15 July 2011

Meet the Halogena and stop pretending it's 1950

Meet the Halogena.

This is an incandescent light bulb that actually meets the new energy standards for lighting that go into effect at the end of the year. Did you hear that? It's an incandescent light bulb. It meets the new energy standards.

The Halogena was developed by Philips Electronics and is available now at Amazon and Home Depot and will go into wider circulation as the year marches ever forward.

How it works is as simple as it is ingenious. Inside of each Halogena bulb is a halogen bulb and once turned on, it shines with all the glaring brilliance of a standard 100-watt light bulb even though it's just a 70-watt bulb.

A certain faction of a certain political party in the US has latched onto the new energy standards and has used them to draw a line in the sand. Politicians across the land have bent over backwards to appease this very loud faction and have made endless promises to fight what's being billed (erroneously) as a ban on incandescent light bulbs. Lost in all of this is that the actual standard in question was signed into law by a Republican president.

Just this afternoon, in a fit of grandstanding and posturing while Rome burns, the House of Representatives voted to block funds to implement these new energy standards. From The New York Times this afternoon:
The House on Friday voted to withhold funding to enforce part of a 2007 law that increases efficiency standards for light bulbs.

The new standards, which would require most light bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient by 2014 and at least 60 percent more efficient by 2020, have become a symbol of what conservatives see as an unnecessary intrusion by the federal government into the market.

Although the regulations do not specify what types of bulbs are allowed, the standards would have the effect of eliminating the traditional 100-watt incandescent bulb by Jan. 1, 2012.
You cannot pretend the 21st Century isn't here no matter how hard you try. Really, you just can't. The United States is on a collision course with reality as our energy needs outstrip our ability to meet them. 100-watt incandescent light bulbs are outrageously inefficient users of scarce resources and the technology is already here to phase them out.

Using resources wisely and issues related to sustainability aren't partisan issues, or at least the shouldn't be. Stewarding resources sensibly is part of what it is to be a good citizen. Not only are we compelled as members of a society to think beyond out immediate needs and wants, finding better solutions to problems like inefficient lighting saves money. Public resources like energy delivery and water belong to all of us, not just who ever can buy the most. Hence the term public resources.

Market forces and private industry can't solve every problem on their own. If that were true we'd still be driving four-ton death traps that got nine miles per gallon of gas. Setting standards for things like safety, water quality and energy efficiency is one of the things government is for for crying out loud.

If you're as appalled by today's vote in the House as I am, please call your Representative. If you think the vote today is a good thing, embrace the 21st Century and head on over to Amazon to buy some of these because you cannot stop time no matter how hard you try. And let's repeat it until the bullheaded realize that it's true. No. One. Is. Banning. Incandescent. Light. Bulbs.


  1. It is great to hear about the Halogena light bulb that is a good replacement for the old 100 watt bulb with an energy savings. Its time to switch out those old energy hogs and do the planet a favor!

  2. The planet and your wallet. Can you believe that this has been twisted into a partisan issue?

  3. Do you know what the cost of these bulbs will be in comparison to a standard 100 watt incandescent bulb? How hot do they get and can they be safely installed in recessed lighting cans?

  4. I'm going to ask a stupid (but quite serious) question...what are 100 watt bulbs used for? I can't remember the last time I bought one. And I'm not being snarky...you convinced me to line dry my laundry if that boosts my defense!

  5. Mark: There are a whole host of sizes and configurations of these Halogena bulbs available already. There are even floods intended to be used in recessed cans. They work with dimmers and everything. Check 'em out.

    Jennifer: That's what I want to know. All this teabagger hoopla is over 100 watt bulbs. Not to play into a stereotype but all I can see is a trailer with a single, overhead light fixture and all of the ensuing glare. I'd be cranky and irrational too. 40 watt incandescents will never go away. Don't want to move to high-efficiency lighting? get a couple of table lamps.

  6. Thanks, Paul! I'm actually having a pretty good time with finding ways to conserve resources, due in part to you raising my awareness and, yes, teabagger hoopla sums it up, although I'm ashamed to say that was the furthest thing from my mind when I asked the question. Have a great weekend!

  7. Thanks Jennifer. I'm glad I've been able to raise your awareness a bit. Using resources wisely doesn't have to involve donning a hair shirt and the litmus test I always use is that if it saves me money, it's using my resources wisely.

  8. Are LEDs making much of an impression over your way? I remember those beautiful Halley lights on your blog a while ago...

    I'm going to have a string of LEDs to light my kitchen benchtops and in my family room I'll have recessed light fittings with LEDs in. The other fittings are all variations of CFL, I think.

    I've never been attracted to dimmers -- if I want low light, I turn on a lamp or use candles.

  9. Have we solved hunger in America? Poverty? Poor education? Debt? Medical costs spiraling out of control? Do we have time and energy to waste arguing about light bulbs in CONGRESS?? Seriously? This is why we send these guys to Washington, to debate LIGHT BULBS? Are they completely unaware how petty, small and silly this makes them look? A vote on LIGHT BULBS?

    We are out of our minds. No wonder why we're not moving forward. We spend too much time trying to get back to the past.

    Light bulbs. What's next, the 8-track tape?

  10. Chookie: LEDs are catching on but they're still pretty expensive, though the price is dropping quickly. I'm partial to them and as widespread as CFL use has become, people are still looking for alternatives.

    Rufus: I want to start a movement to demand cars that get nine miles to the gallon and to bring back refrigerators with latching doors.


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