Banned: Light Bulbs…What Would Thomas Edison Think?

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I first heard about a ban on the sale of incandescent light bulbs several years ago, I hoped that I had misunderstood.

By the end of 2011, manufacturers in the U.S. will no longer be making 100-watt incandescent lightbulbs.   By January 1, 2014, there will be very few incandescent bulbs still on the market; in fact, only appliance bulbs, three-way bulbs and plant lights will still be made in the U.S.  I’m not entirely clear what the ban does to the manufacture of more specialized bulbs, like flood lamps, MR-16s (often used in retail settings) and the like.

I am unhappy with the upcoming ban on incandescent bulbs for several reasons.  And, because this is my blog, I will share them all with you.

Reason #1:  The Alternative Bulbs are Ugly

As a designer, helping my clients select beautiful light fixtures is a part of my role on larger remodeling and new construction projects.  Looking at many of the fixtures, which feature exposed bulbs, I have to wonder how ugly those twirly compact fluorescent light bulbs are going to make them.

Those gorgeous, graceful chandeliers with exposed flamed-shaped bulbs….or what about the glass pendants hanging over that kitchen island, with the standard bulb exposed at the bottom?  The mental picture I get as I visualize those whirly-twirly bulbs poking out from the bottom of the fixture is not pretty.  In fact, I’ve seen it in practice at various places over the past several years…yikes.

Now, I realize that the CFL bulbs are beginning to make strides in their look.  They now come in different sizes and that twirly glass tube now comes covered with a “dome” of sorts to make it look more incandescent-like.  I’m still not a fan.

I have to wonder what will happen to the millions of light fixtures already installed in homes, shops, restaurants and doctor’s offices all over the country.  Are we destined to have ugly light bulbs until such time that we can all afford to replace our old light fixtures with newly-redesigned fixtures that will hide these new-fangled bulbs?  That’s going to be an awful lot of time looking at ugly light bulbs.

Reason #2:  The Light Given off by CFL and LED Fixtures is Second-Rate

The light offered by fluorescent light bulbs is not as warm as the light given off by incandescent.  The bulbs also need a split second to “warm up” once you hit the light switch, and they don’t give off their full wattage in light until several minutes later.  Walking into a dark room and turning on a fluorescent bulb is just barely better than stumbling through the room by the light of the moon.  Barely.

And, don’t even get me started on the fluorescent bulb’s inability to be dimmed.  I know, I know…supposedly they can be dimmed now.  I’ve never seen a CFL that could be dimmed very well.  They flicker, buzz or simply go out altogether.

LED lights are just beginning to be used residentially, and in more applications than that glowing clock on your microwave.  You can now find LED bulbs that will fit into many different light fixtures; LED lights were some of the hottest buys during the Christmas season, as stores praised their ability to last nearly forever and save energy costs.  Although the color of LED light is better than fluorescent light, it still hasn’t been perfected.  LED bulbs seem to glow, but really don’t throw much light away from themselves.  So, they work well for areas that need accent lights – such as above kitchen cabinets or in the toekick of a bathroom cabinet.  They make great night lights.  But, they don’t make great everyday task lighting.  At least not yet.

Reason #3:  CFLs Are Not Eco-Friendly

Yes, I said it.  While CFL bulbs are supposed to be the eco-friendly wave of the future, I’m not buying it.  What’s more, I just don’t think Congress thought this decision through before acting on it.

CFL bulbs contain mercury – albeit a small amount.  Unlike a standard incandescent bulb, which can be disposed of in a landfill, CFLs need to be collected at authorized locations so they can be properly dealt with.  That mercury needs to be contained somehow, or it will create a bigger environmental issue than the bulbs supposedly fix.

If a CFL accidentally breaks inside one’s home, you must air out the room (which sounds like a TON of fun in February.  In Wisconsin.) and contain the glass and mercury in a sealed container until it can be properly disposed of.  Really?  Do I want a box of these mercury-laden twisty glass tubes laying around my house until I have time to look up my friendly neighborhood disposal location?  I think not.  I think most people are in the same boat as I am, and I think many folks will simply hide them in their regular trash.  Not good. 

I can appreciate the thought behind the push to use CFLs.  They do save electricity.  But, did Legislators consider the potential environmental hazards that go along with banning incandescent bulbs?  I think they have created more problems than they have solved.

We are also told that CFL bulbs will save us money, because they last so much longer than incandescent bulbs.  However, I have never had a CFL last nearly as long as manufacturers claim they will.  If you turn the bulbs on and off quickly, like turning on a closet light for a moment and then turning it off again within 5 minutes, it cuts the life of the bulb considerably.  So, are they really saving us the money we think they are?

By dimming an incandescent light bulb by just 10%, according to sources I have read, you can increase the life of the bulb by up to 50% and you also save energy.  Were lighting experts consulted before this bill was passed?  It seems there may be better ways to encourage energy frugality, while still allowing us to use a product that functions the way we need it to function.

Now that you have heard my thoughts on the matter, what do you think?  Are you happy that Thomas Edison’s finest invention will be going by the wayside?  Or, do you plan to stock up on incandescent bulbs before the black market is the only place you will be able to find them?  Leave a comment; I’d love to know if I’m alone in my thoughts on this subject!

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29 Comments

Filed under Interior Design News

29 responses to “Banned: Light Bulbs…What Would Thomas Edison Think?

  1. peterdub

    RE bad CFLs etc
    The ban proponents will keep telling you
    “We are not banning incandescents, energy efficient incandescents like Halogens are still allowed”

    But of course Halogens are still different in many way, construction, type of light out put etc, as well as expense…
    All lights have their advantages – we are not talking about banning unsafe products, like lead paint
    – and people pay for their electricity, of which there is no future shortage
    (quite the opposite, from all developments going on, including low-emission renewable/nuclear energy etc!)

    Why overall energy savings are not there anyway:
    http://ceolas.net/#li171x
    with US Dept of Energy references = Under 1% overall energy savings
    from energy efficiency regulations on incandescent lights.

  2. peterdub

    With memory also to Davy and Swann,
    what about Thomas Edison and his light bulb?

    Creativity should be celebrated, not Destruction.

    Celebrating creativity is about recognizing the advantages that
    different products have.
    That is why they exist for people to choose.
    And it includes ordinary simple incandescent light bulbs compared to
    Halogens, CFLs, LEDs….

    President Obama, State of the Union Address 25 January 2011:
    What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the
    creativity and imagination of our people.
    We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices,
    the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers..

    Yes Mr President, Creative America, the nation of Edison:
    Would you not have allowed him to create his popular light bulb?

    And so it came to pass, in the autumn of 1879, after tireless effort working
    with different materials, Thomas Edison finally arrived at the ingenious
    invention we still see today, the Edison light bulb, the world’s single most
    popular electrical appliance and the oldest electrical invention in
    widespread common use:
    A beautifully simple, safe, cheap, bright light delivering construction.

    Maybe the time will come when, like its cousin the gleaming radio tube, it
    gradually fades away, the passing of old technology.
    But let it be a democratic passing by the will of the people,
    not a passing by committee dictats and decrees.

    How many American, European or other officials should it take to
    change a light bulb?
    None.
    How many citizens should be allowed to choose?
    Everyone.

    http://ceolas.net
    .

  3. I agree – plus they give me headaches. A few years back I spent a lot of money on high quality CFL’s so we could “save energy”. Within a few days I started having daily chronic headaches when working in the rooms with them (most noticeably the kitchen). Since I bought the “warm” bulbs and paid extra for them, I thought the light wouldn’t be quite so sickly – wrong again. And as for lasting longer, well, only if they are used in the basement. The frequently used bulbs in the kitchen burnt out within 3 months – I replaced them with old fashioned 60 watt incandescents. No more headaches, icky light and wasted $$$. I’ve also had several of the ones I still have (in the basement) when bumped basically explode leaving thousands of tiny glass shards and nasty mercury gas. Anyway, I’m not a fan. And LED’s still have a ways to go before they can equal the soft, warm light quality of incandescents:) Thanks for the article and sharing your thoughts!

    • I didn’t even realize the headache angle! I have a few of these CFLs in my house; I should pay attention to whether we end up with more headaches when we use them. Thanks for that information!

  4. Kathleen Isaacson

    They also give me headaches and they only last a few months—not the years we were told they would. I have a very, very hard time reading or doing any kind of handwork with these bulbs. I dislike them. I even more dislike that the government presumes to tell us what kind of bulbs we MUST use. Maybe some day we will get back to some common sense.

    • I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my dislike of these things. I wish government officials would bring in a specialist to bring up these issues BEFORE they decide to ban things instead of blindly moving forward. I hope they will rethink the ban, but I’m not holding my breath….

  5. whoa! i didn’t know these energy saving lightbulbs could affect our health. I haven’t heard of anyone getting headaches from these bulbs until I read this article!

  6. Craig

    I think I’ve found a legitimate benefit of these ” like a candle in a cave” CFLs.
    The poop that refuses to flush down with my mandated low gallon toilet isn’t quite so visible.
    Wake up America! Loss of choice is loss of freedom. Get out of my house you nut case “eco marxists” and government cronies.

  7. Pingback: Light Bulb Ban Update | T. Larsen Design, LLC

  8. Pingback: Next Step Backward in the Light Bulb Ban Saga | T. Larsen Design, LLC

  9. Ron Lentjes

    My god. I was hoping some artist would understand. Look I will help you guys out here. I am mix of techy are arty. So I TOTOALLY understand you. Scientists only think Watts and Lumens and so on. How about human factors. Well let me tell you what really happened. In 2003 a study was done. Only 2.5% of Americans would switch to CFL they kept going back to the amazing light of INCANDESCENT globes/bulbs. So to make a story short. They banned the winning competition! That’s right. Marketting 101. Make the competitor product look bad. Make the new one look superior. Plant propaganda to make people feel bad if they don’t go along with the marketting push. When I moved to my place, I took out all CFLs. I took out all fluorescents. I replace all with INCANDESCENTS. Where-ever the fluorescents use to be I put clip lamps with incandescents aim at walls and ceiling with dimmers! Yes no I can breath again. This ban is the worst thing I have ever seen. Ban the good guy and push to more $$PROFITABLE$$ bad guy. All comes down to $$PROFITEERING$$. Do your research. Ok I said I was going to help. I’ve been at this for 4 or more years. Still upset to see art waisted away. In Australia all hotels and motels have ugly mortuary CFL or vertically mounted fluroescents where the globes/bulbs used to be. All shopping centers are more pure white ugly bright or blue white or even greenish white. All mixed up color temp. All a tragedy. History lights chopped off. Historic buildings lit with CFL instead of proper warm INCANDESCENT. Absolute disaster. Not Australia sorry. “Hellstralia”. Ok now I will help. Please read further comments. Cheers, Ron Lentjes.

  10. Ron Lentjes

    I meant someone would understand. All artists understand this stuff.

  11. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    What is Incandescence?

    Incandescence is the light produced by a heated object. This light contains BILLIONS of frequencies. It is the highest quality of light you can get.

    How NOT to save energy:

    – Using light source that cause a disturbing effect on people and environment around them. These sources are cold, aggressive, eerie forms of lighting. These include CFL, Fluorescent, and white-LED.

    How TO save energy:

    – Solar power
    – Wind power
    – Turn off electrical when not in use
    – Use light dimmers (on INCANDESCENT lights)

    (Note: Modern light dimmers use a TRIAC and no rheostat (have not heard that word for 20 years or so). They are VERY efficient. I use trailing edge dimmers and these dimmers also slowly turn on the light (dark to dimmer setting in about 2 secs) to further prolong the life of your INCANDESCENT. Do not be fooled by some of the current false news about light dimmers. They are efficient).

  12. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    HOW TO STOP THE BAN OF INCANDESCENTS

    – If a store so much as starts banning just one kind of light (they will start with 100W first), then immediately email and write to them:

    “Since you have banned my choice of light bulbs, I will no longer purchase any items from your store. YOU ARE BANNED.

    This ban will not be lifted until all 40W, 60W, 75W, 100W STANDARD INCANDESCENT clear and frosted BULBS / GLOBES are returned to the shelves. Have a good day.”

    And then get 5 other friends who will each tell 5 other friends to do the same.

    – Speak directly to everyone everyday about this issue. Make sure the entire world is saved from this disaster.

  13. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    What is wrong with ‘efficient lights’?

    – CFL / FLU / white-LED give off a light that is simply unpleasant

    – Too bright, Too white halogens are also annoying

    – In lighting, more efficient than STANDARD INCANDESCENT just leads to very undesirable light

    – Do you paint your walls with pure white? or with cold-off-white? I hope not. If you want comfort, you paint with warm-off-white (the yellow and reds). Just like you would choose an INCANDESCENT (reddish to yellowish-white).

    – CFL is cold light (you can try to filter it and get ‘warm’ but there is a reason why this does not work). White-LED is also cold and eerie.

  14. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    Why is INCANDESCENT best source of light:

    CFL / FLU / white-LED produces about 5 peaks of light frequencies:

    (IR) ____|______|____|__|_______|_____|___ (UV)

    (graph looks like dead trees with little fill in)

    This is terrible light. And it is summed to a BLUE area of light. Very annoying. Very toxic. Hard to concentrate. Uninviting. Unnatural effect

    Fire-place Light, Candle-Light, Incandescent-Light has BILLIONS of frequencies

    ______________________________
    ###############################\
    ###################################\__

    The area between the top curve and the base is full of frequencies. It is TOP QUALITY light that is created by HEATING AN OBJECT. This is why it takes a bit more energy to get this quality light.

    You can dim it and is calm.

    Your eyes see RED / GREEN / BLUE differently according to DNA. EVERYONE will see the COLOR COMPOSITION OF CFL / FLU / LED differently due to the spikes mismatch.

    Not true for INCANDESCENCE. All FREQUENCIES exist so we see all there is for any combination of human DNA RED / GREEN / BLUE receptors.

  15. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    EVERYTHING IN YOUR ROOM is lit by the light you choose. All this light is reflected, refracted, filtered, so on. It lights your ceiling, floors, sofas, coffee table, clothes, pictures, everything. If you start off with bad light you get strange results. Only full-body INCANDESCENCE can deliver the BILLIONS of frequencies required!

    Try RED filter on white-LED. Result is odd BLUE / PURPLE / REDDISH. True test of bad light.

    Try RED filter on INCANDESCENT. Result is awesome pure RED amazing light!

    I strongly recommend only using STANDARD INCANDESCENTS. You can use the 30% efficient halogen bulbs but it certainly is not as aesthetically pleasing due to internal glass and many also have a metal clip. It really is a waist of effort just to get 30% (I have measured 25% on one).

    STANDARD INCANDESCENT is far cheaper to produce and extremely easy to recycle.

  16. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    Please note that this BAN is NOT really about SAVING ENERGY.
    It is a marketing plan as any other. Make the competing product look bad. Make the new product look better. Plant propaganda to make you feel bad by not going for the new product. Nothing new under the sun here. Marketing 101.

    Philips wants to push their baby the CFL so on. A 2003 study showed that take up was only 2.5% for Americans who kept going back to the more pleasing light of the INCANDESCENT bulb. So to cut the story short, the INCANDESCENT was banned to further the sale of other lights (Philips, Osram, GE, LED Industry all would like to have more sales).

    The INCANDESCENT is our most important form of calm lighting. It is easy to make and recycle. It is easy to hook up to DC and AC and batteries.

    The only other sources for this quality light is Fire-place Light, Candle-Light, Kerosene-Lamp Light.

    Don’t let $$$PROFITS$$$ and $$$GREED$$$ ruin your country.

    Example Australia. Now “Hellstralia” for its bad lighting.

  17. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    This BAN is ABOUT $$$PROFIT$$$. Trust me. If you put a kink in their profits, they will complain with greater effect than a mere single citizen to Philips/Osram/GE. If they can only make a profit by selling INCANDESCENTS, guess what follows. Its not rocket science but you have to do as I say or it will not work.

    I am for all citizens in the world to have the best and most pleasing form of lighting. Your lighting environment effects how you feel and behave. Their is no excuse for bad lighting. CFL/FLU/white-LED are aggressive, unnatural, dangerous, uninviting, hard-to-concentrate-under “Light for the dead” kind of lighting.

    INCANDESCENT is calm, inviting, friendly, romantic, warm, comfortable, safe, “Light for the living” kind of lighting.

    For God and Country. America (and the rest of the world). Do not let them take about your INCANDESCENT lighting!

    You will regret it!

    Come visit Australia. I don’t travel Australia anymore.

    Australia has such bad and uninviting cold lighting everywhere including hotels, motels, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centers, so on. Even the street lights have a mix of good and horrible white lighting (it only lights the rain, quite dangerous).
    Oh sorry, its now called “Hellstralia”.

  18. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    Watch this program. Just do it.

    The Light Bulb Conspiracy

    – the light bulb that is still working since 1901
    – forced 1000 hour maximum life of INCANDESCENT light bulb
    – planned obsolescence

    Read through this. Take your time.

    LIGHT BULB CLARITY:
    NEW ELECTRIC POLITICS
    http://ceolas.net/#euban

    – “Philips: bulb ban sought for profits”

    – Dutch Researchers cover Philips involvement:
    The Unholy Alliance between Philips and the Greens…

    – Remember!
    Old simple cheap unprofitable incandescents – No patents!
    CFLs, LEDs – Philips, GE, Osram etc – Plenty of profitable patents!

    – In fact, light bulbs have been safely used for over 100 years without
    significant problems, unlike other lights.

    – The irony is that a normal ban would rather be on the main suggested replacement,
    compact fluorescent “energy saving” lights (CFLs), with several health and
    environmental concerns.

  19. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    How NOT to STOP THE BAN OF INCANDESCENTS

    – Sit on your sorry ass crying
    – Sign up for all petitions (just doesn’t go anywhere)
    – Write to the government (usually just ends up in the waist bin)

    HOW TO STOP THE BAN OF INCANDESCENTS

    – Speak directly to everyone
    – If a store so much as starts banning just one kind of light (they will start with 100W first), then immediately email and write to them:

    “Since you have banned my choice of light bulbs, I will no longer purchase any items from your store. YOU ARE BANNED.

    This ban will not be lifted until all 40W, 60W, 75W, 100W STANDARD INCANDESCENT clear and frosted BULBS/GLOBES are returned to the shelves. Have a good day.”

    And then get 5 other friends who will each tell 5 other friends to do the same.

    This BAN is ABOUT $$$PROFIT$$$. Trust me. If you put a kink in their profits, they will complain with greater effect than a mere single citizen to Philips/Osram/GE. If they can only make a profit by selling INCANDESCENTS, guess what follows. Its not rocket science but you have to do as I say or it will not work.

  20. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    You want efficiency only and trade it for bad lighting? Just visit Australia. A complete wreck of a place.

  21. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    If you need a REST from the bad lighting from CFL or Fluorescents or white-LED Lighting or too-white, too-bright Halogens, just click on this link and sit back a while, taking in the warm glow of the two INCANDESCENT globes…

    http://www.lc-cls.com/SafetyFirst/Lighting/

    The take action now to STOP THE BAN OF INCANDESCENTS as instructed above.

    Talk to everyone, warning that they are taking away your safe, calm lighting!

    Ban any store or venue that uses CFL / Fluorescent / white-LED or too-white too-bright lighting (including too powerful halogens).

    DO. IT. NOW.

  22. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    What is Incandescence?

    Incandescence is the light produced by a heated object. This light contains BILLIONS of frequences. It is the highest quality of light you can get.

    How NOT to save energy:

    – Using light source that cause a disturbing effect on people and environment around them. These sources are cold, aggressive, eerie forms of lighting. These include CFL, Fluorescent, and white-LED.

    How TO save energy:

    – Solar power
    – Wind power
    – Turn off electrical when not in use
    – Use light dimmers (on INCANDESCENT lights)

  23. Ron Lentjes

    The Standard Incandescent Light Bulb

    How NOT to STOP THE BAN OF INCANDESCENTS

    – Sit on your sorry ass crying
    – Sign up for all petitions (just doesn’t go anywhere)
    – Write to the government (usually just ends up in the waist bin)

    HOW TO STOP THE BAN OF INCANDESCENTS

    – Speak directly to everyone

    – If a store so much as starts banning just one kind of light (they will start with 100W first), then immediately email and write to them:

    “Since you have banned my choice of light bulbs, I will no longer purchase any items from your store. YOU ARE BANNED.

    This ban will not be lifted until all 40W, 60W, 75W, 100W STANDARD INCANDESCENT clear and frosted BULBS/GLOBES are returned to the shelves. Have a good day.”

    And then get 5 other friends who will each tell 5 other friends to do the same.
    about an hour ago · Like (sorry guys, put this stuff in the wrong position)

  24. Ron Lentjes

    CFL DANGERS

    IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

    Should you accidentally break you CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light),
    Please follow these procedures:

    Please read these now BEFORE disposing of or breaking a CFL.
    Many people have NOT left the room first (you will breathe in mercury
    vapor) or have used a vacuum cleaner (spreads mercury vapor).

    Prevention

    To prevent potential mercury exposure:

    * Store and handle CFLs responsibly

    * Following cleaning procedure when cleaning up broken CFLs

    * Always recycling CFLs (never throw into normal garbage bins)

    * Use other types of lighting such as Incandescent Lights in areas
    where breakage is likely.

    Cleaning Up Spills

    What Never to Do After a Mercury Spills

    * Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury. The vacuum will
    put mercury into the air and increase exposure.

    * Never use a broom to clean up mercury. It will break the mercury
    into smaller droplets and spread them.

    * Never pour mercury down a drain. It may lodge in the plumbing and
    cause future problems during plumbing repairs. If discharged,
    it can cause pollution of the septic tank or sewage treatment plant.

    * Never wash clothing or other items that have come in direct
    contact with mercury in a washing machine, because mercury may
    contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage. Clothing that
    has come into direct contact with mercury should be discarded.

    By “direct contact,” we mean that mercury was (or has been)
    spilled directly on the clothing, for example, if you break
    a mercury thermometer and some of elemental mercury beads came
    in contact with your clothing.

    * Never walk around if your shoes might be contaminated with mercury.
    Contaminated clothing can also spread mercury around.

  25. Ron Lentjes

    CFL DANGERS

    More details:

    NOTE: these instructions also apply to spills from other sources, if the amount spilled
    is less than or similar to the amount in a thermometer (see specific information about
    how to clean up broken fluorescent bulbs)

    * Have everyone else leave the area; don’t let anyone walk through the
    mercury on their way out. Make sure all pets are removed from the area.

    Open all windows and doors to the outside;
    shut all doors to other parts of the house.

    * DO NOT allow children to help you clean up the spill.

    * Mercury can be cleaned up easily from the following surfaces: wood,
    linoleum, tile and any similarly smooth surfaces.

    * If a spill occurs on carpet, curtains, upholstery or other absorbent surfaces,
    these contaminated items should be thrown away in accordance with
    the disposal means outlined below. Only cut and remove the affected
    portion of the contaminated carpet for disposal.

    Items needed to clean up a small mercury spill

    1. 4-5 ziplock-type bags
    2. trash bags (2 to 6 mils thick)
    3. rubber, nitrile or latex gloves
    4. paper towels
    5. cardboard or squeegee
    6. eyedropper
    7. duct tape, or shaving cream and small paint brush
    8. flashlight
    9. powdered sulfur (optional)

    Cleanup Instructions

    1. Put on rubber, nitrile or latex gloves.

    2. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects,
    pick them up with care. Place all broken objects on a paper towel.
    Fold the paper towel and place in a zip lock bag. Secure the bag
    and label it as directed by your local health or fire department.

    3. Locate visible mercury beads. Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather
    mercury beads. Use slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from
    becoming uncontrollable. Take a flashlight, hold it at a low
    angle close to the floor in a darkened room and look for
    additional glistening beads of mercury that may be sticking
    to the surface or in small cracked areas of the surface. Note:
    Mercury can move surprising distances on hard-flat surfaces,
    so be sure to inspect the entire room when “searching.”

    4. Use the eyedropper to collect or draw up the mercury beads. Slowly
    and carefully squeeze mercury onto a damp paper towel. Place the
    paper towel in a zip lock bag and secure. Make sure to label the
    bag as directed by your local health or fire department.

    5. After you remove larger beads, put shaving cream on top of small
    paint brush and gently “dot” the affected area to pick up smaller
    hard-to-see beads. Alternatively, use duct tape to collect smaller
    hard-to-see beads. Place the paint brush or duct tape in a zip lock
    bag and secure. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local
    health or fire department.

  26. Ron Lentjes is right about the industrial politics behind the ban.
    The GE head Immelt sits (or has sat) on several of Obama’s boards, so perhaps not surprising.

    Why did light bulb companies seek and welcome this ban?
    Why welcome being told what you can or can’t make? 🙂

    Light bulb companies profit from reducing lifespan and/or increasing price:
    http://ceolas.net/#phoebuspol onwards

    First they got 1000 hr lifespan
    Now they have price profitability (also given that CFL/LED lab-based lifespans do not conform to real life use, as linked).
    The work (and book) of Leahy and Brandston in the USA in covering the American lobbying prior to the 2007 EISA regulations is referenced.

    Of course, companies should seek profits:
    What is wrong is handing it to them on a plate, by Government regulations decreasing -rather than increasing- competition, by an alterrnative competition stimulating policy as also described.

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