Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How About Mandatory Lights Out After Midnight?

John Tory is leading the charge to ban incandescent light bulbs in Ontario. Apparently, Ontarians want to be at the cutting edge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Which is why we have to ban the use of the bulbs. Because people want to stop using them.

Mr. Tory has looked at how Ontarians live and determined that the biggest problem is our light bulbs. It's just so arbitrary. There are so many ways that we waste energy: heating and cooling badly insulated megahomes, extra freezers to store food until it goes bad, minifridges to keep pop and beer in the basement....

I like incandescent bulbs. And since I live in an apartment building, walk everywhere and don't eat meat (I feel the need to emphasize here that none of these things have anything to do with a desire to reduce my carbon footprint), I have very little tolerance for John (not so) Tory telling me how I should be lighting my home.

1 comment:

pmac said...

I find it doubtful that tungsten bulbs are our biggest problem; I'd assume that was our cars. However, bulbs are a low hanging fruit: a fairly easy, low-cost change that doesn't ask consumers to sacrifice much.

There are really two problems with CFLs: the economic disincentive (they cost more upfront, and although are cheaper to run longterm, I can't imagine consumers noticing the cost savings) and, as you pointed out, the light quality.

I have 2 CFLs I picked up when Toronto Hydro was giving them away (a much better idea IMHO than banning the old bulbs), and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they suck *way* less than traditional fluorescent bulbs. They don't have any noticeable flicker (other than a few minutes the very the first time I turned them on) and the colour spectrum they produce is yellower than the long tubes of yore.

That said, I agree that the tungsten bulb does emit a warmer, more sun-like, frequency spectrum, which is better suited to the living room or bedroom than a CFL. I haven't tried reading under CFL light, either. Furthermore, it'd be ridiculous to shell out for a CFL for a light that you only use 15 minutes a day or whatever.

Conclusion: While banning tungsten bulbs seems extreme, I'm all for everyone switching their longest-usage bulbs to CFLs. For example, the kitchen or any work area. But then, mine were free.