light-bulb-424In an era of green technologies, energy saving techniques and efficient use of power, the main issue has been the fact that many people generally know that the technologies are out there but would rather not change. This inertia is especially true in the case of the humble light bulb.

According to the Wall Street Journal article, “America’s On-Again, Off-Again Light Bulb Affair” by Jeffery Ball (sub. required), the incandescent bulb creates 90% heat and only 10% light. Some say that the only light source less efficient is a candle flame which was used for 50,000 years before Edison invented the light bulb. Not only is the incandescent light bulb bad for your electricity bill it is bad for reading a book late at night (from my experience). Incandescent bulbs are energy hogs representing 20% of America’s electrical energy demand. They consume much more electricity per unit than the Compact Fluorescent light bulb.

Now the logical move for folks would be to buy the more energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs, but the issue become that the fluorescent light bulbs are many times more expensive than the standerd incandescent bulbs which run for about 25 cents apiece. The article mentions that “Americans have been so reluctant to buy the new bulbs that the federal government is about to force their hand. A recent law will, in effect, ban incandescent bulbs for most uses by 2014.”

Fluorescent bulbs have longer life (4-8 years) and consume less energy. The payback is as little as one year.

“the kitchen looks like the ER, not a kitchen!”

Now we see they are more efficient, they pay for themselves but what many people are picking up and myself included, is that these fluorescent lights just don’t make you look healthy. In my home, my Mom decided to upgrade our kitchen lights to the more efficiant fluorescent lights, instead of the standerd and much more pleasent incandescent spot lights. So when she screwed them in and turned on the lights, I made the comment that “the kitchen now looks like the ER, not a kitchen!”

The article has an example where a woman used the fluorescent lights to illuminate a walk way in her yard where¬† the walk looked “like a land strip.”

So with the Federal government about to make the incandescent light bulbs obsolete by 2014, get ready America, as our kitchens will resemble ERs, our walkways looking like run ways, and us in general, just not looking that great, except maybe outdoors. Who knows, maybe LED lighting will make compact flourescent bulbs obsolete next.

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