Friday, July 22, 2011

Philips AmbientLED bulb creates jobs in China

As an Austin homeowner, I've followed the legislative collusion between corporate bulb manufacturers like Philips and GE, the United States Congress and the fringe environmental group NRDC; otherwise known as the National Resource Defense Council. How could these disparate groups agree to support the increased efficiency standards for 100 watt incandescent bulbs?

First, the profit margins per bulb on incandescent bulbs is very low. By supporting arbitrary efficiency standards that reliable, affordable incandescent bulbs can't meet, GE and Philips will profit from selling pricier LED bulbs and American consumers will pay more for light bulbs. Think of it as a light bulb tax.

Second, the NRDC's misguided focus on light bulb wattage, rather than the number of kilowatt hours a homeowner consumes is pointless. Five years ago I began purchasing shaded floor lamps with multiple sockets. As a consumer, I'll wait until a warm, 100-watt LED bulb is perfected, buy those and install them in my light sockets. You hand-wringing carbon-cassandra's will not tell me how many watts of lighting I may enjoy and consume in my home. Will 30 planned powerplants not have to be built to meet America's future energy needs? I doubt it.

Third, I love the verbal contortions environmentalist's twist themselves into. For example, the incandescent light bulbs have been banned in Europe since 2009 and this is offered as some sort of example that America should follow. (see "Europe's Ban on Old-Style Bulbs Begins", by James Kanter, August 31, 2009 The New York Times) If I wanted to follow Europe's example, I'd move there. Yet, this same American efficiency legislation for incandescent bulb enrages environmentalists who scoff at the word "ban". If I visit Lowe's and want to buy a 100 watt incandescent bulb, and they aren't manufactured anymore because of legislation, then it is effectively banned.

Fourth, politicians and environmental blogs have hailed the new efficiency legislation for incandescent bulbs as a job creation bonanza. It certainly does create jobs, if you live in China.

Now back to the bulb. I searched the Internet in vain for news about where the Philips AmbientLED, a dimmable, A19 bulb that some environmentalist's tout as a worthy, yet pricey successor to Edison's warm, reliable and affordable incandescent light bulb was made.

Since I couldn't find this information, I visited my local Home Depot and photographed the front and back of the Philips AmbientLED's packaging. And there it was. In the smallest font, on the back of the package, in the lower right-hand corner, this Dutch-owned, AmbientLED A19 bulb is made in China.

One last note. If these AmbientLED bulbs save consumers so much money on their utility/electricity bills, why isn't that cited on any of Amazon's customer reviews for this $40 60-watt bulb?

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