View Full Version : Has everyone got their 100W bulbs?

11th Jan 2009, 17:31
I was reading that the light output of the ECO Bulbs where they mention on the packet the 20W = 100W tungsten bulb is a load of Baloney and that it is closer to 60W. The consumption is quoted at 20% of the standard bulb whereas whilst that is correct at switch on, after three minutes the consumption can approach 50%.

Drop and break one of these damn things in the house and the mercury vapour makes that room uninhabitable until decontaminated.

I think that going on past experience, the French will just say POUF, shrug and continue buying the tungsten variety. I will need to fit the house with screw fittings and import from 2012.:(

11th Jan 2009, 17:44
My 'everlasting' ersatz eco bulb expired yesterday, is it going to a designated eco dump? Not likely, it's going in my bin. I replaced it with a traditional 100 watt bulb.....heaven!

Apparently Lord Barnet (of the Barnet formula) is set to make a fortune out of the ersatz type.

Shopping tomorrow, for 3,000 100 watt bulbs. :cool:

11th Jan 2009, 18:09

I ran a wattmeter on a number of ECO bulbs and the power consumption was as stated or within a watt or two.

11th Jan 2009, 18:15
Got my free eco-bulbs from energy supplier last week.. after a brief trial I filed them under B 1 N... as vitor said, off B&Q tomorrow for as many 100w power guzzlers I can fit in the car.


tony draper
11th Jan 2009, 18:32
Changed all my bulbs for those squiggly glass tube eco friendly things,in one's own scientific opinion, they are shite light delivery wise,one does have some proper 100watt bulbs stashed away.
We invented the electric light bulb in my town yer know.

11th Jan 2009, 18:55
Ah, yes. The incandescent bulb’s swan song!

11th Jan 2009, 19:05

I was advised that it was the light output in lumens that was the measure rather than the input with volts/watts etc. However I stand to be corrected, but I'll bet that the ECO Bulbs are outputting less light than is quoted.

11th Jan 2009, 19:26
They also produce less light, with age. I have an expensive one that is now around 4 years old. The tubes look quite blackened and it's now near impossible to read with it. It says 11 Watt on the base and I think that's the tungsten equivalent I'm now getting!

11th Jan 2009, 20:12
For eco light bulbs read eco sh1te bulbs in my opinion. Hate them. Not bright enough.

11th Jan 2009, 20:30
The Eco-Loonies nearly succeeded in bringing about a ban on incandescent lights here, just prior to the last election. With the change of Government, the ban has gone out with the trash (and the Greens :D).

I do prefer the light from incandescent bulbs, but that said, I changed all the bulbs in my house for mini-fluoros about three years ago. My experience is that the light is harsher and not so usefully bright*, and they take a minute or two to warm up to full output; also they don't last anywhere near as long as stated. They are meant to give anywhere between four and ten years, but after three, I've replaced about half of them. At $10 for a pack of 5 bulbs of the cheapo variety, or $5 each for the 'good' ones (:confused:), against about 75¢ for the incandescent type, I haven't worked out how that stacks up - given that the real difference I have noticed is a roughly $50 a month reduction in my power bill.

....so order your bulbs here, the voltage is the same and the fittings probably aren't far off either. We will ship direct to UK addresses :E

* a bit like anbaric against naptha ;)

11th Jan 2009, 20:32
Got 6 yesterday. Our local electrical supplier has loads in stock.

We have only one room that uses 100W bulbs so I reckon, including those already in stock, I have around 20 years supply :ok:. Have also stockpiled 60W BC and SC,
40 W Candles BC & SBC, plus a few odd sizes.

Long Life bulbs, what are they then :confused: ?

SC = Screw Thread cap
BC = Bayonet Cap
SBC = Small Bayonet Cap

11th Jan 2009, 20:36
Long Life bulbs, what are they then :confused: ?

I believe it refers to bulbs built for 250 volt, which last longer because the normal "240 V" power supply cycles between 180v and 230v, thus never reaching the limit of the bulb.

I've probably got the numbers wrong (and the symbols), so someone better informed will correct me, but I believe that's the general concept.

Ten West
11th Jan 2009, 20:40
Bought another 20 yesterday. :ok:

tony draper
11th Jan 2009, 20:51
This new law means we cannot send em back to the factory to be filled up wi light again either, EU feckers, may the horned one deficate on em from a great height.

11th Jan 2009, 20:58
A light bulb has energised in my shrivelled organ called my brain. When the windmills are providing 0.01% of the power that they should have provided at 20% it will not matter what light you have as black will be in vogue:}

11th Jan 2009, 21:02
Can't use them funny energy saver things, the flicker off them causes "issues", so I fitted halogen uplighters here.

I won't be affected, especially in België

11th Jan 2009, 22:06

Good point. I'm afraid I'm not capable of measuring lumens. But the 15 watt Phillips Marathon on my desk here seems to be equal to a 60 watt incandescent.

11th Jan 2009, 22:12
Rotor, it can actually be the 'type' of light that comes out of the lamp.

The things you have to buy now are what we call a "discharge lamp". They flash, it can affect peole but it depends on the person. I can't have them in my house, so what would I do if I was in the UK?

Beatriz Fontana
11th Jan 2009, 22:21
Are these people who are banning 100W bulbs the same who decided that there was something odd about blue Smarties?

How on earth can one carry out a successful interrogation with an eco-bulb....? :}

11th Jan 2009, 22:33
We don't have such silly regulations here although the gov and the power company push them. Just was out buying a batch of incandescents just in case the ones Edison gave my father ever burn out. CAD 1.50 for two.

Also have some darkroom lightbulbs. You turn them on and all the light in the room is sucked out. Don't ever point them at the sun.

11th Jan 2009, 23:53
Apart from th other problems mentioned, the "eco" bulbs cannot be used with electronic switching. This means not only dimmer switches, but also security lights operated by IR movement detectors.

12th Jan 2009, 05:46
Operating incandescent bulbs a little below their rated voltage greatly increases their life, however it drastically decreases their light output.

From WikipediaThis means that a 5% reduction in operating voltage will more than double the life of the bulb, at the expense of reducing its light output by about 20%.

Captain Stable
12th Jan 2009, 08:08
Apart from th other problems mentioned, the "eco" bulbs cannot be used with electronic switching. This means not only dimmer switches, but also security lights operated by IR movement detectors.Complete nonsense. I have three outside lights operated by PIR. All have eco bulbs in them and work just fine. As for dimmable bulbs, check out Megaman Dimmable Energy Saving Bulbs (http://thelightbulbdepot.co.uk/acatalog/Megaman_Dimmable_Energy_Saving_Bulbs.html) where there appear to be some. I think if they didn't work the company would get sued fairly fast, don't you?

Sorry, but I have no time whatsoever for the anti-eco fascists. A couple of years ago I switched the entire house to eco bulbs and slashed my electricity bills very substantially. Furthermore, in those two years I have had to change only three bulbs and one of those was because it got accidentally broken. Before the switch, it would have been eight or nine of them.

12th Jan 2009, 08:32
Complete nonsense. I have three outside lights operated by PIR. All have eco bulbs in them and work just fine.

I believe the warnings about using such bulbs in these devices centres around the increased risk of fire caused by potential malfunction of the mini-fluoro starting capacitor, as a result of interference from the PIR electronics. New technology bulbs may get around this; if so, I haven't heard of them. Other than that, you may be running on luck. I haven't seen literature which says the mini-fluoros actually don't work with PIR sensors, but neither have I tried them. I do think the thrust of the warnings is that they shouldn't be used, rather than that they categorically won't work.

As for dimmable bulbs,

As I understand it, most commonly available mini-fluoros in current use do not utilise this technology (ditto above). It would be good if they did.

A couple of years ago I switched the entire house to eco bulbs and slashed my electricity bills very substantially.

So did I, and for that reason alone. I did not, and do not, believe for a moment, that my use of mini-fluoros will have any net positive impact on the environment. They use far more energy and resources to produce than do incandescent bulbs, have to be transported over longer distances because of the limited number of places in which they are manufactured, and contain substances which are potentially quite harmful to said environment, which, in itself, in part, limits the number of jurisdictions which are allowed to manufacture them.

12th Jan 2009, 09:02
Captain Stable.
We recently had a new house built. Shortly after moving in I replaced all the outside, PIR operated bulbs with eco bulbs. However, I noticed that even in daylight, when they should not have been active, the bulbs flashed every 30 seconds or so. Phoned the electrician who had done the whole of the house electrics, and was told that using ecobulbs would damage the PIR's if left in place. The alternatives were replace the old bulbs or replace the PIRs with expensive specialist ones. Perhaps you had the expensive ones in the first place.

12th Jan 2009, 09:10
I reckon there's a fair few clumsy folk about who also need eye tests.

I find the light from eco bulbs quite adequate not to feel as if I'm groping around in the dark even in the (to some it seems, traumatising) first few seconds before they reach 100% light output. As for the horrors of breakage, I can't remember the last time I broke a more fragile traditional light bulb, if ever, never mind a sturdier eco bulb. Don't chuck them about and they won't break.

Cost wise, Philips eco bulbs can be bought for as little as 39 pence a go in the big DIY stores. Hardly bank breaking stuff.

Finally, I have eco bulbs working in PIR lamps, too. As far as I'm concerned the bulb just sees 220v when the PIR switches on and the fact that that switch is made electroniclly makes no odds, 220v volts up the wire to the lamp is 220v volts whether I flick a regular switch, a PIR is activated at the switching point or I twist the stripped wire ends together with my bare hands. If there's some interference present from the switching circuit, it's not caused any of my bulbs to burst into flames over the years they've been fitted.

I'm certainly no eco-warrior, I couldn't really give a stuff about the environmental pros and cons of either bulb. I just like the fact that they don't go ping at what always seems to be the least opportune moment. In fact, I can't remember the last time one failed. That, I find, convenient.

Smacks to me of being one of those band-waggon things, this. The media mentions it, and away we go... 'nothing but tungensten bulbs will do, eco are too dim and will kill you if you break them, stock up now, panic, panic, yadda, yadda, yadda'. Not so much the bulbs that are the problem as the mindset, any maybe some early myopia.

Captain Stable
12th Jan 2009, 09:13
OK, oxenos, let us say then that eco bulbs CAN be used with electronic switching. Furthermore, as I pointed out on that link, they can be used with dimmers.

BlueWolf, I have not seen any warnings such as you mention. I have seen some about mercury disposal. However, the mercury danger is small. As pointed out by Greenpeace, the danger is much greater Louise Molloy from the environmental group Greenpeace said that a public information campaign was needed in order to advise people how to dispose of low-energy bulbs safely.
But she added: "Rather than being worried about the mercury these light bulbs contain, the general public should be reassured that using them will actually reduce the amount of mercury overall in our atmosphere."
The lighting industry and the government say the risk of mercury pollution posed by low-energy bulbs is minimal.
Kevin Verdun of the Lighting Association said: "Fluorescent strips, like the ones used in garages and kitchens, also contain mercury and have been used for many years without poisoning anyone."
Furthermore, Basil, I disagree with quite a few of your "pros and cons" - for example, not using cfl's where heat rise may be a problem.

12th Jan 2009, 09:31
Scary coincidence or what?

Went into our local Morrisons on Saturday to get a couple of 100W bulbs. The shelves contained all wattage bulbs, in clear and pearl, different shapes, screw and bayonet but not one 100W bulb in sight.

Asked one of Morrisons finest who informed me that they no longer sell 100W bulbs.

12th Jan 2009, 09:56
OK, I've done the research now, and it seems that your 22mm BC, and 27mm ES, bulbs and fittings, are exactly the same as ours. Voltage is the same too, ie 240.

Our new Government has binned its predecesors' proposed ban on incandescent light bulbs. Looks like the Aussies are still going down the ban road as well, however. More fool them.

We have plenty of 100W bulbs on continuous availabilty, and can ship. All major forms of money (cash, Krugerands, Swiss Bank Transfers, Western Union etc) will be accepted. Orders here please :E

12th Jan 2009, 10:52
Two comments from Europe:

Firstly, we can buy both bayonette and screw-in energy-saving bulbs here in Spain & France.
Secondly, there is a vast range of colours - from soft yellow to harsh actinic light more suitable for outside security lamps, to a tungsten-similar white indoor lamp. And in many different wattages.

I've had energy-saver bulbs for the past ten years and wouldn't have anything else.

tony draper
12th Jan 2009, 11:00
When is some country(it wont be this buggah) going to have the bottle to stand up and tell those [email protected] in Brussels to go [email protected] themselves.

12th Jan 2009, 11:15
The lifeboat is waiting, Admiral. You'll find us at 45°South.

12th Jan 2009, 13:04
This barking EU proposal is another death-knell for an old West Country tradition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Country_Carnival). With 25 to 30 thousand bulbs on the floats /carts, it will not be possible to fund the replacement with eco-bulbs, even if the light output could achieve the same effect (http://www.scuk.co.uk/image.asp?id=Gla-08-597.jpg&pos=13).

12th Jan 2009, 13:29
I did read one reference tothis problem in the thread but it is not generally reported .
I use a small lathe and mill and need good quality spot light on the work .
For the mill I have a halogen bulb nice light but it does get hot !
For the lathe I have a low energy high intensity LED . Light quality is fine it doesnt get hot and I can move it in close with no risk of burning hands . BUT it does have a 50cycle stobe effect and the chuck appears stationary at some speeds .
Cant see a solution either burnt fingers or potentially dangerous strobe .

Flap 5
12th Jan 2009, 13:30
Those who talk incessantly about climate change and global warming are missing the point for ordinary folk with these light bulbs. It is all about the sudden increased cost of electricity over the last year. Using these low wattage bulbs means less cost to the user. Now the price of them has reduced below a pound a bulb they have become cost effective.

In fact I would have thought the environmental lobby would be against them with all of that mercury, etc. locked up in them.

12th Jan 2009, 13:36

You have also missed the fact many of the low energy bulbs radiate radio interference.

12th Jan 2009, 13:36
When is some country(it wont be this buggah) going to have the bottle to stand up and tell those [email protected] in Brussels to go [email protected] themselves.

A politician's first task is to get elected, his second! To shaft those who elected him/her.

12th Jan 2009, 14:43
Basil - quite right, the point is where appropriate and this could have been achieved quite happily if the idiots in Brussels and our simpletons in the UK's so called government had not gold-plated the legislation as usual.

I have just bought a few 100W bulbs as some of our lights are on/off quite a lot. Other ceiling fittings use 60 and 40W where the shades clip to the bulb. I will have sufficient stores to see us out. We use the low energy bulbs for halls, stairs and outside where they are constantly on during the dark evenings.

12th Jan 2009, 16:20
I use some eco bulbs for background illumination, but my kitchen has about 1kw of halogen spots and I found a local everything-electrical store which still carries 200W tungsten. :E

Beatriz Fontana
12th Jan 2009, 16:28
According to the Google ads surrounding this page, it seems that there's no problems getting hold of 100 or 150W bulbs!

tony draper
12th Jan 2009, 16:31
Yer but you try laying yer hands on a banana wi a bend in the middle these days.:rolleyes:

12th Jan 2009, 19:53
Read the front page "news" story in the Daily Liar today.

When I stopped laughing I couldn't believe that one newspaper, in one article could include so many inaccuracies, half truths and down right lies concerning ....wait for it...a fecking lightbulb!

So called educated people on these forums get all irate and red faced about such a pathetic subject and never question the validity of the source material.

EG. The Mercury present is so miniscule you would have to swallow several bulbs for it to affect you.

To say the room would be unusable until decontaminated after a breakage is just preposterous!

ECO bulbs.

They last longer, use less power, cost you less to run and unless you need specialist light are adequate for everyday/night use.

Get a life and stop buying the crappiest paper on the planet!

12th Jan 2009, 21:08
An LED light bulb must be DC at the LED terminals. This means that with a properly designed power supply unit for it, it should be completely free from flicker/strobe effects.

Loose rivets
12th Jan 2009, 21:58
This means that with a properly designed power supply unit for it,

Aye, there's the rub

When the voltage has to be changed as well, there's a tendency for the designers to just take the power and start again. The cheap circuitry leaves a less than smooth DC, still giving a hard to define flicker. I have to confess, that often I'm the only one in the room thus affected, but there must be other like me that find these lights a pain in the bum.

My Essex home had a lot of bulbs in the main living area, but they were almost never all on at the same time. When they were, parties etc., they were dimmed, reducing almost completely the loss of filaments, giving the room a warm evenly lit affect, and reducing the power/cost substantially. Reading was done with as you need it lights moved as required.

I have never seen, let alone owned, a decent dimmer system for energy savers. Some friends at home have very expensive units, and the result is laughable. BTW, he's a qualified electrician, and may get them replaced, but time to a busy working man and all that.

Any info on such systems?

Not to be able to adjust the light level, to me, is a non starter.

One thing I like is to put fast start fluros on the top of kitchen cupboards. The trim stops you seeing the tube, but the light off the ceiling is fantastic. So even.

We had an 'English Cottage' in Austin. It was a very cheap building made the same year as me.:hmm: The builder that had restored it had made one room with high ceilings and beams. All quite cheap wood, but looked nice when varnished. I put a huge fluro in on of the (hollow false) beams and let it light the wood. Very pleasing, all for a very small outlay.

So many lighting effects can only be done with tungsten, I wonder what the homes of the future will be like.

My pet hate is the pin-pricks of light the things like car headlight bulbs give. Burn me eyballs out they do.:ouch:

14th Jan 2009, 02:43
With maybe 150,000 unit-hours of eco-bulb use in the log, one has observed:

- more recent manufactures are much better than earlier ones in durability, light output, speed in reaching adequate brightness, etc.

- as with long-tube flourescents, on-off cycles wear harder on eco-bulbs than does continuous on-time. A pair of bulbs that are never turned off has run more than 10,000 hours without noticeably losing brightness. By contrast, some units frequently switched have needed replacement after 1000 hours or so.

- !! eco bulbs on the same wires as basic motor-applicances (fans seem the major cultprits) tend to die early. One guesses this comes from large voltage swings arising when the motor switches on or off. This effect is very consistent... sometimes it also kills ordinary incandescent lamps in the same power circuits.

- eco bulbs rated for "dimmer" circuits seem to do ok in longevity, although they do exhibit "hysteresis" effects that cause uneven off-on points in the dimmer rotation arc, and sometimes oscillation. At certain setpoints the lamps can be caused to "sing", as they try to respond to sharp pulses from the dimmer control.

-some eco-bulbs emit unacceptable amounts of radio-frequency noise

All-in all, the eco bulbs are a good deal, one believes. They give equivalent light for one fifth the billable power. and they do not generate the high heat levels that incandescents do.

One may take some consolation from the thought that versatile high-powered LED lighting is available now and will soon be upon us in general commerce, more costly than the eco bulbs, but also some five times more efficient per unit of light output, and available in every color shade iimaginable, or even adjustable color for the swells. These are already available for industrial and commercial uses - at 40 to 200 x the cost for incandescent lamps of equivalent light output, but using only 3 to 5 percent of the supply power to provide color stable non-flickering light. Start saving pennies to replace those hot-bright halogen lights! The era of the 50-euro light bulb is well nigh upon us - costs like gold, lasts nearly forever, astonishingly efficient in power demand.

14th Jan 2009, 02:55
Rivets says:
I have to confess, that often I'm the only one in the room thus affected, but there must be other like me that find these lights a pain in the bum.

Perhaps a different chair style would help soften this problem.

Loose rivets
14th Jan 2009, 04:51
No, I've just got to stop sitting on me Anglepoise.:p

14th Jan 2009, 06:45
Bayonet fit or screw? :}:}

14th Jan 2009, 11:36
I did a survey of our house. We have about 85 different bulb holders not counting the halogen down lights and the halogens come in 4 different varieties.

We got a box of 'free' low energy bulbs from British Gas and I set out to fit these where we had not got them. Total failure. Only 19 light fittings will take them, admittedly ascetics come in to play.

The dining room uses dimmers and candle bulbs - strike 6 out.
The hall has two 60w candle uplighters - the others would not fit. Same with all bedroom ceiling lamps, the eco bulbs do not fit.

The living room has 8x40w wall lamps with clip on shades - they don't clip on the eco bulbs.

The living room also has 6 candle bulbs in chandeliers and the landing has 5 in a crystal chandelier. You can get candle low energy but when I used these they cast a dark shadow where the base obscures the lamp.

I use incandescent bulbs in my loft. These are on for minutes per year. I can afford (and the country can afford) the electricity and low energy makes no sense.

To fit low energy everywhere makes no sense at all.

Different tack, in Cyprus you can get 180w equivalent LE bulbs - awesome but bl00dy long.

tony draper
14th Jan 2009, 12:05
85? buggah! you running a canabis farm?:uhoh::rolleyes:

14th Jan 2009, 12:36
Count them up. We have 18 in the living room alone. We have two light circuits. Before we removed a few lights we had 29 on the downstairs circuit and could blow the fuse is guests switched them all on. Upstairs, and a different circuit was had just 6 x 40w fluorescent - gopping - but the guy who had the house is a multi-millionaire.

Just think, that is what we could become if we didn't bother with lights in the bedroom - nothing for Mrs W to leave on when she goes out. No bedside lamps so no reading in bed :)

14th Jan 2009, 12:54
"We got a box of 'free' low energy bulbs from British Gas"

Likewise. They are still in the box and will remain there.

22nd Jan 2009, 13:19
I wonder: are tubes that contain mercury used on aircraft? I hope not, because mercury is about the only substance that can attack aluminium alloy at normal temperatures. (That's a reason why mercury thermometers are completely banned on aircraft.) I know the amounts of mercury involved per bulb are minuscule, but still... :ooh:

22nd Jan 2009, 14:58
Eco bulbs are an eco-hazard. Nasty, nasty stuff inside them and they have poor light quality - yellow like we had from the gas lamps at Granny's old house. Calling it "Warm White" comes from the same spin-doctors that gave us " New Labour" and Tony Bliar.

We've replaced all the incandescents in our flying machine control cabins with LED lamps. Cooler running due to lower power consumption per lumen and a significant improvement in the Electrical Load Analysis Manual. Not to mention the incredible reliability. They'll probably last as long as the airframe.

They're putting them on cars now, too - my side lights and reversing lights are LEDs.

That's a reason why mercury thermometers are completely banned on aircraftYou've obviously never been an instrument technician working on C130s then... :rolleyes:

22nd Jan 2009, 19:28
You've obviously never been an instrument technician working on C130s then... :rolleyes:
Well, I was an instrument technician - just not in aviation - so I can see where mercury would come in e.g. a manometer for higher pressures. Still, I meant "banned" as in "on the list of things passengers are not permitted to bring on board", of course - but scratch that, since I was going by old information.

I just took a look at the BA guidelines (http://www.britishairways.com/cms/global/pdfs/ba.com_Table2.3A_Jan2009.pdf), which say that a passenger may carry a single mercury thermometer in its protective case, in hand or checked baggage, with no special measures. Any more mercury than that, it requires advance permission and the captain must be informed. Hopefully, in modern planes, there are no exposed alloy surfaces to be attacked by a mercury spill. The tiny amount as vapour in bulbs? Nah.

Loose rivets
22nd Jan 2009, 19:58
It's an unashamed thread drift, but might amuse tekkies.

When I got my house, I inherited bespoke wrought iron light-fittings. There were a lot of them and they were painted white. They looked okay, but I thought perhaps matt black would be more in fashion in the early 70s...Spanishy. They looked like big black spiders on the walls. I had some surplus gold car paint, so I set about redoing them. They'd taken sooooooo long to do I thought I'd spray them.

So much paint was missing the target. So, a got a small telly, and connected the target to the high voltage point. About 20kV. The gun was at chassis level. It's normally the gun that's at high voltage, but I didn't fancy that, anyway, it worked! the paint really curved round the iron, saving masses of waste.

When I moved in there were 32 candle bulbs in these lights. White with a red top and a twist of glass to look like a wick. They cost a fortune and as they popped, had to be replaced with the little Compton tear-drop shaped ones. 1/10 th the price. Fitting dimmers virtually stopped the bulb failure.

Even further drift. When I were a boy, we had some pre-war Christmas tree lights that were molded glass in the shape of Chinese lanterns. Beautiful they were. But each one was the bulb not a cover, so they went the way of all bulbs.

Beatriz Fontana
22nd Jan 2009, 21:54
I have a fantastic key fob that has a strip of tritium in it. Never have a problem trying to find my keys in the dark!

Loose rivets
22nd Jan 2009, 22:09
A strip of Tritium? Crikey! Three tiny spots on Glock sights are a $100 upgrade.

22nd Jan 2009, 22:32
Bought 5 of the modern oversized things from Tesco, for 40p. Must say, the one I've put in the outside light seems pretty bright.

Nothing quite as good looking as these though.....


22nd Jan 2009, 22:42
A strip of Tritium? Crikey! Three tiny spots on Glock sights are a $100 upgrade.
So it's not likely to be a solution to 'illuminate' my light switches on the stairs so that I can find them in the dark?

I used to have a pot of luminous paint that I bought to put onto the needle and face of the re-counter that I built using a Proops instrument. Can't find it (and it has probably gone solid by now).

Scumbag O'Riley
23rd Jan 2009, 10:01
Remember when I were a lad doing radioactivity in O-level fizicks the master asked us to bring in anything at home that glowed in the dark and he would run his fancy geiger counter over it.

Some kid came in with a magnetic compass with a glowing north pole pointer and the geiger counter went off the scale. More radioactive than anything in the fizicks master's bad of tricks. Although it was confiscated the lesson continued, nowadays they would probably evacuate the whole town.

Also used to roll mercury around on the desktop in chemistry. Think I managed to nick some of of it and carry it around in an old film container and impress the birds. Probably take a million of these new fangled light bulbs to get that much in my pocket nowadays.

Didn't turn me mad at all! At all! At all I tell yers.

23rd Jan 2009, 13:05

Many (too many) years ago I made a couple of dimmer switches from kits supplied by Jermyn - on the front panel there was a little cut-out that contained a small glass cylinder of tritium and 'luminous' paint. They glowed in the dark just enough to be seen - I think I know where they are, if I find them I will see if there's still anything there. We only stopped using the dimmers when we went all eco-friendly with CFLs, my experience is that they either fail quite quickly or keep on going. The average replacment rate seems to be about the same as the incandescents they were supposed to supplant. Mind you we have not paid for any, British Gas, the local council and newspaper special offers have kept the supply sufficient!

Later I got a digital watch (even before Douglas Adams considered them a pretty neat idea) that too has* a tritium powered back light.


* I still have the watch but I think its light may have gone out by now, anyone know the half-life of Tritium - can't be much because you have to re-fill those buckets of instant sunshine every few years.

Beatriz Fontana
25th Jan 2009, 23:21
A-ha, the media have caught up with the biggest problem with the wretched eco bulbs at last (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7848859.stm)...

10th Feb 2009, 18:21
Just found a supply of 100w bulbs, there are none in the ususal places round here. Bought 30 for a Fiver and intend to have them all on, all the time. Sod Brussels!

10th Feb 2009, 20:00
So where can we still get 100w tungsten bulbs, bayonet fit, then?

10th Feb 2009, 20:02
I found them for sale through Google. Bought a carton of 48. Look below at the C-P lighting advert

10th Feb 2009, 20:53
Must admit I've not looked lately, but the cash-and-carry sheds like Booker and Makro might be a good bet.

Last lot I bought were just over £1 for a ten pack.

BAMRA wake up
10th Feb 2009, 22:39
Just bought some 'biobulbs' - first low energy lamps I've been impressed by, 25W and as bright as a 150W tungsten, rather cool bluish white light which is supposedly spectrally close to sunlight.

'Rough service' tungsten lamps are still on sale I believe - they last longer than normal ones.

10th Feb 2009, 22:53
Rainboe, mine did indeed come, via a mate, from the local cash and carry. They don't know if there will be further supplies when the current stocks run out. I was talking to friend in Spain about this the other day who, after a quick check, found that the Spanish appear to be having nothing to do with this latest diktat and there is no shortage. Trouble is, as you point out, they are no bloody good here as they have screw caps. I thought we were all supposed to toe the same line these days.

30th Aug 2009, 16:33
Not read all posts, but at my local hardware store in Sussex bought a number of 100w bulbs. They seem a lot smaller (bulb circumference) than ones a few years ago.

30th Aug 2009, 16:58
Here in Ontario the ban on incandescent (does that mean all wattages, shapes, and halogens?) is slated for 2012. I am stocking up on all types already...

They will have to pry them out of my cold, dead, hands...

30th Aug 2009, 17:46
Add to all this the contamination of the power line caused by the harmonics generated by these bulbs. As the proportion of electric power consumed by non-linear devices like these increases, so does the potential for damage to the distribution system as well as interference to signal handling devices like TVs etc. At the point where the non-linear load is so high that it distorts the line voltage, motors start to overheat. Some high efficiency loads that employ PF correction filters can overheat or even burn.

After an excellent landing you can use the airplane again!

30th Aug 2009, 18:09
Any lighting engineers care to comment?

I'm not a lighting engineer, but I do know that the DT has a certain reputation of being somewhat dim :}

Syed Kamall, the Conservative MEP who has campaigned against European interference in traditional measures, said the new regulations would create confusion among consumers.

He said: "While lumens measure brightness, no one I have met understands these units."
He clearly doesn't understand it himself either: Lumens measure luminous flux, not brightness. A small source such as a white LED may appear extremely bright but has a moderate luminous flux. That said, luminous flux i.e. total light output is indeed the important spec when comparing efficiency of lightbulbs.

From the wording of the article, I suspect they're taking a reading of the lamp itself (i.e. its brightness), rather than an illuminated surface. There may also be spectral sensitivity issues, as tungsten light is more or less continuous spectrum while CFLs have rather pronounced peaks at certain wavelengths.

That said, I do have quite some experience with CFLs as I've used them almost exclusively for more than 5 years. I've used their predecessors quite a bit too - 2D and Dulux, which are essentially compact CFLs with the traditional iron ballast in the lighting fixture rather than the built-in electronics.

Quality of CFLs varies widely, and the specs on the box are not always correct. But I found that most brand name CFLs perform well when it comes to light output. I've had a few crappy Chinese CFLs that were pretty dismal though - while I've had off brand ones (also Chinese of course) that were excellent.
Roughly speaking, I have found that CFLs have a sweet spot around 15 to 20 W rating, these are indeed equivalent in luminous flux to their 75 and 100 W incandescent counterparts.

I should say that I find the DT article a classical example of nitpicking and futile whining about eeeeevil government - methinks they could find much more important issues to whine about. CFL bulbs are significant energy savers, whether the savings amount to 75% rather than 80% is rather unimportant IMHO. Their higher price is offset by their much longer (average) duration - while I have had a few fail in less than 3000 hrs, I have several that have way over 10000 hours on them, from the same batch! Overall, CFLs are saving me roughly 100€ a year in my single person household annex studio.

I'll be keeping a few 100W bulbs around though - they are excellent and cheap dummy loads with built-in positive temperature coefficient and visual load indicator. :p

30th Aug 2009, 18:24

Changed over all the bulbs in the house to the eco ones (I'm US). Like them a lot. The newer ones are much better than those from 3+ years ago.

All this arguing is a moot point, as LEDs will be used as normal household lighting in the future. They use incredibly little power, MUCH less than the eco bulbs do. In the US, LEDs are already being used in hi-end applications.

Conserving energy will improve your future.


30th Aug 2009, 18:31
As the proportion of electric power consumed by non-linear devices like these increases, so does the potential for damage to the distribution system as well as interference to signal handling devices like TVs etc.

From the point of view of the mains supply, CFLs behave like small switch mode power supplies (SMPS). So do your computer, monitor, TV set, DVD player and so forth - except that the SMPS employed by these electronics are (much) bigger. A desktop computer SMPS these days has a peak rating of 500W or so, and will easily draw 200W average - the equivalent of 10 to 15 CFLs.

So if power consumption by non-linear devices bothers you, now you know which appliances you should switch off first.

30th Aug 2009, 18:40

I don't disagree. I am just pointing out that the total amount of non-linear load is growing. VCV Air conditioners are another problem. The distribution system is becoming more and more stressed.

After an excellent landing etc...

Captain Airclues
30th Aug 2009, 18:42

Robert Dyas ( Robert Dyas Store Locations - Find Your Local Store (http://www.robertdyas.co.uk/findastore.php) ) still have plenty of them (although the stock in their Reading shop is severely depleted after my visit).


30th Aug 2009, 19:09
Light bulbs are a very small proportion of the household electricity bill. A 100W lamp left on 8 hours a day would use just 0.8 units costing less than 2p a day. Despite certain claims in this thread for achieving major savings on electricity bills, there really isn't much scope for energy savings by the use of eco-bulbs. The water heater and cooker are the heaviest users of electricity in most homes, it would be more useful to use a smaller water heater or even better, one that heats the water as it is used.

But what would I know? I'm only an electrickerist by trade. ;)

30th Aug 2009, 19:17
Blacksheep, but that does not fit into the "do something, anything at all to save the planet" scenario, as the water heater is hidden from view, and would produce the exact same results regardless of how it works. Creating a whole buzz around these idiotic spirals make people feel good about themselves for "doing something, anything" to save the planet.:{:{:{

30th Aug 2009, 19:22

The way I see it, power distribution systems will (have to) change a lot in the not too distant future anyway. They are 19th century technology pushed to the extreme, and are no longer adequate in this day and age.

Electrical energy is extremely important in today's society, and will continue to be in the future - only more so. If we want to avoid major breakdowns, we'll have to think long and hard about how to generate and distribute (and use!) electrical energy without destroying our habitat. As usual, vested interest are among the biggest obstacles.

30th Aug 2009, 19:41
A 100W lamp left on 8 hours a day would use just 0.8 units costing less than 2p a day.

Where in the world do you live, where the 'leccy costs only slightly more than 2p/kWh? :eek:

1kWh costs around € 0,20 here. So 8hrs of 100W lightbulb is 0,8 kWh, €0.16. The CFL equivalent would cost you less than € 0.04, saving € 0.12.
Multiply by 365, gives €43.80 a year of savings for a single 100W equivalent bulb 8 hours a day.

My household's daily consumption is about 6 - 7 kWh average, so 8 hours on a 100W bulb would be about 12% of that, and the CFL equivalent about 2.5%.

30th Aug 2009, 19:45

Where in the world do you live, where the 'leccy costs only slightly more than 2p/kWh? :eek:

4.7 cents (Canadian) in Ontario... right in line with Blacksheep's statement.

Next question.

30th Aug 2009, 19:45
Dunno about Europe. Over here it seems that the distribution and transmission systems are under maintained and are steadily being pushed closer and closer to their limits. I don't think that there is much extra capacity to allow for faults. It seems that these systems are more often than not run by people without technical know-how. Downtown transformers explode on a regular basis etc.

After an excellent landing you can use the airplane again!

30th Aug 2009, 19:47

And the other per kwh charges?

30th Aug 2009, 19:50

And the other per kwh charges?

None, whatsoever...

30th Aug 2009, 19:55
Over here it seems that the distribution and transmission systems are under maintained

Maybe that's why the 'leccy in Ontario is so cheap then :E

30th Aug 2009, 20:01
Maybe that's why the 'leccy in Ontario is so cheap then :E

Don't know about Markham, but here in downtown Toronto the only outage I can remember is the one that put the entire East coast of North America out about 5-6 years ago. Before that? Can't remember ever having one.

30th Aug 2009, 21:24
Energy bulbs are used all over our house even in the spotlights. Our electricity bill used to be £350 a quarter and it is now £250 a quarter. This is something to do with low wattage and energy bulbs.

30th Aug 2009, 21:55
I live a bit N of Markham now. Essentials are:

Several flashlights with fresh batteries.

Good supply of candles.

Battery radio.

1.5 kW Honda generator. (Not really big enough)

After an excellent landing you can use the airplane again!

30th Aug 2009, 22:15
Does anyone know if you can get energy saving bulbs that are compatible with dimmer switches?
I have a chandelier in the living room with candle bc type bulbs, the horrible looking free energy saving bulbs I received are no good, not only for their looks, but the fact that they don't work with the dimmer switch.

green granite
30th Aug 2009, 22:27
A lot of dimmer switches have a straight on/off facility, you just need to move 1 wire.

30th Aug 2009, 22:31
A lot of dimmer switches have a straight on/off facility, you just need to move 1 wire.

Yes, I appreciate that, but I need to use my dimmer switch!!

30th Aug 2009, 22:41
look on the internet for dimmer switch bulbs.

30th Aug 2009, 23:14

Dimmable CFLs exist but they tend to be pricey, in the $15 range.

My solution would be to rewire the chandelier, in such a way that it will be possible to switch some bulbs off while leaving others on. E.g. a 6 bulb chandelier could be wired with two groups, of 2 and 4 bulbs. So you could have 2, 4 or all 6 lit depending on requirements. Requires one extra wire, and 2 simple switches instead of the dimmer switch. One hour's work if you know what you're doing.

That's how true chandeliers were "dimmed" anyway :)

30th Aug 2009, 23:25
You people are missing the point. Dimming an incandescent light bulb gives you the glow of the filament, a yellow reddish hue that mimics the candle glow. Even if able to dim the spiral stupidity, all you are going to get is a white/blue light at lower intensity. Not the desired effect.

30th Aug 2009, 23:35
I've just done a search on the internet, they are indeed available at a cost of around £7!! for the candle type.
I think I'll get some ordinary bulbs in stock for now, the price will surely come down as the ordinary ones become unavailable.
olandese_volante...I am capable of re-wiring the chandelier, but I'm reluctant to do so, I'm a fussy bloke and like a chandelier to look like one, not half of one, thanks for your input, I shall still bear it in mind.

Loose rivets
30th Aug 2009, 23:38
I'm kind of glad that I don't have my old house if that's the way things are going. In Essex some 8 years ago, I couldn't even imagine getting a 250 quid bill. I had 32 candle bulbs in an open planned area, and I relied totally on dimming. They would look naf at full brightness...and even the Comptons would pop routinely if just flipped on. Dimmers save electricity and filaments. And look 'warmer'.

Saving electricity is a matter of cutting out waste. Right now, I cook almost all my food in batches, then thaw and heat with an oven that's off. :}...okay, it's been on, but almost all the heating is done in the off position. The time on, is fine-tuned to minimum. Water heating would be nil if I put the heater in the attic. For 10 months a year, we'd still have to introduce cold, to get the shower cool enough.

Here, sadly, most of our energy goes on pumping heat out of the house. Right now, our modest $200 per MONTH is minute compared to some. I used masses of coal and logs at home, but that's not much help with cooling.:(

I would have a bright silver roof if the planning people would allow it. That would be my biggest saving. But they keep building...and pumping.

31st Aug 2009, 00:16
I have used the power saver bulbs for years, and for quite a time here in Indonesia the old style ones have been harder to get. I used to use the the old globes in my incubators (enough for 900 chicks at a time) and even those low power ones are getting hard to get.

I did a quick count just now, and I use 67 light fittings around the house and garden. Some are on auto timer. The number has really added up over the years, all are power saver bulbs and my total electricity bill is US$120 a month. Most of that is probably the washing machine, the hardest working member of my extended family which works a whopping ten hours a day.

To get off track a moment, reason for the washing machine doing so much work is I married into a strongly religious family that separates womens clothes from men's, upper garments from lower clothes in a wash. I just throw all mine in at one time.

To get back on track. The power saver bulbs save a fortune, I use the standard white ones, but ones with a softer glow are available. I use for a year and give them away to relatives. When they blow someone puts a standard fluorescent tube onto them, and in half the cases they keep on going for at least another two years.

Why fight change. I use 5 watt bulbs in low light areas and 30 watt in the kitchen. The newer bulbs need no warm up time (here we are at 20 to 30 degrees all year round, maybe in colder climes its different.) In the early 80's the old Phillips jam jar bulbs needed a warm up, but the new ones are bright almost instantly.

Maybe the catch in the UK will be profiteering by the manufacturers. I pay US$ 3 for a 5 or 8 watt power saver bulb, and for a 30W bulb I pay US$ 5. From my experience this is money well spent.

31st Aug 2009, 00:18
Me personally, I hate chandeliers. I live in rented accommodation, and in one instance the landlord had left a chandelier in the living room. It was a bloody eyesore, and first thing I did was take it down. Replaced with a very utilitarian dual fixture with 15W CFLs.

As far as effects go, I don't live in a movie studio or theater, and lighting's primary purpose is for me to see what I'm doing. If I want a candlelit atmosphere, I light candles.

Though I'll say, I could dream up an indirect lighting scheme with multicolour LED strips that would be capable of creating just about any "mood", uses relatively little power and would have more or less eternal life. I hear Boeing is using a similar scheme in their 787. Pity those LED strips are still quite costly.

31st Aug 2009, 00:23
I hear Boeing is using a similar scheme in their 787. Pity those LED strips are still quite costly.

I was on a recently refurbished 767 and it had these LED recessed lights. An absolute eye sore. As someone mentioned earlier, LEDs are good and bright when you look at them. Good for indicator lights on a panel, and such. When it comes to illumination they do not produce the kind of light that reflects off other objects very well, and lighting is all about reflecting light off objects we want to see.

31st Aug 2009, 00:42
Good for indicator lights on a panel, and such.

I've played with LEDs a bit, I occasionally work with an interior designer who calls on me for custom electronics, and we did some experiments with LED arrays pointed downwards at an angle onto a white wall, with impressive results. The cost of the LEDs was a bit steep (in 2007), but I didn't need to worry too much since the guy paid for them :p and like most interior designers he tends to work for people that have some money to spend.

Don't know about the refurbished 767, maybe they just tagged on the LED lighting as an afterthought.

31st Aug 2009, 00:42
OV, by all means use whatever you like. Spot lights, florescent tubes, LEDs. Whatever. What I have a problem with is that the kind of light I like is being banned. If I like them and am prepared to pay the premium to use them in terms of higher consumption, so be it. Who are you, or a government to tell me otherwise. My oven and stove are never on, all my food comes from outside, or microwave. Bet you I use less electricity than most, even though my lights are on even during the day, since I like the "glow" of the light.

31st Aug 2009, 00:45
I would have a bright silver roof if the planning people would allow it.

A Giant Tinfoil Hat :}

31st Aug 2009, 01:04
Dushan...I'm with you mate, I like the warmth of light I get from ordinary light bulbs, and I am getting fed up with Government and the EU telling me what I should and shouldn't be doing, we should have the choice of what we want...Nanny state or what? Pah. :ugh:

31st Aug 2009, 01:07
Who are you, or a government to tell me otherwise.

I'm not telling you anything really. Yer pays yer money and takes yer choice.

However I do object to people spreading FUD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt) about CFLs, since in the average household their use will result lower energy consumption and benefit one's pocketbook as well. And while CFLs are only a small part of the energy savings puzzle, I do think people should be considering how much energy they are using - and wasting - since resources are finite and the price to pay for unchecked consumption might be higher than we'd like to think.

For a little example, go take a look at the oil sand mining pits in Alberta, and just imagine something like that happening with the land where you used to live, farm, fish, hunt, or hike. I think you'd be just a tad unhappy.

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2009, 01:07
I figured that if I tiled my house with all the CDs that AOL sent me over the years, I'd send all the solar radiation back into space.

31st Aug 2009, 12:10

The stuff you are mentioning in the quote from your earlier post is exactly what I mean by "FUD".

Performance Issues: As I stated earlier, I've been using CFLs for years. Haven't got any problem with "performance issues".
Current CFLs reach nominal brightness within 30 seconds after switch-on, so I really don't think the warm-up time is worth bleating about.
Those who complain about "the harsh cold white" color should know that CFLs are available both in "cold" and "warm" white, it's written on the box.
Furthermore, we hear stories about "that awful flicker". Yeah right. Yours truly is allergic to flicker, as in a monitor set to a 60Hz frame rate gives me acute headache. Yet, I have no problems with CFL flicker, why? Because CFLs don't flicker, that's why.

COMPETITIVE PRICE (your caps): I bought my last batch of CFLs a few years ago, 15W rating, at € 2.50 each. A few early failures included, the average operating life of these is now far past 5000 hrs and counting.
I think that's pretty competitive, since a 75W incandescent costs about € 0.60, average life 1000 hrs. In other words, the longer average life of CFLs more than offsets their higher cost wrt incandescents. And I'm not even talking about the savings on the 'leccy bill.

On top of that, the CFLs save me a lot of hassle changing lightbulbs ever so often. I am familiar enough with incandescents and their tendency to go "pop" when you flick the switch, and I'll gladly do without it. Failing bulbs have now indeed become a very rare occurrence in my household.

I wholehartedly agree on the point of laws banning incandescents being somewhat silly. But that cannot be an excuse for slagging off CFLs by spreading "facts" that demonstrably aren't.

I shudder at the thought of the objections that the flat-earthers will be raising about them there new-fangled LED lighting in the not-too-distant future... :E

31st Aug 2009, 12:17
I reckon there may be a few conventional bulbs available just before Christmas. Will the councils who adorn our town centres with Christmas decorations also have to scrap their 'conventional' bulbs?

Could be bargains available from your local town hall.

Having a blue, yellow or green hue emanating from ones living room might be conducive for creating a relaxing or indeed romantic environment, however, having discussed this with MrsP - she definately refuses to accept the red bulbs! :*

31st Aug 2009, 17:45
loose rivets.

Electricity here where I live is expensive as we have to pay a fuel surcharge on the oil used to generate the electric. It soon gets you searching out and using low wattage bulbs.

You can obtain dimmable bulbs on the internet at quite a reasonable price as I said in a previous post especially if you buy them in bulk. Also cold cathode GU10 for spotlights as well are about 11w or a bit more instead of 50w . Didnt like to put the spotlights on before I got them.

31st Aug 2009, 20:07
Unless I am getting old, but when i replaced a 60w traditional bulb with the biggest new bulb, I could not read with it, so I then installed two bulbs, and can now just read.

Thats progress. No idea of the cost benefits.


31st Aug 2009, 22:55
What bothers me more than anything is the compulsion. The removal of choice. The manufacture and importation of incandescent filament lamps is to be illegal throughout the EU. That's democracy for you.

Perhaps Aristotle was right when he postulated that democracy was the worst of political systems because it would inevitably descend into tyranny? Light bulbs today, what next?

1st Sep 2009, 09:02
On the radio last night heard that eco bulbs use minute amounts of electricity - and also that bulbs even over 6 months old are not as efficient as bulbs bought today.

There are complaints about radio interference, I dont get any and all my house has these "new" bulbs. Dont get flickering, or have to wait a while when they warm up as it were.

The inference was on the programme was that if you get these cheap eco bulbs you get what you pay for!!! I cant remeber when I last bought a bulb as they are longlasting. Have a drawer full of old style bulbs - give them to friends that are fanatical about living in the past !!! Would you go into a Ford showroom and insist on purchasing a Ford Zephyr instead of a modern Ford.

I have looked at my electric bill and where I live we pay 25p per unit for electricity so we cut down as much as possible. Use solar power for outside lights etc.

Never have my antique Victorian candleabra on - darent use it, and my tumble dryer has stood redundant since we came to live here!!!!

1st Sep 2009, 10:14
I use about 1kW of halogen lights in my kitchen. What next? Is Nanny going to come round and tell me to use fewer lights?

MrsP and I have identical bedside lamps. Mine has an incandescent 40W lamp, her one has recently had a CFL which is "equivalent". Bolleaux. Switched hers on and mine off last night and was half f:mad:ing blind for the next 5 minutes. :*

1st Sep 2009, 12:21
My daughter who lives in France says nothing has been heard by her about the change over to eco lamps, and she can still buy the ones that are banned from today in the UK. Usual thing of the EU imposing on us what the rest of them dont do. Smoking still going on there in cafes, rabbits next to cheese in markets, fish out on unrefrigerated stalls.

1st Sep 2009, 13:07
I find all this talk of "not being able to obtain eco-lamps in the colour I'm used to" or "they are all too dim" very odd.

Here, both in Catalunia Spain, and there, across the border in France, there's a very wide choice of eco-bulb in colour from an "incandescent bulb" yellow to an actinic bright white to even a hint of welding-torch blue, and every shade in between. As for brightness, you just buy the appropriate high or low wattage eco-bulb you need. Start-up to full brightness is instant and they don't drop off with age (unless near the edge of a shelf).

Are the types of eco-bulb available in the UK, US etc really so restricted ?

My outside security lighting (three bulbs, on all night) and four lamps in the living room (auto switching) add up to around 100 watts in total: no complaints. Add to the five watt LED strip array in the kitchen cupboards and the four LED 1 watt "surround illimination" lamps in the kitchen and the reduction in my electricity bill would be noticeable - if there was any reduction, because I've had this set up since 1996 !

1st Sep 2009, 13:33
Jeez! I bet you Islanders are still moaning about the demise of gas-lighting in your homes!

Get a grip and stop fearing change. :eek:

1st Sep 2009, 13:44
Change is good, but often mandated change as the result of the eco/lefty juggernaut movement politics adopted by the trendy isn't good. Like banning DDT, which continues to kill real people.

As for the light bulbs, they are more costly and take more energy to produce. Many contain mercury which may do more damage in their disposal than any benefit they provide in reducing carbon emissions, still a dubious quest under debate.

Mandating the type dislocates plant, equipment and jobs from incandescent bulb manufacturers and benefits the new producers.

Every mandate is a restriction on personal freedom.

Market forces are the best mandate. If ecobulbs are a great idea, they will be adopted naturally, as they already have by many.

1st Sep 2009, 14:13
...nothing has been heard by her about the change over to eco lamps, and she can still buy the ones that are banned from today in the UK.

The manufacture and importation of incandescent filament lamps As I said, it is the manufacture and importation that is being banned throughout the EU, not the sale of existing stocks. The implication is that incandescent lamps will gradually become unobtainable. However, certain large shops in UK have already 'decided' to stop selling 100W lamps. I suspect that they are actually being stockpiled against a time when they become more valuable, meanwhile encouraging people to stock up their homes with the less desirable 40W and 60W lamps... :suspect:

1st Sep 2009, 14:54
As for the light bulbs, they are more costly and take more energy to produce. Many contain mercury which may do more damage in their disposal than any benefit they provide in reducing carbon emissions, still a dubious quest under debate.

Sigh. This has been done to dead already, but:

A CFL lasts longer, at least 5 times on average, than a standard incandescent so you have to compare its cost and energy expended in its production to that of five incandescent bulbs, not one. I doubt if the incandescent still comes out on top.

The amount of mercury CFLs contain is very small indeed, and is not a hazard if properly recycled. Some European countries have long had procedures for recycling older style fluorescent tubes (which contain a lot more mercury than CFLs), so this need not be a problem. I have seen a machine (operating) that crushes bulbs and distills off the mercury under partial vacuum. It manages to recover about 98% of the mercury. So there.

On the other hand, consider that coal power plants emit considerable amounts of mercury into the environment, and coal accounts for about half the electrical power generated in the US. It may well be that the difference in power consumed by 5000 hrs of incandescent versus 5000 hrs of equivalent CFL causes emission of much more than a few mg of mercury from the power plant stacks.

What's really troublesome is the exposure to mercury of workers in factories that make CFLs. This is an issue mainly in China, and applies mainly to the factories that make cheap knock-offs, though I hear that brand name manufacturers' facilities are not completely immune. But hey, that's just the invisible hand of unrestrained capitalism at work for you :E

(And, this applies to just about anything you might buy that's made in China, except some of the brand name stuff. All the cheap Chinese junk they sell in dollar stores and places like Wall Mart is most likely manufactured by people working very long hours for a pittance, in very ugly conditions, exposure to harmful substances and such, you name it, they've got it. Think about this the next time you're buying some fancy crap.)

1st Sep 2009, 15:10
I've done my own anecdotal survey on the life of CFLs.

The light bars in our bathrooms have a row of eight 40 watt bulbs. Being cheap, and wanting to save on my electric bill, I am converting to CFLs as the incandescents burn out. My home was built in 2005.

To my surprise, some of the original incandescents still burn brightly, while I have replaced several CFLs that have not lived up to the durability claim.

Do you think your everyday chav will properly recycle the mercury-laden CFLs, or will he just throw them in the trash?

1st Sep 2009, 15:24
BenThere, my anecdotal research says otherwise. Out of a batch of 9, bought 5 years ago, I had 2 early failures at about 2000 hrs, 3 others failed at about nominal lifetime (5000 - 6000 hrs or so) and the remaining 4 are still operating, with 2 of these being well past 10000 hrs.

1st Sep 2009, 15:32
The mercury recycling facilities are all very well, but what about the many reported cfls that explode in the home?

Mercury vapour, which is what they contain, is highly toxic, requiring immediate evacuation and ventilation of the room.

VERY H&S, not.

1st Sep 2009, 15:42
Personally, I think they should never have got rid of gas lighting.

1st Sep 2009, 15:50
Frostbite, I have heard of CFL bulbs breaking mostly due to mishandling, but never about CFLs exploding. Failure of the electronic ballast may be catastrophic and accompanied by a loud "pop" and/or evolution of smoke, but this is extremely unlikely to affect the glass bulb which contains the mercury.

(I was going to say something about tabloid stories but I wouldn't want to be offensive :} )

cockney steve
1st Sep 2009, 20:52
Gas lamps? - LUXURY! I mek do with a bit o' rush soaked in tallow.

Eco-lamps not readily available in the higher outputs needed to replace tungsten lamps.- This means replacing single fittings with dual....all a plot to give a boost to the lighting industry and raise more VAT revenue.

1st Sep 2009, 22:01
Eco-lamps not readily available in the higher outputs needed to replace tungsten lamps.

What do you need to replace? Apart from the fact that one couldn't find standard bulbs of over 100W in just any supermarket either... The shop where I get my electrical bits has 40W CFLs that will replace a 200...250W incandescent. E23 thread, about 8" overall length.

If that's not enough, I could sell you a 1.5kW Xenon followspot.
Refurbished, new fans, new gels, less than 50hrs on the bulb. External power supply. Weight about 120 lbs including supply unit. Tripod not included. It takes about 2 minutes to warm up, but the sheer quantity of lovely white light it puts out has to be seen to be believed.
Point it at your living room window from outside and you'll have daylight. :E

all a plot to give a boost to the lighting industry and raise more VAT revenue.
Just make sure you firmly keep your tin foil hat on at all times. :p

Sunray Minor
1st Sep 2009, 22:21
BBC NEWS | Europe | EU bans old-fashioned light bulbs (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8230961.stm)

A European Union ban on the manufacture and import of 100-watt and frosted incandescent light bulbs, in use since the 19th century, has come into force.

They are being phased out to encourage the switch to more energy-efficient fluorescent or halogen lamps, which use up to 80% less electricity.

Critics say the new bulbs are gloomy, and can trigger headaches and rashes in people with light sensitive disorders.

The ban is one of a series of measures in the EU to tackle climate change.

The less powerful clear bulbs will be progressively banned until all traditional bulbs disappear from shops across Europe in 2012.

so now we have to choose between CFL, normal flourescent tubes, halogen and LED lighting? god save us from draconian European regulations, this country is going to the dogs, political correctness gone mad, blah blah, etc etc.
disgusted (daily mail reader) of tunbridge wells.

1st Sep 2009, 23:31
[/I]so now we have to choose between CFL, normal flourescent tubes, halogen and LED lighting? god save us from draconian European regulations, this country is going to the dogs, political correctness gone mad, blah blah, etc etc.
disgusted (daily mail reader) of tunbridge wells.

Sunray, what is happening? Are you finally starting to understand our quest for freedom and minimal government intrusion in our lives?

1st Sep 2009, 23:34
The shop where I get my electrical bits has 40W CFLs that will replace a 200...250W incandescent. E23 thread, about 8" overall length.

OV, have a look at Basil's post, above, about light output of this crap.

2nd Sep 2009, 00:39
OV, have a look at Basil's post, above, about light output of this crap.

Dushan, I did. Nevertheless, I stand by my comments. I do not doubt Basil's results, but I do have some doubts about the setup. A camera's exposure meter is not quite a photometer, and measuring actual luminous flux is not that simple. I do wonder what results he'd have had if he'd taken measurements after 1 minute and 2 minutes of warm-up, too.

As I stated in earlier post, I have actually used CFLs for quite awhile. I have come across a few duds, and I have noticed that some models take a while longer to reach nominal output than others especially at low ambient temperatures. Overall however, I find that CFLs do hold their ground. If CFLs were as crappy as you obviously think they are, I certainly wouldn't be using them.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but then it must be a rather persistent case of luck.

As for the 40W CFLs, not using them myself because they are a tad hefty for my requirements. But I have seen it in use on several occasions, including a market stall where it was powered from a vehicle battery through a static converter, beats the hell out of having to use a generator. Its light output is quite impressive.

2nd Sep 2009, 00:52
Dushan, I did. Nevertheless, I stand by my comments. I do not doubt Basil's results, but I do have some doubts about the setup. A camera's exposure meter is not quite a photometer, and measuring actual luminous flux is not that simple. I do wonder what results he'd have had if he'd taken measurements after 1 minute and 2 minutes of warm-up, too.

The camera light meter is pretty accurate when measuring reflected light which is the light we see when we look at illuminated objects. So he numerically confirms what we all are saying (the ones who don't like these things), that the light they produce is crap. You may like it, so be it. Maybe you like sushi, I don't; but I am not advocating banning sushi and forcing everyone to buy Big Macs, you are, and you are trying to justify it on the basis of "if it isn't good I wouldn't use it". What an attitude...

2nd Sep 2009, 01:13
The camera light meter is pretty accurate when measuring reflected light
I know all about camera light meters. I know about photometers, too.

Maybe you like sushi, I don't; but I am not advocating banning sushi and forcing everyone to buy Big Macs, you are

Dushan, I already stated this in an earlier post: I am not advocating the banning of anything whatsoever. Really makes me wonder where you got that idea from.
I am in fact an anti-prohibitionist, and proud of it :}

As they say here: Sti' soldi, piuttosto me li mangio a rostelle...

2nd Sep 2009, 08:28
Its the compulsion to which I object. For those who wish to use the new lamps, fair enough. In fact there are locations where I'm happy to use them, but not for example in the bathroom where I want instantaneous bright light.

I blame tyrannical EU dictatorship and government by administration on the EU consisting of mostly Civil Law countries. Civil Law based on Roman Law that is. To the Romans, the people existed for the benefit of the State (see Cicero) whereas we Britons have always believed that the State exists for the benefit of the people. This leads to the situation where, when we are handed a law by our leaders, we accept the democratic processs and obey whereas, when the continentals are handed a law by their administrators, they shrug their shoulders and simply ignore it.

Time to bring back Madame Guillotine methinks.

2nd Sep 2009, 11:01
Maybe you like sushi

Not that much but it's nice on a hot day.

Incidently, I wonder why the various countries around the world which are banning filament light bulbs on the grounds that they waste too much energy, permit flat-screen TVs ? Ours is like a radiator (both flat and very hot) when it's been on for twenty minutes. My old large CRT TV is barely warm to the touch....

Or for that matter, the infamous SKY Digibox which has no off switch ?

2nd Sep 2009, 11:32
If the tree hugging hippies want to get all dictatorial about lickety blubs why don't they switch 'em off!
i.e. the thousands that you see around most cities and town centres lighting up buildings from the outside. I know they does not be using 7w CFL's to do that.

However, through CHOICE (there's a novelty) when we recently built our house we fitted loads of CFL down lighters in the hall ways, kitchen and study.
They are used similarly to LV halogen types so have a limited spread of light and as such you need more to compensate for a traditional shaped incandescent.
But we have 45 of these buggers coming in at a reported 315w, in comparison I'd need 7 100w earth destroying bulbs for the same area. However they take their time to warm up but this is not a huge issue for us as once they are on they are on for several hours and do their job well.
In nearly four years of daily prolonged use (I can't be arsed working out how many hours) we have had 2 fail, one early on so assumed as faulty and one recently.

In the rooms we need light at the flick of a switch, 100 watts and be damned!:eek:

I've got a 150w somewhere:}

2nd Sep 2009, 12:29
Try buying a eco bulb that is not a cheap one and you will find that they come on immediately with the brighteness that you are looking for. As I have said earlier in these posts that things have moved on even in 6 months.

All my side lights and bedside lamps come on when I press the switch and the brighteness is constant. I have got some bought approx 1 - 2 years ago though that are slow to light up and do cause interference as well.

2nd Sep 2009, 14:11
we Britons have always believed that the State exists for the benefit of the people

That would be, for the benefit of Her Majesty's subjects :E

By the way, current civil law in most of Europe has more to do with Napoleon than with Cicero. The lil' guy did have his merits, the British never forgave him for that. :p

2nd Sep 2009, 14:25
They are used similarly to LV halogen types so have a limited spread of light

Well you can't blame the bulbs for that. You are using them in a very inefficient fixture.

CFLs do not perform well in narrow angle downlighters (neither do traditional incandescents). The best way to use a CFL is having the bulb in plain sight, or in a wide angle conical lampshade.

2nd Sep 2009, 15:42
If you visit Apsley House, Number One, London,

I'll go take a look next time I visit my daughter.

In the meantime, I'll just google it.

Not sure if the illumination is CFL, tungsten or gas

Wood 'n pitch torches? :p

Low Flier
7th Sep 2009, 15:29

7th Sep 2009, 15:33
Are readers aware that 'pearl' (or frosted) bulbs are also being phased out - including lower wattages?

7th Sep 2009, 17:08
By the time that the British have accepted that the "eco bulb" is a good idea, it will have been phased-out in its turn in favour of LEDs.

We've got a few GU-10 LED lamps with 20 LEDs each, and one GU-10 single LED bulb which is too bright to look at directly. Both types are 220v and 1 watt consumption.

Needless to say it an absurd waste of power to drive these lamps with 220v ac the way we are doing; what we need is a 12v dc lighting supply. Just right to be fed by 12v batteries charged from an 18v solar cell system.