Repeal the 55-mile-per-hour Light Bulb

In 1994, Republicans swept into power promising to enact a raft of reforms outlined in their Contract with America. Most of those reforms were stymied in the Senate, vetoed by Bill Clinton or struck down by the Supreme Court.

But Republicans did deliver on one wildly-popular promise: repeal of Jimmy Carter’s national 55 mph speed limit.  For people who grew up zipping along superhighways designed for higher speeds, the lower speed mandate, in effect for 20 years, was a daily r…

  1. flownover

    EPA will probably come after you for sending toxic materials through the mail.

  2. Duane Oyen

    I actually like CFLs in the right places (you need at least 150 watt equivalent for reading), but they are irritating due to the warm-up time. 

    I really like LED in the right places- the “warm white” Christmas tree lights are terrific- you can put up 1500 for the operating cost of a 100 watt incandescent.  The fact is, eventually, LED lamps will take over the lighting market and Fred Upton’s Folly will be overcome by events.

    For those who cherish incandescent bulbs, be my guest- I still use the floodlights and some halogens- but as the LED technology improves and comes down in price, I’m there because it is a superior product, not to Save The Earth.  I don’t drive a Pious either.

  3. Kenneth
    Duane Oyen: I actually like CFLs in the right places (you need at least 150 watt equivalent for reading), but they are irritating due to the warm-up time. 

    I really like LED in the right places- the “warm white” Christmas tree lights are terrific- you can put up 1500 for the operating cost of a 100 watt incandescent.  The fact is, eventually, LED lamps will take over the lighting market and Fred Upton’s Folly will be overcome by events.

    For those who cherish incandescent bulbs, be my guest- I still use the floodlights and some halogens- but as the LED technology improves and comes down in price, I’m there because it is a superior product, not to Save The Earth.  I don’t drive a Pious either. · Nov 29 at 4:04pm

    They’ll be coming after your halogens next.  I use two 500-watt halogen floor lamps, which I’m sure are responsible for the death of dozens of polar bears.

    The point is, whether you prefer incandescent bulb, compact fluorescents, halogens or LED’s, the choice should be yours – not government’s.

  4. Scott R

     Unfortunately, the damage has been done. Countless manufacturers and distributors have already made plans (or gone belly-up) in response to the crazy intervention. Even building codes are being rewritten with new specs for fixtures, switches (no dimmers!), wiring, etc. 

    Undoing big government creates its own disruption and uncertainty, which makes being a conservative extremely frustrating. 

  5. flownover

    Kenneth I have to thank you for killing those bears , my great uncle was killed by polar bears while he was clubbing baby seals as a summer job in the 30s. Revenge is tough against certain species. I would like to buy you a drink !

  6. Dave Carter
    C

    “Light bulbs may be small things; But liberty is a big thing…” Exactly! And the liberty to choose your own light bulb, or water pipe is connected to your liberty to choose your own health insurance or not, etc. Symbolism is important. I like your idea, Kenneth. By the way, do you think it was fluorescent bulbs that illuminated all those emanations from the penumbra in the Constitution?

  7. flownover

    Dave -Good Buddy( remember that ?) Do not use PVC as a water pipe. It’ll melt. Keep it between the ditches , thanks for an improvement on Kerouac.

  8. Kenneth
    Dave Carter: “Light bulbs may be small things; But liberty is a big thing…” Exactly! And the liberty to choose your own light bulb, or water pipe is connected to your liberty to choose your own health insurance or not, etc. Symbolism is important. I like your idea, Kenneth. By the way, do you think it was fluorescent bulbs that illuminated all those emanations from the penumbra in the Constitution? · Nov 29 at 5:56pm

    In my experience, emanations and penumbra are the products of illicit pharmaceuticals.

  9. flownover

    Kenneth That would be fog and shadows. Or SF with sun.

  10. Dave Carter
    C

    Flownover, now you tell me…

  11. Michael Tee
    Dave Carter: “Light bulbs may be small things; But liberty is a big thing…” Exactly! And the liberty to choose your own light bulb, or water pipe is connected to your liberty to choose your own health insurance or not, etc. Symbolism is important. I like your idea, Kenneth. By the way, do you think it was fluorescent bulbs that illuminated all those emanations from the penumbra in the Constitution? · Nov 29 at 5:56pm

    Water pipe? Hell, I’d be glad to pick my own toilet!

  12. Kenneth
    Michael Tee

    Dave Carter: “Light bulbs may be small things; But liberty is a big thing…” Exactly! And the liberty to choose your own light bulb, or water pipe is connected to your liberty to choose your own health insurance or not, etc. Symbolism is important. I like your idea, Kenneth. By the way, do you think it was fluorescent bulbs that illuminated all those emanations from the penumbra in the Constitution? · Nov 29 at 5:56pm

    Water pipe? Hell, I’d be glad to pick my own toilet! · Nov 29 at 7:56pm

    Or your own shower head. Or, soon, a car that will go 0 to 60 in less than 14 seconds.

  13. Paul DeRocco
    Kenneth: But Republicans did deliver on one wildly-popular promise: repeal of Jimmy Carter’s national 55 mph speed limit.; For people who grew up zipping along superhighways designed for higher speeds, the lower speed mandate, in effect for 20 years, was a daily reminder of serfdom. When the limit was repealed, it was a reminder that our votes actually do matter.

    I was in Utah this past weekend, and seriously enjoyed their 80mph speed limit.

  14. Xty

    “The point is, whether you prefer incandescent bulb, compact fluorescents, halogens or LED’s, the choice should be yours – not government’s.” Incredible that you should even have to utter those words.  We are even protected from setting the temperature too high on our “hot” water tanks in Ontario.

  15. FeliciaB
    Michael Tee

    Dave Carter: “Light bulbs may be small things; But liberty is a big thing…” Exactly! And the liberty to choose your own light bulb, or water pipe is connected to your liberty to choose your own health insurance or not, etc. Symbolism is important. I like your idea, Kenneth. By the way, do you think it was fluorescent bulbs that illuminated all those emanations from the penumbra in the Constitution? · Nov 29 at 5:56pm

    Water pipe? Hell, I’d be glad to pick my own toilet! · Nov 29 at 7:56pm

    Tell me about it!  The California mandated low flush toilets are actually wasting more water than they’re supposed to save because many times you need to double or triple flush.  I hate low flush toilets!

  16. Paul DeRocco

    The most serious problem with most non-incandescent forms of light is commonly referred to as “metamerism”. Technically, metamerism is the condition in which two different light spectra look the same to the eye, because the eye doesn’t distinguish all wavelengths but merely detects the energy in three overlapping ranges of wavelengths, roughly corresponding to red, green and blue light. In practice, metamerism actually means that an object of a particular color looks different under different light sources, even if the light sources themselves all look “white”.

    LEDs are intrinsically narrowband devices, so an LED light will always have big holes in its spectrum, meaning that many objects will look all wrong under LED light. (LEDs are wonderful for displays, where the light goes directly into the eyes, rather than being reflected off objects, but that’s a separate issue.) Phosphor-based lights can approximate a broad spectrum, but only if they go to the expense of using a careful mix of a large number of different phosphors. They usually don’t.

    The sun is a broadband light source, and our brains are used to judging color by sunlight. On earth, only incandescent bulbs have the same natural property.

  17. flownover

    Sammy Hagar called, he said he can’t drive 55.

    Ozzy Osbourne called, something mumbly about a toilet and flush, couldn’t understand much.

  18. Kenneth
    Paul DeRocco

     Kenneth: But Republicans did deliver on one wildly-popular promise: repeal of Jimmy Carter’s national 55 mph speed limit.; For people who grew up zipping along superhighways designed for higher speeds, the lower speed mandate, in effect for 20 years, was a daily reminder of serfdom. When the limit was repealed, it was a reminder that our votes actually do matter.

     I was in Utah this past weekend, and seriously enjoyed their 80mph speed limit. · Nov 29 at 8:31pm

    You may be too young to remember, Paul, but before the 1974 law, several states, including Arizona, Montana and Wyoming had no speed limit at all.  Of course, in those days, most cars wouldn’t go much past 120 mph.  But nevertheless, it was a hoot.

  19. Matthew Gilley

     There’s another plus to bringing back the incandescent bulb – we can distribute the CFL bulbs to the military for use in Afghanistan against the Taliban.

  20. George Savage
    C

    “When the town of Traer, Iowa distributed 18,000 compact fluorescent bulbs to residents, energy usage actuallyincreased by 8 percent.”

    Exactly my experience.  Formerly in the Savage household:  flip on the dimmer switch to the desired illumination level, accomplish a task, turn the switch off and leave the room.  Environmentally responsible practice:  turn on the CFL, fumble around in the semi-darkness for the several minutes it takes for the energy-saving wonder to reach usable intensity, accomplish a task…and pause over the switch, leaving the light on in case I have to enter the same room again tonight.

    People are smart.  Where continuous, large area illumination is needed, as in office buildings, fluorescents rule–even without a federal mandate.  But the home is not an office building.

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