California may ban conventional lightbulbs by 2012! In an interesting development, California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine wishes to purge the state of the traditional incandescent bulbs and replace them with the more efficient fluorescents. While it is admirable that California is, again, pushing the country to be greener, this step poses some potential problems.
1) The light given off by fluorescents is definitely different than the incandescents everyone is used to. Will people accept this change easily? Will fluorescents work in all applications? They don't dim like incandescents do, which makes me wonder if there are other applications in which they are inferior. What about all the lightbulbs in the movie industry?
2) How do you monitor this?? "Welcome to my home, Mr. Incandescent Inspector! Would you like to see my bathroom?" Somehow I think not. Even if they just ban the sale of incandescents within the state, I could see black markets opening up for traditional bulbs, or even people driving to Nevada, Arizona, or Oregon to buy them just as Minnesotans would go to Wisconsin to buy fireworks before "The Body" made them legal.
3) Fluorescents are more expensive than incandescents, and though they present significant energy cost savings throughout the lifetime of the bulb, many people cannot afford the upfront cost (or understand the implications of the bulb). Would a sharp increase in demand for the bulbs raise the cost significantly? Economics says yes... Would the state subsidize the purchase for poorer Californians?
Not sure that this idea would successfully accomplish what Assemblyman Levine wishes it to, but it is an interesting idea.