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Should incandescent light bulbs be banned worldwide?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Featured Debate 22

 

 

On Tuesday, Energy Minister David Parker announced that New Zealand will be banning "inefficient incandescent bulbs" in favor of longer lasting, more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs and low voltage halogens.

 

In 2007, Cuba exchanged all incandescents for CFLs and banned the import/sale of incandescent bulbs.  The Clean Energy Act of 2007 calls for a phase out of some incandescent bulbs (those of roughly 40 to 150 watts) in the US by January 2014.  Incandescent bulbs are supposed to be out of Australia by 2010...the list goes on.

 

So what do you think?  Should Thomas Edison's invention get tossed all over the world?

post #2 of 15

Yeah, there's just no reason to use incandescents anymore.  Over their lifetime of the bulbs, CFLs and even LEDs cost less than incandescents.  They reduce waste because they last longer, and they reduce energy consumption drastically.  People complain that CFLs contain mercury, but because of the reduced demand on coal power plants (which emit mercury as a byproduct), overall CFLs reduce mercury emissions.

 

 

There's just no reason to use incandescents anymore.  Ban the suckers!

post #3 of 15

But how will I power my easy bake oven??

 

Or, more realistically, what about heat lamps for aquariums or food service? Sometimes the heat is not an undesired side effect of incandescent lights.

 

Personally I think most people are slowly making the switch without requiring a ban. It's a real no-brainer decision: Use less energy, pay less for energy, same amount of light, dur.

post #4 of 15

For specialized applications certainly incandescents should still be used.  We're just talking about your regular household bulbs.

 

Unfortunately I think there's still a fair number of people who would stick with incandescents just because of fear of the unknown (some people aren't good with change), myths (i.e. mercury danger), and up-front price (ignoring the long-term savings).


Edited by dana1981 - Wed, 18 Jun 2008 19:45:51 UTC
post #5 of 15

I think that as far as legally required environmental efforts, I wouldn't start with the light bulb.  As Mattress said, people are making the switch already.  It makes financial sense long term, which provides some incentive.  I don't think the ban is a bad idea, I just would have other priorities.  Like requiring that all paper products have a minimum amount of recycled content, and banning chlorine bleaching processes for paper products.  Paper companies don't seem to have much incentive to do those things...

post #6 of 15

another, better option (IMO) is add a tax to incandescent bulbs that makes their cost similar to that of CFLs, this way CFLs get a better market footing and the government can bring in a bit of extra money on the side.

post #7 of 15

I think Mattress is onto something good here....

post #8 of 15

I just think people should be free to still buy incandescents if they want to, that's what being free is all about, the freedom to make poor decisions. ;)

post #9 of 15

I don't have a problem with banning things- it's been done before (think DDT).  I just think that it could be a good idea that when there are two options available for things- such as incandescent or CFL/LED light bulbs, or paper with recycled content and paper without recycled content- that the less environmentally friendly one could have an additional tax to that would encourage shoppers to make the right decision, and the money raised could go toward environmental projects.

 

This could apply to the plastic bags ban too- for every plastic bag shoppers use, they could pay .25.  Some shops currently give 5-10 cent credits for bringing in your own bags, but why not use the carrot and the stick?

 

Yes, we should move toward banning the light bulbs, but then, there are a lot of things we should be doing.

post #10 of 15

I gotta agree with Mattress here...BAN is a bit strong. We have a free market economy and for many reasons (thank you Dana) CFLs are just a superior option, but it's hard for consumers to stare at two products on a shelf and think about the lifespan of the product when considering the price.

 

Everyone needs to just keep educating and as adoption of CFLs (and hopefully LEDs) continues to go up, prices will continue to come down and flush incandescents out anyway.

post #11 of 15

I think I ban would be more effective than a tax, if there was a tax? It would really depend on where the tax revenue would go? What type of programs would it fund? If there is no clear plan for the tax earned, then a ban would be more effective in my opinion.

post #12 of 15

Can't really ban for a couple reason.  1.  There are not equivalents for everything.  I have some dimmable CFL's and they just are not the same.  2.  The Mercury thing spooks many people.  I know they they do sell the 1mg bulbs now, but they ain't cheap.  Until the costs of CFL's comes down some more (I know, ROI is less than a year!), it will be tough to outlaw.  If you have 40 bulbs to replace and you get the 1mg's, then that is over $200 depending on where you get them.  3.  Going back to #1, CFL's do NOT work will with light detectors.  That's because they come on slowly, adding energy to the bulb the darker it gets, and CFL's don't like that. 

 

That being said, I like the extra tax idea (kind of a green tax equalling the Carbon offset of using the evil incandecent rather than a CFL).

 

Jim

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogreensolar:

I think I ban would be more effective than a tax, if there was a tax? It would really depend on where the tax revenue would go? What type of programs would it fund? If there is no clear plan for the tax earned, then a ban would be more effective in my opinion.

 

Certainly a ban would be more effective. However, that sort of goes against that whole freedom thing that this country is founded on...

 

Maybe it's the libertarian in me but banning incandescents will just piss people off and create an underground market for them, better to leave them legal and gain tax revenue from their sales. With a tax making the cost of incandescents and CFLs comprabale more and more people will switch to CFLs. As LED bulbs come down in price eventually incandescents will fade into the background and slowly disappear as creating them no longer is profitable. Better a market driven fade out than a government imposed ban.

post #14 of 15

You really think there would be a market for underground lightbulbs???

post #15 of 15

possibly, some people are weird about them.

There's an underground market for 5 gallon per flush toilets, why not incandescent bulbs?

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