Would You Spend 5% to 10% of Your Weeks Income on Light Bulbs?

Should we ban Incandescent Bulbs?

I was all for the incandescent bulb ban until my uncle pointed out something significant. Without a plan to lower the cost of fluorescent bulbs the poor end up bearing a more of the cost of conversion from an economics perspective. The conversion takes up more of their limited disposable income immediately, even if it will save them money in the long run. If a 4 pack of incandescent costs a buck at a dollar store and one energy saving fluorescent costs $10.00, on a weekly income of $200 are you going to spend 5% of your weeks income on bulbs? That said, there usually a lot more than 4 light bulbs in the standard dwelling. Theoretically this would initially leave the poor in the dark albeit temporarily.


My advice is if you do not want to regulate industries price on bulbs, to offer the poor a grant for converting. If they submit a statement of earnings and a receipt for the conversion costs a check for the conversion would make the conversion more economically equitable.

4 thoughts on “Would You Spend 5% to 10% of Your Weeks Income on Light Bulbs?

  1. Here’s the most interesting angle I’ve heard on this story.

    Incandescent bulbs are inefficient because so much of their energy is converted to heat instead of light. But Canada is a cold country. The lights are on most during the winter, when daylight hours are shortest.

    The point is, the heat isn’t wasted because the furnace needs to come on a little less often. So fluorescent bulbs might save energy when it comes to lighting a home; but they will also increase energy consumption for heating the home.

  2. I’m not sure that incandescent light bulbs are that efficient in producing heat but it is an interesting idea.

  3. IMO this is a “feel good” law that may have some merit but is rushing in and creating too many unwanted and uncertain economic results, instead of allowing the marketplace to fuel a ‘technology’ conversion over two or three years that could have ended up being nothing more than a small ‘hiccup’ to a nation’s citizens.

    Too much meddling without thinking.

  4. 49erdweet – Always the true conservative answer. Laissez Faire over political intervention. Although I would suggest an intervention you are very likely right about the uncertain economic results that will/have come from this one. As you might note, I suggested more intervention in the form of a grant or tax exemption / credit.

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