Change can be extremely difficult for some people — when mechanized looms were introduced, some people were so upset by them that they revolted and destroyed the looms. The situation is not too dissimilar to one being currently faced with the impending phase out of incandescent light bulbs.

Why are incandescent light bulbs being phased out? Simply put, they are energy inefficient, must be replaced regularly, and given how frequently they must be replaced, create considerably more trash than light bulbs that last longer. As time moves on and engineers develop better bulbs, the old format incandescent light bulbs are making themselves more and more obsolete.

Despite this, some people cling to the old bulbs. They claim that the compact fluorescent bulbs are not as warm as the incandescent bulbs. Secondly, there are some people that are bothered by the fact that there is a delay between when you turn on the compact fluorescent light and when it actually turns on. Thirdly, there are some that are bothered by the fact that compact fluorescent light bulbs are often not as bright as incandescent bulbs. Then, and this seems a little bizarre, there are some that are upset that they have to get a special kind of compact fluorescent bulb if they are to use a dimmer switch.

To me, most of these so-called reasons are more like excuses than anything else. They are just ways for people to justify not wanting to change in order to do things that are in the long term better. Too frequently, people would rather do that which is easy and convenient rather than that which is right. Easier to buy disposable products rather than properly service a reusable product.

Similarly, the correct response to the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb would seem to be adaptation. The correct response would not be, on the other hand, hoarding. Some people are so obsessed with their beautiful incandescent light bulbs that they are buying hundreds of them, enough (they hope) to last them the rest of their lives.

…not everybody is welcoming the switch to greener lighting. According to USA Today, around 13 percent of Americans are unleashing their inner hoarders and stocking up on enough 100-watt incandescents to last them past the bulbs’ January phase-out.

Seems like a Luddite response all over again — minus the destruction, of course. I can’t help but wonder to what extent people are rebelling against the phaseout of incandescent bulbs because of the administration that is leading the phaseout. I hope this is not the case but murmurings online lead me to believe that it may be. I can only hope that people will start to think more about what is good in the long term for the good of the environment rather than what is easy or convenient for them.


  1. I don’t understand the arguments over using compact florescent light bulbs. We’ve been 100% compact florescent for at least three years. We save money on electricity and the Sylvania bulbs we use are warmer and BRIGHTER than incandescents and they last at least five years. The only slight downside is that, while they turn on instantly, it takes 30 seconds or so for them to come into full warmth of light. It feels like a fast sunrise if you pay attention to the process, and so I get to experience a bunch on sunrises every time I turn on a light!

    I think people think compact florescent bulbs give off a blue or green light — older office florescent bulbs did that, and the color was ugly — but the new bulbs are all about bringing the sunlight spectrum inside.

    Ikea stopped selling incandescents in January:

    1. Ikea is often at the forefront of ecological movements. They were the first to charge a fee for their disposable bags and to, as a result, reward people who brought reusable bags.

      To me it’s similar to the maple syrup / coloured corn syrup argument — some people prefer the latter because you don’t have to refrigerate it and as a result it is easier to apply to pancakes, etc.

        1. I have a friend who uses disposable glasses cleaners rather than using a spray cleaner and a reusable cloth. Why? Because it’s more convenient. Grr.

  2. You have a bulb that uses 80% less energy and lasts 5x longer…Why would any rational human being against it? It’s because they don’t want government “telling them what to do”. The average citizen is not a scientist, engineer, economist, etc. These expert individuals which are deployed by the government are needed to research matters which are beyond the scope of the masses.

    1. Quite right, David! If the government recommended breathing, some people would just hold their breath until they were blue in the face rather than do what would benefit them.

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