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THE Lighting Thread (merged)

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Energy Efficient lights slashed electric bill by 40%!!!

Unread postby Ingenuity_Gap » Mon 19 Mar 2007, 15:42:08

strider3700 wrote:Although I agree with your post I have to point out that if your fridge runs almost 24/7 then you've got something wrong with your fridge. Mine runs somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 the time depending on the inside temperature. It's quite old and newer ones will work less then that.


My bad. It runs intermittently, of course. But it still uses the most electricity in the house. All year long. Far more than all the light bulbs combined.

By the way, I didn't include a water heater because mine runs on natural gas. But if one has an electric water heater, then the fun is doubled.

All in all, light bulbs should be our last concern.
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Re: Energy Efficient lights slashed electric bill by 40%!!!

Unread postby yesplease » Mon 19 Mar 2007, 15:52:06

I disagree about light bulbs being our last concern. They are the low hanging fruit so to speak, and can cut consumption by ~10-20%, and the bill by the same or more, with relative ease. Sure, a fridge may use more, but most people aren't receptive to the idea of a cooler like design, and probably wouldn't build their own. Even if a big chunk of the work done cooling the air inside is undone every time the door is opened and all that cold air "falls" out. The same goes for insulating a house... I suppose I could rank driving efficiently above light bulbs, since a 30-50% increase in mileage can save more money, but it's much harder to break people of their driving habits than it is for them to simply replace dead incandescents with lower power versions.
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Re: Energy Efficient lights slashed electric bill by 40%!!!

Unread postby snax » Thu 29 Mar 2007, 20:59:02

Ingenuity_Gap wrote:Remember that compact fluorescent bulbs cost more both in terms of price and resources used for their manufacture. Same as switching to hybrid cars: the energy saving is nothing compared to their price and the resources used to build them. Especially if you drive them on the highway, which is what most of us do.

I can't let that go. This is a generalization dependent upon longevity and the current cost of resources. I can provide plenty of facts that support the other way around if I only consider half the picture as well.

They aren't the panacea of transportation, but they can over the long term save far more energy in fuel used than a comparably sized non-hybrid even after including embodied energy. In that sense, your comparison to CFLs appears apt. Just don't make assertions based on only part of the story which depends upon assumptions as to how the majority of hybrid buyers will use them.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby Ender » Sun 13 May 2007, 00:47:58

Terrapin wrote:Good question.
I don’t know what they do with it, I suspect that they bury it in some relatively bomb proof pit someplace. (?)


Mercury isn't -that- dangerous a substance. Apparantly flouros are recyclable (ie. the glass and the metals, including mercury, can be separated out and used again), though plenty of them must surely end up in landfill.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby kochevnik » Sun 13 May 2007, 22:15:46

I get massive headaches from fluorescent lights at work. I think they are one of the shittiest things ever invented.

--------------------------------------------------

Health Hazards of Fluorescent Lighting

Known effects and their likely causes

The following is a list of symptoms and diseases known to be linked to exposure to fluorescent lighting:

*

Headache, eyestrain, eye irritation, fatigue, difficulty in concentration, increased rate of ‘misjudgments’ and accidents, malaise and irritability can be caused by noise, glare and flicker from fluorescent lighting.

*

Increased stress (which may in turn lead to heart disease) can arise from increasing the intensity of artificial light with fluorescent tubes. It has been shown that increased use of artificial light (rather than natural light) affects the levels of hormones in the body, particularly the hormones associated with stress, such as cortisol.

*

Variation in brightness, as provided by daylight, is necessary for the normal functioning of the body’s rhythms. The monotonous illumination of fluorescent lighting may also add to the changes in hormone production.

*

Allergic skin reactions and dermatitis can be caused by exposure to fluorescent lights. An unknown number of people suffer from ‘cutaneous light sensitivity’ due to fluorescent lights. This means that not only can they become allergic to fluorescent lighting but they can become more sensitive to ordinary sunlight.

*

Certain long-term, mild skin diseases can become worse if the sufferer is exposed to fluorescent light. Some medical drugs (including some tranquilizers, antibiotics, heart drugs and diuretics) can make you particularly sensitive to UV radiation (photosensitivity). Skin eruptions then occur even with the small doses of UV (in the 300-320nm wavelength range) emitted by white fluorescent lights.

*

Hyperactivity has been linked to the flickering produced by fluorescent lighting. Microwave emissions from fluorescent lighting are also suspected of contributing to these behavioral disorders. Other mild behavioral disorders in children may be made worse by working at school under fluorescent lighting.

Suspected effects

There is also some evidence that the following effects may be caused by exposure to fluorescent lights:

*

Increased risk of seizure in epilepsy sufferers

*

Higher incidence of miscarriage

*

Speeding up the aging of the retina.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby Dukat_Reloaded » Sun 13 May 2007, 23:27:58

The incandescent bulbs emit a broader range of frequencies like natural light rather than these new CFG's which only emit a very narrow band frequency tuned into the narrow visible light band. I don't like them, I like the incandescent better, I live in Australia and I have been stocking up on the incandescents.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby strider3700 » Tue 15 May 2007, 13:33:34

Canada has decided to follow suit and bad the incandecants as well. I still can't track down a bulb that will work with the dimmer in my ceiling fan though....
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby TechnoJabber » Wed 06 Jun 2007, 02:41:12

Has anyone published any stats on the amount of energy required to make a CFG vs. the amount of energy it saves long term?
We just our whole house changed over using www.envirosaver.com.au and it got me thinking when we would reach the "break-even" point. i.e. where the energy saved by the new globes outstripped the energy it took to get them to me (including manufacturing, packaging, transport etc)
I see this aspect forgotten in many areas regarding PO, especially when it comes to touting the pro's of alternative energies.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby TommyJefferson » Wed 06 Jun 2007, 09:25:49

NEOPO wrote:Bravo for AU.


Austrialia will soon be able to imprison people for possession of a non-CF lightbulb. These criminals can rot in their cells for not following the law.

Bravo indeed.

I heard these CF bulbs will save each year the same amount of Carbon Dioxide that was produced by all the petroleum ever burned in the history of the world before 1995.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby pea-jay » Thu 07 Jun 2007, 03:18:55

As much I favor the outlaw of incandecents, I think it is the total wrong way to go about it. We've got part of the solution working already by subsidizing CFL purchase. I've replaced all but a few.

Rather than banning incandecents, I advocate a $3 per bulb tax on them, with the proceeds going to fund energy efficiency measures. This way those who want to keep using them can and still can help reduce overall levels. But the vast majority of purchases will shift as people notice the price difference and switch
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Thu 07 Jun 2007, 03:46:00

pea-jay wrote:As much I favor the outlaw of incandecents, I think it is the total wrong way to go about it. We've got part of the solution working already by subsidizing CFL purchase. I've replaced all but a few.

Rather than banning incandecents, I advocate a $3 per bulb tax on them, with the proceeds going to fund energy efficiency measures. This way those who want to keep using them can and still can help reduce overall levels. But the vast majority of purchases will shift as people notice the price difference and switch

That would surely work.

On the other hand, while Duncan's Olduvai approaches, Australia will also ban fluorescent bulbs...then "electricity use permits" will be introduced...then fewer and fewer of them will be issued at higher and higher licence fee...
It is quite likely, that peoples will legislate out themself of modern lifestyle and illusion will be made, that changes are voluntary, and due to environmental concerns only...
So we will go to Dark Ages and noone will notice.
Everyone will believe, that it is design, even if in reality it is obvious default.

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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby strider3700 » Thu 07 Jun 2007, 13:36:04

making incandecents illegal or taxing them heavily at time of purchase will only open up opportunities for the black market to fill. The reason we're doing this is because people are "wasting" electricity and that electricity is dirty to produce. So make the electricity in a clean manner and charge appropriately for it. Everything else is just complicating the system and creating loopholes to be abused.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby Bas » Thu 07 Jun 2007, 13:46:43

strider3700 wrote:making incandecents illegal or taxing them heavily at time of purchase will only open up opportunities for the black market to fill. The reason we're doing this is because people are "wasting" electricity and that electricity is dirty to produce. So make the electricity in a clean manner and charge appropriately for it. Everything else is just complicating the system and creating loopholes to be abused.


you can't make incandecents illegally; far too expensive. You need a big factory to keep the per unit costs low. And as you tax the bulbs at producer level, the black market will stay very small.

I think both options are good ones, as well as the option of clean electricity for an appropriate price you just mentioned, Strider.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby strider3700 » Thu 07 Jun 2007, 16:41:38

You won't get a worldwide ban on the bulbs anytime soon. Until that happens if there is demand for them in Canada they will be smuggled across the border from the US. Back in the early 90's cigarette taxes where set so high the price per back was the same as it is now. smuggled cigarettes from the US flooded into the country and it was such a problem the government dropped the taxes back to keep everyone happy.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby pea-jay » Sat 09 Jun 2007, 01:34:49

Agreed. A ban needs to be at least broad or it is going to encourage *some* smuggling, though bulbs arent the same easy to conceal product that drugs or cigarettes are, plus they are more fragile. No body cavity searches for contraband bulbs!

Still a ban is not necessary. Penalty taxes are far more effective. If it detered you from purchasing an incandencent bulb, society wins and you benefited from an inexpensive source of light. If it did not deter you from buying that bulb and you went ahead anyway, society will still win because your high fee has made its way to a program to reduce energy consumption somewhere else (like replacing appliances in rental apartments where few if any existing energy incentives really function that well) while you get the bulb you really wanted.

The price needs to be set at a point where it either deters the maximum number of people from purchsing incandecents or funds programs that reduce energy in equal or greater amounts than would have been saved by buying a CFL bulb.

Sometimes bans arent the answer to everything
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby nate33 » Sun 23 Sep 2007, 18:06:11

Incandescent bulbs are wasteful because the emit a considerable amount of heat energy in addition to light.

However, has anybody stopped to consider that his additional heat energy emitted isn't really all that wasteful during the times of year that the heater is running? Essentially, the heat produced by the incandescent bulbs means that the central heat doesn't need to work quite as hard.

If you have a home with electric heat there is essentially no wasted energy. There may be some wasted energy if your central heat is run by heat pump. And there may be some wasted energy if your central heat is gas heat (though gas heat is getting nearly as expensive as electric heat these days).

For that matter, it's not really all that wasteful to leave your refrigerator door open in the winter. All "wasteful" electrical appliances waste their energy in the form of heat. As long as you use that heat, you aren't wasting anything.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby emailking » Sun 23 Sep 2007, 22:46:14

Well if your climate is such that you have to heat all year round I guess it doesn't make much difference. I live in Maryland and only use heat maybe 5 months of the year. And since I use A/C for another 5 months it's even worse because I have to pump the extra heat out. So I think it's good to promote these changes as all around energy savings. I think most people would just get confused if they knew it doesn't make much difference in the winter.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby nate33 » Mon 24 Sep 2007, 09:01:02

emailking wrote:Well if your climate is such that you have to heat all year round I guess it doesn't make much difference. I live in Maryland and only use heat maybe 5 months of the year. And since I use A/C for another 5 months it's even worse because I have to pump the extra heat out. So I think it's good to promote these changes as all around energy savings. I think most people would just get confused if they knew it doesn't make much difference in the winter.

Agreed. It certainly makes sense to use CFL's in warm weather climates. I'm just saying that a nationwide banning of incandescent lights may not be all that wise. It's arguably a good idea to ban them in warm weather states, but not everywhere. In cold-weather states, the energy wasted in CFL production (as well as the environmental damage) might outweigh the energy savings during the short summers. I wonder if it's even wise to ban incandescents in California.

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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby skyemoor » Mon 24 Sep 2007, 10:22:30

nate33 wrote:If you have a home with electric heat there is essentially no wasted energy. There may be some wasted energy if your central heat is run by heat pump. And there may be some wasted energy if your central heat is gas heat (though gas heat is getting nearly as expensive as electric heat these days).


If people live in temperate areas where A/C is common in the summer, then such bulbs will contribute to higher cooling bills.

nate33 wrote:For that matter, it's not really all that wasteful to leave your refrigerator door open in the winter.


Cannot agree at all, unless you live in an igloo, in which case you wouldn't have a refrigerator at all. Leaving a refrigerator door open would cause it to run all the time, unless you leave your winter thermostat setting at the same temperature of your refrigerator setting. I can't think of anyone that does this; can you?

nate33 wrote:All "wasteful" electrical appliances waste their energy in the form of heat. As long as you use that heat, you aren't wasting anything.


This might be applicable near the Poles, but most of the population lives in areas where summer heat can be uncomfortable, even if A/C is not always employed.
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Re: Australia pulls the plug on incandescent bulbs

Unread postby nate33 » Mon 24 Sep 2007, 12:23:37

skyemoor wrote:
nate33 wrote:For that matter, it's not really all that wasteful to leave your refrigerator door open in the winter.


Cannot agree at all, unless you live in an igloo, in which case you wouldn't have a refrigerator at all. Leaving a refrigerator door open would cause it to run all the time, unless you leave your winter thermostat setting at the same temperature of your refrigerator setting. I can't think of anyone that does this; can you?

You are missing my point. My point is this statement:
nate33 wrote:All "wasteful" electrical appliances waste their energy in the form of heat. As long as you use that heat, you aren't wasting anything.

Leaving a refrigerator door open would result in the refrigerator running non-stop. It would essentially be doing nothing except chilling the air coming out the open door while warming the air in the back of the unit by the compressor (i.e., the "waste" heat). Combined, the two effects would produce more hot air than cool air. Essentially, the refrigerator would be an unecessarily complicated electric space heater. Indeed, if you moved the refrigerator to your doorway and tried to refrigerate the outdoors, you would have just created a heat pump, which is more efficient than a space heater.

I'll agree that most climates do not require heat 12 months per year. So there is some savings by utilizing CFL's instead of incandescent lights during the warm months. My only point is that the total energy savings isn't nearly as high as most of the literature suggests. The energy savings is close to zero for 3-9 months a year (depending on the climate).
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