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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15400/up-with-heatballs/

Up with Heatballs

January 24, 2011 by

Many Germans are extremely upset about the prohibition of real light bulbs and the demand that everyone use florescent “lighting.” I’m with George Reisman on this one absolutely. Florescent is vaguely passable in small doses but an entire space with these is extremely alarming and uncomfortable. It’s like low-grade torture. I would rather turn off the lights and use candles (oh the inefficiency! More heat than light!). It’s true that not everyone feels this way, and so how about consumer choice!

In any case, as everyone knows, real light bulbs are still out there in the German market, sold under the name “heat balls.” But apparently there have been problems getting them through customs. Here is a protest website!. It’s great to see the resistance to the completely evil push to ban light bulbs. Bastiat himself couldn’t have dreamed up something so preposterous. And, by the way, the same approach is coming in the United States.


iya January 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

They could demand any “heat balls” to be painted black…

J. Murray January 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

The problem with the common CFL (apart from murcury, expense, and being almost mandated by government fiat) is the color temperature. Most CFL bulbs you buy on the shelf fall in the 3200K range. For reference, the sunlight outdoors at about noon is 6504K (depending on precise location on Earth and time of year). You’ll notice if you spend all day outdoors, you likely won’t develop a headache or eyestrain. There are CFL and LED bulbs that produce artificial sunlight. I use them in my home and they’re balanced to have what is effectively full noon daylight indoors. The problem is that they’re significantly more expensive than the standard version. You can get 8 of the 60 watt harsh CFLs for $12, but you’d be getting 2 of the daylight simulators for the same price. Even the 6500K incandecents are far more expensive than their harsh light cousins. My LED bulbs are $20 a pop, but I find them worth it.

augusto January 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

” You’ll notice if you spend all day outdoors, you likely won’t develop a headache or eyestrain. ”

Really? I try not to leave the house during daytime in the summer, precisely because the sunlight will give me an awful headache.

When I’m at home – lit with fluorescent lamps, mind you – I’m perfectly well.

J. Murray January 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I guess it’s based on what you got used to. I spend a lot of time outdoors and probably have just gotten attunded to that kind of light.

Robert January 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

“completely evil”

Reminding us, if a reminder were needed, that the author is a childish twit with less experience with actual evil than the average five-year-old.

Beefcake the Mighty January 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Robert reminds us, as if it were necessary, that he is a moronic blowhard with less experience in sound thinking than the average pile of dogshit.

Sione January 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm


You made an error. You should have written: “Robert reminds us, as if it were necessary, that he is a moronic blowhard with less experience in sound thinking than any pile of dogshit or even any single solitary turd festering away….”


WMD January 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I’ve not had any problems with CFLs actually, except that they take a minute to fully light up on colder days. The color temp. is a little different than the incandescent I used in the same room, but I got used to it in a day or two.

Not that the government should ban incandescents, of course. ;)

james b. longacre January 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

i dont see a need to abandon or outlaw incandescent bulbs (is that true?). some decorative fixtures the small candle shaped incandescents look better..but i dont see any other advantage to them.the cfl do come in various color temps from daylight white (6500k) to a hazy yellow (2700k) and various levels in between…even in 3 way and dimmable. when there longevity turn out to be more economical than high watt incandescents then it makes sense to use them.

EconAndre January 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Notice the regulators logical inconsistency. First, they complain that incandescent bulbs are inefficient and emit mostly heat. So, after the arrival of heatballs, whose purpose is to generate heat, they complain that they generate heat inefficiently. They can’t have it both ways.

SailDog January 25, 2011 at 7:21 am

The point is to use less energy; and by implication less coal; and by further implication produce less CO2. I know AGW is not believed in by most of the readers on this site. However I cannot help it if the air, by definition a commons, is incapable of allocation in a market. Any attempt to control emissions into it, also by definition, must be by fiat. This I suspect is the real reason most who oppose AGW do so. It is also the sentiment that lies behind inane articles such as this.

Nix January 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Even though I don’t believe the AGW hype, I think people would be very interested in the “free market” economists’ approach if it were true.

BUT. Government anti-pollution and energy policies are by no means exempt from the notion of unintended consequences. It is my understanding that many of their efforts do way more harm than good.

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