While the politicians in Washington find it impossible to solve our debt crisis, they have no problem with making things yet more difficult for consumers by banning 100 watt incandescent light bulbs. This new policy, on the part of Congress, will take effect on January 1, 2012, and may require that even those in older/historic homes replace their incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED lighting units. For some this may mean requiring the replacement of the actual light fixtures themselves. So what are the members of Congress basing their decisions/ votes on?
Well, I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if a 100 watt light bulb uses 100 watts of energy, while a CFL bulb produces the equivalent amount of light using 26 watts, it is going to be less expensive to operate. In addition, while a CFL may cost more to purchase, it could last 10 times as long, depending on whose specifications one wishes to believe. That means that, over all, a CFL — while costing more to purchase and/or install — will in the long run save money by using less electricity than the standard incandescent bulb.
I, personally, started converting to CFLs about eight years ago and have now converted all of our household lamps, outside lights, and garage lights to CFL lighting. The only lights I have not changed from incandescent to the new CFLs are the 65 watt flood lamps in our recessed lighting units. These fixtures were in place when we purchased our home and are installed in the kitchen, pantry, hallways, and master bedroom closet. For these recessed lights I have been very displeased with the CFL replacement bulbs.
One such example is the unit over our kitchen sink where we have a lone 65 watt flood light set in a recessed housing unit controlled by a single switch. This unit takes about three minutes to fully activate, appearing more like a night light when it first comes on. So, while this one is the most annoying to me, I also notice that this happens with the bulbs in our master bath. What I believe these three bulbs have in common is that each of these is encased in a glass cover to make them resemble traditional incandescent bulbs.
However, outside of these minor quirks, the newest CFLs provide an acceptable light, are no longer plagued by flickering, and have softened their output making them closer in color to existing units than previous CFLs were. That means that, over all, I do not personally believe that eliminating the 100 watt incandescent light bulb will have any dire affects for the majority of us.