Congress Pulls The Plug On Incandescents

Say goodbye to wasteful incandescents. Congress’ recently passed energy bill bans stores from selling the inefficient bulbs starting in 2012. We know you love incandescents and their warm glowing warming glow, but compact fluorescents are vastly superior—their takeover was inevitable.

“Sure, you’ll see more compact fluorescents five years from now, but you would have seen them without any energy bill,” said the chief executive of Osram Sylvania, Charlie Jerabek.

Michael B. Petras Jr., vice president of GE Consumer and Industrial — the unit that includes General Electric’s lighting business — broadened the thought to all forms of lighting. “You’ll see different light sources for your decorative chandelier, for your recessed lighting and for your under-cabinet lights,” he said. “And I can assure you that all the kinds of light sources are already getting a lot more efficient.”

Including incandescents.

Congress has not specifically outlawed incandescent bulbs, only inefficient ones.

In February, G.E. said that it was developing a high-efficiency incandescent that will radiate more than twice the light of conventional incandescents. It expects to make that one commercially available by 2010, and one that is twice as efficient a few years later.

And so far, consumers have been slow to give new products a chance. Compact fluorescents, for example, are already ubiquitous in stores. Many retailers, led by Wal-Mart, have promoted the economics of the bulbs — though compact fluorescents generally cost six times what incandescents do, they last six times as long and use far less energy.

We switched over to CFLs and the only difference we notice is a consistently cheaper energy bill. Switching bulbs has a direct effect on your energy consumption, and is one of the single best ways you can help the environment as a consumer.

No Joke, Bulb Change Is Challenge for U.S. [NYT]
(Photo: Nictalopen)