Life after incandescents

Okay, so my wife and I welcomed the garage-door repairman at 7 sharp this morning. We had called him out because the garage door opener had been intermittently stopping at random points and refusing to close. The problem was worst in the depth of winter.

From our description of the problem, he suspected a broken solder on the circuit board, which would be a $150 replacement plus the service call. When he flipped down the cover to look inside, he noticed the 26W (100W equivalent) compact fluorescent lamp.

"Hey, you know, you probably should use a regular light-bulb, because sometimes these can cause problems," he said. So we grabbed an incandescent from inside the house and swapped them out. After that, the garage door opened and closed, opened and closed, with no hint of a problem. Yes, it was a $65 service call to tell us to replace a light-bulb that hadn't visibly failed.

Now, if I had thought about it, I might have figured it out on my own. I know some CFLs, especially older ones, have problems in cold weather, and I know an electronic ballast approaching failure can interfere with other electronics.

But the question this raises is, once the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 provisions eliminating incandescent lamps take effect, will I have to deal with Sid the Part-Time Pimp to buy bulbs for my opener on the black market? What other options are out there for this sort of application?

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