CFLs and LEDs have their advantages too -
but the "switch all your lights and save lots of money" campaigns are like
saying "Eat only bananas and save lots of money!"
It is indeed a "ban":
Yes, energy efficient halogen incandescent replacements are allowed, but still have some constructional and appearance differences, a whiter light output etc compared with regular bulbs, apart from
costing much more for the small savings, which is why neither consumers or governments really like them, since they have been around for a while now without being sold much.
No light bulbs should be banned:
There is no present or future shortage of energy sources for electricity
justifying telling what paying consumers can use,
especially since the overall USA energy savings from light bulb regulations are less than 1% anyway,
based on the US Dept of Energy's own statistics ( http://ceolas.net/#li171x )
-remember the politicians keep including non-incandescent street and
industrial lighting in the usual high US usage percentages quoted.
Much greater, and much more relevant, energy waste savings arise from effectively organized electricity generation and grid distribution, and from reducing the unnecessary use of appliances:
rather than from stopping people in their choice of what appliance to use.
The Washington Post business section today had an article titled "Light bulb factory closes; End of era for U.S. means more jobs overseas". Link is below.
The last GE factory making incandescent bulbs is closing this month, brought about by passage in 2007 of a law banning such bulbs by 2014. The article provides a lot of info about the business of CFL's today, and the fact practically none are built in the US.
As LED lighting continues its rise, I expect that practically all of those products also will not be manufactured in the US.
When do we decide that we as a Nation must have the ability to build our own products as opposed to ceding all commodity or high technology items to offshore makers?
Our government authorities encourage the use of electronic lamps as energy saving devices and many commercial buildings replaced all incandescent lamps.
BUT, in addition to power factor, the harmonic distortion caused overload in power transformer and several months of "saved money" in the energy bill, was not enough to compensate the cost of repairing the power transformer.
i agree.... i live in colorado and have seen this. snow in this part of the country rarely falls vertically. another phenomenon of LED traffic lights during a snowstorm is the "green-out" the spectrum from a green LED is much narrower than from an incandescent. during a blizzard at night, the whole area around an intersection becomes a green haze with no definition and you literally can't see anything. the human eye is most sensitive in the green part of the spectrum. without other parts of the spectrum, you can't see anything but the snow.
The rush to make us "green" involuntarily is often thoughtless (like many other causes politicians pile onto). For example, one unintended consequence of LED traffic signals has been quite a few traffic deaths in snowy climates - when the light is obscured by snow stuck to the lens. The old incandescent bulbs also kept the lens warm.
I use incandescents as a current limiter when troubleshooting amplifiers and power supplies, something CFLs cannot be used for. i suppose i could use a resistor, but the nonlinear temperature characteristic of a lamp is perfect for what i'm using it for. at low currents (i.e. when the device under test is working normally) the resistance is low, and the voltage drop is negligible. when the DUT has a problem, the bulb resistance is very high, limiting the voltage and current to the DUT to a very low idle, and i can troubleshoot the DUT "live" without additional components going up in smoke, there's also the advantage of having the visual indication of whether the DUT is operating normally (dim bulb) or not (bright bulb). such an application is impossible with a CFL or LED lamp.
PS I hope they don't get rid of incandescents for heat. I use the 4watt nite lites to dry my wet shoes/boots overnite. 7 watts is too much and may damage the shoe.
I suppose I may have to use a 3.65K 5 watt resistor....the lite bulb is much easier.
I have found they don't fit in a lot of fixtures and I perceive them to be dimmer. I have tried every "color" and "temperature" CFL. I buy the next size up ie 100w equiv for 60w inc's. And finally I have trouble with outdoor/garage low temperature problems.
I use them where I can, but they certainly have their problems. (I agree about the lack of quality/life)
I'm looking forward to trying more LED lights when the price comes down a little more.
What I have observed so far with the CFL lights is that they fail miserably in the area of longevity. That is, as an assembly they are really not much better than the incandescent bulbs that they replace. I have only had one reach the end of the actual lamp life, it did last quite a while. The majority of failures are in the electronic ballast portion, where marginal component quality takes it's toll.
Since CFLs do command a bit of a price premium, it might actually be worthwhile for them to be build with a better design, using better parts. But since that is an unrealistic expectation, a second choice would be to make labeling with the manufacturers name, a model number, and date of manufacture, to be a mandatory, no way to get around it, requirement in order for the lamps to be sold in the USA. That would make it possible to track products having reduced lifetimes, and permit the market to decide which makers survive.