The entire nation of Australia is going fluorescent – I guess I won’t be going there again. The entire province of Ontario is going fluorescent – ditto. Now the legislature in my own state of California is considering a ban on incandescent light bulbs, and astonishingly, it appears likely to pass. Only our governor’s veto can stop this government overreach.
This bill is the wrong approach. Incandescent light bulbs do NOT cause pollution any more than electric cars cause pollution. Why don’t we ban electric cars? If you are purchasing clean energy, you should be able to use that energy to do whatever the heck you want.
Some of us happen to dislike fluorescent lighting. Now the government is going to tell me how to light my kitchen, my living room, my bedroom? The government is going to force us to live under lights we don’t like? I’d rather pay for a $20,000 photovoltaic array so I could produce surplus clean energy. I’d even rather pay more taxes. Just don’t force me to use lighting I find unpleasant in my own home.
Check this fact sheet from General Electric “FAQ – Compact Fluorescents.” As you can see, fluorescent lights are supposed to be left on at least 15 minutes to work efficiently and if they are turned on and off a lot they will have a short life span. Well maybe some of us like to turn lights off when we’re not walking through a room. And now those inconsiderate homeowners who let their “security lighting” ruin sleepy neighborhoods all night long will never be convinced to adopt motion activated lights, they’ll all just blaze away.
How about this according to GE – fluorescents cannot be installed in any fixture that vibrates, from ceiling fans to garage door openers. Or this – fluorescents cannot work with dimmer switches, unless you purchase special dimmer switches (over $50 each), and special fluorescents that can handle these dimmer switches. Some of us happen to enjoy mood lighting – but the only mood our legislators apparently understand is undimmed, always on, bright, glaring, cool white.
What about the fact that fluorescent light just plain looks bad? Maybe some of us are more sensitive to this than others – yet these self-righteous fanatics, dupes of powerful special interests who will make a killing off of selling these expensive bulbs, intend to force us to be constantly tortured inside our homes so they can feel like they did something good for the earth.
If you want to enforce more efficient energy use, put a tax on incandescent bulbs so they cost slightly more than fluorescents. That should work. And if it doesn’t, then maybe our aesthetically-challenged legislators should get the hint – fluorescent light does NOT look good. Is it better than it was? Yes, but it is still annoying, problematic lighting to a lot of people.
Leave my incandescents alone. Make me buy a photovoltaic array. Tax me. I don’t care how you do it. But leave my incandescents alone.