Over the last few weeks we have been having trouble coming up with decent ceiling fans. First we chose some that were too small. Then we chose some that didn’t use the standard bulb. We called up the store and this was the colorful story: “Some guy put 110 watt bulbs into each of the ceiling fan sockets and nearly electrocuted himself and burned his house down in the process… so the government banned the use of standard bulbs for ceiling fans. It’s in some energy efficiency law.”
Actually, I could find no evidence to support the story one way or another. I did, however, come across a law that was passed in 2005 that cleared things up:
“(2)(A) Ceiling fan light kits with medium screw base sockets
manufactured on or after January 1, 2007, shall be packaged with screw-
based lamps to fill all screw base sockets.
``(B) The screw-based lamps required under subparagraph (A) shall--
``(i) meet the Energy Star Program Requirements for Compact
Fluorescent Lamps, version 3.0, issued by the Department of
``(ii) use light sources other than compact fluorescent
lamps that have lumens per watt performance at least equivalent
to comparably configured compact fluorescent lamps meeting the
Energy Star Program Requirements described in clause (i)."
Several years ago, traditional incandescent light bulbs were phased out. Their design was virtually identical to the ones that were first created by Thomas Edison over seventy years ago. The CFLs that replaced them have now virtually been phased out in newer products in the name of energy efficiency. The candelabra base bulbs are but the newest form of bulbs and I pray that they have an equally short duration. What really irks me though, isn’t the fact that we’ve been nudged away from choosing for ourselves which we want. It is that we don’t have a choice. This is how it is now. We can’t read the warning on the boxes that say “Use 60-watt bulbs only.” We’re too unintelligent to figure out that we’re overloading the circuits. We’re like little kids who are out to harm ourselves so we need adults to watch over us and keep us safe – from ourselves. In 2005, it was the bulbs. In 2010 it was health care. I don’t think I can handle whatever it’s going to be in 2015.