Monday, August 31, 2009

Stockpile Incandescent Light Bulbs, Now

Government regulations are getting more absurd and irritating by the day, causing a continued drop in the standard of living for us all.

If you travel a lot, you will notice that most hotel lobby and conference room temperatures are at near shivering levels. This is because there are federal government regulations that mandate the low temperatures in hotel common areas, "to kill off bad bacteria." Of course, the low temperatures also kill off good bacteria and annoy most guests, but this is a great trade off as seen through the eyes of a bureaucrat who wants to exercise some power.

The newest irritation, that will now impact all Americans, is in The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. It will effectively phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2012-2014 in favor of compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.

Howard Brandston in WSJ writes on this latest anti-human legislation:
We are not talking about giving up a small luxury for the greater good. We are talking about compromising light. Light is fundamental. And light is obviously for people, not buildings. The primary objective in the design of any space is to make it comfortable and habitable. This is most critical in homes, where this law will impact our lives the most.
I posted on this back in July. A similar ban is going into effect in the Euro countries, and you are getting huge stockpiling of incandescent light bulbs in Europe.

The justification for this mad legislation is that it will "save" energy. But, the decision to "save" energy is made every day by consumers. Most consumers don't travel by private jets. In part, because of the fuel cost (along with other costs) are too high. The price signal is that everyone can not fly by private jet.

F.A. Hayek taught us ages ago that prices are signals to the relative scarcity of goods. If we really needed to "save" more energy because supplies of energy are dwindling, we would be signalled by higher prices that would cause us to seek alternatives, that's how the free market works.

With this new light bulb legislation madness, though, incandescent light bulbs are to be replaced with compact fluorescent lamps that actually cost more. So they do not only provide poorer lighting, but the price signal, by their being more expensive, would normally signal to the consumer not to buy them, since their higher price means the components of compact fluorescent lamps are in greater demand in other sectors of the economy.

In short, this is economically ignorant legislation. And I'm sure that the inventor of the compact fluorescent lamp, being GE, who is one of the biggest lobbyists in the history of mankind, is just a coincidence, and that just because GE brings good thing to GE, it has nothing to do with this absurd legislation.

You can, though, fight GE on this one, and protect your eyesight, by stockpiling incandescent light bulbs now, before the bought and paid for GE Congress makes even this move illegal.


  1. I didn't know it's regulations that made common areas in hotels colder. While I am not going to endorse government regulations on things like this, at least this is something I am not personally unhappy about - 18 centigrades are about as warm as I can stand it :)

  2. Those spiral CFLs are just awful. They really strain my eyes, and after a while make my vission blurry. The light they give off does a poor job of illuminating different colors. It makes all the colors in a room look dead, greyish, and off. Not only all this, but I also have SKIN SENSITIVITY to these spiral CFLs! After 15-20 minutes, my skin begins to feel sore/irritated. It is probably the UV radiation they leak out, which I can't imagine is a good thing for everyone else who is less sensitive than myself. The UV from spending many hours in direct sunlight, for example, contributes to premature wrinkling.