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Edison’s light bulbs do a slow fade

This combination of Associated Press file photos shows, top, Switch75 light LED bulbs in clear and frosted, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 in New York and a 100-watt incandescent light bulb at Royal Lighting in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, 2011. LEDs use 70 percent to 80 percent less power than incandescent light bulbs. According to the Energy Department, widespread use of LED bulbs could save the output of the equivalent of 44 large power plants by 2027. (AP Photo/File)

Let’s go back for a moment to 2011. Under an energy conservation plan signed by President Bush, old filament bulbs were being phased out.

But in 2011, Tea Party supporters like Congressman Mike Burgess of Texas pushed back. They said the ban was an assault on personal liberty and not only that, “Those of us of a certain age, under compact florescent bulb, don’t look as good as we do under an incandescent bulb.”

Determined to preserve the members’ good looks, Congress approved a delay, and the 100 watt bulb hung on.

But now here we are in 2014, and as of Jan. 1, the ban on manufacturing old-style bulbs is finally in effect – with barely a peep of protest from the Tea Party or anyone else.

Why? Take a look at a home improvement store. Have you ever seen more types of lights? From bulbs that change color by remote control to Christmas lights that are basically immortal.

It’s true, the first curly fluorescents were like low-flush toilets – you flipped the switch and nothing seemed to happen.

But now – those new LEDs are blinding. I put four of them in the bathroom – you turn them on, it’s like a flying saucer just landed!

Yes, they’re way more expensive to buy, but much less expensive to turn on, since they use 90 percent less electricity and in normal use can last as long as 46 years.

Not only will I never have to replace them, I can pass them on to my children!

Now, as the Congressman said, “We don’t look as good as we do under an incandescent bulb.”

And it’s true, just because a bulb uses 90 percent less energy, it doesn’t mean your face will look better.

But it can make your bottom line a lot less ugly.

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