US Congress bans Incandescent bulbs! - Energy Independence and Security Act



When I was reading carrot's high-end flashlight guide, I came to the part about Incandescent bulbs and how they compared to LEDs. Since I was in high school, I've been an advocate for using LEDs as efficient lighting solutions in flashlights and homes, and I did a science project on the relative efficiencies of halogen, incandescent, and LED bulbs, all small gauges, connected to AA batteries.

Little did I know I was doing it all wrong, since LEDs thrive on low-power, and Incandescents thrive on high power.

I almost didn't look back on incandescent light bulbs after that experiment.

A whole education later, I started learning to look back at old things and re-evaluate them, with more information at my finger tips.

In 2007, the United States Congress fell prey to the same kind of uneducated thinking I had used in much of grade school. The passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which, among other things, banned the Incandescent light bulb in favor of the Fluorescent bulb.

My first thought was, No ones going to be happy with that. People dont like change. They dont like it, but its usually for the wrong reasons. If the Act had real value and had holistically improved the lighting industrys effects on the environment, I would have considered it a necessary change.

As soon as this was big news, even bigger news came around: Fluorescent bulbs have Mercury in them, which is even worse for the environment. If a bulb is broken, the EPA calls for people to go out of their way to take the broken pieces and anything they shattered upon and transport them to a recycling center for disposal. Washing your clothes or dinner table cloth is a No No, as it will introduce the Mercury into the sewage and eventually be either reintroduced into the water supply or dumped into the ocean or a landfill.

See a news article here:

Carrot's guide further proved that this section of the Act was written by unintelligent people who did not consult experts in the field of lighting and environmental health. He states that Incandescent bulbs are often favored by a minority of flashaholics (and people in general) because of their high contrast ratio index (CRI). He also pointed out that Incandescent bulbs have been improved to the point that they are nearly as efficient as LEDs, while still beating LED contrast ratios. He also notes that Incandescent technology has room for improvement, meaning it is possible to make it a fixture in homes for years to come. Typical fluorescent bulbs are known to have poor lighting compared to LEDs, and since LEDs score lower than incandescent bulbs, we immediately see that the typical fluorescent bulb is the lowest of the low in terms of CRI quality.

carrot's guide:

I am new to this forum, however, I am not new to the world of health, computing, and light. I have a severe sensitivity to lighting quality and it can make or break my ability to pay attention or even wake up. While this is present in normal human psychology, it is amplified in me, because I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is often accompanied by sensory exaggerations or sensitivities, including extreme response to temperature, physical pressure, pain (pain thresholds), light, colors, and textures (such as that god-awful t-shirt tag that always scratched the back of my neck, and the terrible scratchy feel of wool, or the tight feel of turtleneck shirts).

Light in general affects how awake you are, but blue frequencies affect it the most. The reason believed to cause this is that humans would wake up in the morning and see the bright blue sky, and the brain's wakefulness patterns were thus closely tied to the presence of high-frequency light (i.e. blue frequencies). The high-frequency light has the effect of suppressing the release of melatonin, which is a neurotransmitter that causes sleepiness and allows you to prepare your brain for sleep.

In my room you will find a high-quality engineered OTT-Light fluorescent desk light that uses specific filaments to emulate the natural color spectrum (frequencies) of the sun. This makes a friendly bright white light with minimal tinting and high contrast ratio. In my ceiling fixture I have two low-temperature fluorescent light bulbs (3500 K), which closely resemble the lighting of incandescent bulbs. My dad has this annoying habit of buying energy efficient bulbs that are 9300 K temperature lights. I cant use the lights because they hurt my eyes, make me sick, and keep me from going to sleep at night. There is no contrast ratio associated with them, as far as I can tell (note: sarcasm).

I have a high-contrast-ratio LCD monitor that uses adaptive lighting techniques to adjust its brightness to the ambient lighting. This makes using a computer monitor much less stressful on the eyes. I use a program called F.lux that adjusts the color temperature of your video feed to match the time of day.

So, then, what is the point of this? Fluorescent bulbs come in many different qualities and many different prices. The cheap ones are what people buy. These are often the ones with a single mercury filament, which emits a spectrum of three primary colors, with the strongest frequency being blue. When used at night, and particularly past 7 pm, this turns against them, as their sleep is much less restful, and some suffer from sleep disorders due to the poor lighting in their homes.

Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, have much better optical qualities, and they don't interrupt natural circadian rhythms.

Questions, comments, and flame-wars are welcome.

Please note that the current Republican congress is trying to repeal this part of the Act.