A sad farewell to the 60 Watt bulb


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Rigby

We used to play with mercury in school. Roll it around in our hands, play "mercury marbles" with it, etc. Yeah it was stupid but we didn't know any better back then, and these days you break a thermometer and they seal off the school and call in Hazmat. It's kind of ridiculous...it's not Plutonium.

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Southern Patriot

For this reason I only use CFL where I don't spend a lot of time: garage, outdoor, closets, etc.

The irony is that places like that (where you aren't likely to have the light on very often, or for very long at a time), are actually some of the worst places to use CFLs, from a cost-savings standpoint.

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ATLien_0

two thoughts on this ban which is good and bad

my family is renovating a house right now, which has temporary lights in it. which are incandescent and cheap. why would we spend the money to have a cfl hanging from the ceiling in a work area? cfls are great in actual fixtures not for work areas.

the other is the sustainable side of things. CFLs use less energy which in return cost you less however the cost to manufacture is what is actually bad, costly and less sustainable than incandescent bulbs

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The_Decryptor

? CFLs and LED lighting, so much nicer than incandescents (more accurate colour, lower power usage, long life span, etc.). Apart from being used to it, I don't know how anybody can use a bulb around 2700K, unless they're trying to match the yellow to their furniture.

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Jebadiah

You mean this law, passed in 2007? LINK

Where does it say anything about banning or phasing out incandescent bulbs or forcing CFLs and/or LEDs? The govt. recently tried to subsidize efficient bulbs such as LEDs so that there would be a mainstream push towards more efficient bulbs. This was probably because of the cuts the US made because of the recent debt limit negotiations. This is what I was referring to. I blame the Tea Party for the mess because if it wasn't for them, we would have had a bigger increase in the debt limit to do things that really matter in the long term.

Do we even need to buy terrible bulbs when we have the option of LEDs? Do we really want to buy incandescent bulbs every couple of months when they die out? Do we want our electric bills to be higher just because we have the choice to buy incandescent bulbs?

I would rather have a ban on the production of incandescent bulbs. Give the bulb corporations 1 year to phase incandescent bulbs out and get into the business of producing only LED bulbs. Win-Win.

Since, CFLs and mercury has been mentioned in this thread, I should point out that the mercury content and disposal is only a problem if you break the bulb before the end of its natural life (and particularly if you break a new bulb while installing it). The mercury content is measured to coincide with its natural life so that there should be no mercury remaining when the bulb wears out naturally. The thing to remember is to screw in a CFL from the ballast rather than touching the glass with your fingers.

A few things I would like to point out:

1. If the CFL dies out before its natural end of life, the bulb still contains Mercury.

2. Even if the CFL has reached its end of life, there is no guarantee that there is ZERO Mercury left in the CFL.

3. CFLs don't have a nuclear reaction going on inside them, so Mercury cannot turn into some other element. Therefore, Mercury remains in its elemental form or as a compound [, if there was a chemical reaction,] in the CFL, both forms being dangerous because they cause Mercury poisoning. It is very difficult to dispose off Mercury properly from the CFL.

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Andre S.
Quote

CRI is not a good indicator for use in visual assessment

No model is perfect. However, it's obvious that a light source that doesn't emit a certain color will not render that color as well as a light source that does. Anyone can tell their car looks quite different in an interior parking, because of the use of cheap CFLs there.

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HawkMan

No it looks different because you see the actual color of the car. The yellow incandescent are missing the higher end of the spectrum, the colder, white white. And thus they add a yello tinge to everything. The cool white(standar for garages because of more light) will show more accurate color, since it is, you know, white.

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Teebor

I don't get on with these low energy things we have to use now, I have to turn the light on half an hour before I want to actually use it to read as it takes so long to warm up.

But then replacing it with a newer one might work better, but doesn't that defeat the point of having one of these bulbs in the first place? I mean they are supposed to last a long time

Which brings me to my next point, when an old incandescent decided it was time to die it would just go "pop" every time one of these new bulbs goes wrong its like a firworks display. The light flickers on and off, it makes a loud buzzing/crackling/popping sound and the actual base of the light illuminates like it is on fire! It keeps doing this until I get to the light switch and turn it off.

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Andre S.

I was talking in comparison to sunlight.

The yellow incandescent are missing the higher end of the spectrum, the colder, white white.
White is not part of the spectrum. Incandescent go all the way to UV, but they do favor yellows more than sunlight. In comparison, CFL only render specific individual frequencies of the spectrum, so they're actually missing most colors.
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HawkMan

They're not actually. if you divide the beam like that, yes it appears to be missing some wavelengths, but it does not affect the quality of the light or the colors it can reproduce. which if why the very article you linked to, said it's not a very good measurement and is no longer used and has been replaced.

the only reason you see a difference between incandescent and fluorescent is because of the color temperature, not because you've got an idea that the missing wavelengths affect the light.

I don't get on with these low energy things we have to use now, I have to turn the light on half an hour before I want to actually use it to read as it takes so long to warm up.

But then replacing it with a newer one might work better, but doesn't that defeat the point of having one of these bulbs in the first place? I mean they are supposed to last a long time

Which brings me to my next point, when an old incandescent decided it was time to die it would just go "pop" every time one of these new bulbs goes wrong its like a firworks display. The light flickers on and off, it makes a loud buzzing/crackling/popping sound and the actual base of the light illuminates like it is on fire! It keeps doing this until I get to the light switch and turn it off.

Don't buy the cheap **** quality CFL's and upgrade. they'll last for 10+ years without fading and they won't go poof in the starter electronics when they go. the quality ones will also be near instant on. compare the philip and Osram ones that start up immediately to the crap ikea stuff(which is still better than some of the crap you see at the convenience stores), that not only take a long time to start up, they start each individual "tube" separately so you get a 3 staged startup on them.

There's a reason the more expensive ones are more expensive. The rule of thumb that you get what you pay for still applies.

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Andre S.
the only reason you see a difference between incandescent and fluorescent is because of the color temperature, not because you've got an idea that the missing wavelengths affect the light.
Well please explain how a light that doesn't emit wavelength x will effectively render that color. Because that's just fundamentally how we see colors: materials reflect selected wavelengths. But if the wavelengths are not there, they're not reflected.

The difference between daylight and incandescent is much less than between CFL and daylight. If you ever did photography for instance you should know that most CFLs are completly worthless for that purpose.

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HawkMan

I do photography, also, a lot of new studio lighting is now using CFL's so... yeah.... totally worthless for that purpose :rolleyes:

as for your statement that they can't make colors that the light doesn't give, well you obviously have a complete lack of understanding of color theory, and as I'm heading out the door to work right now I can't explain color theory to you right now. but I'm sure you can figure it out if you think back to your childhood playing with color silly putty ;)

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Andre S.

I do photography, also, a lot of new studio lighting is now using CFL's so... yeah.... totally worthless for that purpose :rolleyes:

They're using specific CFLs designed to be usable for that purpose, and quite expensive. I said most aren't and that's true. As for accusing me of not understanding light theory, well, you did mention white as part of the spectrum so... yeah. :laugh: I asked you a question, so if you have anything meaningful to answer, do it, cause throwing ad hominems around isn't going to do much.
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Wolfbane

have you read the directions on what you need to do to expose of a broken bulb?

Good for the environment? No more so than the normal bulb. Bad for human kind's health? Yep.

And the energy saver bulbs which are being pushed currently (at least by the NZ Govt) contain mercury vapour, are far less efficient than LEDs and provide crap light. Plus they blow easier.

It probably leaks out over the lifetime of the bulb, until there is none left when the bulb blows.

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Teebor

Don't buy the cheap **** quality CFL's and upgrade. they'll last for 10+ years without fading and they won't go poof in the starter electronics when they go. the quality ones will also be near instant on. compare the philip and Osram ones that start up immediately to the crap ikea stuff(which is still better than some of the crap you see at the convenience stores), that not only take a long time to start up, they start each individual "tube" separately so you get a 3 staged startup on them.

There's a reason the more expensive ones are more expensive. The rule of thumb that you get what you pay for still applies.

Yeah missed the point really, I've had these ones for a while since they are long life after all but they sure as hell were not cheap. So I'm not just going to throw them out (defeats the point in buying these longer lasting bulbs not to mention the cost) and replace them with newer "more expensive ones" If I buy more expensive than I have now I would be looking at almost ?10 a bulb! how is that supposed to be better? I could buy several old style incandescent bulbs per year if a bulb costing me ?10 lasted 10 years.

Also ikea make lightbulbs? if its like their furniture its probably made of paper.

Can't say I've seen a cfl start up in stages either, all mine just turn on when you flick the switch. Come to think of it most of them have three distinct tubes but they just power on. One or two of them then just take a long time to actually produce a light that can be used to comfortably read from, I often joke about one making the room darker when you turn it on :D

Did some googling, this looks like the type I have that takes forever to start working - http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.jsp?action=detail&fh_secondid=9412925&fh_location=//catalog01/en_GB/categories%3C{9372013}/categories%3C{9372029}/categories%3C{9372111}/specificationsProductType=energy_saving_bulbs/specificationsSpecificProductType=classic_bulbs

Good old GE product :(

Given that most of the bulbs cost like ?1 on that site even this seems expensive. But it did cost me more than is listed on that page.

Funnily enough the best once I do currently have in the house cost me ?0.00 and they are bright and clear

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Slugsie

I replaced pretty much all the bulbs in my house with CFLs or Halogens 14 years ago. Sure some of the older bulbs may take 10 seconds or so to get to reasonable brightness, but the fact that in all that time I've probably had to replace 5 bulbs out of the 30 or so in the house because of failure speaks volumes. They're also not expensive anymore. I've got a stock of CFL bulbs which cost me as little as 10p each.

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Dessimat0r

I used to love 60W bulbs, but now get my bulbs from Klas Ohlson over in Liverpool. They only use something like 6W and are just as bright, and give out the same kind of light. They cost ~?3 each, but they last ages compared to the 60W bulbs.

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Malisk

It's not a weird ban. Sometimes we need to move on from old technology that's incredibly wasteful. New bulbs use a fraction of the power, and last much longer. While they may cost more up front to buy, they save a fair amount of money for you, and a TON for the world as a whole while trying to reduce energy usage. The incandescent bulb, while it was a wonderful invention, is outdated and pointless now. New bulbs can be purchased that look identical to incandescents when installed, so there's no argument at all for incandescent bulbs anymore.

Agreed on this. The environmental improvements here are pretty immense.

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Sir Topham Hatt

It doesn't really affect me as all the bulbs I own are power saving ones anyway.

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The_Decryptor

...

As for accusing me of not understanding light theory, well, you did mention white as part of the spectrum so... yeah.

I'm pretty sure HawkMan meant the colour temperature there, which matches what he actually said. Incandescent bulbs are "cool", which means their colour is "warm" (ugh), Our sun is warm, so it's colour is cool (hence why "warm" CFL bulbs give off white/blue light, and are labelled as "cool daylight")

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Fred Derf

A few things I would like to point out:

1. If the CFL dies out before its natural end of life, the bulb still contains Mercury.

2. Even if the CFL has reached its end of life, there is no guarantee that there is ZERO Mercury left in the CFL.

3. CFLs don't have a nuclear reaction going on inside them, so Mercury cannot turn into some other element. Therefore, Mercury remains in its elemental form or as a compound [, if there was a chemical reaction,] in the CFL, both forms being dangerous because they cause Mercury poisoning. It is very difficult to dispose off Mercury properly from the CFL.

1. Yes, the greatest "danger" comes from a new bulb breaking while it is being installed. It would still have the full 5 mg.

2. True, the mercury is designed to coincide with the 7 year lifespan (or whatever they claim is the life). Keep in mind, though, that even a new bulb has relatively little mercury compared to a home thermometer.

3. Mercury is the only metal that starts off as a liquid in room temperature. It turns into a gas relatively easily (357C).

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Southern Patriot

Where does it say anything about banning or phasing out incandescent bulbs or forcing CFLs and/or LEDs?

<snipped>

Provisions (from that link)

Energy savings

Revised standards for appliances and lighting.

Requires roughly 25 percent greater efficiency for light bulbs, phased in from 2012 through 2014. This effectively bans the manufacturing and importing of most current incandescent light bulbs.

and Incandescent Lights (also in that article)

Under the law, incandescent bulbs that produce 310?2600 lumens of light are effectively phased out between 2012 and 2014. Bulbs outside this range (roughly, light bulbs currently less than 40 watts or more than 150 watts) are exempt from the ban.

Edited by Fred Derf
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HawkMan

They're using specific CFLs designed to be usable for that purpose, and quite expensive. I said most aren't and that's true. As for accusing me of not understanding light theory, well, you did mention white as part of the spectrum so... yeah. :laugh: I asked you a question, so if you have anything meaningful to answer, do it, cause throwing ad hominems around isn't going to do much.

whatever they may call them, they are the same CFL's as the higher quality high Watt CFL bulbs you get at the store. but again, there are big differences between cheap and high quality CFL's, but they're not special by any means.

and it wasn't an ad hominem, anyway, even those cheap CFL's there, have a far larger color gamut than ANY DSLR on the market right now. meaning the camera won't really see a difference in that light and the full color gamut of the sun. except for the white balance and color temp. wheter the light itself spews out every unique wavelength there is doesn't matter as long aas it gives off the right ones, as long as those are there, you will see all the colors that are out there, since the wavelengths it releases are enough to recreate any of the ones that are missing.

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P!P

I'm going to miss the standard 60 watt bulb. If I'm going to start replacing bulbs, it's going to be with LED light bulbs. I'm not a huge fan of the other light bulb technologies. LEDs are still pretty spendy but I guess I have no other choice.

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