CBN News video and transcript article, June 1, including a Mark Martin interview with well known lighting designer Howard Brandston, of whom more in the Resource Links and earlier posts on this blog.
Some of the transcript:
Lights Out: Congress Making 100-Watt Power Grab?
For more than 130 years, Thomas Edison's incandescent bulb has lit up homes around the world. Now, the light bulb as we know it may soon be a thing of the past.
Beginning this year, the federal government plans to phase out traditional incandescent light bulbs. The first to go is the 100-watt bulb.
It's all a part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Republicans in Congress are fighting its enactment. But if they fail, the law will go into effect later this year.
Is this an energy-saving move or another example of a government power grab?
The law requires basic light bulbs to be about 25 percent more efficient and would remove traditional incandescent bulbs from the market.
"I think it's very wise because maybe 40 or 50 years ago, it wouldn't have worked because there weren't alternatives," Sandra Miles, a veteran of the telecommunications and lighting industries and president of the Goeken Group Corp., told CBN News.
"But now you have plenty of great energy efficient alternatives that give you the same look and feel of an incandescent," she explained.
Those alternatives primarily fall into two categories: CFLs, known for their curly shape, and light-emitting diodes or LEDs. They're supposed to save energy and last a lot longer than traditional light bulbs.
However, lighting professional Howard Brandston isn't ready to give up on a bulb that's not broken. Brandston is known for lighting structures like the Statue of Liberty and Malaysia's twin towers.
Brandston stands by Edison's invention, using traditional incandescent bulbs to light his home.
Save the Bulb
Under current law, the standard 100-watt incandescent light bulb is to be phased out this year, a move he strongly opposes.
In fact, Brandston considers it a moral obligation to speak out against the phasing out of incandescent bulbs.
He's even launched a campaign entitled, Save the Bulb.
"Look at all the people who have lost their homes," he told CBN News. "Look at all the people who are out of work. Look at all of that, and now we're going to impose a new... a new financial burden on them."
On his website, Brandston wrote, "I see no good reason to relegate one of America's greatest inventions to the dustbin of history -- other than to suit the particular interests of uninformed politicians, light manufacturing giants, and their lobbyists, and energy zealots."
"I know a couple of senior researchers in the lighting industry, who've started to hoard light bulbs, and me included, because I might not win this fight, although I'm dedicated to it," he said.
That dedication includes a lifetime supply of bulbs stored in his basement.
Light Bulb Socialism
Miles hopes the attraction of energy savings and long life will win over consumers.
Brandston bases his skepticism on the uninterrupted, smooth color spectrum emitted by Edison's safe, low-cost bulb.
But his opinion may not matter unless the new effort by conservatives in Congress can stall what has been called "light bulb socialism."