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Old May 13th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #1
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Article: Future growing dim for incandescent bulbs

This is getting serious, some states/countries are passing laws to ban incadescent bulbs:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/4798297.html
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:58 PM   #2
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I was in a big store just the other day - WalMart I think - and noticed that the incandescent bulb selection was smaller than compact flourescent.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #3
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While I don't want the govt telling me what type of light bulb I can or can't use, it is kind of crazy that we shop for tungsten lighting the same way we shop for space heaters. Whether you need 2kw of light or heat, you're gonna end up with both.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #4
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I've heard of two or three places now that are considering a ban on tungsten lighting but the following comes to mind (not that I'm against banning tungsten mind you ;-) :

1). How will it be enforced? If one state doesn't sell it and the one next to it does sell tungsten, what's to keep you or I from crossing the state line and buying some.

2). Will video / film production entities be grandfathered in to use tungsten or will they be required to upgrade from tungsten lighting to metal halide, fluorescent and/or LEDs? Can you imagine the upgrade costs for all the studios that might be affected in CA alone?

3). Will stores simply quit stocking tungsten light bulbs?

4). Will people with dimmer circuits realize that they better switch over to regular on/off lighting switches or run the risk of burning out a CFL ballast.

It just doesn't seem terribly practical to legislate things like this. Remember the ban on freon. Right! Thank God, no one is using freon anymore. ;-)
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Old May 14th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #5
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I suspect that it will take quite a while to phase out ALL incandescent bulbs/globes/lamps. It won't take much to get rid of most E36 "Edison" medium-base tungsten bulbs as there are perfect substitutes for them in all situations a dimmer isn't being used. Dimmers aren't so incredibly prevalent in daily use that a workaround couldn't be found. Most of the time, dimmers are used on "full" or "off" with the occasional dim setting used in certain circumstances like movie watching or romantic dinners. Simply having multiple circuits can eliminate the need for a dimmer. Populate one with bright bulbs and the other with dim and you get dim/bright/very bright choices by eliminating or combining circuits with two switches.

The bulbs that will stick around and legislation won't be able to include for a while will be those used in specialty fixtures like MR16 halogens. There aren't any micro fluorescent bulbs, so small fixtures will likely be exempt for a while. LED will eventually replace those and the energy savings will offset the up-front costs. I don't think the half-dozen MR16 bulbs in the average house that will eventually need to be replaced with LEDs will bankrupt the consumer.

"Remember the ban on freon. Right! Thank God, no one is using freon anymore. ;-)"

In the U.S. almost nobody is using Freon anymore. One of my roommates is a refrigeration technician and practically everything has been switched to other gases. For the consumer, R134a is available for automobiles made after about 1993. Most cars before R134a are no longer on the road and even those can be adapted to the new gas using replacement orifices. Legislation does work to help the environment. If people continue to make poor environmental choices even though a good substitute is available, the government sometimes needs to step in. Sometimes legislation is needed to simply synchronize the inevitable switch. Fortunately, it looks like people here are starting to get the idea and voluntarily switch (where possible) to energy-saving bulbs.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #6
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Fortunately, at least in my case, the newer CFLs are better substitutes for interview lighting and keeping things cool. We still need tungstens and halos for backlit scenes, keys and projection. However, that may change as new laws will bring about more competition and money to improve designs.

I'm sure there will be some resistance from US manufacturers, as they may lobby for some breathing room in order to retool plants and redesign their product lines. Stiff competiton from overseas may also force early compliance.

We the customers will win, and there will be plenty more products to choose from. When you think that about $50 in CFL lighting will yield plenty of color correct lighting for what an equivalent $1200 lowel kit can do... Of course, that kit is more than just bright lights. But for the budget minded, you can start out on petty cash. This is good news.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #7
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Thing is, video renders color much different from our eyes. While you can white balance to CFL's, the color of most of the ones I've seen are pretty unpleasant around the house. I use them in places like the store room, front porch, crawl space, etc. But not in the living room, bedroom or bathroom. My house has dimmers on just about every fixture, and I prefer the warm glow of incandescent at a low level which is more like candle light.

I think you're right about LED's though, that's really where we're headed.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:29 AM   #8
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I can understand being use to the soft yellow of incadescents. After using some decent quality 5500k's to light my home office, my initial reaction was not very positive, it just didn't seem natural. However, over time, I've found it to be actually more pleasing and less eye strain and fatigue.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ferling View Post
I can understand being use to the soft yellow of incadescents. After using some decent quality 5500k's to light my home office, my initial reaction was not very positive, it just didn't seem natural. However, over time, I've found it to be actually more pleasing and less eye strain and fatigue.
The thing I found was, after I got used to 5500K, I grew to like it very well and it get's to the point that you're not even really aware of it after a while. Most do get to feel it's a very natural light after time, and I agree about being more pleasing too.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #10
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Unfortunately, most all of the CFL's that are being, and will be sold if the conventional bulbs are banned, are the ones that are not pleasant to have on at all. They give a greenish tint to everything and are tough to get used to. I do use a few, like in my front porch lights. I even use them in my living room, trying to save a couple of bucks, as these are the lights I usually have on. But, that decision was made before I learned more about them.

What you are generally not told about these bulbs is the problems switching over would cause.

First, they contain mercury. They must be handled with care and you will not be able to just throw them away. They must be recycled and there are few places that take mercury right now. If broken, it may cost you a ton. In the news a couple of weeks ago, Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine dropped one while changing over and had to call in a hazmat team. The clean-up cost her $2,004.28. Switching over in the US would add 50,000 pounds of mercury to our environment here. Now if you dropped a bulb would you pay to have it cleaned up properly? And, what about all of those bulbs that will not be recycled properly?

Second, there are no manufactures of these bulbs here in the US, and for that fact probably most other countries. All of the bulbs we have come from China. If we are required to switch, the Chinese will have to build many new factories to handle the workload. China is the worst polluter in the world right now, as they use little or no pollution controls. So all of the energy and pollution reduction we see here will be more than offset by the pollution in China's manufacturing.

Personally I'm with Greg and think that LED's would be better and cheaper in the long run. I picked up a new camera light at NAB that is really neat! I'll post a review on it in time, but I think it will come in handy. It uses 48 LED's and puts out the equivalent of 50 watts and runs for 15 to 20 hours on three AA batteries.

Time will tell, but for now I hope they don't jump into mandating this change.

Mike
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #11
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IMO governments really need to get onto the ball in disposing of fluorescent lights, batteries, and materials with lead in it (esp. old computers). There are and will be many people who just throw them in the garbage.

Banning incandescents sort of seems like a good idea, but it might be self-defeating when there is no convenient way for people to dispose of toxic materials properly.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #12
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actually, china is still second to the united states as far as greenhouse emissions go, but does seem to be gunning hard for first.

i would agree the options just aren't there yet, but i think peter's right. i welcome the kinds of conversations that inspire innovation as opposed to the same ol' way of doing things. here's to better, cheaper, and planet-friendlier.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #13
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The biggest or most immediate problem is that it's much easier to place regular trash on the curb, than having to remember to drive into town and find the obscure location to properly dispose the materials. We'd have to adopt a curbside or community hazardous waste collection plan (like we do with seperate containers for recycling). If made easy, folks will follow.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #14
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Off topic.

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Last edited by Mike Teutsch; May 16th, 2007 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Off topic.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
The bulbs that will stick around and legislation won't be able to include for a while will be those used in specialty fixtures like MR16 halogens. There aren't any micro fluorescent bulbs, so small fixtures will likely be exempt for a while. LED will eventually replace those and the energy savings will offset the up-front costs. I don't think the half-dozen MR16 bulbs in the average house that will eventually need to be replaced with LEDs will bankrupt the consumer.
Actually there is an MR16 fluorescent. Very small and cute and actually not too bad but certainly not as bright as a halogen:

http://beautyshadow.trustpass.alibab...light_CFL.html

Some use cold cathode technology (neon) to allow them to be so small. The LED ones are definitely still a bit too expensive to replace halogens and the fluorescent ones are not commonly available yet.

I think LEDs have a long way to go to be accepted as a fluorescent replacement. The cost alone will keep most away for now. They are still in the position of not being mass produced enough to lower the cost yet--even with the tremendous amount of them produced now.

I visited an LED factory here in Shenzhen recently and I can tell you there is a lot of expensive semiconductor type equipment necessary and a lot of steps to making one. Until all that changes I doubt the cost will go down much. Also, lumens per watt are rising in LEDs but they still aren't as good as CFL figures. 20 to 30 lumens per watt or so is a pretty common figure for LEDs. Tungsten is 10 to 20 lumens per watt. In the laboratory some LEDs are obtaining 100 to 110 lumens per watt (Cree and Nichia are two pioneers) but they are a ways from being mass distributed and are super expensive. These things get so hot though they need massive heat sinks. CFL is 50 to 80 lumens per watt and being accepted more and more. My 60w LED that I've got on the bench only puts out 30 lumens per watt (1800 lumens). That LED is definitely too expensive to replace a CFL for household use.

Mass production of CFL is lowering the cost immensely. Quality and CRI is going up. I disagree with the statement that most of the bulbs give out green cast. That's old information. Peter, Marcus, myself and several others have shown what you can do with a common Home Depot N:Vision bulb of CRI 80 or so. Wallmart has been selling high CRI products for a while now too. Over time, as more sources for rare earth phosphors develop, the higher CRI products will be more common and drop in price. CRI is a common spec quoted on packages now and consumers will learn more about it over time.

When you have LED bulbs like this that are interesting for specialized uses like video but too expensive for household use...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Brightest-110-V-...QQcmdZViewItem

...then it's a while before they get wider use.

While I'm doing a lot with LEDs right now and love them, predicting the demise of the CFL at the hands of the LED is very premature. Look how long it took to get to this point where market share for CFL is rising. It was a combination of things that finally made it happen. Now consumers are slowly accepting the CFL for lifetime, energy reduction, more color temperature choices, E26 socket ease of use for replacement of other bulbs, etc.

I seriously doubt consumers will accept a $24 bulb for a while, especially if the lumen output isn't as great as even a CFL.
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