Tips and Quips

Light Bulb Moment

January 27, 2014

134 years ago Thomas Alva Edison received the patent for the electric incandescent lamp.  Now that is what I call a Light Bulb Moment!  Hard to say how Edison would have reacted to The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 as it heralded the phase-out of the good ol’, incandescent light bulb due to its comparative inefficiency.  Something like 95% of the energy used to light up an incandescent is lost as heat.  Two years ago (2012) the ban of manufacturing and importing of incandescent bulbs with wattages of 100 or above was instituted.  As of this January, the final step in America’s effort to ban the manufacture and import of incandescent bulbs is in place with the ban now covering most common wattages and common types of the incandescent bulb.  Those of you who began hoarding these bulbs will invariably have to employ other types of bulbs…it is just a matter of time.  The energy savings impacted by switching to compact fluorescent or LED bulbs is actually rather staggering when you think of the bulbs affected in just one household and start multiplying that by the number of households in our country.  The quality and variety of compact fluorescent and LED bulbs has come a long way in a short time so the transition shouldn’t be as noticeable as it once was.  Not to worry, several specialized incandescent bulbs will still be manufactured and or imported.  22 specialized types to be exact.  Some of these are:  appliance bulbs, black light bulbs, infrared bulbs, left handed thread bulbs, marine signal bulbs, miner’s bulbs, plant light bulbs, and believe it or not, traffic signal bulbs.  We still have a need for Thomas Edison’s “light bulb moment”, just not the “glowing” need we once had for it.

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