Low-life bulbs

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Audax67
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Low-life bulbs

Postby Audax67 » 17 May 2013, 4:06pm

So the good old incandescent bulb on the cellar steps goes phut after 20 years of service, and you go out and buy the only thing you can: a coiled-tube effort the size of your fist rated for an incomprehensible number of lux, a weird-looking watt-equivalence and a tenth of the consumption of the old one. You go home and try to plug it into the neat dome housing over the stair.

It doesn't fit, of course. Off to the hardware supermarket and out go the shekels for a replacement unit. Take down the old one (sigh - still perfectly good but nobbut junk in our Brave New Ecological World), inconvenience the household by turning off the juice then struggle with a torch held in your teeth to install and hook up the new one. You plug in the bulb, screw on the cover (which only just fits), and switch on.

A dull light, slowly getting brighter, bathes the scene of your strivings. You sigh, hoping you aren't going to have to go down to the cellar in a hurry any time soon. Done and dusted - well, maybe dusted but even though the light has reached max you can't really see if there's any detritus lying around or not.

Two months later, the bulb goes phut. You're about to chuck it in the rubbish when your ever-loving, who has read the package to find out how many kilocalories the thing contains, says uh-uh, it has to go in the recycling bin at the point of purchase. Ah. So you leave it lying around against your next trip there, when of course you forget to take it. And the next, and the next. But you did remember to buy a more "powerful" bulb, which is just a little bit bigger than the first one... So you leave the dome off the cellar-steps light and sigh yet again. More trash.

By the time you finally do take the dud'un back, it has three chums to go with it, each carefully preserved in the packaging of its successor. But as for the dedicated bin at the point of purchase... there isn't one. "Nah," says the bloke: "you need the recycling centre." Oh yes, of course. Off you drive.

At the recycling centre the bloke bawls at you "No packaging in there!" so you put the bulbs in (gently, as ordained), separate the plastic of the package from the cardboard (as ordained and never mind the cut finger you get doing it), drop everything dutifully into the appropriate containers and drive home, proud of having accomplished your civic duty.

You've only laid out ten times what a single incandescent bulb would have cost, poisoned the environment making extra trips in the car and added the bulb to a swiftly-mounting load of the things that need energy-gobbling processes to recycle. But gee, you've saved maybe a whole kilowatt-hour of electricity.

Look how much I've saved, George!

Anyone remember that? Maybe our governments should.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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gaz
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby gaz » 17 May 2013, 4:29pm

Thank you for throwing some light on this subject, your post has been most illuminating.

It sounds to me like you are incandescant with rage.

:idea: Next time eat some carrots and embrace the darkness :wink: .
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

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Audax67
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby Audax67 » 17 May 2013, 4:33pm

gaz wrote:Thank you for throwing some light on this subject, your post has been most illuminating.

It sounds to me like you are incandescant with rage.

:idea: Next time eat some carrots and embrace the darkness :wink: .


In your moniker lies the solution. It but remains to take up the mantle.
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TonyR
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby TonyR » 17 May 2013, 5:02pm

You clearly haven't been paying your dues to the Illuminati...

Seriously though, if they are going that quickly something is wrong. If one of those went on me after two months I would be taking it back to the shop for a replacement. The ones we have not only consume a tenth of the electrickery, they turn on quickly and have lasted quite a few years so far whereas their incandescent predecessors were always needing to be replaced. Gone over to LED bulbs now which are even better and can (some of them) be dimmed.

kwackers
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby kwackers » 17 May 2013, 5:23pm

TonyR wrote:You clearly haven't been paying your dues to the Illuminati...

Seriously though, if they are going that quickly something is wrong. If one of those went on me after two months I would be taking it back to the shop for a replacement. The ones we have not only consume a tenth of the electrickery, they turn on quickly and have lasted quite a few years so far whereas their incandescent predecessors were always needing to be replaced. Gone over to LED bulbs now which are even better and can (some of them) be dimmed.

+1. Back to the shop to be replaced.
(+1 on LED's too)

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danfoto
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby danfoto » 17 May 2013, 5:39pm

Erm ... forgive me if I'm missing something here, but why didn't you just buy another incandescent bulb?
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 May 2013, 5:52pm

They're no longer for sale. Gubbinment decided that noone needed light bulbs any more, ignoring the fact that no decent replacement has yet been found. I stocked up
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danfoto
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby danfoto » 17 May 2013, 5:57pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:They're no longer for sale.


Really? You'd better tell that to the various suppliers on Ebay then, from two of which we bought a pack of 10 x 100w pearl bulbs only a few months ago. Good prices, good delivery, no breakages and seemingly good quality bulbs.

And yes, I did just check that they're still available ;)
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

TonyR
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby TonyR » 17 May 2013, 6:04pm

There is the study that found in line with Jevon's Paradox, low energy light bulbs used more energy. People think they didn't need to bother switching them off because they're low energy.

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661-Pete
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby 661-Pete » 17 May 2013, 6:12pm

I have a bag full of old incandescent bulbs which I am guarding with my life, against just the sort of contingency you describe :wink: ! I have lots of gripes about the CFLs but unfortunately we now have to live with the things.

1. Saving energy? Yes of couse they do, hour for hour of ON-time, but not nearly by as much as the manufacturers claim. The wattage equivalents printed on the packaging are often grossly exaggerated: usually you will get about a 1:3 saving (e.g. a 25W CFL will give as much light as a 75W incandescent). And because these lights are less tolerant of multiple on-off cycles, people are encouraged to leave them on for longer periods e.g. when going out of the room for half an hour or so. Where's the energy saving in that?

2. Disposal. This is a big bugbear. CFLs contain mercury and should not be disposed of through the normal landfill stream. In our case, the local recycling plant is a 5-mile round trip from our house. If someone takes a single CFL by car to the tip, where's the energy saving in that?

3. Breakage. Believe me, these things do break: especially when you try to insert or remove a bayonet-fitting one, and the bayonet is a bit stiff (don't ever grasp one by the tubes: grasp it by the base :oops: ). If the fragments fall onto the carpet, it will become contaminated with mercury. Simple hoovering won't get rid of all the mercury: especially if you have small children or pets you should get it professionally cleaned...

4. Warm-up time. OK the newer generation bulbs are claimed to have the same warm-up time as incandescents ( :roll: :?: ), but we have several in the house which take 3-5 minutes to warm up. If I throw them out and replace them with newer fast-start ones, I've wasted my money...

I could go on. But my big gripe is about light pollution in general: as an amateur astronomer I want to see people use less lighting in their homes, not more. OK street and industrial lighting is still the biggest gripe, but house lighting does contribute significantly to the general LP. And if people will leave every light on in every room, all evening....
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
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gaz
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby gaz » 17 May 2013, 6:49pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:They're no longer for sale.


To my knowledge that's not quite accurate. The EU introduced a phased ban on production, not on sale or use.

There's a diminishing amount of stock still available.
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

TonyR
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby TonyR » 17 May 2013, 6:59pm

661-Pete wrote:I have lots of gripes about the CFLs but unfortunately we now have to live with the things.


Actually not. LEDs are replacing CFLs just as LEDs are replacing filament lights on bicycles. Most of our lights are now LEDs. They are a considerable power saving - about 80-90% - have no warm up time, don't break, don't contain any mercury, aren't bothered by being switched on and off...... Lifetime tends to be limited by the electronics not the LED. They will still pollute the night sky just as much though although the LED street lights going in now are much better shielded and directional than the sodium lamps ;-)

MarkF
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby MarkF » 17 May 2013, 7:22pm

Incandescents are great, I like the light and they are extremely efficient, light+heat, nowt wasted!

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661-Pete
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby 661-Pete » 17 May 2013, 7:29pm

TonyR wrote:
661-Pete wrote:I have lots of gripes about the CFLs but unfortunately we now have to live with the things.


Actually not. LEDs are replacing CFLs just as LEDs are replacing filament lights on bicycles. Most of our lights are now LEDs. They are a considerable power saving - about 80-90% - have no warm up time, don't break, don't contain any mercury, aren't bothered by being switched on and off...... Lifetime tends to be limited by the electronics not the LED. They will still pollute the night sky just as much though although the LED street lights going in now are much better shielded and directional than the sodium lamps ;-)
Yep - bring on the LEDs but also educate people about not leaving lights on - pleeeeease!!!
It can't be by accident that car and cycle lights have skipped the CFL technology entirely and gone straight to LEDs.
But I emphasise the word NOW. LEDs are still a bit pricey and not commonly found for household lighting. But the future maybe.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

blackbike
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Re: Low-life bulbs

Postby blackbike » 17 May 2013, 8:09pm

I've got about 120 energy saving CFL bulbs in reserve because so many were given away free.