Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > Another Green lie from the BBC - LED lamps this time

From another thread:

(...) They give poor light, take an age to reach maximum light levels, cost too much, do not last longer than conventional bulbs, and contain an environmental poison (...)
Nov 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM John Marshall

(...) it is true that early bulbs had some of the characteristics you claim; but modern bulbs don't.
Nov 1, 2012 at 6:00 PM BitBucket
(my emphasis)


That's BB joke - right?

(John did not mention that, also, they are specially dim at low ambient temperature.)

From the current thread:

Anders, if you have a 60W bulb in a closet I'd say you are more at risk of dying from fire than old age.

That's another BB joke - right?

(...)

On heating your home, why not scrap the heating system and just use light bulbs? You might find that gas is cheaper...
Nov 4, 2012 at 2:46 PM BitBucket

Or you might not. About four years ago I did a comparison and found that French daytime electricity cost about the same as liquid gas per unit of heat. If you included the cost of installation and maintenance, daytime electricity was a very clear winner. (Night-time electricity was cheaper still.)

BB - you often tend to come across as a silly smart-arse. Yet now and then you actually have something pertinent to say. Why don't you try to refrain from posting stuff unless it passes the pertinence test?

Nov 4, 2012 at 7:35 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A:

BB - you often tend to come across as a silly smart-arse. Yet now and then you actually have something pertinent to say. Why don't you try to refrain from posting stuff unless it passes the pertinence test?

Quite true, sorry to cause irritation. I'll try to filter my output :-(

On the points you raise, I honestly fail to understand the anger CFL bulbs raise. Are they slow? I don't notice it if they are. Are they dim or por light? Yes, some are, so buy more powerful ones or different colour. Do they contain mercury? Yes, but so do strip lights and I have never heard anyone moaning about them. Are they expensive? Not particularly given that they last much longer and save money on energy. Do they last longer? In my experience they do, much longer.

On bulbs in closets, I'm not joking. 60W bulbs get quite hot. Get something flammable touching that and ... I'd feel safer with a mini fluorescent. Maybe I'm paranoid.

On heating with electricity, by "liquid gas", do you mean Calor Gas and the like? Is that a good comparison? My uncle uses it (being off-grid) but I get the impression that it is not cheap. His fuel bill is twice that of my father's although in a smaller house. Note however that Mackay (DECC) favours electricity with ground/air source heat exchangers, where the efficiency is several hundred percent.

Nov 4, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

The CFL bulbs in my house (esp. night light on the landing for the kids) usually don't even last a year. As already stated, the start-up time between flicking the switch and adequate output to negotiate the stairs (household accident hotspot number 1) is also way too long. Regular incandesants are of course effective space heaters, but for internal use why is that a bad thing? Except for a short period during the height of summer, the extra heat from old-fashioned lamps is welcome. And it could be argued that replacing it with a CFL or LED would increase heating costs instead..

Toxicity of CFLs is also a growing problem given the increased domestic prevalence of these bulbs.

In Germany if one breaks, school buildings even have an evacuation procedure, which is not crazy given what ScientificAmerican / EPA says -

quote -
Jim Berlow, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste Minimization and Management Division, recommends starting by opening the windows and stepping outside. "Any problems at all frequently are handled for the most part by quickly ventilating the room," he says. "Get all the people and pets out of the room for 15 minutes and let the room air out. If you have a central heating system or an HVAC [heating, ventilating and air-conditioning] system, you don't want it sucking the fumes around, so shut that down."

The important thing is not to touch the heavy metal. After airing out the room, the larger pieces of the bulb should be scooped off hard surfaces with stiff paper or cardboard or picked up off carpeted surfaces with gloves to avoid contact. Use sticky tape or duct tape to pick up smaller fragments; then, on hard surfaces, wipe down the area with a damp paper towel or a wet wipe. All materials should be placed in a sealable plastic bag or, even better, in a glass jar with a metal lid.

"If it gets in the jar, that's pretty good containment," Berlow states. "We've found that the plastic bags actually don't contain any mercury fumes, so absolutely, if you've got the plastic bag, get it outside when you're done." Vacuums or brooms should generally be avoided, as they can spread mercury to other parts of the house.

- end quote

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-compact-fluorescent-lightbulbs-dangerous

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

all that will happen of course as the LED's get better (I've got a few that are very good) they will get cheaper, and as they are cheaper to run, and people will use loads of them, in new ways, walls of light,etc,etc

and more electricity will be used than before ;-)

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Quite true, sorry to cause irritation. I'll try to filter my output :-(

On the points you raise, I honestly fail to understand the anger CFL bulbs raise.


In that case, please try harder. Can you *really* not understand, if you have read the previous postings on this thread?


If you *have* read the previous postings, it seems unlikely that an additional explanation will help. But here it is all the same...

The anger comes from something that:

- We are compelled to comply with even though we don't want to and we believe that it solves no actual problem. [This above all else, explains the anger. If you don't understand that, you never will.]

- Has clearly not been the subject of any proper cost/benefit analysis (accident estimates? Hg impacts? )

- Has been over-sold (eg "8000 hours lifetime" - yet I took three to the disposal centre last week that had not even been installed 8000 hrs. They mostly fail through the crappy electronic components in them failing. Even the LED lamps have their share of premature failures).

- Subjects us to new risks

- Some (including me) think that they were made compulsory as a result of behind-the-scenes lobbying and who knows what else by manufacturers who were unsuccessful at competing in the incandescent lamp market. My viewpoint here is that I am a victim of crime - something that also makes me cross.

On heating with electricity, by "liquid gas", do you mean Calor Gas and the like? Is that a good comparison?

I mean gas that is delivered by a tanker and stored (enough for a year) in a large pressure tank. It's the only sort of gas available in rural areas, so it's the only comparison that is relevant if you don't live in an urban area. Your comment came across as a total smart-arse response to someone who had simply pointed out that heat from lighting is usually a welcome bye-product.

Anders, if you have a 60W bulb in a closet I'd say you are more at risk of dying from fire than old age.
You, BB, might well say that. But 60W lamp bulbs were never widely regarded as a fire risk, even when fitted with frilly fabric lampshades - let alone the most probable cause of death for their users.

Nov 5, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin, yes I have read all those arguments before, but they always strike me as a population that dislikes the objective (reducing emissions) searching for any possible reason to reject CFLs. You've got a kitchen full of fluorescent lamps; how can you possibly object to CFLs on Hg grounds? Your suggestion of lobbying is a good conspiracy theory, but not worth taking seriously.

On "smart-arse responses", I guess you are referring to my "On heating your home, why not scrap the heating system and just use light bulbs? You might find that gas is cheaper...". Are you totally devoid of humour? Or have I irritated you enough in the past that you can't see anything I write an a sympathetic light?

On 60W bulbs and frilly shades, why do you think that many lamps come with little notes saying, "Max 40W"?

Nov 5, 2012 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BB: I honestly fail to understand the anger CFL bulbs raise.

MA:... it seems unlikely that an additional explanation will help. But here it is all the same...

BB:Martin, yes I have read all those arguments before, but they always strike me as a population that dislikes the objective (reducing emissions) searching for any possible reason to reject CFLs.

Your reactions and comments strike me as resembling those of someone who's been diagnosed as having Asperger's to a degree.

I explained why we feel the way we feel but it's clearly outside your comprehension. Instead of saying something like "Yes, I can see that you would find that annoying if it's what you believe" you come back and say that our dislike of reducing CO2 emissions causes us to rationalise our dislike of CFL's.

As you say yourself, you really don't get it.

Nov 5, 2012 at 4:04 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Oh great, a retired electronics engineer turned conspiracy theorist and amateur shrink. You really do belong here!

Nov 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

... And you don't. Sling your hook BB there are plenty of doomsday cult sites out there who would welcome your 'on message' style without a trace of sarcasm.

You are right that the population doesn't want to reduce emissions as they like the health and well-being benefits of economic development that mean they can live longer and healthier lives. Reducing consumption to 3rd world levels that would result from using solar and wind exclusively is indeed not on the cards. They also don't like being lied to by hysterical, partisan activist-scientists (James Hansen for example) and the cabal at the UEA and the rest of 'The TeM', who tried and failed to 'hide the decline'.

So there will be no reduction in emissions until technology enables it. Social engineering that the big government fans want to foist upon us is doomed to fail.

Nov 7, 2012 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

I don't remember getting a vote on this, that's the point isn't it, the people are being by-passed by the regulators, nowhere more so than in the USA, Land of the Free.

I don't like LED light, but recognise that it could be useful, and does save money in the long term. Same with CFLs I have some that when you switch the light on it's best to go to the kitchen and have a cup of tea before venturing back into the room you've switched the lights on in. Later versions come on faster and give out the same sort of light as the old incandescents. So, other than having to pay £10 for a light bulb that the manufacturers assure me will still be usable many years after my death, I'm reasonably postitive about the progress of the replacements for incandescent.

Having said all that the government has no right whatsoever to ban incandescents without the consent of the people.

Nov 7, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

...nowhere more so than in the USA, Land of the Free.

Or maybe Australia, the Lucky Country. Someone there asked me to send him some incandescents. He does colour matching and you get erroneous results under light from CFL's. I mailed off a pack of six 100 watters.

Instead of the lamp bulbs, he received a letter from the Oz Customs saying that his attempt to import forbidden items had been noted and, next time, action would be taken.

Nov 7, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

Thankyou, FarleyR, I think you've summed it up quite nicely for us!

BitBucket

Or have I irritated you enough in the past that you can't see anything I write an a sympathetic light?
Basically, yes. It would help if you didn't (apparently) take up an adversarial stance simply for the sake of it.
It's usually called trolling and is in a way made worse by the fact that every now and again (perhaps even by accident!) you say something that makes sense.
Unlike the cockroach, for example, whose sole purpose here is to be a pain in the arse.

Nov 7, 2012 at 1:14 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Actually, when one knows that whatever he writes he will receive the textual equivalent of bing spat on, it can tend engender a rather negative attitude towards correspondents. But I will try to moderate my feelings in future, especially after such a nice post by you :-)

BTW, who is the 'cockroach'?

Nov 7, 2012 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BB
Something that appears, insults everyone, gets squashed, re-appears, insults everyone, gets squashed, and so ad infinitum.
Not been known to make a sensible comment either accidentally or deliberately.

Nov 7, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike, I was hoping he'd follow FarleyR's advice and sling his hook. But you've encouraged him.

I imagine that from now on there will now be no end to the jokes BB posts here to regale us.

I guess you are referring to my "On heating your home, why not scrap the heating system and just use light bulbs? You might find that gas is cheaper...". Are you totally devoid of humour?
Nov 5, 2012 at 2:33 PM BitBucket


Maybe AM could add a chapter giving hints on wiping out local wildlife in the first reprint of his much anticipated book...
Oct 15, 2012 at 1:04 AM BitBucket
You didn't like my little joke? Do all "skeptics" lack a sense of humour?

....unlike you true followers of that holy trinity, the Auditor, the Accountant and the Weatherman.
Oct 15, 2012 at 1:17 PM BitBucket

Nov 8, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Sorry, Martin, but as long as someone makes at least the occasional sensible contribution I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. We don't want actually to become the echo chamber that certain people accuse us of being.
On the other hand, I would suggest that BB might like to look on recent comments as a yellow card perhaps, no?

Nov 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Lots of interesting reading:
http://www.concerninglight.com/MERCURYINFLUORESCENTLIGHTING.pdf

The day that 60W incandescents were banned from market in Europe (31 August 2011), the price of CFL's rose about 25%.


On lobbying:
http://www.enlighten-initiative.org/portal/Home/tabid/56373/Default.aspx

"The en.lighten initiative was created in 2009 as a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), OSRAM AG and Philips Lighting with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)."

Nov 8, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin, as a keen opponent of fluorescent lighting etc, why are you such a user of CFLs and tubes?

Nov 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BB, as a keen opponent of fluorescent lighting CO2 emissions etc, why are you such a user of CFLs and tubes transportation fuelled by fossil fuel and products manufactured using energy from fossil fuel?

I happen to think nuclear energy is too dangerous for the human race to handle and the moral issues in its use are unacceptable. But that does not compel me to demand EDF (80% nuclear) to disconnect me from their network. Can you understand that point of view? If so, I'll expand (later) on my use of fluorescents and views on them.

Nov 8, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin, short of abstaining from most of modern society, it is difficult to avoid products etc that derive from fossile fuels. Similarly. if you live in France, you have little choice but to accept that nuclear is going to be part of your life in some ways. Disconnecting from the network doesn't change that and would be pointless. But there are lighting solutions that don't use mercury tinged tubes.

Nov 8, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

We have all read some great posts by Pointman - at least I hope you have.

This one summarises another chunk of Green Stupidity with regard to CFLs

http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/theres-a-killer-in-your-house-2/

Nov 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

BB - I thought you might possibly not get the point I was trying to make. You ask what appear to be questions but you often don't seem to take in the answers, and you'll then sometimes pose another question, at a tangent to the first. Other BH posters regard it as trolling. I interpret it as a difficulty in comprehending viewpoints different from your own.

Here's another try.

# You *could* abstain from using stuff that requires fossil fuel - but the cost would be unacceptable to you in relation to what you see as the benefit. The cost would be that your life would become extremely uncomfortable and probably quite short. The benefit would be, I imagine, that the total annual release of CO2 would be reduced by a factor of around 10^-9.

# I *could* abstain from using nuclear electricity - but the cost would be unacceptable to me in terms of what I see as the benefit.

I could do without it altogether, as people around here did during the war. Or I could set up my own diesel generator. Or I could take a contract with a French firm that assures me that it can supply me with non-nuclear electricity at a moderately increased cost - although I think there may be a fallacy in what they say. But I see no benefit to anyone, certainly not to me, from my abstaining as an individual from using nuclear electricity, so anything more than a completely nominal cost would be unacceptable to me. As you say, my disconnecting would be pointless.

# Much the same applies with my use of 100 W fluorescent tubes to get light levels I like. The cost to me of not using them would outweigh any benefit to me of not using them. My few CFL's, used mainly for low level background light, I now regard as a mistake. They'll eventually get replaced with LED lamps.

I'm in favour of the withdrawal of products that result in heavy metals being released - CFL's for example, just as I was in favour of the withdrawal of leaded petrol and, earlier, the replacement of lead water pipes. But this does not preclude my using such products while they are available, if the benefit to me outweighs the cost. Does this make any sense? Or does it convince you I am confused?

Following a quick count, three quarters of the lamps in my house are tungsten, by the way, so I'm not sure I really count as "such a user of CFLs and tubes".

Nov 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"...short of abstaining from most of modern society, it is difficult to avoid products etc that derive from fossile fuels."

As astute a remark as you've made, perhaps unwittingly, but nontheless astute. Now try putting some realism into the proposed reductions in CO2 output. What are the realistic timescales for the world reducing it's emissions to a level which will stabilise/lower the CO2 in the atmosphere. If it helps I'll lay out some of the parameters you'd need to understand to come to a conclusion with anything like a level of certainty to base our energy policies and green taxes on:

1. We need to understand when the Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, Mexicans, South Africans, Russians, Indonesians etc. will get with the plan. For a reasonable assessment I'll give you the following options:

(a) Never
(b) By 2020
(c) By 2030
(d) By 2050
(e) Don't know
(f) Immediately

2. We need to understand what technologies will provide us with enough energy to reduce our ouputs of CO2 to a level sufficient for the CO2 in the atmosphere to reduce to 20% below the 1990 level of 350ppm by 2050. Again the parameters would be;

(a) Wind.
(b) Solar.
(c) Nuclear.
(d) Tide power.
(e) Carbon capture and storage.
(f) Some unknown miracle technology

For each case you'd have to do a cost/benefit analysis, a review of the technological progress with a timeline for it's progression to being deployed.

You would also have to look at safety aspects of the solutions, clearly nuclear looks dangerous, wind causes environmental and health damage, as well as cutting up bats and birds. Large scale solar is improbable for a whole variety of reasons. Little is known about tide power and CCS has the underlying problem of what happens to the stored CO2 in the event of an earth quake, of for our great, great grandchildren, movement of the techtonic plates. it seems to me that when the real engineers get into designing this technology they'll have to understand what would happen if a sudden pulse of 50gigatons of stored CO2 is let into the atmosphere.

(3) You then have to understand what increases inenergy prices will have to be made to provide the government funding for the robust development of the chosen technologies, and whether our economy can support these increase.

(4) What would be the social effects of dramatically increases energy prices on our society, and would the voters put up with it.

They are just a few of the considerations one would have to make to plan energy policy, there are probably many more, but the utter futility of banning incandescent bulbs leaps out at you just from these.

"...short of abstaining from most of modern society, it is difficult to avoid products etc that derive from fossile fuels."

That we abstain from most of modern society is a clear goal of environmentalists, who quite cheerfully watch while 2000 children a day die of malaria because of their successful lobbying of western governments to ban it and refuse to provide aid to African countries that don't.

Nov 9, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Thanks for the link retired dave, it puts life in a new perspective. I'll definitely get rid of my CFLs. Thank goodness none of my other gear contains anything nasty or gives of electric smog.

You ask what appear to be questions but you often don't seem to take in the answers, and you'll then sometimes pose another question, at a tangent to the first. Other BH posters regard it as trolling. I interpret it as a difficulty in comprehending viewpoints different from your own.

Martin, if it pleases you I will explicitly accept or reject each and every thing that is said from now. It could get rather tedious and I feel it a bit unfair that this rule should apply to me only, but I'll give it a try.

1. yes I agree that abstaining from modern life to avoid fossil fuel use is pointless.

2, I can see that the same is true of nuclear, although I can't judge the cost-benefit ratio for your particular case/conscience.

3. On replacing tubes, again I can't judge the cost/benefit calculations you make. You seem quite exercised by the mercury content - you are content to accept that of a 100W tube but not that of four, 25W CFLs, which will probably be about the same (or maybe less). I find that rather odd, but its your cost/benefit analysis we are talking of, so you get to decide.

4. I also favour reducing emissions of polutants, heavy metals included. Is that contradictory, after all I am on the side of CFLs? Well, just like you, I have to weigh the costs and benefits of any choice. I consider the benefit of using both tubes and CFLs outweighs the disadvantages. You, and many others might disagree, just as many people disagree with spending large amounts of money cleaning up coal-fired power stations to reduce emissions. There are no perfect solutions that please everyone.

5. I agree that if 3/4 of your lamps are tungsten, you do not qualify as "such a user", just as "a user".

One thing I am sure of is that I'm more worried about falling off my bike than I am about electrical smog from my lights.

Geronimo, I've exhausted my BH time on Martin's post, so I'll have to come back to yours later :-)

Nov 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Hi BitBucket - sorry if my comment linking to Pointman's point touched a raw nerve. It was intended to be informative. The one thing about Pointman is that his points are always impeccably researched, whether you agree with him or not.

I am always a little taken aback when anyone bristles at actual research data - it happens all the time in Climate Science of course.

Of course much other stuff we have in our homes gives off a toxic fog - you only have to read the many "green building" books for advise on avoiding the worst of it. I am always careful about the paints I use and the material's in furniture and carpets I buy etc.

I think the point about CFL's is that they were forced upon us and in huge numbers by self-righteous people - if you didn't want them you were a bad person. Even given away "free" to get you started. I agree with your point about ordinary fluorescents and strip lights, but I don't have a single large fluorescent in my house and the two strip lights I have are tungsten based (I hope they don't go), and therefore the point is mute. Until CFLs mercury was one toxin my house lacked (as far as I know) before greenwash ensured I had little option. It is amazing how people (who always know better than us) can produce such an outcome to reduce CO2 emissions, especially as CO2's effectiveness as a GHG appears very short of predictions. Many local councils have no facilities for dealing with CFLs - getting rid of CO2 was more important than protecting people from toxins. Madness IMHO. Another ill-thought out, rapidly introduced green disaster to rank alongside bio-fuels.

I hope you don't get knocked off your bike. I must admit that I only ride on very quiet roads and Sustrans off-road tracks now - getting too old to be dodging cars!!!!

Nov 9, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave