How does a $50 light bulb become a cost-cutting product with future promise?

May 2, 2012

Have you tried recently to purchase a 100-watt incandescent light bulb in a local hardware store or other place of business?  Would it be a surprise if I informed you that the traditional 100-watt bulb was banned starting this year.  Next year sales of the traditional 75-watt “Edison” light bulb will be prohibited. In 2014 60-watt incandescent bulbs will have the same fate.

With this in mind, I was flabbergasted when I read an article in the May, 2012, issue of  “Environment & Climate News” published by The Heartland Institute, telling how our government set up a program to develop an inexpensive green light bulb and then gave a $10 million “L Prize” to Philips, a Dutch electronics company for developing an affordable, energy-efficient light bulb to replace the common traditional Edison bulb.…

By the way, Philips’s winning entry appears to have been the one and only contest entry

And how much would consumers have to shell out in order to buy just one Philip’s prize-winning, energy-efficient light bulbs?  Just the ridiculous and shameful price of $50.00!

According to H. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow National Center For Policy Analysis, “The same individuals who decry putting mercury from smokestack or coal-fired plants into the environment and further dislike its use in thermometers and thermostats, have no problem with their demand that we must use mercury-containing CFLs in our homes.”

Mr. Burnett goes on to relate how the CFLs are very fragile and break easily.  He then cites the EPA’s own website for its advise should a CFL bulb be broken in your home.  Individuals are to shut off their air conditioner or heater and vent the room for 154 to 30 minutes before even beginning to clean up a broken CFL light bulb. 

For all practical purposes the EPA’s website treats the site of a broken CFL light bulb in your home like a short-term Super-fund site.

Perhaps you are already using CFLs in your home and think they are great.  CFLs have become more affordable to use and can now be bought at half of their original cost.…

The choice is yours to make, at least while that choice is still possible.  But if you have switched to what are being billed as climate-friendly, green energy saving bulbs, you might wish to check this article by George F. Will, “Climate Change and Compact Florescent Lightbulbs”, to reconsider.  Mr. Will relates many misadventures by those using CFLs which seem to nullify the bulbs’ environmental benefits.

Just what is so objectionable about the traditional Edison light bulb that with the arrival of January 1, 2014, they can no longer be purchased?  Edison bulbs are cheap and cost approximately $1 per bulb — even less when on sale — they gives good light, and they do last for quite a long period of time.  Unlike the CFLs, documented health risks are not associated with sitting next to an Edison bulb.…

Not wishing government to mandate what I can or cannot buy by taking away my liberty to purchase what I deem best for my own use, I am now storing away enough Edison light bulbs to last a lifetime.   

It does, however, seem rather silly and caviler for our Department of Energy to have given Phillip a $10 million prize for its affordable, award winning light bulb entry.  Is the $50 dollar light bulb a product that truly represents the Obama administration’s cost-affecting ways.  

According to the DOE the $50 per light bulb is our most promising future.  Really! 


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