This on slipped right through the cracks, and into the books for a Government mandated shutdown of the traditional light bulb. Many manufactures are impacted, although their margins had become increasingly tight over the years. The ban also includes efficiency guidelines, which are presently met by the latest LED bulbs. Bulbs that are sold at a cost of $50 each to end consumers. And you thought the price of gas rising was a big deal. What til your bulb needs replacing.

Reports are starting to file in with the impending “upgrade cycle” for light bulbs. This term is usually reserved for computer hardware/software, but the inevitable effect is an upgrade of all lighting within the country. How long will the cycle last? 1-3 years perhaps. It just depends on the overall usage of consumers, and how many bulbs have been stored prior to the end of traditional fabrication.

Aside from the energy savings, cost estimates recently offered last March show that if a single bulb is replaced in each American household, we could achieve a cumulative savings of about $600,000,000!  After looking at that, I’m off to count the number of bulbs in my house. Well, there seems to be about 40 or so… and assuming the average household has around 20 (which I thing is a very low number), could we really add in this multiplier?  $12 billion dollars a year in energy savings?  Looks like you can pay down some debt with that.  Of course, this all comes out of the pocket of energy companies, and straight into your wallet… or does it?

Remember the “smart meter” technology announced by major electric companies, to help capture usage remotely.  Well, what they really want to do is modify rates based on peak hourly usage.  It’s highly likely that anyone in the South using an air conditioning unit in the middle of the afternoon during the summer will now pay 2-3 times the KWH cost as before.  That’s just an estimate on my part, no documentation to support it, but when one tells of a new system to automatically monitor consumption, and accordingly adjust price, what other conclusion can you arrive at?

Returning to the LED bulbs to be sold at $50 each, the corporations selling these fixtures will stand to benefit the most in the near term.  Given the long life expectancy, I wouldn’t anticipate anyone having to replace the bulbs for at least the next generation.

CREE could see a near term boost leading into the end of Q3 as the timeline approaches.  The first couple of quarters of 2012 will be interest when consumers have no other choice but to buy LED based bulbs for their efficiency rating.

The biggest loser in all this will be the less affluent, who are just over the poverty line.  If you can’t buy your kid a Happy Meal, how do you expect to buy a $50 bulb?

Prices will drop over time, but how do you go from $50 to $5 within a reasonable time frame?

George W. Bush did not stand in the way of the Democratic congress’ drive to dictate to everyone what type of bulbs we will be buying in the future.  I suppose if Pelosi had her way, we’d all be driving an ugly Prius as well.