The Premature Death of Incandescence

The latest National Review offers a brief reminder to stock up on incandescent light bulbs:

… the nation’s last major incandescent-light-bulb factory, in Winchester, Va., has shut down, a victim of the enforced switch to more efficient twisted fluorescent bulbs. It’s bad enough that Congress is telling Americans what to light their houses with, but compounding the indignity it is also sending jobs overseas: Manufacture of the new bulbs cannot be automated as easily as that of the old kind, so production has moved to China, where hand labor is cheap.

Would it be to much to hope that repealing that ridiculous bit of government presumption can be repealed, too? In the meantime, I’m thinking of switching to candles…

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10 years ago

I haven’t done the math, but the energy efficient bulbs really do use dramatically less power. Having them made overseas and putting them to use here might be an economic ‘win’ compared to making the old-school lights here and importing (part of) the energy required to use them.
The lights themselves are much better than they used to be, too. A few years ago I tried to make the switch, but the bulbs were all flickering sickly-colored pieces of junk. Today’s CFL bulbs seem to mimic ‘natural light’ pretty well.
Still, sucks to be the light-bulb guy. Osram Sylvania is churning lights out in Central Falls 24 hours a day, but I think those are used for military contracts, and therefore can’t be produced overseas. I used to live nearby, it was fun walking over to their massive waste pile to collect glass boulders.

10 years ago

I’m with Justin on this one
I just bought 20 four packs of bulbs
80 total… 99 cents a pack
Should be a few left..when i go to meet the devil

10 years ago

Like many other green initiatives, the devil is in the details. CFLs contain mercury and should not be simply thrown in the trash. They need to be recycled in specific ways.
When you break an incandescent bulb, you clean up the mess. When you break a CFL, you need to call the hazmat team (ok, maybe i am exaggerating)
and then there is the environmental damage being done in China in the plants that produce these bulbs.
And like solar panels, ethanol, hyrid batteries etc. they are environmentally unfriendly when you look at what goes into producing them.
..but at least we can feel better…

10 years ago

“In the meantime, I’m thinking of switching to candles…”
Alternately, gas lights were all the rage at one point.

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