebook sites and such…

  4. peter

    February 25th, 2011 at 11:02

    // RE above links to USA Bills //

    Alternative links:

    The official website does not keep site searches..
    search on the site, or, easier,
    go to Gov Track = click on “co-sponsors”
    for a list of ban opposing US congressmen

    1. House H.R.91 bulb ban repeal bill

    2. Senate S.395 bulb ban repeal bill

  5. Kevan Shaw

    February 25th, 2011 at 14:10


    Thanks for the updates on this.

    Kevan Shaw

  6. Peter

    March 1st, 2011 at 09:22

    Thanks Kevan,
    another update…

    South Carolina State Representatives Bill Sandifer and Dwight Loftis among others, backing a Bill to allow continued S .Carolina manufacture of the banned bulbs…

  7. peter

    March 1st, 2011 at 11:15

    re SC Bill

    South Carolina Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act

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