I got a light bulb catalog in the mail advertising super deals on $400 light bulbs. Actually the price started out a lot lower. The one $400 one happened to last 40 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb though the comparison was made to the now more common compact Mercury filled incandescents the same catalog advertised at just 99 cents each. This $400 bulb was not the most expensive. Flood lights made of LED and lights that can replace over head street lights had even more astronomical prices in the catalog. The old joke about how many people it takes to screw in a light bulb has turned into how many dollars does it take. One could go broke pretty quickly spending one’s saving to replace all the light bulbs in an average American home at prices like the ones advertised.
With the President dancing up and down to the chorus of the US Congress giving sermons about why the new green economy will create unlimited jobs and new economic vitality I felt I had to do more study of these very expensive bulbs. The catalog with the big “sale” that came in the mail had these nifty comparison charts purporting to justify the purchase of very high priced light bulbs based on longer multiples of life spans and much lower energy costs over the bulb life. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the bulbs actually do last as long as advertised. I bough a few at relatively exorbitant prices to test them and found I got a lot less lumen’s when they worked and that the bulbs did not last more than 50 on-off clicks in some cases. The claims on the packages of the ones I purchased were false which makes me wonder why anyone would necessarily believe that these newer more expensive units are much better. Clearly an LED light revolution is on the verge of happening with or with out government interference because the devices can save more than 70% of energy expenses currently used on lighting. With the existing electric grid a 70% reduction in energy use of what may constitute say 30% of total national electric use could actually cause the demand for electricity to fall enough that the price of electricity could fall. This in turn could make the old incandescent bulbs cheaper to use.
Having done the calculations pretty much conclusively proving that buying a used car and maintaining it with repairs as required usually costs a lot less than buying a brand new car I immediately saw the folly in the nonsense
spiel in the catalog that somehow the $400 bulb would eventually save anyone money. It may if you can afford to use it constantly for 10 years maybe but if you turn it on and off the incandescent might not cost nearly as much as the comparison numbers on the chart. This goes beyond a scam when you have a government attempting to artificially limit supply and control demand at the same time. The next part of the scam might be a tax credit that allows an inefficient non completive process to appear to work. We see that scam in alternative energy games that include solar tax credits, wind turbine tax credits. insulation tax credits and ethanol subsidies. All of these technologies do not have the economic feasibility rating that say burning coal has in terms of BTU output efficiency for the dollar / new weight of fuel used. In some cases the energy output costs more than the energy input and ethanol has the worst reputation in this regard because some ethanol takes 5 gallons of gasoline to produce just one gallon of ethanol. The government subsidy helps! It is still a major unjustified scam. The $400 light bulb should eventually come way down in price as most technological gizmo’s do. The computer you can buy for $240 has 10 times the computing power as the one you used to see on the market for $1200. You never saw a chart of what owning a computer would save you the way you do in the light bulb scam. People bought computers at the going rate because they found them to be worth the expense without subsidies and without tax credits.
Stimulus money is now being funneled into big government projects to bring high speed electric rail roads to the USA. Sounds great except you might not realize that your $200 fare from San Diego to Central Los Angeles might actually cost taxpayers $4000. This kind of government math already happens in Europe where train crazy government have installed high speed trains across the continent. The Euro train system has not been privatized like the Channel was . The Channel is the under the English Chanel Tunnel that proved that not even private investors could make a sound investment out of a European super rail project. The whole European high speed rail system is highly subsidized and none of it has ever paid for itself but instead remains a money pit for government subsidies. If you have been to Europe you may have even had a chance to ride on a nearly empty super train that kept it’s schedule. Ticket prices can be more than an airline ticket to buy a first class seat and the second class passengers really never could afford to ride in these things anyway. Remember the European Concord Aircraft? It was supersonic and could get you from NYC to London in about 2 hours each way. The price of the tickets was astronomical in thousands of dollars and the concord always remained a highly government subsidized mode of transit. In other words the $2000 you paid for a ticket may have cost the governments there $10,000. The system was supposed to be profitable for a while at least in terms of airline ticket sales but then again the supersonic transport concord planes did not generate enough funding to replace the old models with new ones and eventually the whole program died out after the famous crash that occurred.
That maybe what the $400 light bulb scam is all about? Why? Right now you can buy a small LED flat panel TV screen or monitor for less than a third or a quarter of the price of the $400 super light bulb. It can actually put out more lumen’s and be more entertaining than the stupid greening effect super feel good about saving energy light bulb. Another much cheaper alternative to a light figure style led insert bulb is just to buy some cheap flash light array that run on batteries. These can actually have more lumen’s too( brighter) and cost just a couple of bucks. If you have rechargeable batteries and duct tape you can tape it to existing light fixtures or buy a couple of them to replace existing bubs with. If you are more inventive you can find an old adapter with the same voltage and hook that up to the flash light array and save quite a bit of money on the glamorous $400 green bulb scam nonsense.
Thinking about the unrecoverable costs of these very expensive light bulbs and the possible risks that they might not work as advertised I began to realize that the company that sent the light bulb catalog has as its biggest customer the government of the State of Oregon! Immediately I had an ah ha movement. Of course. The only idiots buying these stupid over priced over hyped bulbs are our government officials using our hard earned taxes! Yes I did read that the gung-ho green idiots of the state of Oregon were going to be replacing all the existing light bulbs for much more energy efficient ones. At the price of $400 each it could easily cost them a couple of billion dollars! Then eventually the idiot greenies of the city of Portland will be compelled to replace all the energy guzzling street lights though out the town with lower lumen $4000 each street light LED replacement bulbs. I remember a couple of intersections where the green light using replacement LED components was so dim cars did not know they actually had the green light and would sit their waiting thought the next red light or two until the city put less expensive non alternative bulbs in their sockets to replace them. One can imagine the energy czarlets of the state of Oregon using their calculators to prove to themselves that buying this LED junk somehow will actually pay for itself. No doubt a fortune is being wasted already in public funds to make a few idiots feel better about their efforts to conserve electricity. Portland still has a fortune of city wide WI Fi hardware installed from a company that went broke partnering to install it with the city. LED bulbs tend to have adapters and circuitry inside them what they also need sometimes is a built in surge protector. Ordinary bulbs dint fry when there is a power surge but these can! If the idiot city outfits the entire city with these and there is a power surge the hole investment can be down the drain in an instant! With no light the government would necessarily panic and have to buy new light bulbs. They might stoop in the emergency to buy 99 cent bulbs instead and then later go out and spend another 5 or 10 billion dollars on new light bulbs that will die in the next power surge.
I don’t know for sure why my test LED plug in bulbs died. It could have been a power surge or it could be the technology is still risky from lack of experience. The role of government should not be to engage in helping create a stupid scam but rather they should be working with the US patent office to exchange longer patent rights to LED bulb manufacturers in exchange for real industrial prices now and not later. Clearly the bulb manufacturers are worried about regaining their R&D expenses and industrial set up expenses by charging a lot for light bulbs because once the patents run out mass production will take away their markets. The green politicians are clueless about the obvious problems of business. If you can find a low voltage LED adapter run flat screen panel and you want LED lighting this is the better choice to buy then these stupid over priced screw in light bulbs. I know this because I can charge my cell phone and use the panel as a flash light because it is pretty damn bright. You can buy a used cell phone for a panel light for $5 including the adapter.
The LED light catalog that came in the mail had a number of types of bulbs from a number of different manufactures. The good news is the scam eventually goes away and the prices drop to market competitive rates which might be a say $10 light bulb instead of it being $400 including the scam. No doubt about it the typical number crunching government bureaucrat will snagged with the bait of this energy saving marketing scam which may make it good business for some of the companies involved.
The whole carbon cap nonsense is built on the same illogical stupidity as the $400 energy saving light bulb scam. The carbon cap scam can totally destroy the entire economy unless individuals and companies cheat on the requirements which is how Europe tends to survive and thrive in spite of idiotic programs they try there first before our bureaucrats think they are missing something and say me too, me too! Real supply and real demand with real cost savings and real energy efficiency are the only things that will really drive an alternative energy economy. With all the scams and all the government games, tax credits, energy audit comparisons right now it is impossible to figure out if any of the alternatives really are or not. There is no way of knowing if the more expensive LED light bulbs that cost $400 are even worth as much as $1. Reliability is easy to find with flat screen televisions. The dynamics of supply and demand for televisions is also a lot better understood. Imagine if the government created or fostered a scam that showed how buying a $4000 television would somehow save you about $600 in 20 years of use with a chart that rated hours of watching Oprah as being worth more than prime time shows at lower peak energy hours. Clearly many of us need a major tax credit if we are going to watch Oprah. If the LED flat screen TV is bright enough it can be set to white light for lighting up the living room for reading a book.