Trump Says Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Make Him 'Look Orange,' Complains About How Expensive They Are

After his administration rolled-back Obama-era energy efficiency rules for light bulbs, President Donald Trump complained that the environmentally-friendly lamps make him look orange because the light they emit is "no good."

Trump's face has an orange glow, the source of which is unknown. A White House official told The New York Times the strange and seemingly-permanent hue is down to "good genes," though many people believe he uses fake tan.

The Department for Energy eliminated energy-efficiency standards for many light bulbs on the market, which it argued increases customer choice, but campaigners say will substantially increase energy consumption and household costs.

"The light bulb. People said what's with the light bulb? I said here's the story," Trump told the GOP House Retreat Dinner on Thursday night.

"And I looked at it, the bulb that we're being forced to use, number one to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst.

"But number two, it's many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well. And very importantly—I don't know if you know this—they have warnings. If it breaks it's considered a hazardous waste site. It's gasses inside."

"And read what they say. If it breaks bring it to your local whatever, have it wrapped, have it this—what are we doing? What are we doing? And I said to one of the top people today, well they break a lot don't they? Yes they do, they just throw them away, they don't care."

Donald Trump orange light bulbs tan
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore, Maryland on September 12, 2019. He explained his administration's decision to cut energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

At his recent rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Trump said that he is "not a vain person...but I look better under an incandescent light than these crazy lights that are beaming down."

According to the Department of Energy, replacing your home's five most-used lights with energy-efficient bulbs will save you $75 every year because they use less electricity and have a longer life.

The department's guidance says energy-efficient light bulbs typically used 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents and last three to 25 times longer. They are also recyclable, unlike the older incandescent bulbs.

Trump blames new energy efficient light bulbs for making him "look orange."

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 13, 2019

Trump is correct to say that compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which are energy efficient, contain hazardous materials such as mercury vapor. But these bulbs can easily be disposed of and even recycled, unlike incandescents.

"All fluorescent lights contain small amounts of mercury. Some CFLs with magnetic ballasts contain small amounts of short-lived radioactive material. Because of these hazardous materials, you should not toss burned-out lamps into the trash," the energy department states.

"Find out if there is a recycling program for them in your community—they are becoming more common, and many retailers will recycle CFLs for free.

"You can also dispose of the bulbs with other household hazardous wastes such as batteries, solvents, and paints at your community's designated drop-off point or during a designated day when you can put such materials with your curb-side trash pickup."

Correction: This article previously labelled argon gas in light bulbs as a hazardous material. While argon gas can act as an asphyxiant in large quantities, the amount present in a CFL poses no danger.