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Selling Incandescent Light Bulbs As Heating Devices

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the a-bulb-by-any-othe-name dept.

Power 557

Csiko writes "The European Union has banned by law trading of incandescent light bulbs due to their bad efficiency/ecology (most of the energy is transformed into heat). A company is now trying to bypass this restriction by offering their incandescent light bulb products as a heating device (article in German) instead of a light device. Still, their 'heat balls' give light as well as heating. So — every law can be bypassed if you have some creativity!"

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557 comments

So? (3, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711002)

What's wrong with that, it's not as if they're being misleading. That "wasted" energy has to go somewhere and if it's being used to heat up your home in the winter, then it's hardly "wasted."

Re:So? (1)

PhuFighter (1172899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711028)

haha. Yeah, that's what i thought. I actually switch out my CFLs to incandescent lightbulbs in the winter in my study because it is warmer. The study is a pretty small room and the lamp is close to me so it works out alright. I don't know about using heat balls in a large space though :p

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711126)

haha. Yeah, that's what i thought. I actually switch out my CFLs to incandescent lightbulbs in the winter in my study because it is warmer. The study is a pretty small room and the lamp is close to me so it works out alright. I don't know about using heat balls in a large space though :p

You'd save money by turning up the heat (or insulating your house.) Electric resistance heat is ridiculously expensive.

Re:So? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711258)

Electric resistance heat is ridiculously expensive.

That depends on where you live. I've heard that in some countries, electric heating can be cheaper than gas.

Re:So? (5, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711286)

Electric resistance heat is ridiculously expensive.

That depends entirely on the relative costs of energy sources and how they are applied. However, as heating appliances go, incandescent bulbs are not exactly optimal for that use.

I can attest, though, that an incandescent desk lamp placed near my keyboard satisfies my lighting needs as well as keeps my fingers above freezing even when the main heat is turned way down. Generally having heat only where it is needed is more efficient than large-area heating, even if the energy source itself is more costly.
=Smidge=

Re:So? (1, Interesting)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711760)

In other words, space heating. Me, I use a few servers running BOINC to warm my feet. That way, even though resistive heating is much less efficient than using electricity to run a heat engine, or burning fuel on-site, at least the electricity is being put to good use before it dries my socks. Now if only I could get the fans to run quieter... given the air temperature is pretty low to start they shouldn't need to be on full blast... overly conservative SMBIOS, feh, by the time these things wore out via hot electron effect they would be completely obselete.

I have a slew of old G4 mainboards from iLamps, but none of the distributed computing projects want to provide Linux/PPC clients, so no uber-silent convection-cooled heater for me, sadly.

Re:So? (5, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711322)

haha. Yeah, that's what i thought. I actually switch out my CFLs to incandescent lightbulbs in the winter in my study because it is warmer. The study is a pretty small room and the lamp is close to me so it works out alright. I don't know about using heat balls in a large space though :p

I have a cabin in upstate NY. It is heated from a wood burning stove. I do the same thing. In the summer, I 'light' the cabin by opening up skylights and CFL bulbs. In the winter, with the much shorter days and VERY cold weather, the incandescent bulbs provide heat and are actually much more efficient than my wood stove.

The electricity comes from a hydroelectric source, which heats my home. Which beats my local natural gas furnace or wood stove in terms of efficiency, emissions, and saves me from cutting down any hardwoods on my property.

It's not enough to heat my entire house, but any time I meet the following conditions, it is the best solution:

1. If temperatures are below 60F and I'd light my wood stove or furnace.
2. If I require light.

Under those two conditions, Incandescent bulbs are more efficient.

Re:So? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711442)

In the winter, with the much shorter days and VERY cold weather, the incandescent bulbs provide heat and are actually much more efficient than my wood stove.

Switch to a high powered video card and monitor ... Higher power output, plus built in circulation fan.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711538)

It would still be more efficient to heat your house with a gas space heater and use energy efficient lighting.

30-50W of heating from your lightbulb is not bery useful and most of that heat is likely caught in the fixture.

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711062)

True on the technicalities, but seriously? Electric radiant heat is terribly inefficient, and more often than not you'll be putting the heat source literally at the ceiling.

Or hell, I dunno. Maybe you guys have fond memories of clustering underneath the bare bulb in your bedroom for warmth when you ran out of heating oil or something.

Re:So? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711192)

Electric space heaters aren't actually illegal though, even in the EU, though their use is restricted in some kinds of buildings due to fire-hazard concern.

Re:So? (1)

APL bigot (606126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711290)

Actually the Edison bulbs are used in brooders to provide warmth (as well as light) for newly hatched chicks. There are usually unforeseen uses for items then they were designed for. I still miss the pumice that used to be in Comet cleanser. Worked well to clean PC boards before applying resist to etch circuit boards.

A modification to the law that such 'heat bulbs' cannot emit light would probably be the next step to prevent wasted energy (i.e. people still using them for lighting).

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711306)

Electric radiant heat is terribly inefficient

Er, where does the wasted energy go?

Re:So? (2, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711498)

It goes into magnetic energy and heat generated in the power lines and transformers along the miles and miles between the point of production (usually a coal plant far outside of town or even clear across the state) and the point of use (your livingroom, for example). The rule of thumb I have seen is that over half of produced energy is wasted in this way. Contrast this with natural gas or even heating oil, which requires a pretty light energy burden to travel to your home and it's efficiency is determined by the sophistication of your heating device (most are 90%+ efficient, some furnaces extract so much heat that the exhaust isn't warm enough to rise in a conventional chimney.)

Re:So? (1)

san (6716) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711522)

It heats the coolants at the power station. But maybe your power station uses that heat to heat cities, like in some cold places in Europe.

Re:So? (2, Funny)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711526)

Why, it disappears into the 74th dimension where the ether's infinite free energy resides. You should go there some day - it's neat not being bound by the laws of thermo-whatsit.

Re:So? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711332)

Really?

I still remember fondly 1/2KW incadescent quartz bulb reflector heaters we used to use during my childhood and student years. I would not call them terribly inefficient. They had about half of the efficiency of a modern convector or the _SAME_ efficiency as a modern fan heater. The fan heaters are still selling and they are noisy, ugly and they as you say "warm up the ceiling"

Re:So? (0)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711378)

Ever heard of someone with replitian pets or tropical fish? Farmers with chicken? You want light AND heat. From same source ideally so that you do not mess with their instincts. Incadescent is quite efficient there.

Interesting, eh?

Re:So? (1)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711428)

The efficiency of a radiant heater is essentially one, just like a convective heater. If you want something more efficient you have to use a heat pump.

In France, we have many flats with electric heaters (mostly convective), and in this situation incandescent light do not use more energy that energy-saving bulbs in winter. The extra energy creates heat, and that translates to less energy used by the heater.

Re:So? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711106)

They would fuck up the day night cycle of many animals. Since there are bulbs available that don't give out _any_ light, legislation will be adapted quickly to close all such moronic loopholes.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711188)

Moronic loophole? Or a retaliation to a moronic law that does more harm than good?

Re:So? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711404)

I'm not sure if the law really does all that much harm, though I admit it doesn't do a whole lot of good either.

I mean, I'm as much against incandescent bulbs as the next guy. I'm trying to get rid of all incandescent and halogen lighting in my home, but CFLs aren't always the best choice either, and while there are a lot of really awesome LED ideas around, good, practical LED lights are still rare and often expensive. I know it's the way of the future and all, but the light in my toilet isn't on all that much, and I'm not convinced a $15 LED light really helps the environment that much more than an incandescent in that situation.

Re:So? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711116)

There are certain cases where you actually want the device to produce heat as well as light. Has anyone ever raised baby chickens? They require both heat and light, which an incandescent bulb is a perfect device. Also, in cases where you need a only small warming device, there isn't many things as simple as a light bulb.

Re:So? (0)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711308)

Not sure who the hell is modding you down... Yes. I've raised chickens. We have 6 hens now and planning on getting more. Nothing is as good at regulating the temp for them as a simple light bulb (we use the yellow 'bug' bulbs as they seem to get a little warmer)

I can see a bunch of liberals now trying to raise chickens with a CFL, wondering why they keep dying.

Also, we use them to keep our pump from freezing (about 6 times a year)

They are used in terrariums to keep cold blooded animals at the right temp.

They are pretty good at lighting a dark room instantly. You know, when you don't want to stand there for 30 seconds waiting for a light because you only need to be in there for 5 seconds.

Re:So? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711360)

Or to keep the snow off the traffic lights. Wasn't there a /. article on the new traffic LEDs that get packed with snow and the drivers don't see the light? I think a girl was killed in the incident mentioned on /..

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711120)

What's wrong is that most people who want incadescent bulbs will buy them because they are the light device they want (and the heatingaspect is an acceptable side effect to them), rather than because they are a heating device where the heat is a desireavle factor. And while I think people should have the right to buy anything they want (since a far better solution is to simply charge progressive rates on electricity, as it accomplishes the enviromental stimulus effect while being much less socially intrusive), that's wha EU may not like about it.

Re:So? (1)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711262)

What's wrong? Well from a certain point of view they are way cheaper than these new fangled light source that cost an arm and a leg and who are barely better than these heat generating light sources. In short: if you let a consumer choose between a cheap energy consuming ligthning device and an ecological costly one they will go to the cheap one. The progressive rate on electricity doesn't work so well:
- The eco friendly person will pay less
- The good old light bul user will pay more
- the eco friendly person who work at home and need its computer/heavy duty machinery will pay to the roof.
With this kind of rate you kill any incentive to work at home and be environment friendly by not using your own or public transportation.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

guru42101 (851700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711124)

And some incandescent lights are already specifically sold for heating purposes. Just head down the reptile section of your pet store and you'll find heat lamps.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711320)

No no no... in the case of this product the wasted energy is turned to a yellowish light.

Re:So? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711368)

I agree. One of the few incandescents that I have in use currently is the lamp for my turtle. The main purpose is actually heat for that one!

The only others that I still have in use are the ones in the staircase leading to my flat (using that for maybe two minutes a day, probably less), and a few connected to dimmers (those dimmers for CFLs are mighty expensive, so are dimmable CFLs).

Re:So? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711420)

The problem is that they are horribly inefficient at BOTH tasks, thats why they are being banned. They create so much heat just to create light, but they don't create enough heat to justify their cost as a heating device. Ever tried heating a room with just the incandescant bulb? A few minutes in a space heater would do better, or you could turn on a heat lamp, or any other means of heating a room are currently more efficient than these bulbs.

It's like if they banned cars, and every dealership in the world took off the rear axle and claimed their new scraping jalopy a motorcycle.

Re:So? (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711704)

I used to use one of these to keep my well pump from freezing in the deep of winter. It was nice because I could see the light on from my window, so there was no need to go trudging out through the snow to see if there was a problem with the well. Now I have to use a heater. Though it uses less electricity, it has more moving parts and is liable to break or cause a fire.

Thanks for nannying me, federal government. I switched to all fluorescent lighting in my house without you forcing me to. I don't see why you had to outlaw something that people obviously want.

Lightbulb Socialism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711008)

Goddamn leftist nazi progressives.

This ban could be shourt sighted. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711014)

Making lighting more efficient could increase energy use, not decrease it [economist.com]

But precedent suggests that this will serve merely to increase the demand for light. The consequence may not be just more light for the same amount of energy, but an actual increase in energy consumption, rather than the decrease hoped for by those promoting new forms of lighting.

Re:This ban could be shourt sighted. (5, Informative)

gufodotto (1547961) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711048)

Making lighting more efficient could increase energy use, not decrease it [economist.com]

But precedent suggests that this will serve merely to increase the demand for light. The consequence may not be just more light for the same amount of energy, but an actual increase in energy consumption, rather than the decrease hoped for by those promoting new forms of lighting.

check the answer from the paper's author in this week Economist. they clearly state that the journalist misunderstood the conclusions...

Re:This ban could be shourt sighted. (1)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711154)

I guess that makes sense form a supply and demand point of view... but common sense says: how much light do I need in my apartment...
If all the rooms are lit to a reasonable level I am not going to go out a buy more lights and plug them in!

Re:This ban could be shourt sighted. (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711478)

I guess that makes sense form a supply and demand point of view... but common sense says: how much light do I need in my apartment...
If all the rooms are lit to a reasonable level I am not going to go out a buy more lights and plug them in!

I go out of my way to turn off my incandescent lights. I use them in a few fixtures where they look better, or are required.

CFLs? I don't feel the pressure. Getting out of bed to turn off the lights downstairs isn't going to save me much cash.

Easy Bake Ovens (5, Funny)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711060)

This is not news to anyone who's ever owned an Easy Bake Oven.

Re:Easy Bake Ovens (2, Funny)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711096)

This is not news to anyone who's ever owned an Easy Bake Oven.

As an expert chef with the Easy-Bake oven handed down to me by my mother, I can attest to Sonny's comment as fact.

Re:Easy Bake Ovens (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711172)

My sister can attest to it. She got a nasty burn from hers one time when we were kids. Poor girl still flinches every time I turn on a light.

Re:Easy Bake Ovens (1)

dawich (945673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711338)

Since they're going to end up doing the same here, and some manufacturers are already shutting down incandescent lines, what's Hasbro going to use for future versions?

Re:Easy Bake Ovens (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711358)

They're going to replace them all with space heaters... That'll be the safest option.

ez bake oven (2, Informative)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711072)

This is the primary heating element in an ez bake oven [hasbro.com] . So they must remain available for the children.

Re:ez bake oven (0, Redundant)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711292)

Won't someone think of the children!
Boy, that excuse / reason works for EVERYTHING.

Only one real question remains. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711088)

who is John Galt?

Inefficient heating device (4, Funny)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711098)

We should ban them. Too much of the energy is emitted in the visible spectrum, not as heat.

Is it just me? (1, Insightful)

LatencyKills (1213908) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711110)

Or do other people similarly dislike CFCs? In the cold they take several minutes to come on. The light they give off is harsh. And, at least where I am, I have a hell of a time trying to get rid of them when they die - there's a single store in the area that takes them (though dozens sell them). Oh, and they don't seem to last any longer than incandescents, though they cost more, and at least on the box claim that they should. How am I saving the planet again?

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711164)

I also hate them, I don't like the light they put out, I don't like the "warm up" time and they don't last any longer either.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Informative)

PhuFighter (1172899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711178)

I don't know where you buy your CFLs from, but the ones I have come on like any normal incandescent light build does. Also, there are ones that are coiled, and ones which have a normal glass covering - these typically have light filters which give off varying colours of light: I have soft light CFLs in the living room, but more cooler, white light CFL's in my workshop. Unless you looked closely, they appear just like normal incandescents. The difference being that instead of the bulb being HOT after some usage, it's just warm (ok. pretty warm, but still touchable.)

I guess you either live somewhere that's warm (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711460)

I don't know where you buy your CFLs from, but the ones I have come on like any normal incandescent light build does.

I guess you either live somewhere that's warm all the year round or you heat your rooms 24 hours a day. In winter mornings my room temperature is about 5 degrees C and it takes a minute for the CFLs to reach normal brightness. My wife insists that we keep the stairway light on all night so that the stairs are well lit, so I am not exactly sure we save any energy.

Re:I guess you either live somewhere that's warm (1)

PhuFighter (1172899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711630)

I'm in Canada, so it gets cold. But I don't think I let my bedroom get down to 5C though - high single digits before the thermostat kicks in at night.

Re:I guess you either live somewhere that's warm (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711646)

My wife insists that we keep the stairway light on all night so that the stairs are well lit, so I am not exactly sure we save any energy.

I bought a cheap LED light (£1) too see if it was any good. It's not, except as a nightlight, but that's a job it does very well.

It uses 0.5W, so even if it were left on day and night for a whole year it would only cost £60 in electricity. A CFL would cost over £1000, a 40W incandescent almost £5000.

Re:I guess you either live somewhere that's warm (1)

PhuFighter (1172899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711702)

24x7*365 = 61320 hours. At 0.5W, that's 30660 Wh, or 30 kWh. Here, the cost of energy is about $0.11 per kWh, bringing the cost to about $3.xx to use that LED light 24x7 for a year. Just what the heck is the electricity rate in the UK?!?!

Re:I guess you either live somewhere that's warm (1)

PhuFighter (1172899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711658)

oh, and we use the electroluminscent strips to keep the hallways lit. it IS on 24x7, but they use a lot less energy.

5 C? Seriously? You have a tent with stairs? (2, Insightful)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711682)

I don't know where you buy your CFLs from, but the ones I have come on like any normal incandescent light build does.

I guess you either live somewhere that's warm all the year round or you heat your rooms 24 hours a day. In winter mornings my room temperature is about 5 degrees C and it takes a minute for the CFLs to reach normal brightness. My wife insists that we keep the stairway light on all night so that the stairs are well lit, so I am not exactly sure we save any energy.

Wait, you really let your house interior get down to 5C (that's 41F to most of us in the USA)!?!?!

Oh, I get it, you live in a tent. How did you find one with stairs?

Seriously, put some insulation in the walls and roof before you complain that modern lamps don't work in your house, or move from the freezer to a modern house.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711520)

Or do other people similarly dislike CFCs? In the cold they take several minutes to come on. The light they give off is harsh. And, at least where I am,

Where is that? The 1980s? There are plenty of CFLs that give "warm" light. And modern ones don't take minutes to come on either (although it does get a bit worse with age).

Even so, CFLs aren't the solution. LED lights use even less energy, and you can do ridiculously cool stuff with them. The big downside is that you need special dimmers, though.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711530)

And, at least where I am, I have a hell of a time trying to get rid of them when they die

Just do what 99.9% of everyone else does. They go in the trash where they can be sent to a landfill, the mercury can leach out and into the soil where it will enter into the food chain.

You save the planet by eventually storing all that evil mercury in your organs.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711540)

And you can't dim them. Yes Yes I know that if you order a special fixture from Uzbekistan and a special bulb from Mauritania and the phase of the moon is correct, it'll work for a couple hours, but I mean "can't" as in compared to old fashioned bulbs.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711738)

I'll up that one for you. If you use them in a lamp with a dimmer they actually burn out. I need to keep a stash of incandescants for my lamp with a dimmer switch. I'm stocking up for the future.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Funny)

Traciatim (1856872) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711600)

You're just not using them right. CFLs should not be placed in enclosures with no air flow, anywhere that there are extreme temperature fluctuations, anywhere that there are high on/off cycles, anywhere there are below freezing temperatures, anywhere they would be exposed to moisture, or on any circuit that could have power fluctuations. I've had one turned on at the bottom of my basement stairs (because you can't see and there is no switch at the top) since I moved in my house 3 years ago, it's been on the whole time. Yes, this light has been on for more than 20000 hours. Every other one in my house has been replaced with incandescent because they are far cheaper and last about the same amount of time in the enclosure or position that I use them since the CFLs all died in a year or less.

I hate the new bulbs. (1, Troll)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711190)

I care about the planet as much as the next guy, but I really hate florescent bulbs. I've used enough of them in my house that I know they don't last longer, despite claims. Often they take time to come up to full brightness. The color temperature they add to a room is a dingy yellow, so they give off an unpleasant light.

Last and most importantly, most people don't know how to dispose of them properly, and many communities do not have a disposal strategy. I'm concerned that the long term downside of mercury in the soil and water table outweigh the energy savings.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711248)

Stop buying the cheapest shitty bulbs you can find.

I'm buying what are considered decent CFLs (2)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711432)

You assumption is wrong. I'm not buying crappy lights.

I can't help but notice it takes three bulbs to light a room when two used to do the job nicely. I think that's going to nullify much of the energy saving goals over time. I wonder how many people have added a new lamp or two in the house after converting to new bulbs?

Re:I'm buying what are considered decent CFLs (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711492)

Bad light colour, low light output and short lifetimes are all exact symptoms of buying bad lights.

Re:I'm buying what are considered decent CFLs (1)

PhuFighter (1172899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711532)

I haven't bought bulbs that takes anything but seemingly instantaneous time to light up in ages. As for the math - if a 40W bulb is replaced by a 9W incandescent, then 2x40W = 80W. But 3x 9W = 27W. Seems like you're still saving a significant amount of power here.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711574)

When we look at the packaging and there's no warm up time listed, then why would we bother buying one expensive bulb over a cheap bulb.

I know that when I buy a BMW I'm going to get a better product than a kia, even without looking at the specs. But when I compare brands of lightbulbs they all look the same to me. (and everyone else) So why the hell would I bother buying the more expensive ones JUST because they're more expensive. People aren't going to conduct their on trials on lightbulbs to figure out which ones warm up fastest. And people aren't going to consult consumer reports before they get a simple light bulb.

And yes, I have a dozen bulbs in my house. I only use them in places where I leave the lights on all night (exterior lights) or in rooms that I may need to leave an ugly light on for long periods. Anywhere that I may need 'instant' light (bathroom) or a comfortable light (living room) I'm only going to use a CFL.

Personally I think CFL's aren't going to be around much longer. LEDs are coming down quickly in price, they use even less juice, come on instantly, last forever, endless form factors, and you can even adjust the color on some of them. When they are down to $3-$5/bulb I'll start replacing my incandescents and CFLs.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711652)

Stop buying the cheapest shitty bulbs you can find.

Change your name from "goaway" to "goawaywalmart" and we'll see how it turns out.

And don't forget Greshams law that the bad always drives out the good. We might be able to spend days researching on the internet to special order "good" bulbs from ... somewhere ... but the other 99.99999% of humanity is stuck with walmart.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711350)

"I care about the planet as much as the next guy"

In oher words, you don't give a shit?

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711464)

You can get CFLs in two colour temperatures: daylight and warm white; the second being very close to the colour of traditional incandescents. They take a moment to heat up but considering most lights are on for longer than a few seconds that is not really an issue to me.

Waste disposal I totally agree with: that is a real issue. Where I live (Hong Kong) I have yet to find a way to properly dispose of this kind of chemical waste. Indeed I have resorted to just dumping them, together with batteries, in the trash as I really haven't found anywhere I can hand them in for proper disposal - not just the lights, general chemical waste. I have seen shops collecting rechargeable batteries for recycling, probably mainly because they are actually quite valuable as scrap.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711518)

Up until a couple years ago I would have agreed with you on looks, but the color spectrum of newer CFL bulbs is on par with incandescents. Yes some of them take a few minutes to come up to full brightness, but some don't, it depends on brand.. Lifespan is very misleading. I have an attic light that is on 24/7 and a garage light that is on 24/7 they both have lasted years, every other CFL light bulb in the house has lasted on par with incandescents which offers little to no actual savings. It's not how long they will last, it's how long they will last in normal application. Finally, mercury in the water supply is bad, but at this rate it's unavoidable. CFLs do get tossed with the trash and even if 99% of the people using them recycle them properly it's still a lot of mercury in the landfills. It's just a mater of time before CFLs get banned and we are back in the dark ages. Guess we will all have incandescent heaters then.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711586)

Yes! CFLs suck! Which is why we should all be transitioning to LED lighting. There are finally some high-quality solutions on the market, which despite their high pricetags will save 2-3x the purchase price in energy over their 10-year life. I now have five of the CREE LR6 recessed fixtures [creelighting.com] in my house and they are incredible--bright light, very nice color (with active color adjustment, no less), instant-on, and 10-20 year life. And they only use about 7 watts to match a 60-watt incandescent.

I also have eight LED replacement tubes [ledlightbulb.net] from a random place in China. I know they seem kinda sketchy, but their tubes are the best quality I've found anywhere and they do actually ship pretty quickly.

CREE has a whitepaper [cree.com] detailing how LEDs are so much better than CFLs, both in quality and environmental impact. I hope they catch on and people stop equating energy-saving with crappy CFLs.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711660)

Well, you should try a 40w (200w equivaent) CFL, but make sure it's at least 4000K for the colour temperature. I don't know why everyone doesn't use this colour temperature - it's far better than the dingy yellow/orange we're accustomed to.

Your second option is to get a halogen floodlight. Mine is at 1KW and it's brilliant. I aim it up at the ceiling and get a reasonably bright living room. You won't ever want to go back to 20w CFL after that! Colour temp is not perfect though, so I'm thinking of switching to a more expensive HID floodlight, but at least it's 'incandescent'/black body style light.

Re:I hate the new bulbs. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711678)

you're crazy

when my son was born and we had a full time baby sitter we started burning out the incandescent every month. i started buying the CFL's and after 2 years they never burned out even when being used most of the day.

my wife never noticed any change in color

Not an original idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711196)

Ever thought that maybe they are marketing them as heat sources because that is their new intended use, rather than just a way to get around the law? Surely not that many people would choose to use higher energy lighting what with the rising energy prices, even if it did save them a few quid on the bulb.
Using lightbulbs as heating is not exactly an original idea. I have used lightbulbs as a heat lamp to warm ducklings. If they were banned then you would have to spend £20 upwards on a proper heat lamp, which for two or three chicks or ducklings is a total waste.

Laws should go about it differently (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711278)

It is hard to compete with a 50 cent Incandescent bulb in any country.
Raising prices or banning the cheap bulb will just make poor people poorer.
With LED or CFL bulbs costing between $5-$50, GE, Phillips and friends will be the ONLY winners with those laws.
(Note: CFL under $5 tend to give headaches, make colours look awful and last about as long as regular bulbs)

Solution: Make every household own and use at least one "good" non-Incandescent bulb per house and more if the house is worth lots of $$.
As the price of non-Incandescent bulbs go down, up the quota and/or limit access to Incandescent bulbs.
You don't police it like the US does drugs. Instead you make it a requirement to pass a house inspection, permit inspections, etc.

You cannot ban ALL Incandescent bulbs because you cannot get substitutes for all socket types and sizes.
Also what happens if they develop a much better Incandescent bulb that is almost on-par with substitutes?
If they should ban any Incandescent bulbs it should be the ones that give off little light compared to others.
There has been talk about labelling light bulbs with the about of light (in lumens/candle power/etc.) they give off.
They should have done that years ago before thinking about banning bulbs.

Re:Laws should go about it differently (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711534)

Also what happens if they develop a much better Incandescent bulb that is almost on-par with substitutes?

They count as energy saving and are allowed. I actually have one for a room where we have a dimmer switch, it is a halogen bulb inside an normal one!

The EU probably doesn't care (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711302)

I doubt many people are going to start buying these instead of fluorescent bulbs. One major advantage of incandescents was the price. These "heat bulbs" are for sale at EUR 1.70 ($2.28), plus shipping costs. They will appeal to some people but the vast majority will continue to buy bulbs from supermarkets, which means they'll be buying CFLs, which means these regulations will have achieved their goal (reduction in power demand, rather than complete elimination of incandescents).

Market Forces are better than silly laws anyway... (3, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711310)

The European union has banned by law trading of incandescent light bulbs due to their bad efficiency/ecology reasons (most of the energy is transformed into heat).

If these items are generally better, in terms of energy consumption, and are likewise sold at a reasonable price, they OUGHT to make sense to buy. (Or make cents, as it were.) If they don't then people should be free to wait until they do.

On the inverse, if there's a law requiring they be the only kind of bulb, then they can be built without concern for energy savings, and sold at any price. After all, the law says you have to have them, so why not profit from the artificial demand.

Oh, and by the way, all that artificial demand is damaging the economy, which will likely lead to war, which is about the least 'green' thing imaginable. Why is it that we love to talk long term about climate change and human behavior, but can't seem to do so about economics? I'm astounded mostly because while the former is a natural phenomenon that could be influenced by humanity, the latter is entirely human and will cease to exist when we do.

Just astounding.

We use heatballs here... (5, Insightful)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711336)

We live in a rural area. We aren't on city water, we have a well. About 3 or 4 times a year it gets cold enough that we turn on a light in the pump house to help raise the temperature to protect our already well insulated pipes. This is a very effective solution for us and safer than using a space heater. The space heater costs a lot more than a lightbulb and isn't considered 'safe to leave unattended.' We also have chickens. We have a heatlamp in there, and they can move in/out of it's light to control their own temp (don't want them cooked... yet...)

Do we NEED more fucking regulations? Give me a break.

Re:We use heatballs here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711602)

Do we NEED more fucking regulations?

Yes, actually. We also need to get rid of a lot of the ones we have now.

Incandescents easy/safe/inexpensive source of heat (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711352)

for various crafts / hobbies --- e.g., every heat box design I've seen for curing epoxy when making a fiberglass-laminate (archery) bow uses a bank of ###-watt light bulbs.

There's an easier explanation (1)

Anarchist Quaker (1910142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711402)

It's not all that creative, actually. My wife and I were exasperated when we went to the store here in the U.S. to find incandescent bulbs to use as brooding lamps to help keep our quail chicks warm. Incandescent bulbs actually have value qua their property of emitting heat.

Actually, this is a good idea... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711458)

This isn't 'bypassing' the law. Many incandescent bulbs are used as inexpensive low-power heating devices for small outdoor enclosures where a small amount of heat is required to control interior humidity. Try buying a 50-watt electric heater for a few dollars. The light produced in the process is just a fringe benefit.

Re:Actually, this is a good idea... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711552)

More efficient devices are actually sold for that purpose, they are ceramic-encased and have a longer lifespan then the typical light bulb.

The same is being done with sweetleaf/stevia (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711572)

Although it is not approved by the FDA as an ingredient in foods [to replace HFCS and/or Aspartame] Stevia is being sold as a dietary supplement and more recently as a sweetener that may be added to foods by the end user. Sweetleaf, a sweetener as natural as sugar simply can't get the approval that high fructose corn syrup and aspartame have been able to acquire. So, instead, it is sold as "something else."

Hmmm Incandescent vs CFL (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711606)

I have 2 incandescents and 2 cfl's in the bathroom.

I flick the switch here is the result.

CFL: Up to 60 seconds of absolutely dim, sick light from the CFL's (these are less than 6 months old). You can see the coil inside the dim pastic bubl-- then finally a bit 'bluish' light becomes too bright to look at directly without being dazzled.

INC: Instant "warm" bright light floods the bathroom.

The lights are on in the bathroom less than 7 hours a week. This is a particularly bad place for CFL's. CFL's are okay where turn the light on, can tolerate sucky light for 60 seconds and then it's decent for hours.

But just like "high fructose corn syrup" vs "sugar"-- it's CLOSE but not the SAME. Side by side, I prefer incandescent lighting for night time lighting. It feels better- and even the warm glow CFL's are not the same.

Given the fact that CFL's useful life is 1/5th that of their "rated" life, it seems to me that CFL's are worse for the environment. While they still "light", they light at half intensity after about 8 months. The quality of the light is putrid.

I'm more excited about LED lighting tho it is expensive. It's more suited for "fill" lighting at this time and I use one on my porch-- it draws 2 watts and I leave it on all the time. It's a "60 watt" but it's clear just from looking at it that is really more like a 30 watt incandescent bulb.

This "efficiency" rating seems to expect we'll be happy in a dark room with a spot where we are as opposed to a room bathed with light. Incandescents are partially "innefficient" because they shine light everywhere. They are very well suited for lighting an entire room instantly.

I'm personally buying a few hundred bucks worth of incandescent and putting them in a closet.

What's sad is that the newer incandescents may only use 25% of the energy but the laws are based on the technology- not on the energy consumption and they ignore the mercury poisoning aspects.

It makes elegant sense... (1)

wb5bbw (143967) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711614)

When we had -20 degree (Fahrenheit) weather at my University, the main Ethernet switch in the (unheated) wiring closet had its FDDI interface pack up. I just stole a torchiere lamp from a grad student's office and put it under the problem box. No problems, except for the ice on the way home. Incandescence just works!

They are near perfect efficiency in cold climates (1)

slagell (959298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711642)

People forget that heat loss isn't an energy loss if you are heating your home already.

Re:They are near perfect efficiency in cold climat (1)

PhuFighter (1172899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711728)

haha. Yeah. I think the same way about my hot water tank - which is only "60%" efficient. The 40% of the energy that is lost, heats up my house! Although, maybe not in the most convenient of places..

CFL's are dirt cheap these days (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711688)

at Costco and Home Depot they run just over $1 per bulb. with the energy savings you have to be crazy to keep on looking for incandescent bulbs

This law is totally unnecessary (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711730)

CFLs, which are actually superior to incandescents by most measures will be used naturally in almost all areas except those few where incandescents are truely superior ( such as heating - I've seen them used for instance to heat a box housing baby chicks - a use for which a cfl would not do ). The law would have that person buy a heater and a cfl bulb at greater expense to do both jobs.
Laws simply can not mandate true efficiency. They can only EVER a) redirect resources and/or b) decrease efficiency.

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