Hey Mr. Green,
Name calling reduces your credibility. And, I'd like to see an answer to one of the comments here that asks about dimmers, timers, and LED lights. I have dimmers and timers, some 40 years old, all over my house. Which ones must I replace and with what? —Gard
Yes, I called George Bush a “dear dim bulb” in my June 24 blog about fluorescent lighting. But honest, Gard, it was a term of endearment, because back in 2007 Bush signed an energy bill that some right-wing Republican whackos are doing their damnedest to undermine. Despite Bush’s anti-environmental agenda, he had a far more honest grasp of energy issues than these clowns, who are the energy industry’s dope-pushers (the substance-abuse being that of oil, which Bush acknowledged we were addicted to). There you go: three name calls already, and I’m barely warmed up! But seriously, not to call names at this point in history might actually reduce my credibility, because I am not content just to dispense advice on the most environmentally righteous personal behavior or the niftiest energy-saving gadget. The last section of my book is a plea to go beyond the personal and to get political. And there are times when politicians become so intractable and so unwilling to listen to reason that name-calling becomes the last resort to pry them and their disciples out of their intellectual foxholes. This is why even some well-known, relatively polite mainstream pundits are saying that the G.O.P. has been driven "crazy" and "insane" by its right wing.
I’m happy to report that the Republican proposal to repeal energy standards for light bulbs lost by just two votes last week. But they’re back at it, trying to cut funds for enforcing the energy standards that Bush signed. If you support clean energy or any pro-environmental policies, keep the pressure on your congress person and senators.
To return your lighting question: the bottom line is never use any fluorescent light or LED with a dimmer, timer, or motion detector that is not specifically approved for these devices, because such devices can damage the lights. I doubt that any older controls would be safe to use, and even with newer ones, the only way to be absolutely sure is to contact the manufacturer.
Finally, a word regarding the wonderful, old-fashioned, environmentally beneficial idea of turning the lights out. If, like most families, you have people in the household who simply cannot master this operation, I suggest a motion detector that automatically turns the light out if no one is in a room for 10 or 15 minutes. Of course if you are using fluorescent lamps, make sure it is a type that is compatible with them.