Letter Re: An Exception to the Upcoming U.S. Light Bulb Ban

You recently posted a link to an article titled: “Time to Stock up on Light Bulbs”. I appreciate very much the helpful instruction I receive on SurvivalBlog. You put a lot of effort into credible and accurate information. It is with that in mind that I share the following with you. I have been selling light bulbs into the Commercial / Industrial market for 17 years. While it is true “most” 100 watt A19 incandescents are outlawed as of January 1st 2012, NOT ALL are. One quick search under “EISA 2007” category “lighting” will yield the real story. The only bulb outlawed is the inexpensive household 100A19 120 volt you find today in the Big Box and Hardware stores. These bulbs are usually sold in qty 4 plus packs for $1-2.00. These bulbs are not well made and do not last long long (600-to-1,500 hours). Rough Service and Vibration Service bulbs are excluded from the EISA 2007 legislation. These bulbs are currently available at the Big Box and Hardware stores for a small increase in cost, usually not more than an additional $.50 ea. But you have to ASK where they are located on the shelf. If you look closely at the life rating on the Rough Service and Vibration Service bulbs you will notice they are rated at 5,000-to-10,000 hours. They achieve this mainly two ways. The industry uses a 130 volt filament versus 120 volt, and they have from 5-7 filament supports. In terms of light output, you do sacrifice about 10% to get this gain in longevity. I hope you see the value proposition here. A 30 cent bulb that lasts 1,000 hours, maybe or a $1.00 bulb that lasts 5,000 hours. The point is that some 100 watt incandescents will be available after January, 2012. It is my opinion a repeat of what happened with 1992 EPACT legislation will occur. When EPACT 1992 took effect in 1995 several bulbs were outlawed and the manufacturers just changed the bulbs slightly to meet the new guidelines. I was able to supply my customers with modified versions (Rough Service) of the outlawed bulbs well into the 21st century.

In addition to this, Philips Lighting will begin to market more efficient Halogen lamps in the same shape and size as the 100A19 that you buy today. The main difference is they will only take 70 watts more or less, to do what your 100 watt does today and they are designed to last 3,000 hours. Cost will be $3.00-4.00 ea. You can find these under the Trade name “Halogen Energy Advantage” and “EcoVantage”. No, these Halogens do not cause fires in light fixtures. Some did many years ago but those were a totally different design. They are not available for the fixtures we use 100A19s in. In addition we buy from a manufacturer that makes their Rough Service 100A19 to last 10,000 hours in a 120 volt application. I have sold these for 17 years at $2.00 ea. I can sell these now and for years to come. If I know anything at all about the lighting business, I would bet more demand for a premium product means more producers, which means competition, hence the consumer wins unless we experience TEOTWAWKI. – Blessings from D.B.C. in Minnesota