Incandescent lights [Re: It's time to restore the 11/45.]

Tothwolf tothwolf at
Thu Feb 5 16:03:50 CST 2015

On Thu, 5 Feb 2015, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 02/05/2015 01:14 PM, Tothwolf wrote:
>> I don't have links to all the relevant documents handy, but 100W, 75W, 
>> 60W and 40W are all banned from import or manufacture in the US (rough 
>> service bulbs are exempt...for now at least). Stores are allowed to 
>> sell off existing stocks and inventory, and many chains stocked up 
>> heavily before the second half (60W/40W) of the light bulb ban took 
>> effect.
> A quick tour of my local big-box store shows that halogen versions of 
> these standard incandescents are available.  So a 72W halogen = 100W 
> standard; 43W halogen = 60W standard, etc.

The big box stores around here also still have a pretty good supply of 
plain 60W and 40W incandescent bulbs. I don't think their stock will last 
through the end of the year though. Also, the "light bulb ban" also banned 
PAR90 flood lamps (indoor downlights and outdoor floods). You can still 
obtain "74W" PAR floods, but those too will be banned once the entire law 
takes effect.

>> T12 (1-1/2" diameter) fluorescent light tubes and magnetic ballasts 
>> were also similarly banned under the 'Energy Independence and Security 
>> Act of 2007', and like with 60W and 40W incandescents, many chain 
>> stores stocked up heavily on T12 tubes. When they are gone though, they 
>> are gone (unless the law changes and consumers force the manufacturers 
>> to bring those product lines back).
> There are LOTS of them left in stock; I can go to any big-box store and 
> buy them.  The odd thing is that the more energy-efficient T8 lamps are 
> more expensive than the remaining T12s.  Converting from T12 to T8 is 
> mostly a matter of changing out the ballast--which you may want to do 
> anyway, as the old iron ballasts weren't terribly efficient and did have 
> a tendency to develop an annoying hum.

I noticed the same thing with big box stores and their prices for T8 
tubes. I don't have that issue here since I can buy fluorescent tubes by 
the case wholesale (same with ballasts). For a short time, there was a 
supply problem with T12 tubes, and many of the big box stores around here 
didn't have them at all (they have plenty right now though).

I recently converted all of my overhead T12 to T8 (in my case, new sockets 
and wiring along with new ballasts, since the fixtures were made ~1964 and 
the original wiring was in very bad condition) but what I worry about is 
the long term reliability of the electronic ballasts (basically switch 
mode power supplies), in particular, the small electrolytics they use. I 
don't expect they will last nearly as long as the original magnetic 
ballasts did (although at least they don't have the large PCB 
[polychlorinated biphenyl] containing oil filled capacitors the pre-1979 
ballasts I removed did).

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