Patt Morrison for January 3, 2011

A bright idea? California girds itself for darker future lit by compact fluorescents

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In early compliance with the Energy Independence and Security Act, California is requiring 100-watt incandescent light bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient.

Along with Kodachrome film, 2010 marks the end of a uniquely lit era—in early compliance with the Energy Independence and Security Act, California is requiring 100-watt incandescent light bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient. And come New Year’s Day 2012, you won’t be able to buy 100-Watt incandescent bulbs anywhere in the country. The move is intended to jumpstart the market for the energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs, which critics complain are up to ten times as expensive, take 3 minutes to warm up, contain mercury, have limited versatility and produce a colder, flatter light than their warm predecessor. Patt lights a candle for the old bulb as Thomas Edison turns in his grave and we ring in the New Year with a sensible, sustainable LED. Are you hoarding incandescents? Are there better CFL options coming soon? Are you ready for the darker—er, poorly lit—future?

Guests:

Jane Brox, author of Brilliant: the Evolution of Artificial Light

Russ Leslie, Associate Director, professor and practicing architect, Rensselaer Lighting Research Center


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