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Would You Spend $50 for a Light Bulb That Lasts 20 Times Longer?

You might have to now that 100-watt bulbs can't be manufactured anymore.

You may have noticed that 100-watt incandescent light bulbs are vanishing from store shelves. That's because the federal government banned their manufacture as of Jan. 1.

They're too energy inefficient. Most of the energy they use is from heat, not light (sort of like a political campaign, eh?).

By the way, you can still find them online, but once the current inventories are gone. They're gone.

That's not all. Other incandescent light bulb wattages will be vanishing soon enough: Starting in January, 75-watt bulbs will be banned; 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs fade to black at the start of 2014.

That doesn't mean you won't be able to get your bright lights on. You've been able to get the fluorescent bulbs for awhile, but some people don't much like the quality of the light.

Manufacturers are coming out with LED lights now that produce whiter, brighter lights at a fraction of the wattage. This Associated Press report run by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that the light-emitting diode lights "don't contain any volatile, hazardous substances (like fluorescent bulbs) and are durable. They also last longer.

"Osram Sylvania, a division of Germany's Siemens AG, said that it's shipping the first batches of its Ultra LED bulb to some Lowe's stores. The bulb uses 20 watts of electricity and costs $50."

I actually have a first-generation fluorescent bulb in one of my lamps that I've had for at least two decades. It was worth the prince's ransom I paid for it at the time.

How about it? Are you OK with the new, more efficient light bulbs—bulbs that convert more energy into light instead of heat? And would you be OK spending a few extra bucks on a bulb if you only had to replace it every few years, instead of every few months?

Philip Scherry November 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM
No one is addressing those bulbs that might be on dimmers. Those bulbs that are compatible (and their are not many) are even more expensive than normal CFLs.
Mike K November 18, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Typical government failure to execute. Thanks to the Republicans 'no new taxes' mentality, mixed with the Democrats 'lets regulate it' mentality, we have this cluster of an idea. Should have put a $50 tax on them and let Siemens figure out how to make their bulbs cheaper than the 'competition'. The market would work it out. Instead we don't get a tax that represents the true cost (energy inefficiency/environmental) now do we get a working market/economy for the LED bulbs. The worst of both. Thanks, Congress. Both sides of the aisle failed the country on this one.
LORRAINE November 18, 2012 at 01:58 PM
no-they still break if dropped and you are out $50!
LORRAINE November 18, 2012 at 01:59 PM
no-they still break if dropped and you are out $50.
Dirk Maas November 18, 2012 at 02:14 PM
LEDs are less expensive in the long run: (http://eartheasy.com/live_led_bulbs_comparison.html#a). To summarize, the total cost for 50k hours is $85.75 for LED, $89.75 for CFL and $352.50 for incandescent. Similar results here: http://www.designrecycleinc.com/led%20comp%20chart.html. And LEDs pollute less: 451 pounds of CO2 emissions per year for LED, 4500 pounds/year for incandescent, and 1051 pounds/year for CFL. That's coal that's doesn't need to be mined, hauled, stored or burned. Each of those activities pollutes. Black lung, mountain-top removal mining, coal slurry spills, toxic emissions -- are you willing to save some money to reduce them?
The Missourian November 18, 2012 at 02:49 PM
http://www.designrecycleinc.com/led%20comp%20chart.html See the attached chart re bulb lifecycle, comparative energy costs, etc. LED is a win any way you cut it.
monica emerson November 18, 2012 at 02:59 PM
In our family we cannot afford 50 per bulb, we have things like food, milk, and diapers that we HAVE to buy. I foresee candles and darkness in our new year.
flyoverland November 18, 2012 at 02:59 PM
We have stockpiled enough regular lightbulbs to last for the rest of our lives. I will not be switching. The other consequence of this insanity is the loss of all the thousands of American jobs that used to manufacture light bulbs. All those factories are now closed and the new Al Gore bulbs are all made overseas. China and Russia need not spend a dime trying to figure out how to defeat us. We will do it to ourselves. As the late, great Jim White used to say, "save me from the good people." I think it was Jim who also said, "you can't fix stupid."
Gary K Lee November 18, 2012 at 03:39 PM
The CFLs are a waste of money. They burn out quickly in my house. The lasting six years blurb is a lie. We have two LED lightbulbs on a dimmer in the living room. They are great. They didn't cost anywhere near $50. When I can spare more money I'll buy more LED bulbs, but not for $50 and only when I can spare a few extra bucks. Otherwise, I'll have to stockpile the traditional bulbs.
Nancy in Florissant November 18, 2012 at 03:57 PM
No.I once bought a light bulb from a charity that was suppose to last up to ten years and I paid $9.00 for it and that was many years ago when $9.00 was worth a lot more. I put the light bulb in and it blew out right away. That was the fastest ten years of my life.At least it was for charity.
Sensible? I think so November 18, 2012 at 04:24 PM
This environmental "insanity" didn't drive the jobs overseas. We've been shipping manufacturing overseas for decades, and light bulbs are just another example. I'd be all for revamping our importing duties, and their enforcement, to help turn that around. "Under the pressures of globalization, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States has been shrinking for decades, from 19.5 million in 1979 to 11.6 million this year, a decline of 40 percent." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/07/AR2010090706933.html
Mary McGinnis November 18, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I've yet to see any of the CFL bulbs lasting longer than traditional incandescent bulbs even if left burning non-stop without any on/off cycles. It is turning CFLs on/off that kill their lifespan although several I have lit non-stop, such as porch lights and inside basement stairwell burn out just as fast as regular bulbs. The cost of replacing them has exceded the savings in lower electric bills. Now we are supposed to pony up $50 each for LEDs? Reportedly LED bulbs won't fit most existing light fixtures. So we will have to buy new lamps and pay to replace most permanent light fixtures in our homes such as those in kitchens, bathrooms, ceilings. How about repealing the stupid laws on light fixtures and let the free market determine which type consumers prefer!!!
awoaca November 18, 2012 at 07:01 PM
CFL 100w equivalent bulbs are available at all the big box stores in 4- and 6-packs for about $10 and $15, respectively. I have been using them for years, and they do last much longer than incandescents. Why the alarmist representation of high-priced bulbs as the only option? This is not correct, and inflammatory.
Sonny Pondrom November 18, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Robin - According to the Missourian's link, the LED light bulb would cost you only 10% of a standard bulb, if it last it's full life time.
flyoverland November 19, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Really, so that is why there is not one light bulb factory left in America? We could compete making the old ones. We cannot compete making the new ones. Meanwhile. China continues to open a coal fired power plant every week to power their factories to make your green crap that is putting American workers out on the street.
Marty Witbeck November 19, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I am thrilled with LED lighbulbs. Yes, I bought one and expected to get my money back in five years due to decreased electric bill. Life of the bulb is expected to be much longer than five years. So as long as it does not break I am in good shape. I am looking forward to cheaper LED bulbs. This particular regulation removing incandecent bulbs ensured people will have to buy better bulbs. So they will have to produce more of the newer bulbs to meet the demand. Once supply outstrips demand prices will drop. I hope that will happen shortly. I would feel bad for the light bulb companies except for they will get their profit margin per light on a more expensive light. They will sell fewer and still make very good money. This regulation is a win for the government, the people, and the earth. I am very pleased with it.
flyoverland November 19, 2012 at 01:47 AM
When you are diagnosed with macular degeneration and need a bright light to read, I hope you have the same opinion. Alarmist, good lord.
Sensible? I think so November 19, 2012 at 03:08 AM
We could not compete making the old ones for much longer. Just like we can't compete on televisions, iPhones, iPads, and countless other manufactured goods. A huge reason is that WE don't pay for China's pollution, poor working conditions, and other externalities. Import duties can fix that, but we don't set them high enough and we don't enforce them. Maybe we agree on that? If not, what's your plan to bring manufacturing back home?
The Missourian November 19, 2012 at 02:13 PM
As long as we're competing with 6 year olds and what basically amounts to slave labor in other parts of the world through lack of tariff enforcement, manufacturing will continue to erode. The only things saving US manufacturing are classified projects, medical devices, and other high tech low volume applications.
flyoverland November 19, 2012 at 02:28 PM
My plan to bring manufacturing back home starts with ending ObamaCare. You are seeing with your own eyes the impact it will have on jobs in America. Companies are voting with their feet. Next, I would institute tort reform. I used to run a big business. One of the reasons I sold the company, (to a foreign firm) was I was sick of the fictional lawsuits filed in America. Then, let's start taking the handcuffs off on energy production. Oh, spare me how production is up. Oil and gas production takes four years to come to market. Everything you are seeing now started with Bush. Yes, the success we are seeing is Bush's fault. If energy is cheap, that will give us an advantage to bring back industries that require massive amounts of power. Let's start there and see.
St. Louis is a destination November 19, 2012 at 02:49 PM
The equivalent to a 100w incandescent lightbulb is expensive (around $50). However, the 60w equivalent is less than $20. Once production ramps up, you should see the price drop for both. When this happens, the question will change from "if you can afford" to "can you afford not to switch".
The Missourian November 19, 2012 at 03:24 PM
"My plan to bring manufacturing back home starts with ending ObamaCare. You are seeing with your own eyes the impact it will have on jobs in America. Companies are voting with their feet. Next, I would institute tort reform. I used to run a big business. One of the reasons I sold the company, (to a foreign firm) was I was sick of the fictional lawsuits filed in America. Then, let's start taking the handcuffs off on energy production. Oh, spare me how production is up. Oil and gas production takes four years to come to market. Everything you are seeing now started with Bush. Yes, the success we are seeing is Bush's fault. If energy is cheap, that will give us an advantage to bring back industries that require massive amounts of power. Let's start there and see." Or we could institute real tariffs and force our trading partners to treat their workers well, deal properly with waste disposal and pollution, and in general be held to the same high standard we hold ourselves to.
The Missourian November 19, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Why do conservatives, instead of holding people accountable to high American standards, always want to race to the bottom on everything?
flyoverland November 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Tarifs are an artifact of an era that is long gone. I am for fair trade, but rules must be evenly enforced and when China is your banker, holding your national house note, good luck with that. The only way out is via strength. You cannot compete with China and offer unlimited emoluments which incentivize people not to work. You cannot compete with China by imposing job-killing regulations, while they don't. They will simply out wait us as we kill ourselves with some liberal version of utopia while they fight in the markets of the real world. Whether you want to acknowledge it, you are now in a battle for the lives your children and grandchildren will live. China is not going to give in until we go under. Keep layering on additional costs on American businesses that ensure they can't compete. Did you know in recent UN negotiations on the new green world, that China actually had the gall to demand that the "industrialized nations" (read us) give them money to become more green. They forgot to mention we would have to borrow the money from them to pay them. This is what you are dealing with. We can only survive with strength. That is all they understand and strength will not come with tariffs or burdensome regulations and job-killing entitlements. Is that a race to the bottom or a race for survival?
The Missourian November 19, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I would still call that a race to the bottom and a massive, cynical, underestimation of our leverage. What you are basically saying is that it will be hard to do, so why bother. When did we become a nation of fatilistic whiners?
Sensible? I think so November 19, 2012 at 04:58 PM
"Tarifs are an artifact of an era that is long gone." I don't believe that, but if you do, it's just because we let it happen. Easy enough to fix, esp. with modern technology and the will to do it. How do you prevent foreign companies (/governments) from dumping products here at below their cost? That's where a race to the bottom leads. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/28/business/energy-environment/us-raises-tariffs-on-chinese-wind-turbine-makers.html
Cynthia C. November 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Haven't tried the LED ones yet, but CFL's can trigger episodes for Lupus patients. So, as parent of a child with Lupus, I guess I'll need to stockpile the incandescant bulbs.
Christie Campbell Kovac November 25, 2012 at 03:07 PM
They are supposed to last 20 years Robin. Thanks for the chart Missourian.
Mike McKnight December 11, 2012 at 08:10 PM
The government shouldn't be involved in this and telling us what wattage we can and can't use. Again, another step in the wrong direction for you America.
Kyle Butler February 02, 2013 at 08:55 AM
Mike, do you actually even understand WHY they are doing it. It's old, outdated, inefficient technology. In an age when we have both CFL bulbs and the even better LED's, why should we not let the old dinosaur bulbs go extinct?

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