Letter from Howard Brandston 1 October 2012 to New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Reproduced by kind permission of the author.
Howard Brandston, as seen from previous posts and the resource links section of the blog, is an internationally highly regarded and experienced lighting designer.
He has as seen been directly involved in Congress US light bulb regulation discussion, as via his participation in several Senate hearings, including the last one on the topic in 2011.
Amidst passionate political debate, let’s not lose sight of the looming incandescent light bulb ban, a grave concern affecting every American’s health, well-being and freedom of choice, regardless of one’s party preference.
This ban is not the result of technological advancements, but instead is the careful orchestration of profit-seeking lamp manufacturers and uninformed ‘Green’ advocates.
The purported benefit of the bulb ban is energy savings – better for us, better for our environment. Nothing is farther from the truth: the incandescent ban is the best big business marketing scheme ever devised.
The truth is dating back to the 1980s when lamp manufacturers introduced residential Compact Flourescent Lamps (CFLs), consumers never really accepted them as demonstrated by poor sales and low corporate revenue. Quality of light; health, safety and environmental issues; shorter than reported life expectancy; poor fit with existing fixtures outline some CFL problems.
The truth is instead of responding to these important consumer issues, lamp manufacturers protected their CFL investment and used the influence and the dollars of their lighting lobbies to pressure the government to ban the competition -- the all-pervasive incandescent light bulb. Their accompanying marketing strategy was brilliant: join the global warming bandwagon.
The truth is lamp manufacturer and government propaganda and misinformation worked. In 2014, the incandescent light bulb will be relegated to the dustbin of history unless consumers really pressure legislators to repeal the ban.
Consumer pressure is working elsewhere around the world. Lighting designers, scientists, and everyday citizens are publicizing the consequences they have endured caused by the mandated ban. The truth is consequences far outweigh benefits. In the US, the amount of money the lobbies have lavished on politicians has sustained the planned ban to date. Only a groundswell of consumer revolt will restore common sense and protect our freedom to live our lives in safety.
Howard M. Brandston, FIES, Hon. FCIBSE & FSLL, FIALD
Howard Brandston is an internationally recognized expert on lighting for more than 50 years most well known for lighting the Statue of Liberty.
For more on Howard's writing on light bulb regulation issues,