What many do not realize is that come Jan 1st 2014, the manufacturing or importation of incandescent light bulbs will be illegal in the United States.
The luminous prohibition was set in motion in 2007 with a bill that set strict minimum efficiencies that were impossible for traditional incandescent bulbs to meet.
Much like how gun controllers want to impose end around bans on firearms by requiring technological standards that don’t exist, such as microstamping, so too have the haters of the little bulb that has lit our nights for some 100+ years use standards that are impossible to meet.
The result, once the stockpiles of warm yellow incandescent light bulbs are gone, we as a nation will be FORCED to use those cold dead fluorescent bulbs or dimmer bank breaking LED lights that start at $15 a bulb.
After efforts in Congress to avert the light bulb prohibition (2011 Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act and Better Use of Light Bulbs Act) and give Americans the freedom to choose how they wish to light their homes failed, we were left with little option other than getting these new bulbs shoved down our throats. Once again government chips away at the free market and forces itself into our bedrooms…and our dens…and our kitchens.
And what do we gain by having this regulation forced upon us? Dead lights and empty wallets.
Not only that though, but the WAY the new lights work can cause risks from migraines to cancer.
Dr. Elma Baron, director in the lasers and photomedicine department at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland:
“Ultraviolet light is similar to the ultraviolet wavelengths found in natural sunlight, and we do not want huge amounts or extra amounts of ultraviolet light on our skin because it can cause biological effects that can lead to cancer.”
Though the doctor would add the risk would be highest when a defect in the coating was present, but the very design of the new bulbs facilitate a higher likelihood of defects.
According to a 2012 Stony Brook University Study the twisty CFL bulbs, which use mercury, are much more likely to leak UV light compared to traditional fluorescent bulbs.
According to the research, many of these bulbs “have cracks in the phosphor coating, probably due to the fact that the coating is brittle and has trouble making the tight bends required to make these bulbs compact.”
The research concludes that exposure to the new bulbs cause damage to healthy skin cells similar to that of exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It is at this point government will start to dictate how much radiation is “tolerable”. Yet, if a batch of these especially defective lights were to get out you could be exposing yourself and your family to cancer causing radiation for YEARS.
Why are these new lights being forced on us again? Does the government have nothing better to do than dictate that we must install cancer causing lights in our homes?
Apparently not, but this is America after all and we do love our loopholes.
One businessman who has not had his entrepreneurial spirit castrated by the federal government has begun to sell incandescent lights that will not be affected.
Channeling Thomas Edison, Larry Birnbaum is exploiting the law’s exceptions to continue producing incandescent bulbs for the general public.
He is doing so by making the bulbs “rough service”, a category that is exempt from the ban. Rough Service Bulbs were initially meant for industrial operations and are a bit more hearty than your regular bulb but they still glow that warm yellow light that we, as a species, have come to know and love over the past century.
Not waiting until the last minute Birnbaum has been selling his “reinvented” light bulb since 2010. With about two dozen American workers outside of Indianapolis he builds his bulbs per government standards to qualify for the loophole.
The government requires that his bulbs have seven filaments rather than two, a brass base, and 1 millimeter thicker glass, and be filled with a special mixture of argon and krypton to improve their lifespan.
Not only does the public now have an option to keep incandescent bulbs in their homes, but they will last longer. The price for one of Birnbaums Newcandescent bulbs is about $1.44 per bulb, up a bit from the 80 cents or so a regular light bulb costs now. But compared to what the government would force us to buy, LED lights starting out at about $15.00 a piece, it’s a steal.
While not as sexy as bootlegging and speakeasies, I am reassured in Birnbaum’s efforts. Knowing that there are still Americans out there with the ingenuity and the drive to turn tyranny on its head and to buck the system gives me hope for our country yet.
If it’s between an over priced cancer causing dead light bulb or Newcandscent’s Liberty Light Bulb, I’ll be choosing the latter.
Anyone interested in following my lead can purchase Newcandescent bulbs here:
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