Stock up: Final phase-out of traditional light bulbs begins in January

a_traditional_incandescent_light_bulb_and_its_lowThanks to an overreaching federal government, the American public will soon be forced to purchase a product that’s severely overpriced, hazardous to our health and doesn’t live up to all its hype — and I’m not talking about Obamacare.

We now have a mere six shopping days left to stock up on a product Americans have relied on for their general household lighting needs almost since its perfection by Thomas Edison 134 years ago — the incandescent bulb. On Jan. 1, it will go the way of the dodo bird.

On Jan. 1, 2012, the manufacture and importation of 100-watt incandescent bulbs were discontinued. A year later, the 75-watt version was put out to pasture, too. 2014 will mark the bulb’s final phase-out — no more 40- or 60-watt bulbs. In their place, we’ll be forced to use either the squiggly-looking compact fluorescent light bulbs or LED lights, according to The Wichita Eagle.

I actually gave the fluorescent bulbs a try a few years ago. I needed a 75-watt bulb and picked out a very expensive GE “Energy Smart” 75, with disappointing results. That’s when I read the fine print.

It wasn’t really a 75-watt bulb — it was a 20-watt bulb with what GE claimed was the light intensity of a traditional 75-watt bulb. Balderdash! It had 25 watts, maybe — not 75.

Not only did the light lack intensity, it’s quality was lousy. Instead of the warm, full-spectrum glow we’ve all become accustomed to, it cast those in its weak glow in a ghastly pallor straight from “Night of the Living Dead.”

That’s when I read the really fine print. If you break one — and who among us hasn’t broken a light bulb — you’re cautioned to retreat from the premises immediately and do everything short of calling in the hazmat team. That’s because they’re packed with mercury.

Even worse, it now appears that the bulbs are hazardous to our health, even if they’re not broken.

Germany’s ALAB Laboratory, based in Berlin, discovered two years ago that the bulbs emit carcinogens when turned on, especially for extended periods of time, according to The Telegraph.

“For such carcinogenic substances, it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment,” Peter Braun, who carried out the tests, told the British newspaper. “I, therefore, use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head.”

In other words, don’t use them to settle down with a good book. That last chapter may kill you.

Incidentally, the package of that overpriced 20-watt GE “Energy Smart” bulb claimed it “lasts 5 years.” Apparently, that’s only true if you never actually turn it on. Within five months, I was giving it last rites.

That’s when I gave LEDs a try. I bought an inexpensive desk lamp with about 30 tiny light-emitting diodes to illuminate my computer keyboard. Within a few weeks, it turned into a cross between an emergency strobe light and a ‘70s disco ball, with each of the diodes flashing on and off in no particular order. It drove me and my eyes nuts.

When I returned the lamp to the store, I was told my complaint was pretty common.

So Jan. 1 is it, folks. There are some exceptions to the ban, according to The Wichita Eagle, including three-way bulbs, appliance bulbs, grow lights, black lights, yellow bug lights and infrared lamps.

With that, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and may your days be merry and, most of all, bright.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Charles Wesley

    The Fed is “BRILLIANT!” I mean, they KNOW the mercury is toxic, dangerous, cancer causing…and the current type of light bulbs work well… around 700 hours before blowing. Just what the F*** are they trying to prove?

    Cut the electric use? Really? they say 13 watts will work as well as 60 .. but these bulbs, despite being 1/5 the power cost 10 times as much, and then you need to pay to dispose of it… Brilliant, Demonrats… Yep, this was a DFL idea…

    How many Democrats does it take to change a light bulb? Nobody knows: They all work in the dark.

    • Tasha22

      What else can you expect from a bunch of dim bulb demoncraps?

    • Tasha22

      Demoncraps work? I thought all they did was yabber incessantly and live off the taxpayer–either as babbling baboons in govt or takers on welfare.

    • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

      They need some way to kill off people – to “thin the herd”. This is an additional way.

      • The duck

        Right. You go brain dead and Obama pulls the plug. Wonder how many of these twistees areoperating in the White House? Hopefully all of Obama’s secretaries are using them. It’ll help shave the cost of retirement faster for them.

    • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

      14 people with brains, one retard, latest count.

      • The duck

        Something wrong with your math. 59 Senators all voted for these energy saver bulbs and Pelosi’s House of Reps. and one W.H. terrorist all retards.

    • rob6065

      It’s part of the NWO plan Eliminate people b/c the planet has too many people. Nasty light bulbs will kill some of us. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA

      • tedlv

        Don’t worry, rob, Obama care will fix ya right up.

        • rob6065

          Yes sir Obamacare will save everyone who signs up with it. WRONG, hahahaha

    • Dominic De Falco

      The DNC closes the lead smelting mines because of so called environmental impacts (We know it is because of ammo) now they want to poison us with Mercury! Time for the DNC to GO! ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY IS NEEDED!

      • The duck

        Your right. Buy lead it’ll make you rich if you out live the light bulb. LOL

    • http://www.thefreedomtrainusa.com/ FreedomTrainUSA

      “How many Democrats does it take to change a light bulb? Nobody knows”
      Answer…..ZERO….Not a single one of them has a clue how to…

    • The duck

      Guess what! They are all made in China using slave labor. Something to do with Obamanomics.

    • CEDUPZ

      DUH, BUSH signed the law, read it, wow, people really are STUPID!

      • Charles Wesley

        I didn’t say that Bush Didn’t sign it, if you read closely. You are correct, however. I admit I wasn’t as well informed on that item.

        HOWEVER… The idea — “Cutting greenhouse emissions”…aka “Preventing or cutting the chance of global warming” is still propaganda, epoused by Gore, Kerry, and assorted loons.

        Haven’t you noted? This is another cold winter in the Northern parts… Blame the cold on “Warming”…that’s what Gore does.

        It was an awful blunder, eliminating incandescent bulbs.

        • CEDUPZ

          There are all kinds of incandescent lamps available, they are IMPROVED, more efficient, DUH. Rotary phones are also obsolete, have you noticed? Low pressure sodium introduced by PHILIPS in 1932, is STILL the most efficient lamp made, pure yellow monochromatic, , so if it’s good, it’s still available, LPS has also been improved over the decades. all kinds of incandescent made, better, longer lasting, more efficient, just cus it’s not 100 W, and mostly heat producer, the new ones are more light for the watts in, what a concept!

          • Ruth

            I have been leaving the lights on during the winter to put out heat and help heat the room up. The new ones won’t do that. Besides they are dangerous and made overseas. The old bulbs were made here.

          • CEDUPZ

            Actually the largest fluorescent lamp factory in the world is a PHILIPS factory in Kansas! T12 are not made in teh old inefficient types, but they make all kinds of T8 and T5, better, color, more efficient, and less mercury. And super long life, some into 50,000 hours! amazing for a TL lamp. why would you want to use obsolete inefficient crap? And lots of incandescent from Philips are made in Mexico, that is this continent ya know! Lots of lamps are made here. Including the fixtures they go into.

    • Richard Sperry

      Know why I hate the demon gubment? Seat belts, air bags, side impact protection, basically mandating all sorts of things to prevent Darwin from claiming the dimwits like Charles. Allowing them to continue being stupid, and breeding more idiots

  • Victor Bonachea
  • Kenneth Smith

    these compact florescent bulbs are also a FIRE hazard I have had 2 different bulbs burn out at the transformer in the base and emit a shower of hot sparks and molten metal enough it caught a table runner on fire if I had not seen it happen it would have burned the house down.

    • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

      Some retard actually voted your comment down? I guess he thinks it’s “ok” to burn a house down.

    • What_no_change???

      I wish you could see which idiot is voting this down…my mouse over has no result.

      • EdWatts

        Three of ‘em now — all anonymous.

    • CEDUPZ

      Never had an issue with lamps from Philips, Ge, or Osram, don’t buy the swag, as in anything else, ya buy junk, ya get junk results!

  • Real_Fine_Cuppacoffee

    Now we get light bulbs made in China and full of poisonous mercury. All to stave off the ruse of global warming. This is criminal. Thomas Edison would be ashamed and very ticked off.

    • CEDUPZ

      Heinrich Goebel invented the incandescent lamp, learn history!

    • CEDUPZ

      Edison stole lots of ideas from Tesla, he should be ashamed of HIMSELF!

  • IHateLibs

    When does the REVOLUTION START ??

    • my20cents

      LED lights are the revolution. welcome to the 21st century

  • IHateLibs

    Your COMMIECRATS at work

  • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

    WHAT? Don’t you realize that Federal control of light bulbs IS in the Constitution? It’s right next to the phrase that says “Congress shall have the power ‘to coin money, regulate the value
    thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and
    measures.’” (Article I, section 8, clause 5.) Oh, wait…that’s ANOTHER line they ignore. They gave themselves the power to PRINT money and let the “Federal Reserve” regulate the value through inflation, taxes and interest. I will say this though…I did replace all my incandescent with the CREE’s from Home Depot and like the light a lot better color wise and they are supposed to last for 20 years. And I suspect they will come down even lower than the $7.00 each they are now. I bet I’ve saved over $50 in electricity in the few months they have been installed.

  • Eric M. Hansel

    For someone writing an informational and informative report that is ‘far reaching’, you did very little homework on this topic. If you had, you would have learned (and reported) that there are incandescent bulbs that will still be available. They will be a reduced wattage, but more efficient. The government has imposed efficiency expectations out of these products and lighting manufacturers such as GE, Sylvania and Philips are making low-to-mid 90 watt A-19 lamps that meet the efficiency requirements. So, while these new A-19′s will certainly be more expensive than the standard 100w, or 75w, but it will give an incandescent option, to go along with a compact fluorescent and LED option.

  • smogdew

    And now that the better portion of GE bulbs are made in China, guess who’s reaping THAT benefit.
    Yet, he’s still here – and will be until his term is up – and he may change term limits and be with us forever.

  • Baltimore48

    The STUPIDITY of our lawmakers is never-ending. They have banned incandescent bulbs (because they are concerned about global warming—which is caused by “mother nature” or “father G-d” and not by man (the great ice age did NOT end because of emissions from cars and factories…there were none)—and have replaced them with EXTREMELY hazardous MERCURY-filled fluorescent bulbs.

    What do they think we are going to do with the billions of burned out fluorescent bulbs that will be generated by the American public every year? Put them in the landfill where they will be crushed and will leach mercury into the environment? Do they really think that millions of Americans are going to take their bulbs to recycling centers and hazardous waste disposal areas? Good luck with that.

    Below are the clean-up instructions from the EPA website page http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl#important
    from http://www.epa.gov/solidwaste/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps/index.htm

    Before Cleanup

    Have people and pets leave the room.

    Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.

    Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.

    Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
    Stiff paper or cardboard;
    Sticky tape;
    Damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
    A glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

    During Cleanup

    DO NOT VACUUM. Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.

    Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder. Scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or
    cardboard. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any
    remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag. See the detailed cleanup instructions for more information, and for differences in cleaning up hard surfaces versus carpeting or rugs.

    Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

    After Cleanup

    Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.

    Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.

    Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials.

    If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was
    broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

    If you have further questions, please call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

    • allah_speaking

      Just mail the broken bulb to any congress critter that voted for this garbage…

      • Baltimore48

        Sounds like a plan. LOL

    • tedlv

      Did you notice the admonishment not to use a vacuum cleaner, followed by instructions for disposing the bag?

    • Ruth

      Don’t need to read the clean up instructions. Just throwing them in the trash.