The coming Federal ban on candles

As far as I know, there isn’t one in the works yet. However, there is a ban on incandescent bulbs to take effect by 2014. I suspect the reason why no one is trying to ban candles, oil lamps or gas lights is that they aren’t very widely used and so legislative prohibition is not needed. Incandescent lamps are popular and so a legal prohibition would be necessary to make them go away.

This isn’t just a matter of gross inefficiency and messing with the free market in light bulbs. It’s yet another example of arbitrary imposition by mostly unaccountable people in government and regulatory agencies. This approach is as un-American in spirit as it is traditional in practice — this kind of imposition has been around since 19th century at least and probably longer. Might be a good time to do something about it.

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17 Responses to The coming Federal ban on candles

  1. exvapi says:

    Please read the summary of this report before you continue to claim a “ban”. Thank you and your photos are just great.

    • Endif says:

      What you said, exvapi.

      The hyperbole gets old, the photos never do.

      • mike says:

        Placate the environmentalists, as ‘we bring good things to light’.

      • MicroBalrog says:

        “Incandescent bulbs are not banned or prohibited by the new law. Instead, a performance standard is set for non-excluded categories of bulbs, requiring them to meet minimum energy efficiency requirements. If bulbs cannot meet the standards as defined above, suppliers are not allowed to continue selling them. ”

        The prosecution will rest its case.

        • mike says:

          “The prosecution will rest its case.”

          The prosecution, i.e., the regulatory authority under the current administration, hasn’t been resting much now, has it? A coincidence that one multi-national finds itself ‘already prepared’ to meet the new regulatory burden on commerce? Speaking of nickel-and-diming, a ‘nickel and dime’ goes to he/she who first guesses the entity whose motto I wrote in the previous post.

  2. Oleg Volk says:

    “Incandescent bulbs are not banned or prohibited by the new law. Instead, a
    performance standard is set for non-excluded categories of bulbs, requiring them to meet minimum energy efficiency requirements.”

    The effect is the same and “performance standard” is arbitrary.

    • Miles Littlefield says:

      Exactly! A government mandated “performance standard” today will mutate overtime until it becomes a ban.

      It is similar to the 10 rounds is a sufficient number for a civilian magazine – at least until 5 rounds is sufficient – and then only until 2 rounds…

  3. Steven says:

    Here’s another thought… Tungsten (the metal used for incandescent filaments) is getting fairly rare (China holds something like 30% of the reserve while the US has about 3%). Federal regulation of the production of light bulbs means a likely decrease in usage of tungsten, thereby allowing more of that material to be available for military applications (tungsten carbide penetrator rounds, etc.). I’m not saying this is true or even that any regulation of incandescent light bulb is right but its a possibility.
    On the other hand, we *should* be using light bulbs that are more efficient and waste less materials and energy, whether that’s gov. regulated or not…

    • Miles Littlefield says:

      True, Steven! Of our own free will and choice we chould be conservation minded.

      We should save money on buying fuel efficient vehicles as well. When the government ran Cash for Clunkers and dictated which cars would qualify, was that acceptable?

      If the government comes out saying that private consumers will not be allowed to buy a passenger vehicle unless it gets at least 50 mpg (HEV) will we accept that law because it is green? Sure, law enforcement and the military will need the power of a full-sized internal combustion engine, but the private citizens whould be happy that the government is saving them gas money by dictating the market to them.

      Same thing with light bulbs, healthcare, and all the other regulated markets…

      • Steven says:

        I don’t think Cash for Clunkers is an apt comparison in this case (incentive based rather than a “regulation”, per se), but I get your point.
        I’m no fan of over-regulation nor am I fond of complete de-regulation. It would be nice to find some middle ground but as the saying goes, a person may be smart but people are dumb.

    • Yes, we should try to encourage people to move to more efficient things; but mandating it causes problems and destroys options. Cities switched stoplights to LED-based lighting – and promptly had problems come snowfall. Incandescent bulbs kept themselves clean (by way of waste heat melting anything that hit them) – LEDs snowed over almost immediately, requiring an almost continuous cleaning until they could get traditional bulbs in stock and installed.

  4. Weston says:

    Something else to consider in the “energy efficent” light bulbs: They contain high levels of mercury. If it breaks, approximatly $2000 cleanup costs (has to be done through the EPA).

  5. Yodawasalittlegreenman says:

    You can’t throw CFLs in the trash either. But you know lazy consumers are going to. What happens to the murcury then?

  6. Robb says:

    Years ago the idiots in Washington (hereafter referred to as “morons”) decided to save the environment by banning mercury button cells that powered photographic gear such as hand held light meters and camera meter systems. Overnight, millions of dollars worth of photographic gear became obsolete. Did they propose a “trade-in” program to accomplish the same thing? Nope. The morons told us it was for our own good, and if you wanted to take pictures, buy new gear. This wonderful program cost me approximately $4,000 in an entire Canon F-1 system, and a Mamiya medium format system, and that’s in 1980 dollars. Ooops! I forgot my Canon super-8 movie camera. Add a four or five hundred more. Now, the morons are telling me that to save the environment, I have to get rid of my tungston bulbs and buy fluorescent bulbs filled with, anybody, anybody? That’s right! Mercury! Oh, and as a side benefit, mercury filled fluorescent bulbs that are being made for your lamps tend to catch on fire at the end of their life, posing a significant threat to you house. I’ve had three start burning while I was luckily nearby to shut off power.

  7. Camtec says:

    Robb, sorry to see you wasted your money on new equiptment. The 1.5 volt cells can be reduced to ~ 1.3 volts simply by inserting a germanium diode in series with the battery and the discharge characteristics are similar to the mercury batteries. I’ve done this for years since the 1.35 V mercury batteries were banned.

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