Trump Wages War Against the True Enemy of the State: LED Lightbulbs

Truly evil.
Truly evil.
Photo: Getty

Upgrading lightbulbs is one of the easiest, straightforward ways consumers can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. And yet the president of the United States is determined to do everything in his power to ensure our individual emissions remain as high as they can possibly be. And that means finishing his war on lightbulbs.


The Department of Energy announced Friday a final determination to keep standards for incandescent lightbulbs as is because this is the world we live in now. Who cares that they emit more heat than light or die quicker than more modern bulbs like LEDs?! Who cares that they’ll help you save money on your energy bill?! Who cares that they’ll help make buildings more energy-efficient in the long run?! Who the hell cares!?

This is the mentality of Donald Trump, who has ranted that LED lightbulbs make his skin look orange. The dude always looks orange. This is the orangest man who has ever lived. But OK, sure. Whatever.


The Department of Energy announced it rollback noting that the now rolled back lightbulb rule would’ve driven up the price of incandescent bulb more than 300 percent. Which yes, the rule would’ve forced incandescent bulb makers to innovate while trying to lower costs. That’s how good regulations ensure the market works. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette in a statement accompanying the rules change that “[i]nnovation and technology are already driving progress.” The rolled back rule would’ve sped along that innovation but OK, sure. Whatever.

You know what I choose to light my home? Philips Hue Smart Bulbs. I don’t have to worry about them making me look too orange because I can make the light any color I want. Oh, and energy-efficient LED bulbs like mine save me nearly five times the annual savings than if I were using whack ass incandescent bulbs.

The Department of Energy itself has said energy-efficient bulbs can save homeowners $75 each year. Incandescent bills will cost, on average, about $4.80 a year in energy costs. LEDs like mine? A dollar! These newer bulbs do cost more upfront, but the average person doesn’t have to be a bougie bitch like me and buy smart bulbs. Buy a regular-ass LED! And save money on your energy bill!


We’re also already on track to convert to LEDs around the U.S., as Trump’s peeps were sure to note. By 2035, LEDs should make up 84 percent of all lighting.

The consequences of this rollback won’t make or break the fight to protect the planet, but it will make the transition toward energy efficiency that much longer and harder. The announcement feels oddly timely as people celebrate the holidays with extra colorful lights decorating their homes and yards. In fact, all the energy we use lighting up our cribs for the holiday season results in more energy usage than some countries (such as El Salvador, where my roots lie) do in a year! A year! That’s insane. And yet another good argument for why LEDs make sense.


So what’s the issue then in ensuring incandescents don’t take up space in our store aisles? What is your obsession with lightbulbs, Trump!? And why do you hate the cool new ones so much?

I truly don’t understand, but I guess the president loves doing everything possible to continue his war against the planet. His latest battle with lightbulbs is just a small piece of that.


Yessenia Funes is climate editor at Atmos Magazine. She loves Earther forever.

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For color rendition get a cheap spectroscope and see what the LEDs actually produce. AFAIK zero of them provide a continuous spectrum just like zero fluorescent bulbs do. And they move from energy polluting to being manufacturing polluting, so I don’t have a good comparison for planetary damage.

What I do know is that if power companies shift to smart meters they will detect LEDs as consuming at least twice the power they actually do and will bill accordingly. They do this because in measures of apparent power the power supplies for LEDs run between 10 and 50% efficient.