Friday, August 12, 2011

NY Times on light bulb ban to prevent bad weather: They're not banning dogs in your building; they're just banning dogs who can't speak English

Almost Time to Change the Light Bulb -
The misconception about limited choice is, specifically, that the new rules outlaw incandescent lights. But they don’t. They just place efficiency standards on incandescents. Starting in January, any bulb that can generate the amount of light produced by a conventional 100-watt bulb, but do so with roughly 30 percent less energy, will be eligible for the market.
I sought shopping advice from three experts: Konstantinos Papamichael, a director of the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California, Davis; Russell Leslie, a founder of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, N.Y.; and Craig A. Bernecker, the director of the Lighting Education Institute, in Philadelphia.

Their advice: In the short term, you can continue to light your home with incandescents. But in the long run, they say, if you study the various lighting technologies, you can save money and time — and, perhaps, see every part of your home in its best light.

For most people, who are accustomed to a simpler light-bulb market, that’s asking a lot.

“Consumers generally bring habit, rather than intelligence, to their light-bulb purchases,” Mr. Leslie said. “It’s really problematic.”

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