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  1. #1
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Default Will there be a black market for incandescent bulbs?

    As you may or may not know, most incandescent light bulbs will be banned starting in 2012.

    The government has been pushing people to switch to CFLs, but I still do not find those bulbs satisfactory. I dislike the quality of light that comes from them, they give my mother headaches, AND I'm concerned about the ridiculous requirement of airing out the room for 15 minutes and wearing a dust mask if one breaks.

    The thing is, not every country will be banning them. Some will still make and sell these incandescent bulbs. So the issue will be getting them into the country undetected by law enforcement at that point.

    So, what do you think? Will there be a black market for incandescent lights? I know that a lot of people still swear by them, and hate the CFLs. It stands to reason that if drugs and guns can get across the border... there's no reason why light bulbs couldn't.

    I think that we might have to resort to the black market, because we just can't cope with the new light bulbs they want us to use.

    Also, what do you suppose the sentence will be if we're caught buying, selling, or using incandescent bulbs?

  2. #2
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Hmm, interesting questions. There probably would be a bit of smuggling, but probably not on a huge scale. I think if folks have a large enough issue with it, it will probably be addressed on a larger scale, with hopefully some amendments and adjustments made. People tend to react badly to change, freak out for a little while, then settle down and adjust.

    I haven't really started using the CFLs yet. I thought about buying some, to see how much I could save on energy, but I don't have that many places in my house that take a normal bulb. I have candelabra bulbs in one room, fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen, etc. I don't really like the idea of being forced to use anything, though.

    I imagine there would be some who would smuggle some in, but probably not on a large enough scale to warrant investigation. What do you think?
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  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Hmm, interesting questions. There probably would be a bit of smuggling, but probably not on a huge scale. I think if folks have a large enough issue with it, it will probably be addressed on a larger scale, with hopefully some amendments and adjustments made. People tend to react badly to change, freak out for a little while, then settle down and adjust.
    Well, there are people in Congress who actually want to repeal the legislation. Also, I think that the 40-watt bulbs actually won't be banned until 2014, while Halogen bulbs won't be banned until 2020. So, it won't come too fast.

    I'm not sure that this is the typical case of adjusting to change, because in this case CFLs have some serious problems. I've heard that they have a negative impact on some people's health (aside from the mercury hazard issue). There are also numerous inconveniences, but those aren't good arguments against them. LED light bulbs eliminate the worst of these issues, but they tend to be very expensive and not spread light out as much as they should. There are also brightness problems with them.
    I haven't really started using the CFLs yet. I thought about buying some, to see how much I could save on energy, but I don't have that many places in my house that take a normal bulb. I have candelabra bulbs in one room, fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen, etc. I don't really like the idea of being forced to use anything, though.
    Also, it's not guaranteed that you would save much on energy. I've heard (and seen) that a lot of them go out within one year, and end up costing more than incandescent bulbs. The advantage will be for the environment, but you won't save much (if any) money.

    I actually paid $100 for an LED light bulb a few years ago (because I wanted to investigate alternatives to CFLs), and that one DOES still work. Those will actually save you money in the long term, and they're safer than CFLs, but the initial investment is steep, and they're still not quite as good as incandescent bulbs.
    I imagine there would be some who would smuggle some in, but probably not on a large enough scale to warrant investigation. What do you think?
    I'm sure that someone would probably sell them, but I'm not sure what the government would do about it. I can't really imagine them trying to arrest people for it. I'm guessing that if you did get caught, you would have to pay a fine and turn over the bulb. Not that I think they would try very hard to enforce it.

  4. #4
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    It's plausible that people might start doing something like this guy did. He got around the legislation that prohibits bulbs of over 60w in the EU by selling them as heaters, on the basis that much more of the wattage inputted is radiated as heat than visible light.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2010/1...69E33320101015

    Reuters) - A German entrepreneur is bypassing a European Union ban on light bulbs of more than 60 watts by marketing his own brand as mini heaters.

    Siegfried Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law have come up with a legal way of importing and distributing 75 and 100 watt light bulbs -- by producing them in China, importing them as "small heating devices" and selling them as "heatballs."

    To improve energy efficiency, the EU has banned the sale of bulbs of over 60 watts -- to the annoyance of the mechanical engineer from the western city of Essen.

    Rotthaeuser studied EU legislation and realised that because the inefficient old bulbs produce more warmth than light -- he calculated heat makes up 95 percent of their output, and light just 5 percent -- they could be sold legally as heaters.

    On their website, the two engineers describe the heatballs as "action art" and as "resistance against legislation which is implemented without recourse to democratic and parliamentary processes."

    Costing 1.69 euros each (1.49 pounds), the heatballs are going down well -- the first batch of 4,000 sold out in three days.

    Rotthaeuser has pledged to donate 30 cents of every heatball sold to saving the rainforest, which the 49-year-old sees as a better way of protecting the environment than investing in energy-saving lamps, which contain toxic mercury.
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  5. #5
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    It's plausible that people might start doing something like this guy did. He got around the legislation that prohibits bulbs of over 60w in the EU by selling them as heaters, on the basis that much more of the wattage inputted is radiated as heat than visible light.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2010/1...69E33320101015
    That's not even a lie. One time, when our heater went out, we just tried turning on all the lights to warm up the house. It worked. So, an incandescent light bulb actually can be used as a cheap space heater. That's one thing you can't do with the other bulbs... although you could just light candles to achieve the same effect.

    I really love that way of solving a problem:

    Officer: You're not allowed to sell that light bulb here! It generates too much heat and wastes electricity!
    Engineer: I'm not selling it as light bulb, I'm selling it as a heating device.
    Officer: Oh. Well, it meets the standards for a heating device... okay, go ahead.

    It's the exact same device, but simply choosing to define and use it differently, makes it legal due to a technicality.

  6. #6
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I remember reading that people are doing a lot of research on making a more efficient incandescent bulb, also. I bet it'll be like you said, they'll be available on the market, but not aimed at the general lighting market, and probably not in mass quantities. Did you know you can buy antique reproductions of early incandescents, so they don't look out of place in your late 1800's house?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    I only have one incandescent bulb in my room, in my lava lamp. Al my other light sources are halogen or CFL, and I've got led lighting in my flashlight.
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  8. #8
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I'm partial to three way incandescent bulbs 50 - 100 - 150. Maybe I should stock up.

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  9. #9
    The Duchess of Oddity Queen Kat's Avatar
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    Maybe there will be a black market among anti-environmentalists who think the environment is a giant hoax made up by left wing politicians.
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    The irony here is that the new CFLs have some trace amounts of mercury in them, so people are still trying to figure out how best to recycle them. With incandescents, it's just that one filament and some wiring and glass. Ah the silliness of the green movement... They don't ever look for the real, or even the best, eco-friendly solution.
    I personally like lightbulbs the way they are, and I don't really see how forcing everyone to buy a certain type (which has to be specially recycled, by the by) is helpful.
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