Recently at Light Bulbs vs. The Nanny State


In September, the European Union banned the sale of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, with lawbreakers facing up to $70,000 in fines. Over the next few years, bans on lower-wattage bulbs kick in. In the United States, similar legislation comes into play in 2012. The idea is to kickstart the market for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), which use less energy than conventional incandescents. Although CFLs present any number of problems (even beyond a much higher initial cost), governments all over the globe are determined to make them the new standard.

Invented in its modern form by Thomas Edison in 1879, the light bulb became synonymous with a brilliant idea. Now, it seems, it's just one more symbol of a nanny state that increasingly dictates more choices in our public and private lives.

"Light bulbs vs. The Nanny State" is produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie. Approximately two minutes. Go to for embed code and downloadable versions.

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    Start selling LEDs for cheap, and we’ll talk.

    1. Seriously, what ever happened to targeting the right audience with a product they would be eager to buy?

  3. Wasn’t this up yesterday?

    Are we still crying about fucking light bulbs?

    How about we start crying about low-flow shower heads? I have my own Artesian well on a water table as vast as the Pacific Ocean, but you don’t hear me complaining. I just took a drill to the Mother Fucker.

    1. TP-I’m still disappointed that the low-flow shower head mandate didn’t cause a revolution.

      In any case, it’s difficult to drill a CFL into an incandescent.

      1. There’s always kerosene lamps. Even an incandescent can’t match up to the soothing warm flicker of a good ol’ oil lamp.

        1. soothingsooty warm flicker of a good ol’ oil lamp


          And Kerosene? Everyone knows whale oil is best for indoor lighting.

  4. I like that the CFLs don’t hog as much juice, but that should not be a reason to mandate them. Just because we start using more efficient devices does not mean that the saved energy magically goes into an electricity piggy bank that we can tap later.

    However, I have read that there are some CFLs coming out that can be used with dimmer switches.

    1. Inverters that can run on dimmers (without self-destructing) have been around for years. Its just a matter of spending a bit more per bulb for smarter circuitry.

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  6. CFLs absolutely blow for nearly every light in my house, because most of my lights are on for only a short time and get turned on and off several times a day. That gives me (1) practically no savings and (2) frequent replacements, because CFLs that get turned on and off a lot DON’T LAST FOR SHIT!

    When the current stockpile of CFLs runs out, I’m going back to incandescents.

    1. Thank god our landfills wont be chock-full of mercury after mountains of CFLs fail long before their stated lifetime…..oh what, plenty of mercury, oh.

      It still counts as saving Mother Earth, right?

      Besides, throwing them in the garbage is already illegal. We just need to step up enforcement. Cops already love digging through our trash, so no big deal.

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