The Bulb of the Future

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
Newz2000
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:01 am
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Contact:

The Bulb of the Future

Post by Newz2000 » Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:11 pm

Interesting article on slashdot...
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl ... /29/199228
"if every one of 110 million American households bought just one [CFL], took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads."
Now, at Menards or Home Depot you can get a 4 - 5 pack of these bulbs for $15 - $20. (75w equiv). I bought a pack for my Grandmother, who is still remarkably frugal, having grown up in the depression (she saves aluminum foil!) and you'd have thought I bought her a new car.

I've been feeling an increasing urge lately to tone down my power consumption. According to the math above if you assume that replacing a 60w bulb saves you about 50w that's a savings of 5,500,000 Kwh. Even if that's just a drop in the bucket of our total usage, its still a fair amount. I tend to use 75w bulbs in my house, so I'd save more like 60w per bulb. I can think of 8 bulbs I could easily change. That's at least 80Kwh per month. It looks like I pay 8.5 cents/kwh so it would save something like $6.80 per month.

Two comments: I haven't seen dimmable versions of these. That automatically excludes them from a couple of my most often used light sockets. Also, since when do we use oil to produce electricity?

Yerry
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:01 am
Location: Kentwood, MI USA
Contact:

Post by Yerry » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:24 pm

Woth CFL's, I can light up my entire apartment quite brightly and use under 125 watts to do so. Working life is so predictable that they die in the order they were installed. However, two went (in 6 years) with a horrendous stench and acrid smoke.

I tried two 3-way bulbs about tyhree years ago; both failed within weeks. So, I took a lampstand 3-way (1-2-3) switch and made a lamp that had 3 60W (equivalent) CFL's side-by-side-by-side; in three years I'm still on teh original bulbs.

***

Many peaking plants and urban area continuous-power plants burn oil. PBS feature a ConEd plant in NYC that burned oil. However, Federal laws prevent new oil-fueled or gas-fuled plants for anything other than peaking plants.

When I did Design Change work at the ten-abuilding Callaway Nuclear Station in Missouri, we used to calculate (for fun) various measurements of "something" our plant would eliminate-- we quickly went beyond "tons of coal per minute" t esoteric things like "amount of time a RRcrossing wasn't blocked by equivalent 125-car coal trains traveling 45 MPH. Mathematicians-- gotta love 'em.

Wonder how many minutes of RR crossing time would be eliminated by CFL's. . . . forget it.

ku7485
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:26 pm
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Post by ku7485 » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:31 pm

Interesting article you have there...

I read more about CFL on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

Although CFL's are nice, I would like to have LEDs (electroluminescence bulbs) to be the light bulb of the future.

LEDs:

* uses a lot less energy
* gives off a lot less heat than a filament bulb
* have a very long life span
* light up very quickly (I'm not sure if this is true. I read this somewhere, being an LED lighting up a couple times faster than a incandescent....)
* LEDs dims over time, unlike a light bulb suddenly get burned out

User avatar
jollyrgr
Posts: 1289
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Northern Illinois
Contact:

Post by jollyrgr » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:02 pm

I have a LOVE HATE relationship with CFLs. Sometimes they work out pefectly, other times they drive me nuts.

I have several CFL throughout my house. I have this particular model ceiling light that was put in by the builder in all four bedrooms, the middle hallway upstairs, the stairwell upstairs, the front entry, the hall to the family room, and the kitchen. While they are all the "exact" same light they are slightly different. The kitchen one has three bulbs; the others are all two bulb units.

At the top of the stairs I put two CFLs in the fixture. These have run fine without a hitch since about 2001. The upstairs hall is used much less often than the stairwell one (they are about 20 ft apart, on the same circuit) and neither has failed. (This factoid will have significance later.)

I have them in the "computer" room bedroom as well. One of the two CFLs has failed three times since 2003. The other bulb in the same fixture has been there since 2001. In the kitchen I used the 75W equiv. as opposed to the 60W equiv. All three of the 75W versions lasted less than a year. The 60W ones in the same fixture have had mixed results.
I have two identical table lamps in the family room on either side of the couch. I put CFL in each of these. The one on the "NORTH" side of the couch is on a timer and comes on around "sunset" and shuts off at midnight unless I override the timer. The one on the "SOUTH" side of the couch (not seven feet apart, on the same circuit) is NOT on a timer and is RARELY turned on. I've been through four or more in the SOUTH lamp and I don't use it hardly at all. The one that comes on (depending on the time of year) between 5:30P and 8:30P and goes off at midnight has been doing so daily since 2003 and is still the original.

In two of the bedrooms and the front entrance the original incandscent bulbs are there from when the house was built in 1998!

I do not understand how some of these will last and last and others fail so often. The lights for the stairwell, upstairs hall, and computer "bedroom" are on the same circuit. The stairwell fixture gets used much more often than the hall one but unlike the table lamps this is not a cause of failure.
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Post by Chris Smith » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:42 pm

Consider this...How many arabs make the grease to burn and to light up your light bulb, and accordingly with the moron in the white house, how many American soldiers died,... and or did you save in the process?

If the answer is one, your doing the right thing, its called pull your head out of the sand, and consider all your actions.

The white house calls it rocket science? [like they have a brain]

300 million times your sum,,,,,, is a whole nation.

Just do it, and ignore the idiots.

Go American, Be American, and squat on the government every chance you get.

They dont know their A** from a hole in the ground.

rshayes
Posts: 1286
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:01 am
Contact:

Post by rshayes » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:58 pm

It may be a long time, if ever, for LEDs to replace fluorescent lamps.

Fluorescent lamps can be built with materials that are available in industrial quantities with relatively inexpensive machinery using techniques that have been known for over 70 years. The main problem seems to be poor design of the electronic ballasts in the screw-in units. A little more attention to thermal design may result in a lot of improvement here. Lighting fixtures with better ventillation would also help.

The effienciency of fluorescent lamps has been in the 20 percent range for over 50 years, and it reached that point with relatively little development time (possibly 10 years). The best LEDs may be approaching that point after about 40 years of development.

The heat lost in a fluorescent lamp is easily dissipated by the large glass envelope with low temperature rise. The heat produced by an LED is concentrated in a small area and will probably need substantial amounts of copper or aluminum for heat transmission and radiation.

The light emitted by fluorescent lamps is more diffused and less directive than that from LEDs. This is more suitable for room lighting.

Both LEDs and fluorescent lamps are far more efficient than incandescent lamps. Incandescent lamps are definitely not a preferred choice. There are worse choices. Incandescent lamps replaced gas lights, kerosene lamps, whale oil lamps, candles, oil lamps, and torches.

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Post by Chris Smith » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:27 pm

Don’t make any mistakes, Leds are just around the corner.

I read all the photonics magazines, and like "Moores Lawâ€

Newz2000
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:01 am
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Contact:

Post by Newz2000 » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:54 pm

Jollyrgr: Interesting... I have one fixture in my house that burns out 1 light bulb every 3 weeks (I originally used regular incadenscents, now I leave it empty).

P.S. I forgot to mention above... 10 years ago I bought some of the ccf lights and at the time felt they were convenient for a garage or a basement, but not for normal house use. That was because the lights were bright white with that same cold feel of florescent tubes.

Recently I wanted to get more light in the laundry area of my basement. I'd been using 100w bulbs but that area stays lit a lot. I thought !!! Get a ccfl... that bright white florescent light will be just right. So I did.

Unfortunately, now the lights have a warm, pink/yellow hue to them like incandescent bulbs... Oh well. I guess its good for the consumer.

User avatar
philba
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by philba » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:28 pm

matt, I bet your "cursed" light socket is subject to vibration. this will reduce incandesent bulb life dramatically. I don't know if CFLs have similar problems but you can get tought duty incandesents that will last a lot longer. I had a light that was nead a door that had an automatic closer which slammed the door. I went through lots of bulbs but that stopped - i got a tough duty bulb and it lasted much longer.

Newz2000
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:01 am
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Contact:

Post by Newz2000 » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:48 pm

As a matter of fact, that bulb is subject to intense vibrations... the ceiling it is mounted to is the floor to the landing for the stairway upstairs. And I have a very energetic 5 year old. Thanks for the advise!

User avatar
Externet
Posts: 1853
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Mideast USA
Contact:

Post by Externet » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:52 pm

Five years ago I paid $13 per each.
Last year I paid $3 per each.
Last week I bought two 2-pack at the 99¢ store :shock:

Miguel

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Post by Chris Smith » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:15 pm

I did the same yesterday,... buy american and save a moron in the milatary service!

99 cents!

Better than any soldiers pay!

User avatar
dacflyer
Posts: 4542
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:01 am
Location: USA / North Carolina / Fayetteville
Contact:

Post by dacflyer » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:22 pm

them CFL's come in many tints.. 90% are in the 2700 k class..the warm white to incadescent range...
others are daylight, which is in the 6500 range...blueish looking..ice cold to me..
i had to goto a electrical store to get the 4100 range which is a cool white.
and i got a few 5100's that are a bit whiter with a slight tint of blue,,these resemble true day light to me..

NEWZ2000 >> i have seen that 3-way CFL's do exhist.but the ones i tried flickered at hi freq. on med. and low settings.. made bt lights of america.

the ones i use now are either commercial electric or prolume.

ok, time for me to goto bed now,, byeeeeeeee..

rshayes
Posts: 1286
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:01 am
Contact:

Post by rshayes » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:07 pm

Interestingly enough, most of the cheap CFLs seem to be made in China.

User avatar
philba
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by philba » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:22 am

rshayes wrote:Interestingly enough, most of the cheap CFLs seem to be made in China.
chuckle...

I dislike CFLs because of their warm up time and harshness (of the cheap ones).

Anyone know about these "dimmable" CFLs? do they work with the stardard TRIAC based dimmers? any drawbacks? I have many fixtures with dimmers. That fact alone has me locked into incandesent for most of my bulbs.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 38 guests