Why Did They Outlaw Lightbulbs?

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As of a couple of days ago, it is illegal for retail stores to sell lightbulbs. Well, incandescent lightbulbs. The reason for this is simple.

They are inexpensive.

And that is always a problem for the grifters who operate the machinery of the government, which is used to enrich themselves and their attendant lampreys in corporate America, who profit from impoverishing us.

There was a time when it cost less than a buck to buy two 75 watt incandescent bulbs – and it wasn’t 50 years ago, either. It was before the federal government decided it would “save people money” by forcing them to buy LED lightbulbs that cost five-times-plus as much.

Few ask the obvious question: If it “saves us money,” then why is it necessary to force people to buy it? Wouldn’t a money-saving device be appealing to people?

Well, not if it costs a lot of money, in which case you lose money. The EV is an obvious parallel example. The government touts how much people will “save” – by spending a third or more on the car. Of course this makes no sense to the not-innumerate and it also doesn’t take into account the fact that people who cannot afford the EV won’t be “saving” anything.

The same logic-reversal (and viciousness) applies with regard to the recent – and also parallel – proposals to out-regulate conventional water heaters by making regulatory compliance costs so high that the company’s that make them won’t be able to make “compliant” models that people can afford, assuming they can be made “compliant” at all.

But the government says: You will save so much money! A on-demand/tankless water heater system uses less energy to heat water and your electricity bill will be lower! This may be true – as regards the power bill – and assuming that the cost of electricity doesn’t go up on account of all of this government-decreed demand for more of it. But it does not take into account the bill – for the tankless/on-demand water heater. Which will cost you two if not three times as much as a conventional water tank – and that is probably lowballing it because it doesn’t take into account the effect of the elimination of alternatives upon the price of tankless/on-demand water heaters nor the effect of increased demand for them, artificially created by government eliminating alternatives to them.

It’s the same with what’s happened to incandescent bulbs. When they were still available, people could buy them rather than LED-type bulbs. This alternative applied downward pressure on the cost of LED-type bulbs; if they were priced too high relative to the value they returned, most people wouldn’t buy them.

The same with EeeeeeeeVeeeees.

There are people who would – and who can afford to. But they buy for different reasons than “saving money.” For them, the value of an EeeeeeeeeeVeeeee or an LED-type lightbulb is that it is (supposedly) “green” and they are willing to spend money for the sake of that.

But they aren’t saving money.

The government knows that perfectly well, of course. It knows that while many people aren’t philosophers and don’t have much understanding of politics, they do understand the bottom line. They know what doesn’t “save them money” – and generally avoid buying it. Especially when they cannot afford to buy it.

And that is why the government must force them to buy – even if they can’t pay.

How many Americans can afford to spend $2,500 on a tankless/on-demand water heater rather than $1,000 for a new replacement water tank? Many Americans haven’t got $1,000 in cash money on hand to buy a replacement water tank. But the government wants to “save them money” by making them spend twice or three times that sum on an on-demand system. And a third again as much (or more) on an electric car that will “save them money” they haven’t got much of anymore, having been obliged by the government to spend most of what they have left over after government has stolen most of what they earned (and devalued what they have left) on “money saving” necessaries such as $14 for a four pack LED replacement bulbs that used to cost $2.50 when people could still by incandescents.

But – don’t worry – there’s lots of money being made by all of this. The italics in the interests of etymological honesty.

In the free market, money is earned, via free exchange. You have something to sell. I see value in it that is at least equal to if not greater than the value of the money I have to exchange for it.

And so I buy it. No one forces me to buy it.

In a “planned” economy – a play-nice word for the grift-driven, influence-peddling, rent-seeking economy we’re caught up in – money is made, by grifters who can buy influence that results in rent-seeking deals such as the one that will make a lot of money for the manufacturers of LED-type bulbs, who were making much less when incandescents were still available – and people were free to actually save money, by purchasing them rather than being forced to buy LED-lights that cost them much more money to buy.

. . .

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93 COMMENTS

  1. It seems like I haven’t been able to get non LED bulbs for quite a while in big box stores like Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes. I get aggravated every time I go there looking for them. The supposed long life of LED bulbs is BS too.

  2. I’ve been living in Germany for 12 years and the 30 years before that I took a vacation every year in Europe. One thing no one tells you: On-demand water heaters just don’t work the way they claim. I have a well-off contractor friend and money or skill won’t buy you an on-demand water heater that avoids this problem: the flash-burner goes on when the water flows. It stops when the water flow ceases OR IS LOWERED. It makes taking a shower a waste of water and energy because it is virtually impossible to get the water to flow at an intermediate temperature. If the water is too hot for you and you move the handle toward cold (even a little bit) then the slower water flow makes the burner go off. If you push it toward hot again the flash-burner sends you burning hot water—-and so on through your shower–as you repeatedly must step out of the water stream to avoid being burnt.

    Since the Stockholm Syndrome is inbuilt into all aspects of life for Europeans, they will never admit this. I am lucky that our building has an old-fashioned gas-water-boiler in the basement. I am sure it will soon be banned.

    • Indeed, Rodney –

      As others have pointed out, the water in a tank – once heated – stays hot for a remarkably long time. I live in a rural area where power outages are common. We can still take warm showers even after two days with the power off (the water comes from a well and I have a generator to power that).

  3. No worries, you won’t be buyin those bulbs, you’ll be renting them. Own nothing and be happy, thanks jewbankers.

  4. Try 1000bulbs.com
    There are many choices for bulbs and fixtures.
    Incandescent bulbs are designed to last ~1000 hours, +/-
    Off the top of my head, I do not know the average lifetime of a fluorescent tube, but maybe someone else here does.
    LED bulbs are typically rated 10,000 t0 25,000 hours, and typically have a 3 year warranty, from what I have seen.

    I replaced a (2) 40w fluorescent tube fixture in my bathroom with (4) 1100 lumen 4000K medium base LEDs last October. The cost of the bulbs from 1000bulbs was $28.36 including tax and shipping. I believe the power consumption is 12w/bulb. Cost of the new light sockets was minimal.

    Advantages of LEDs, as I see it.
    1. Instant on, no flicker.
    2. Cooler operation, less power consumption 48/80 = 0.6
    For heat, I still have incandescent heat lamps in the bathroom.
    3. Fewer bulb changes, easier disposal.
    Fluorescent tubes are now considered “hazardous waste,” because they contain mercury, and are awkward to dispose of in any case.

    I doubt the bathroom lighting will see more than 2hr./day usage, particularly since there is also natural light (a skylight). So, even if these bulbs last only 10,000 hrs. (the low end for LEDs), that would be ~5,000 days @ 2 hr./day, or 13.7 years. I know i have replaced fluorescent tubes much more frequently than that.

    Again, I do not have a cost comparison for fluorescent tubes, but versus incandescent bulbs, based on 1000 hrs. lifetime for incandescent and 10,000 hrs. for LEDs (a conservative number),
    $28.36/4 = $7.09 per LED bulb, including tax and shipping
    Based on 10,000 hrs. lifetime,
    $7.09/10 = $0.71 = breakeven cost for a 1000 hr. 75w incandescent bulb
    Based on 15,000 hrs. lifetime,
    $7.09/15 = $0.47 = breakeven cost for a 1000 hr. 75w incandescent bulb

    Power consumption for (4) 75w incandescent bulbs = 300w
    Power consumption for (4) 12w LED bulbs = 48w
    Plug in your electricity rate to compare cost.
    For me, baseline rate from SCE is ~$0.32/Kwn
    So, (300w-48w) = 252w (call it 250, or 0.25 Kw)
    0.25Kw * 2hr/day = 0.5Kwh/day, or $0.16/day
    $0.16/day * 30 day/mo. = $4.80/mo
    $0.16/day * 5000 days = $800 per 10,000 hrs. (assumed service life of bulbs)
    Your cost will vary, depending on what you pay for electricity.

    If you want to, you could calculate the actual cost of operating an incandescent bulb, based on acquisition cost + operating cost, i.e. purchase price + power consumption, versus an equivalent light output LED.

    Now, on this site, I expect to see comments like, “Those claims of 15,000 hr. lifetimes are complete bullshit. I had an LED bulb fail after only [a small number] hours.” All I can say, is, if the bulb was under warranty, take it back and demand a refund. If you experience multiple premature failures, try another, more reputable, brand, and tell everyone you know about your experience. There is plenty of Chinese junk out there.

    About two years ago, the shop which presently maintains my F150 replaced the fuel tank selector valve with a Chinese POS which was DOA “brand new.” My judgment at that point was to forget the Chinese garbage and buy the genuine Ford replacement part. It was somewhat more expensive, but works as designed, and carries a Ford warranty.

    Just sayin’…

    • Thanks for the 1000bulbs.com URL, it’s a bit like a Radio Shack for bulbs.

      You mention, “Advantages of LEDs, as I see it.”

      Ya seem to gloss over the disadvantages.

      ‘How LED Lighting May Compromise Your Health’

      “Can light affect your health? In this interview, Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiology, shares the hidden dangers of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting that most people are completely unaware of.

      In fact, this could potentially be one of the most important video interviews I’ve done, as it has enormous impacts — not only on preventing blindness as you age but it is also a pervasive hidden risk factor for sabotaging your health.”…

      https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/10/joseph-mercola/beware-eye-destroying-lightbulbs/

      • Hi, Helot,
        Thanks for the link. The graphs are interesting.
        I have very little knowledge of biology, so am unaware of the possible biological effects of various spectra on the human body. Most people say it is best to experience natural sunlight, so I would take that as a guide. There is quite a remarkable difference between “cool” LEDs, “warm” LEDs, fluorescent lamps, incandescent lamps, and sunlight. Mercury vapor lamps should show bright line spectra very similar to fluorescents. If you want to experience this for yourself, you can run the light source through a slit, then a prism, into a darkened chamber to separate the wavelengths. Bright line emission spectra are spectacular. 540nm (the Mercury green line) is *very* bright green. 🙂

        But, I digress. Your point was the hypothesis of Dr. Wunsch that IR is critical to human health, and on that I have no knowledge, so will shut up. Wunsch seems like a sane guy, so perhaps he is on to something. I have no idea, and am not qualified to have an opinion.

        As regards Dr. Mercola, I would be very skeptical. According to Wackypedia:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Mercola
        >n a 2017 affidavit, Mercola stated that his net worth was “in excess of $100 million.”[2]
        Which, to me, raises a red flag. JMO. Your opinion may differ.

        • Thoughtful reply, Adi Heider. Except the last one.

          There’s not a lick of distrust about Dr. Mercola here.

          He’s a capitalist, he provides products and services people like & want, he’s been deservedly rewarded for his service. To use his success as a reason to distrust the man seems… Marxist/Communistic?

          Perhaps, spend some time reading some of what he has written? I think you’ll find good things:

          Here’s an archive of his past writings at LRC in chronological order:

          https://www.lewrockwell.com/author/joseph-mercola/

          • >There’s not a lick of distrust about Dr. Mercola here.
            Well, OK. As I said, your opinion may vary.
            I am certainly no Marxist, and have no problem with people being rewarded for their efforts. But, I have to wonder, what motivates someone to amass huge amounts of wealth? I just don’t get it. To me, money is like air, only important if you aren’t getting enough of it, and I have always been about living well “on the cheap,” with freedom being the most important thing in life… Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, as they say.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO4HnZ7XLsU

            Maybe I am just jealous, since I never figured out how to make an enormous amount of money. 🙂 [shrug]

            • Money is not like air, slaves have no money, yet live.

              Money is more like freedom, and, “with freedom being the most important thing in life…” having more money equals the opportunity to obtain/preserve more freedom.

              To judge a person’s character solely based upon how much money they have seems odd to me, & yes, Marxist/Communist.

              Consider:

              …”West African development has been impeded by the extended family concept that, if one man prospers, he is duty bound to share this bounty with a host of relatives, thus draining off the reward for his productivity and crippling his incentive to succeed, […]

              German sociologist Helmut Schoeck, in his important recent work on Envy, cites numerous studies of this pervasive crippling effect. Thus the anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn found among the Navaho the absence of any concept of “personal success” or “personal achievement”; and such success was automatically attributed to exploitation of others, and, therefore, the more prosperous Navaho Indian feels himself under constant social pressure to give his money away.”…

              https://mises.org/library/freedom-inequality-primitivism-and-division-labor

              • >having more money equals the opportunity to obtain/preserve more freedom.
                Point taken, provided one has also the free time to take advantage of that freedom.

                >To judge a person’s character solely based upon how much money they have seems odd to me

                Well, I do not do that, but I think that veneration of wealth, and equation of wealth to intelligence, is a disease of our society, among some people. To cite one example, I do not see why anyone should credit Bill Gates’ opinion on any subject except writing and selling computer software. But because he is extremely rich, he feels entitled to hold forth on any topic which catches his fancy, and some people listen to him bloviate *because* he is rich (so, he must be “smart,” i.e. an expert on everything – not true).

                > Clyde Kluckhohn found among the Navaho the absence of any concept of “personal success” or “personal achievement”

                The Navajo people I have known, growing up in Albuquerque, were staunch Republicans, very much into self-reliance and personal achievement, so I am not sure where, or when, Mr. Kluckhohn got his data.
                Just sayin’…

  5. Don’t forget: incandescent bulbs (especially the clear ones) lasted longer, too. Hell, there was one installed in a firehouse (I forget where) that was still burning after 100 YEARS! In fact, light bulb manufacturers were one of, if not THE first to use the planned obsolescence concept, to keep revenue in check. I’m guessing that also explains the “soft-whites”. The only good thing about the compact-florescent and LED bulbs, is that they burn cooler.

    • >light bulb manufacturers were one of, if not THE first to use the planned obsolescence concept
      Not just “planned obsolescence,” but planned product failure, to guarantee the more frequent sale of products. There was an actual conspiracy, known as the Phoebus cartel, which enforced a maximum expected service life for incandescent light bulbs among its members.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebus_cartel
      >The cartel tested their bulbs and fined manufacturers for bulbs that lasted more than 1,000 hours. A 1929 table listed the amount of Swiss francs paid that depended on the exceeding hours of lifetime

      Last I read, the famous lightbulb was still burning at the fire station in Livermore, California.

  6. I assumed incorrectly that three-way LED bulbs had not been perfected and failed to stock up on 50-100-150 incandescents for our lamps. I was surprised when I went into [big orange home improvement store] last night to discover that, not only was I wrong, but the LED equivalents were $12 each rather than the ~ $1 I had been paying.

    Never underestimate Bernie Marcus’ team’s resourcefulness in sourcing things from China.

    Of course they are made there.

  7. Just a few years ago I used to purchase a 4 bulb pack, 60, 75, 100 watt from Walmart for a buck. Incadescent bulbs are the bomb, and it is a real crime that they are being outlawed.

    White people should be proud of their accomplishments, like making these bulbs, inside a very thin tungsten filiament:

    Tungsten: From Ore to Wire
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuhapGSexyg

    Communist traitor Joe Biden and his Communist Jewish staff are to blame for the downfall of Amerika. They deserve what any traitor deserves, a firing squad. And all this destruction of our free economy based on this ridiculous carbon hoax, as if a trace gas can warm the planet. What utter stupidity!

    How about we keep what is ours, keep our great inventions like the light bulbs we love, the trucks we love, and get rid of them? How about it Amerika, isn’t it time we overthrow them?

    • Indeed, Jack –

      It’s just obscene – and yet, few seem outraged about it. Incandescents were close to being free – and that saved people a lot of money. This business that you’ll “save money” by spending a great deal more of it is something only an imbecile believes – and only the government could push.

  8. I like LED bulbs. But the wife is in charge of decorating our home and deemed that to include being the light bulb sheriff. LED bulbs are banned inside our home. We do have three LED spotlights outdoors to light the landscaping for three hours every night. They have lasted two years so far. My cost for four of those LED spotlights bulbs at a local dollar store was only $5. I bought eight spare bulbs at that price

    We stocked up on ordinary light bulbs before the ban and hopefully have enough for the rest of our lives. On the day before the ban I bought 24 four watt nightlight bulbs, at $1.25 for four at a local dollar store, to be sure.

    Bill Clinton came to our village of 1,000 people twice in the 1990s for fundraising. If Biden ever showed up, I might throw light bulbs at him. We’ve got a stockpile of incandescent bulbs.

    • I have mostly LED bulbs and strips now, but they’re all dimmable, color and can be set to whatever temperature of white I wish. They’re actually pretty good quality too, not the overpriced Philips Hue bulbs but not the $0.01 Alibaba ones either.

      A lot of people don’t like the LEDs because the switching power supplies often cause some flicker. I notice it on cheap LED christmas tree lights, but on these bulbs it’s not a problem.

  9. Those tankless heaters are complex and not as reliable as an old tank. My mother has a 40 year old rheem that is still operating. Reliability outweighs the operational savings to me.

    • Hi Gunter,

      That’s my view as well. Simpler usually means more durable and also less maintenance-intensive. But the take-home point is that these decisions ought to be ours to make. It is none of the government’s legitimate business. And when we speak of the “government,” what do we mean? Why, it is just other people – not some kind of entity that is wiser than us. It is merely more arrogant than us, being people by control-freaks who think it is their right to lord it over the rest of us.

  10. Incandescent bulbs were made by automated factories in the USA. They were very low margin products. There was no way to move production to China because it would cost too much relative to the return on what little human labor went into them. In order to make more money the only solution was to ban the bulbs. This then forces people to purchase the high margin products made in China.

  11. The war on “things that work” continue.

    But people STILL think that the government knows best….. It shouldn’t have any credibility left by now with the track record it has, but it does.

  12. Had an AO Smith water heater that went on the fritz. Bought a Rheem that didn’t last five years. Haul it out to the curb, go buy new.

    A Sears Kenmore does the job, knock on wood, it’ll keep on truckin’.

    If you have an electric stove top, you can heat ten gallons of water on all four burners then pour the boiling water into the bathtub, cool it down with cold water, you have a warm bath.

    More than one way to skin a cat.

    Wash your clothes in the bathtub, a scrub board to do the dirty work, don’t need no stinkin’ washin’ machine.

    Joe Biden needs to be on the end of a dunking pole if he wants to come clean. har

    • This reminds me, I need to check the anode on the water heater. So long as this $10 item is replaced when it is depleted the tank shouldn’t rust out.

  13. ‘people do understand the bottom line’ — eric

    They do. Even beggars on the streets of Quito or Calcutta can do those calcs in their heads. But Big Gov treats them (and us) like children.

    In homes, the big energy users are heating and cooling the house; heating water; and powering appliances such as refrigerator, washer, dryer, and dishwasher.

    Lighting loads typically are only 10-15% of home energy consumption. LEDs are five times as efficient as incandescents. But in the big scheme of things, it’s not a big deal.

    Thirty or forty years ago, utilities and Big Gov were pushing compact fluorescents. They produced ugly gray light, and mercury made them a disposal nightmare. Now, mercifully, they’re gone.

    But sadly, Big Gov learned nothing from the CFL debacle. Today, EeeVees are a vastly larger malinvestment. Ford and Toyota are cautiously backpedaling with hybrids, while compliantly pledging allegiance to our all-EeeVee future with solid-state Miracle Batteries: 999 miles range, or your money back! (Conditions apply.)

    Pity poor EeeVee Mary of GM, caught on stage in the bright spotlights, and doom-bound like Odette the Swan Queen. We tried to warn ye, Mary! 🙁

    • Hi Jim,

      Yup! And – you’re going to like my next column. It’s about GM raising the price of the 2024 EV Blazer from the promised $44k to $60k.

  14. “Why Did They Outlaw Lightbulbs?”

    1) Because “they” could.
    2) Folks keep voting for Rs and Ds who bring more communism/fascism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism.
    3) Most folks love socialism: Socialist “Security”, Socialist Medicare, Socialist schools, and Socialist lightbulbs.

    But – Don’t blame me, I voted Libertarian

    • this is the point – because they could…. in the west we just blindly stick to laws and regulations without any resistance…. and as long as that happens these dumb ideas will keep coming up.

  15. On-demand water heaters aren’t necessary unless you’re The Brady Bunch or have one of those big “romance novel” soaker tubs. Once the water in the tank is hot it stays hot. The things are basically a picnic cooler jug. When I lived in apartments with cheap junk electric water heaters I installed a 220V timer (Intermatic “Little Grey Box”) that turned on about 4:00am and off at 8:00, then again at around 16:00 and off at 21:00. I had all the hot water I needed, even in the afternoon. In one place I also put an insulating blanket on the thing, available at most hardware stores, because the water heater was in an unheated basement. While down there I added pipe insulation too. Total cost was way under $100 and paid for itself in two or three months.

    I currently have a gas water heater that’s about 5 years old. It should last another 10 years or so at a minimum. When I replace it I might install an oversized electric heater, only because I can make use of my solar panels to heat up the water during the day instead of exporting that electricity to the grid. Poor man’s solar battery. But it won’t save me much, my gas bills in the summertime are only about $18/month.

    And as anarchyst points out, incandescent bulbs make heat too. Heat is heat, whether it comes from a boiler, heat pump or incandescent bulb. Sure a heat pump is arguably more efficient for heating a room, but it makes a lousy reading lamp. And in the summertime you don’t need lights for as much of the day since the sun sets so late (isn’t that the justification for daylight savings time?), so it isn’t making the room hotter either.

    • Tankless water heaters have been fetishized just like EVs. The energy standards are being used to rationalize some far out indulgences.

      It doesn’t always work. LED light bulbs aren’t sexy no matter how hard they may try, and I remember when front loading washers were the wave of the future … until they weren’t.

      When my plumber talked about “having the conversation” regarding the tankless water heater, he stated that, in theory, the systems would last three times as long as a standard water heater for a little more than double the price.

    • Hi RK,

      Personally i’ve been using these instant water heaters for a while now- we mostly have them in the UK given our houses here are tiny and theres no place to stick a water tank in a flat. They are not that bad – or WERE not that bad till about 5 or so years ago when the ever increasing regulation of them means the new ones are sooo damn complicated they’re impossible to work correctly.

      In my old flat, the heater which is about 15 years old only had one breakdown (something corroded and jammed last year). WHIch is ok.

      my new house has a brand new ultra efficient one installed by the previous guy. Now thankfully its still under warranty but the damn thing needs to see the repair guy about every 6 months. All come up with different issues and every part on the thing has been changed…. I dread what happens when the warranty ends….

  16. Two things:

    1. LED bulbs are made in China and profit China, NOT the US.
    2. Spying equipment and even bombs for assassination can be incorporated into LED bulbs–especially those installed in the Pentagon and other high-security locations.

  17. We must stop Americans from having jobs and send the jobs to China. I will never buy a chinese lightbulb. I would rather us candles

  18. You understate the cost issue, Eric. We moved into our brand new (still not completed) house in 2006, and put identical lights in the kitchen. They use the low-profile, tubular-style bulbs. One fixture started flickering 6 years ago, so we replaced the bulbs with those small curly-fry bulbs, because they were no longer selling the tubes this fixture uses. They burned out, so we replaced them again, then those were no longer available. We replaced them with slim LEDs. Turns out they no longer make those, so we replaced them with chandelier light bulbs. Twice. Including yesterday. Meanwhile, the incandescents in the other fixture are still going strong.

    Incandescents that I probably paid less than a quarter a pop still going fine, bulbs I’ve had to pay $6 each are going out like king-size candy bars on Halloween.

  19. I LOVE it!
    Outlaw normal lightbulbs!
    Outlaw normal speech and thinking!
    Sew a dildo onto your daughter and give “it” hormones!
    Outlaw freedom of association!….

    THIS is what a society that not only tolerates, but elects tyrants deserves.

  20. Aaaaaand where are those LED bulbs manufactured, pray tell???

    I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that you can’t find ONE made in the U.S. The majority of them are from C-H-I-N-A — or Me-hee-co or some other foreign country, where the people who manufacture them are paid a fraction of the American minimum wage.

    The point being that the very same people who are FORCING you to buy the LEDs at prices far higher than incandescents are the same people who are invested in the companies manufacturing them in foreign countries for the cheapest possible labor costs… and pocketing the difference.

    Not to mention taking tens of millions in bribes from those very same countries (cf. Biden, Joseph R., and Biden, Hunter).

    As St. Augustine wrote, “What are nations, but great robberies?”

  21. Not only were incandescent bulbs cheaper, at one time they were free! In the long ago time my mother would gather up our burned out bulbs and we would go off the local Edison plant and they would replace them for FREE! Why? Edison sold electricity. Bulbs burned electricity. Simple capitalism! Free bulbs ended when some clown sued Edison saying he could not compete selling his bulbs when Edison was giving them away free. Maybe that guy could open up a black market operation now and we could buy his bulbs out of the back of a van!

    • Mountain Parks Electric coop did that too. If you paid your bill in person they’d give you a free light bulb. Later they changed to CFLs but still a nice deal if you’re driving past the office anyway.

  22. In Europe, incandescent bulbs re still being sold, despite their ban being in effect much longer than our present “ban”. They are sold as “heaters”. Enterprising incandescent bulb manufacturers and distributors would take heed of this and repackage their bulbs as “heaters”. A sticker over the present packaging should suffice.

  23. Incandescent bulb in my oven light fixture, survives the occasional cleaning cycle.

    LED replacement? Hah! Also LED boards in my fridge last about a year, $75 for a replacement board vs about $2 old school incandescent, all so that vital opera lighting slow to bright feature works when you open the door. Finally found a $45 Chicom hack board that lacks the slow to bright feature but has survived over 6 months so far.

    And where is our loyal opposition to this nonsense? Turtle froze up again?
    McCan’t-thy? Not a peep. Thought they held the purse strings of these rogue agencies?

  24. Bulbs that are incandescent rough service or industrial are exempt from this overreach. Translation…. incandescent bulbs are still available.

  25. Back in the day I worked for an HVAC firm and I engineered and sold energy retrofit systems for commercial customers. The honest answer is unless you can save the installaton costs in less than 5 years you are wasting you money. You could take your install dollars and invest in an annuity with guaranteed principle (until the near future collapse of everything) at 4-5% return and do much better. I didn’t seel a few jobs this way but made some honest friends who later brought be back for more projects.

    Here are the numbers if people doubt:

    FV=PV *(1+i) to N power
    FV=Future Value
    PV= Present value
    I=interest rate as decimal
    N=number of years interest is calculated to the power of
    Assume a solar panel addition to a house. Assume it costs $20,000.00. Assume you are told you will get a *payback* in 10 years or $2,000/year. Assume these lasts without any maintenance and works same for additional 10 years then you have $20,000 profit after 20 years.
    Take your 20,000 investment and invest in some relatively safe investment at a low interest rate of 4% per year. Based on compound interest you would have earned 43,822.46 over 20 years.

    So at a lousy 4% interest return compounded annually is out performs your energy retrofit without doing anything other than investing vs construction which comes with its own risks and problems. If the real world is in play and over 20 years your annual return is greater than 4% then the payback period must be less than 6 years or better. The Dow has returned an annualized return of 9.4% nominal over 50 years and adjusted for inflation of 5.4%. Based on 5.4% your $20,000 investment should be worth $57,258.79 over 20 years adjusted for inflation. This validates the 5-year or less payback guideline for any energy saving investment which would also have to include maintenance and possible partial replace costs over 20 years.

    • Thanks to the generous tax incentives and rebates from my electric coop my payback on solar will be less than 7 years, as long as they don’t screw with the net metering deal we both agreed to. I’m holding up my side, they want to renege. The governor’s office stepped in to delay the changes until next year, but I expect there will be a lawsuit if the coop continues down this road.

      • Yep, incentives drive solar installs.

        One I read recently about online put in a ~10kW system for ~$24k.

        30% federal tax credit, but an additional ~$12k from their state.

        Only that high because it’s a grid-tie only, no batteries allowed if the homeowner wants that hefty state subsidy.

        • Interesting. My coop had a very generous subsidy for Tesla Powerwalls and a smaller one for others. The deal with Powerwalls was that you had to install a minimum of three, and had to carry a $1 million homeowners insurance policy, and they would have control over the walls and could drain them when they needed peak power.

          So many issues! First of all, if they want storage, let them put it in the right of way, not my garage. Second, if I own it I control it. So that was a hard NO.

          But there was an incentive for battery storage anyway, unfortunately my system was designed to work with LG Chem batteries and they had a big recall and quit selling to new customers when I was going through all this. So I didn’t get one. Now I’m not so sure I want one. The prices all went sky high after California screwed up net metering and Texas had their grid meltdown (freeze down?). And some of the local incentives are done. So the payback is longer. That’s OK though I have other backup systems and that’s really what I wanted it for.

  26. Great article Eric,
    Think it’s time for me to buy another 40 gallon gas water heater while they’re still available and just leave it in the basement so I’ll have it to replace the present one when it craps out in a few years. The manufacturers of said water heaters seem to have the life cycle worked out quite well, my prior one began leaking only a few months after the (10 year I think) warranty expired.

    • The guy I bought a water heater from told me the 10, 20, 30, year water heaters are all the same. The reason they cost more is the warranty is longer. But the appliances are exactly the same.
      Not sure if that is true for all water heaters.

      • It may not be a bad idea to have an extra water heater on hand, Krusty. At the rate the O’Biden regime is going, he is going to regulate those out of existence, too, make hot water illegal, and make everyone take cold showers, just as now-King-Charles demanded we do years ago…..for the Earth, of course. O’Biden is still mum on the toasters, but am sure those are on the chopping block, as well. Want to take bets that they reduce our once three-gallon, now one-and-a-half gallon toilets will be reduced again “for the earth”? It would be hilarious if it were not so serious, and real life.

        • Well, I thought about this whole, ‘no gas water heater’ bit. I have one, & want another.
          From what I’ve read, an electric one lasts far longer. ‘They’ aren’t fucking with them (electric) yet.

          I get the, sthmart meter bit, as a control mechanism.

          That said, I wish I had an extra $500, I’d buy a spare gas water heater, or two.

          …Hmm, I wonder if that’s a way to stimulate demand? …And tax receipts? Idk.

          Things that make you go, hmmm.

  27. Yeah, how “green” are CFLs that create haz mat disposal issues?

    And how “green” are water heaters and light fixtures that can’t be repaired?

    And speaking of all things “green” while we’re at it…

    One environmental issue that is getting nowhere near the press it deserves is the issue of water pollution by “endocrine disrupters.”

    Unlike “climate change” which might change the weather 50 years from now, and about which we may not be able to do much about, and which we may not have much effect on, endocrine disrupters are all on us, are known to be a problem, and can be reasonably dealt with—and we are seeing the effects right now and right here.

    Stories of hermaphroditism, infertility, and strange behavior among fish and birds exposed to waste water are well documented. And if that stuff is hitting hard at that point in the food chain, imagine what it’s doing to us “apex predators” who eat those fish, among other things.

    It isn’t PC to even mention this, but I wonder if the whole explosion of “Pride” and the rise of The Alphabet People over the last few years is at least in part due to endocrine disrupters wreaking havoc on people’s reproductive and nervous systems.

    While people are aware of the problem, and companies like Nalgene have phased out BPA as a result, “climate change” hype has crowded out other environmental issues.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Excellent observation Bryce,
      I’ve wondered the same thing myself, especially with the explosion of people who are trannies, nonbinary, whatever. Most of those chemicals are estrogen mimics and a lot of plant based foods contain phytoestrogens, especially tofu and such. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the reason for the push against us serfs eating meat, the PTB want to turn us all into gelded sheep.

      • Thanks, Mike.
        I also think that a key factor is that billions and billions of dollars in corporate revenue from these chemicals and drugs are at stake should we get wise to the endocrine disrupters problem. Furthermore, the legal liability, if endocrine disrupters were implicated in certain disorders in humans, would be several times many companies’ assets.

    • I’ve long thought that the very purpose of the climate change fraud was to distract us from the ongoing poisoning of the planet. While all the greens are focused on climate change, the chemical industry is getting a free pass, despite the much greater damage it’s doing. I wonder, how much does DuPont, Dow, Bayer/Monsanto etc. donate to the climate cause?
      And that’s aside from the pharmaceutical poisoning.

      • Yeah, John, pharmaceutical pollution is, to use a technical term, a big azz problem.

        But first, Big Pharma is a really powerful special interest group; and second, there are lots and lots of leftist women who take birth control pills, morning after pills, and psych meds.

    • Not to mention sperm counts are down 50% in the last 50 years, 1% per year. You know what that means in 50 more years?

      Woman fight for abortion rights yet they can’t even get pregnant now. Fertility clinics out number abortion clinics 5 to 1.

  28. Bought a 30 gallon Hot Water Heater in 2007 for $214 Tax $14.98. Today $512 Tax 35.84 both at Home Depot. That’s well over 100% increase in price over just 16 years.

    But this is the American way. Bitch and holler, bitch and holler,,, wait two weeks and its crickets. lol.

    Talk about being taken to the cleaners! But hell, we don’t care. The price we have to pay for born in America where we know we are at least free!!!!

  29. I went ahead and checked the US Constitution. I’m having a hard time finding the lightbulb regulation clause. Oh yes, there it is, the Commerce Clause and Wikard v. Filburn, which provides the federal gubmint with unlimited powers, despite the 10th Amendment.

    In the current age of overturning longstanding precedent (e.g. the penumbras and emanations granting a constitutional right to abortion and affirmative action), it’s high time somebody challenged Wikard in the current Supreme Court.

    • That is why they are no longer called representatives. Today they are called Law Makers.

      As for the constitution…… its amendments…… lol. Good Wuck!

  30. This article echoes the way politicians make claims they are “cutting the government budget” when, in reality, they are simply reducing the amount of increases to it. Making you spend a fortune to save a little is the same flawed logic that has got the federal and many state governments into a financial mess. They spend your tax money in ever increasing amounts and then make small reductions and proudly say “We’re responsible, see? We’re not wasting your taxes!”

  31. Great article Eric.

    I actually went out and bought 480 60W incandescent bulbs back in 2013 when the original Obama ban went into effect. They were on special and I only paid $0.10 each ($2.40 for a 24 pack). I still have a huge stockpile. They should last the rest of my life.

    There are several doctors who write about our eye health requiring light in the near infrared spectrum (which natural sunlight provides). Any “high efficiency” bulb all but eliminates light in this spectrum.

    Even if the doctors are full of crap, I’m not willing to risk my eyesight in old age to save a couple bucks a month.

    Is it just a coincidence that the term “Age Related Macular Degeneration” was unheard of before “high efficiency” bulbs became commonplace?

    Aside from that, I live in Michigan, which has a 7-8 month heating season. Incandescent bulbs are technically 100% efficient during the heating season, since any energy not emitting light is emitting heat, which is needed anyway.

    Aside from that, they behave much better under dimming and have a near 100 color rendering index, which makes everything just look better and more natural. Halogens and clear incandescent do have a perfect 100 color rendering index.

    I do have some 150W Metal Halide fixtures in my workshop, but that is my choice. To see clearly when doing detailed work, I chose to use these instead. They are high efficiency, but it was my CHOICE to buy them.

    One thing that separates these from current high intensity LED fixtures is that when the bulbs finally do burnout (about a 15,000 – 20,000 hour life), I only have to replace a $20 bulb and not a $150 light fixture.

    Tell me again how replacing an entire light fixture when the LEDs finally burn out is “sustainable”. Keep in mind that as LEDs age, the color temperature changes, so you’re really looking at replacing ALL your light fixtures when your first high intensity LED fixtures fails. Let’s not forget that when you go to replace your high intensity LED fixture 5-10 years down the road, you’ll be hard pressed to find a fixture that matches your now ancient old fixtures.

    Aside from that, screw these control freak morons. Screw them all – bigly.

    • “ I do have some 150W Metal Halide fixtures in my workshop, but that is my choice “

      There’s the rub, we won’t have the choice. I converted the 4’ florescent bulbs in the garage to 4’ LEDs, no failures over 5 years the fluorescent bulb quality was getting so poor I was replacing bulbs 6 to 8 months. Did LEDs floods in the kitchen can lights once the warmer color LEDs came available, work fine and way less heat and watts.
      However, for reading? Incandescent all the way.

  32. I thought incandescent bulbs had been banned years ago after some “energy” bill was signed into law when W was President.

    And does anyone remember when the government was pushing compact fluorescent light bulbs, claiming that they were “better for the environment” than incandescent bulbs & also claimed that we’d “Save money on electricity”? There was one little problem with such claims……unlike incandescent bulbs that could simply be thrown away in the trash when they quit, CFLs had to be “recycled” because they contained MERCURY. And yet, as far as I know, CFLs have NEVER been BANNED. Not only that, they were also more expensive compared to incandescent bulbs, and when I lived in an apartment that got its incandescent light bulbs replaced with CFLs as part of an “energy efficiency” program that the apartment complex enrolled in, I saw MINISCULE savings at best on my monthly electric bill, or at worst, NO savings at all.

  33. Are all tank-type water heaters to be banned, or is it like the CAFE thing, where they set the standards so high that certain types of the device cannot meet them?
    We have a heater with a tank that works in conjunction with our ground-source heat pump. It’s pretty darned efficient, but I wonder whether it would meet the new requirements. It has backup conventional heating elements, but I leave the breaker for those turned off.

    • Buy a new one. Then you can be sure of meeting all the new requirements. Have it installed by a government certified installer,,, don’t get nervous if the worker cannot speak english. He is certified under the business license of the owner. Oh!,,, don’t forget the permits and inspections!

      • Of course you’re right, ken. I should repent of my wasteful ways and trash that sucker. The money I’ll save will easily cover permits, inspections, and English lessons.

        • That is what they told me when I called several ‘plumbers’. lol. One told me about the possibility of the worker not speaking english. See below.
          These are American businesses taking advantage of this bs from con-gress. They are so busy I have to wait weeks to get any work done.

          The problem for workers is 1/3 of the workforce is sick, disabled or dead due to the lifesaving vaxx. See Ed Dowd videos for the numbers.

          Of course the new ‘citizens’ coming across the border don’t need the lifesaving shots and are available for hire.

          https://usawatchdog.com/cv19-vax-is-a-crime-coverup-ed-dowd/

          • It gets worse…
            “Illegal aliens” (I do not use the words “undocumented immigrants”) who are not citizens of the USA have the right to sue the vaxx manufacturers in American courts. This is but one case which American citizens are denied the right to sue vaxx manufacturers for harm caused by their products.

  34. “I see value in it that is at least equal to if not greater than the value of the money I have to exchange for it.”

    A bit of clarification: In a voluntary exchange, both parties always believe that what they are getting has more value than what they are giving up. People act purposefully, seeking to bring about a state of affairs that they prefer more, and leave behind one that they prefer less. If two parties agreed that their items had equal value, an exchange would not happen, because then neither would be improving his condition.
    This is the miracle of voluntary exchange and subjective value: More value exists after the trade than existed before it, even though the things traded have not changed.

  35. Just like W who implemented ethanol into the gasoline. It would “reduce” costs and make us more energy independent. Result was the large agri-businesses made a killing. Farmers went to growing more corn and less wheat & oats. Grocery prices went up and it caused food riots around the world then. Oh yeah….gasoline still went up and mpg’s fell. While we lost, many in Congress and the Agri-businesses won!

    • That didn’t start with W. That gasohol crap was out at least as early as Carter, because I remember avoiding that pump back in high school. But at least then you could still buy it without having it be specially designated for marinas, snowmobiles, agricultural fuel, whatnot.

  36. Did you know that you can buy an on demand electric hot water heater? Of course the 8 gauge wiring and twin 40 amp circuit breakers will give you an idea of how much it will cost at peak load time!! If you have a conventional electric hot water heater just install a timer that shuts the power off at peak times and turns it on at the off peak times. As for incandescent bulbs they work better when it’s cold compared to fluorescent, motion detecting lights cut the extra power usage. LED bulbs have never lasted as long as they claim on the box.

    Freedom choice? Nope.

    Bonus comment: What did lib’s use before candles? Electricity.

    • When electricity becomes scarce due to more coal-fired and natural gas plant shut downs, those LED bulbs won’t work. I guess the next solution is to pass out glow sticks as a home lighting substitute. Of course by the time the Regime destroys the economy, you’ll need them for the tents we all are going to forced into.

  37. There is a word for this type of economy. Fascism.

    Whatever the economic system is, the goal is to move the world back into two classes, lords & serfs.

  38. $2500 was my cost to have a builder grade conventional gas water heater installed last year.

    “Having the conversation” about tankless (as the plumber put it) would have started at $6000.

    The good tankless systems are Hecho en Japan.

  39. It’s so disgusting how the Psychopaths In Charge pretend they are doing us a favor by reducing our living standards. Like the 1.6 gallon flush toilet, which took fixture makers 10 years to figure out how to make them work. Until that time, the 1.6 gallon toilets were actually 3.2 gallon, if not 4.8 gallon, and at times didn’t work at all.
    All hail FedGov, solving non-problems by costing you more money. It actually kinda sorta makes sense, since FedGov itself is a real problem that has always cost us more money.

    • You can take it to the bank your (representative) is collecting the fee for his yes vote from their corporate masters in the form of election donations, stocks or a nice cushy position in the corporation. . Of course you get the bill.

      If voting worked they would ban it as well. And here we are next year choosing the pre-chosen contestants.
      One year later complaining “He/She/It didn’t keep their promises”. (Duh!) Yeah,,, we’ll get mad,,, mad as hell,,, and do the same thing in the next selection. You just have to wonder at the stupidity of it all…….

      One good thing,,, the pundits will have plenty to write about!

      • Now Ken, there is absolutely no need to ban voting when it works so well to manipulate the counting process. And if somehow some schmuck is elected who doesnt play by our rules it’s easy enough to sick our legal system on him.

    • You can still buy the 3.5 gallon flush toilets in Canada.
      American customs officials have no problem with these toilets being brought into the USA.
      Plumbing supply houses in Windsor Canada, south of Detroit do a good business in supplying American citizens with toilets that flush.

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