My First Bush Bulb

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On my last trip to Wal-Mart, I inadvertently did something I swore I'd avoid until it was absolutely impossible: Purchase a "Bush Bulb".

How? These sickly, twisted mercury-infused votive candles of the Church of Global Warming are impossible to confuse with incandescent Edison Bulbs, right?

Right, unless they come disguised as real light bulbs and you're in a hurry.

We have an odd back room off the kitchen where I keep my home brewing supplies, my roll-top desk, and, within some unobtrusive white cabinets, my tools. It's as close to a "man cave" as I've ever had. I have even hosted the occasional poker game there, hence we call it "the poker room".

Its main source of illumination is a flood light located in a recessed housing on the ceiling. With months to go before I head up to Boston to join my wife, the bulb went out and I added "Flood Light" to my Wal-Mart list.

As has been usual lately, I was in a hurry when I went there. The selection of flood lights was limited to a bunch of very expensive bulbs that touted how long they'd last.

I'm leaving soon. Why should I spend extra money on a bulb that will last for years?

But that's all they had and I needed light back there. I didn't want to waste time going on another trip for the sake of one bulb. Into the cart it went.

On returning home, the first thing I saw when I picked up the package of the bulb to replace the flood light was a Bush Bulb peering out at me from behind the lens of its Edison Bulb-like housing.

Damn. Had I purchased a Bush Bulb? The packaging confirmed that I was about to desecrate my man cave. The 15 watt bulb was touted as "equivalent" to the 65 watt bulb I was going to replace it with. It wasn't going to be my place for long and I'd get to see for myself what the light bulbs our government is about to force us to use really can do.

At least for this application, the bulb is not " equivalent". There is a seconds-long delay between when you turn on the switch and when you get light. When you do, the light is dim for a period of something like a minute or two. Apparently, this bulb has to warm up a little. This means I can't depend on it to give me light instantly if I need it. After it warms up, the light is similar-enough to what I had before that it will do, but the unnecessary delay would ordinarily make this bulb unacceptable to me. Were I not leaving soon, I'd replace it.

And were President Bush and Congress not intent on handing out marching orders in the name of "saving" "the planet", I would be free, from now on, to benefit from the knowledge that, as flood lights, CFL bulbs are inferior to incandescent bulbs.

But President Bush and Congress are not about doing their job, which is to protect the individual rights of the American Citizen. This is too bad, for if they won't permit us to make a simple decision like buying a light bulb, how else will they harm us down the road?

I can't trust them on small matters. And yet, they can compel me through force to do their bidding on large matters. This is the essence of what is wrong with American government today. This has got to change, but it will not do so until the people re-learn the importance of individual rights and the proper purpose of government. Only then will Americans demand a government that isn't so intrusive that it will screw them out of making the right decision even on something so simple as which light bulb to buy.

-- CAV


z said...

I feel ya, buddy.

Kendall J said...

OMG every once in a while certain descriptions just leave you on the floor rolling in laughter, and "votive candle of the Church of Global Warming" did it to me.

On the bright side (no punn intended), I do use these in places where their longevity counteracts my tendency to accidentally leave them on for long periods of time, such as my garage, outside lights, and basement shop lights. But that is a purely consumer-driven need and not this "green" crap. Sorry you were hoodwinked.

However, none of the "equivalent" wattage crap. I get the biggest damn wattage they offer. Only then is the light close to sufficient.

Gus Van Horn said...

I certainly agree that the longevity can be useful in some contexts, but the idea of being FORCED to buy these makes the idea of buying one voluntarily a deal-breaker for me.

So this was, in terms of coining another apt description of these things, a happy accident.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

What I hate about these global warming votives (heh) is the inability to dim them like an incandescent light, so you are forced to sit in either full-on electric Jesus or darkness with zero room in-between.

So yes, I too say to hell with these counterfeit free-marketers who nevertheless foist this stuff upon us--and the ideas that make their fraud possible.

Andrew Dalton said...

Another thing they never tell you is that all fluorescent lamps get dimmer over time. So even if the lumen output matches the advertised equivalent incandescent lamp, after a year or so you'll be stuck with a bulb that produces inadequate light. I use compact fluorescents in places where it makes sense, but I always go a size higher in brightness.

Gus Van Horn said...


If I synthesize your last two comments, Nick and Andrew, it would seem that we DO get dimming, but involuntarily, which is the way the hippies want things to be for us anyway.

As for matching lumen output, I have my doubts as to whether my 15W Bush Bulb really matches the 65W Edison Bulb it replaced, but I guess it eventually won't even if it does now.


McLazarus said...

I understand the distress with being forced, or even given government incentive to buy a CFL bulb. However, there are situations where such a bulb is a superior solution.

Aside from their well known longevity and lower power consumption (Strictly a private economic consideration). They also radiate less heat. Which can be of great value in the summer in a room with 7 foot ceilings. The also do have ones that can be dimmed, of course the dynamic range is not that of a traditional incandescent.

My point here is while I don't appreciate being forced to buy these, I do caution against any outright dogmatism on the subject that they are intrinsically evil. They are only a product offered for sale, policies and attitudes surrounding this product may be evil, but they as such can provide value.

Gus Van Horn said...

"[T]here are situations where such a bulb is a superior solution."

Agreed. And as for opposing intrinsicism, you're preaching to the choir.

Thanks for making that point more explicit.

As for my decision not to buy them, they remind me too much of the fact that meddlers of all stripes are rapidly making me a less free man. It is my choice to say, "No. Not in my house."

Jeff Montgomery said...

Funny stuff, Gus.

However, I replaced my incandescents years ago, merely to try to save on electric bills, and it seems to be working. I tend to leave the lights on in the man cave, and now I don't care ;)

I used to hate the color and buzz, but the lights have improved and/or I don't notice it any more. It varies a lot from brand to brand, too. I don't buy the brands I've never heard of that are made in countries I've never heard of. I go for Philips or the like.

Of course, the idea of being forced into it is an abomination. Same for the digital cable transition, etc.

Gus Van Horn said...

I have to admit that the light -- about thirty seconds after I turn it on -- is okay, and if I can get past what they remind me of, they'd be okay for lights I want to leave on or don't want baking me to death.

But I am pretty good about turning off lights. I hate wasting money.