Monday, September 8, 2008

Why Incandescent Lamps Shouldn't Be Outlawed

Incandescent lamps or bulbs, when used appropriately, can be more efficient than CFLs or LED lamps for some applications. That's because incandescent lamps radiate energy at infrared wavelengths. The pleasing heat that radiates from an incandescent lamp is not different from the heat enjoyed while sunbathing or at a sauna.

When heating is undesirable or not needed, the use of incandescent lamps leads to wasted energy, and should be avoided. However, there are situations where the heat generated by incandescent lamps may not only be desirable but also efficient. This is especially true in cold regions, where central heating, which uses substantial amounts of energy to warm entire buildings by convection, can be reduced through the sensible use of incandescent lamps as a source not only of high-quality light but also of localized heat. Typical examples of adequate incandescent lamp uses in cold climates are: reading lamps, bedside lamps, dining table chandeliers, kitchen tops, greenhouses, and bathroom light fixtures.

I use incandescent lamps wherever localized heating is needed and CFLs otherwise. By mixing the two technologies I'm able to improve energy conservation at home. That's why incandescent lamps shouldn't be outlawed. To forbid the sale or use of incandescent lamps is an aggression against freedom of choice and can have unexpected negative effects on energy conservation, as predicted by the law of unintended consequences.

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