Horrors! The 'Regulated Activity' of Buying Household Items

Eric Scheiner
By Eric Scheiner | April 9, 2012 | 3:14 PM EDT

What once was a bright idea, is fading to black. At the end of last year, U.S. manufacturers ceased making 100-watt incandescent bulbs. At the end of this year, they will cease making 75-watt incandescent bulbs. 60 and 40-watt bulbs are set to follow.

As these bulbs are phased out for not meeting new government standards, some more expensive bulbs are taking their place.

The U.S. government has awarded the Philips company $10 million for creating an “affordable” alternative to the standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. The award winning alternative bulb sells for $50.

While I have nothing against these new lightbulbs, I’m not a fan of the government reducing my choices. There may be a time in the near future (when the stock of incandescent bulbs is depleted) when I need to cheaply replace a light bulb, and I don't want to be in the dark just because I don’t happen to have $50 dollars on hand to light my hallway.

It was just over a year ago that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) went on a rant about government regulations limiting consumer choice on light bulbs, refrigerators and even those water-conserving toilets during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It may have been humorous - but it was on target.

A look at the regulations issued for a wide variety of products that fall under the Department of Energy’s conservation standards is quite shocking.

It almost reminds me of a horror movie, where unwanted visitors are in your home, controlling your actions and choices. It could be called ‘Regulated Activity’.

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for