Thursday, June 30, 2011

They will come for your bulbs like a thief in the night.

I don't know how I missed Brian J. Noggle's awesome (and wittily-titled) post on the effects of legislative delay and the incandescent bulb situation:
And when the year-end arrives, the 100-watt bulbs will just be gone without fanfare or explanation. In coming years, the same will happen to the remainder of incandescent bulbs. Consumers not engaged in the political process will not know why; they just will not have the chance to buy them and will have to spend a couple bucks on a nice expensive toxic-waste-to-be glass corkscrew instead.
You should read the whole thing if you haven't already.

And it's not just these big omnibus bills, which always seem to have debris clouds of riders trailing behind whatever was supposed to be the meat of the bill in the first place; it's this way with regulatory decisions, too.

It was even worse before the widespread adoption of the internets, because outside of a few people in the affected industry and a handful of politically-active types, there was no way for the general public to stay informed on this stuff. I saw a fair amount of it in my gun store days: One day there are wallet holsters for NAA Mini Revolvers or cases of steel-core Chinese 7.62x39 ammunition on the sales floor, and then *poof!* they're just so much balance-sheet ballast, gathering dust in the back room, and literally years later, people would still come in and ask "Hey, what happened to...?"

18 comments:

Joanna said...

And that's why I have a shelf half-full of the things in my bathroom closet, right next to the bottled water. The other half of the shelf will be filled before too long; I've been neglecting 40- and 60-watt bulbs in my stockpiling.

I wouldn't say it feels like the Iron Curtain is dropping, but somebody's definitely fiddling with the Venetian blinds, and I don't like it.

mailleman said...

I just want to know how they have RoHS compliant CFL bulbs, being that part of this compliance involves not having mercury in the product. Makes my head hurt.

perlhaqr said...

mailleman: Ha! I replaced one of those bastards last night, and looking at the box with the RoHS logo on it, I wondered exactly the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Fluorescents have an exemption. You can still claim RoHS compliance because you meet the regulatory requirement.

TomB

DirtCrashr said...

Effing compliant-exemptions, there should be NONE of that, and trees across the nation festooned with air-dancing bureaucrats.

Nowayoutbutup said...

We do biz w/a couple of large Chinese importers.
This has been on the radar for a while.In an unnamed warehouse, palletts of 90 watt bulbs lay in calm repose. See, the law applies to 100 watt bulbs......

Tam said...

They're ".499 Liberty" caliber light bulbs! :D

Standard Mischief said...

>They're ".499 Liberty" caliber light bulbs! :D

I was thinking .416 Barrett. Is .499 Liberty actually a real cartridge?

I'm actually an early adopter of the CF bulbs, but there are some places - like my attic for instance - where it makes no economic sense at all to put in a $7, 7 year bulb that only lasts 2 years in my living room before the cheap china capacitors blow out and damage the bulb beyond repair.

Not only that, but it's not like those CF bulbs are any more resistant to breakage than the 100 watt ones that cost 25 cents. Important in closets, crawlspaces and attics

I've seen some amazingly cheap blown out LED bulbs too, so don't believe the 12 year hype on them either.

Standard Mischief said...

Don't think too long and hard about the compact florescent bulbs either, or you'll start comparing them to sign neon.

You know, the any-color gas discharge lights that last 2 decades until the power supply blows out without actually damaging the tube itself.

GE or someone could make 'em and offer a lifetime warranty on the bulb (sans abuse or dropping damage). No one would ever keep the receipt for 20 years.

Anonymous said...

You know what, I don't remember the wallets for North Americans, although I still have one of the belt buckles. The shoot-in wallets for those great Hi-Standard DAO mags, though, has spawned a little cottage industry of knockoffs. Have you seen the NAA ones around?

AT

Steve C said...

Germany has similar laws. I saw one businessman started selling 100W "Heat Bulbs" that just happen to have a substantial glow.

John A said...

Nowayoutbutup - 90 watt bulbs will buy a year or so: the law is progressive, and may eventually apply to Christmas tree lights. And night lights, kiddies!

Steve C - last I heard, a couple of months ago, Germany had taken the "heat bulb" company to court. I wonder, though, if it might work here if sold as heating for agricultural installations. I have heard many farms use a 100Watt to keep the lubrication for pumps (yes, including windmill-driven) from freezing up: lots cheaper than a space heater.

James family outpost, Iowa. said...

Why is no one talking about the weather. And compact fluorescent bulbs? I tried some a few years ago because I liked to leave my porch light on all night, saves watts. They worked great, then winter came. When it's 2 degrees outside, they simply do not work. Isn't that kind of a big deal? Hello? Washington, anyone awake? Great piece by Noggle, BTW.

Tam said...

Jfo,I,

We have big CFLs for porch lights at Roseholme Cottage, and they made it through the winter, but they're in glass enclosures snug against the all of the house, which helps.


AT,

Most folks I knew who had the wallet holsters for the NAA's just ditched 'em, rather than chance "constructive possession" of an AOW. I don't know what my old boss wound up doing with the five or ten we were stuck with in stock when the thing went down. We used to sell the bejabbers out of 'em. :(

docjim505 said...

And the frog thought, "Gosh, it's really gotten hot in this... in this... pooollll.... aaaaggghhh..."

Nathan said...

What DirtCrashr said.

Tree. Rope. Congresscritter.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

El Capitan said...

You can have my metal-tipped lawn darts when you pry 'em from my cold dead fingers!!

I think I'll make a shrine with them, using 100 watt incandescents for illumination...

Justthisguy said...

Now, see, this is why outlier wimmenz like you and Joanna should be allowed 3 votes each, in every election, and Bobby should be allowed 10 votes because she can cobble up an xmitter from stuff she found lying alongside the road.