Dimming Consumer Choice

I never knew there were so many shades to a light bulb! But since Congress has basically banned incandescent light bulbs in favor of “energy-efficient” alternatives–i.e., fluorescents–there’s a great deal of talk about the quality of light fluorescents produce. A New York Times home section article on the topic details the many shades of light produced by fluorescents bulbs and why so many people are unhappy with them. Frankly, I don’t notice much difference. I am more concerned about how they look in my traditional home and the fact that few work well on dimmer switches. Will I be able to find attractive flame-tip bulbs for my chandeliers that work on my dimmers?

In any case, this situation underscores why we should allow free markets for such things. Even though one product might seem suitable enough to some, even modest changes make a big differences to others. Those of us who value freedom respect your right to any light bulb that suits you. And those of us interested in saving a buck or two on our energy bills should be free to chose fluorescent bulbs, but only when it suits us. Unfortunately, Big Brother doesn’t respect such consumer choice.