Posted by: The Paris Apartment | February 26, 2011

Save the Incandescent Light Bulb – Let the Consumer Decide – Think before using a CFL


In 2007, Congress passed an energy bill that included new standards for lighting.  The bill required roughly 25% greater efficiency for light bulbs, phased in from  2012 through 2014.  This requirement effectively banned the sale of most incandescent light bulbs.  But, in their enthusiasm for favoring light bulbs that use less energy they failed to consider other consequences.

Here are some of the unintended consequences:

Loss of Manufacturing Jobs in US: General Electric has closed factories in Kentucky and Ohio and recently announced that it is closing its major incandescent factory in Virginia. Take a look at your new CFL bulbs (compact fluorescent), you will see they are “Made in China“. For an article about this by the Heritage Foundation, click here.

Health Issues: claims that fluorescent light can trigger various ailments, including migraines and epilepsy. Here is an article at the DailyMail (UK) dated January 2009 about this.

Toxic Exposure: Mercury in the new compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs require special cleanup and disposal procedures. See details in this article at the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) web site.

Similar legislation was passed in Europe and Canada. In British Columbia, Canada, stores are banned from restocking incandescent light bulbs in popular 75 and 100-watt sizes beginning in Jan 2011. As a result, according to the Vancouver Sun (article dated January 20, 2011) “Readers are furious at being told that they will not be able to buy the standard bulbs”. An article at TheLocal dated Dec 3, 2010 (German’s News in English), you will find an article stating “Consumer groups call for end to EU light bulb ban”

Representative Joe Barton (TX -6) has introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R.91 – Better Use Light Bulbs Act which would repeal amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act with respect to lighting energy efficiency. We recommend you contact your Representative in Congress and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 91.



  1. I went out and purchased enough incandescent light bulbs to last my household AT LEAST 10 years. Maybe by then they will have come up with a suitable alternative. I am not at all happy with CFL’s and I won’t have them forced upon me.

  2. coverage of why the ban in Canada is wrong:

    Canada and similar countries or states
    Smaller savings, no energy shortage, low emissions, cold conditions, more time indoors in varied surroundings..etc

  3. CFLs do have some advantages –
    But the “switch all your lights and save lots of money” campaigns are like
    saying “Eat only bananas and save lots of money!”

    It is indeed a “ban”:
    Yes, energy efficient halogen incandescent replacements are allowed, but
    still have some constructional and appearance differences, a whiter light output etc compared with regular bulbs, apart from
    costing much more for the small savings, which is why neither
    consumers or governments really like them, since they have been around
    for a while now without being sold much.

    No light bulbs should be banned:
    There is no present or future shortage of energy sources for electricity
    justifying telling what paying consumers can use,
    especially since the overall USA energy savings from light bulb regulations
    are less than 1% anyway,
    based on the US Dept of Energy’s own statistics ( )
    -remember the politicians keep including non-incandescent street and
    industrial lighting in the usual high US usage percentages quoted.

    Much greater, and much more relevant, energy waste savings arise from effectively organized electricity generation and grid distribution,
    and from reducing the unnecessary use of appliances:
    rather than from stopping people in their choice of what appliance to use.

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