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ESL — a CRT-Based Replacement For CFL Lights Without the Mercury

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the yet-another-bright-idea dept.

Earth 348

New submitter An dochasac writes "Everyone knows incandescent lights are inefficient little space heaters which happen to convert 5% of their incoming energy to light. Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are more efficient, but they contain toxic, brain-eating mercury and emit a greenish light. LEDs are also efficient and last longer, but if their blueish 'white' light doesn't mess up your melatonin balance, their price is high enough to wreck your checking account balance and give you the blues. A company called Vu1 has come up with something called Electron Stimulated Luminance (ESL) lights which claim to solve the mercury and price problem with a light based on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology. These lights have the warm color balance of incandescents and are compatible with dimmer switches. The article has further ESL details along with an explanation of why it's still a bad idea to say these are 'trash can safe.'"

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Habla Espanol? (1)

CMYKjunkie (1594319) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331155)

My first thought: English as a Second Language light bulbs?

Re:Habla Espanol? (1)

otaku244 (1804244) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331293)

Because if you're Newt, English brings "enlightenment"

Re:Habla Espanol? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331427)

Speaking of energy and light bulbs, have you ever smoked meth out of a light bulb? Here's how you do it: First, you carefully use a screwdriver and pliars to remove the part of the cap that holds the filament. Next, you fill the bulb with salt and shake, shake, shake it like a maraca so that the salt strips off the white frosting on the interior of the bulb glass so you have a nice, crystal-clear bulb.

Now you can smoke your rock. Put the rock on the inside of the bulb, holding the bulb with gloves so you don't burn your fingietips, and hold a flame to the glass under the rock. Rock the bulb slightly to ensure that the flames are evenly distributed under the rock. When the bulb becomes cloudy with smoke, put your lips up to it and inhale the sweet, sweet goodness.

Spend the next 24 hours masturbating chronically, organizing your sock drawer, and peeking out the window to check for cops.

And people say that incandescents are obsolete. HAW!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Habla Espanol? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331471)

Oh great, another thing the DEA will outlaw or try to control. It's bad enough to be hassled when trying to by cold medicine or baby formula.

Re:Habla Espanol? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331949)

I would like to subscribe to your meth fuelled newsletter.

It only took a century (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331165)

But we're finally trying to improve the lightbulb again. Thanks, energy crisis.

Re:It only took a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331261)

What crisis?

Re:It only took a century (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331409)

People have been trying to improve the lightbulb ever since it was invented. They have, so far, been unsuccessful, which is why they had to lobby the government to get rid of traditional incandescent lightbulbs, so that they could sell the "improved" bulbs they had developed.
If they had actually improved on the traditional incandescent, they would not need to have a law passed in order to displace it, people would have switched. Do people need to have laws passed against old computers to get people to buy new ones?

Re:It only took a century (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331501)

The LED bulbs I'm using sure seem to be an improvement. But perhaps you're using some metric other then price, quality, efficiency or environmental impact.

Re:It only took a century (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331569)

... perhaps you're using some metric other then price, quality, efficiency or environmental impact.

Yes. Quality of the light (not quality of the physical bulb).

Re:It only took a century (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331587)

The LED bulbs I'm using sure seem to be an improvement. But perhaps you're using some metric other then price, quality, efficiency or environmental impact.

Aesthetics.

I rather like the LEDs, and use CFLs, but fluorescent lights give me headaches, if they're bright enough. Never had that problem with incandescents...

Re:It only took a century (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331951)

The CFLs don't seem to flicker as bad as the old ones, but they're still annoying.

The ESLs are already on the market, and have been since December [jetsongreen.com] . This article seems rather late.

Re:It only took a century (3, Insightful)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331591)

But perhaps you're using some metric other then price, quality, efficiency or environmental impact.

Maybe he wants to use them in his easy-bake oven.

Re:It only took a century (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331875)

Some bulbs are specifically designed to be used in overhead heat lamps. Typically used in a bathroom where you want bright light and lots of projected heat. Psychologically and physically, they do wonders for those who live in Seattle, WA and Alaska. Personally, they've pulled me out of a funk after living a week with overcasting drizzle and near freezing temps.

Re:It only took a century (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331961)

SAD is ameliorated by blue wavelengths. Heat lamps radiate near the red end of the spectrum. Heat lamps are really just the poor mans sauna.

Re:It only took a century (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331795)

If they are an improvement why was it necessary to pass a law to phase out traditional incandescent bulbs to get people to adopt them?
The fact of the matter is that they may be an improvement, but the manufacturers obviously did not believe that the consumers would think so, or they would not have spent all that money lobbying to have traditional incandescents banned. Now we will never know if they are an improvement or not because the market was not given a chance to determine. The fact is that it is possible that they are an improvement for your usage and still not an improvement over all.

Re:It only took a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39332157)

because people suck at math.

Re:It only took a century (5, Informative)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331797)

Price: LED $27.98, Incandescent $0.43 (Comparison of 60w incandescent vs 9w LED (approximately same brightness) at local home depot store)
Efficiency: 9w vs 60w, that's an improvement.
quality: very little ever goes wrong with incandescent bulbs, they work until they eventually burn out, often many years later. LEDs theoretically last longer, but there is a lot more that can go wrong with them, and I've seen many reports of individual LEDs within the arrays not working, or annoying flickers developing etc. Quality may be a wash, but it certainly isn't something I would easily award to the LED side.
Environmental impact... this is really hard to tell, sure the LED uses less electricity, but there is a LOT more involved in the manufacture as well including various components that are not exactly great environmentally. Additionally they are generally manufactured overseas and not locally as Incandescent bulbs are, so there's the shipping impact to add in to that as well. and when it comes to disposal, incandescents are just glass and metal, LED bulbs leave a bit more of a question as to their environmental impact.

Now for the bad news. I also can't give you usability. Sure they work just fine in standard fixtures, however they don't work in a couple of extremely common applications. 1) oven lights 2) microwave lights 3) enclosed fixtures (apparently the electronics can't handle the heat they generate) 4) dimmers (sure they CLAIM to dim, but I have never found any type of bulb other than incandescent that actually does, and I've tried quite a few)

Incandescent bulbs have 2 huge drawbacks, lifespan and efficiency. But they have everything else going for them. So far those 2 drawbacks are the only thing any of the replacements do have going for them, at the expense of all the others.

People want an improved light bulb, they just haven't seen one yet.

Re:It only took a century (2)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331923)

Do you have an affordable 100 Watt equivalent LED bulb that fits in the physical envelope of a 100 Watt incandescent? I haven't seen one.

Re:It only took a century (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331991)

But perhaps you're using some metric

Spectrum.

Re:It only took a century (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331583)

Are you against having any gas milage requirements for cars, too?

Or energy efficiency requirements for homes, businesses, etc?

Re:It only took a century (0)

mpoulton (689851) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331853)

Are you against having any gas milage requirements for cars, too?

Or energy efficiency requirements for homes, businesses, etc?

Yes, absolutely. Every advancement in human civilization has been enabled and accompanied by a huge increase in energy consumption. Dedicating our scientific and industrial resources to reducing energy consumption is doubly damaging. It stigmatizes advancements in technology that (naturally) require more energy, and it takes scientific resources away from efforts to increase energy availability. If all the resources dedicated to reducing energy consumption were turned to advancing fusion power, we might be getting somewhere.

Re:It only took a century (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331901)

Are you against having any gas milage requirements for cars, too?

Or energy efficiency requirements for homes, businesses, etc?

Yes...I am in favor of freedom. I do not believe that some government bureaucrat can better determine how I should spend my money than I can.

Re:It only took a century (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331909)

I dunno about him, but I'm certainly against such things. I think your mistake is that you believe the government cares about the environment and that these laws in some way help it. The environment doesn't contribute to campaigns.

Re:It only took a century (2, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331691)

Well put.

I know I would never buy another CFL if it wasn't for Congress forcing me too (because they outlawed incandescents). CFLs are the perfect example of an "improved" product that is actually worse than what it is replacing. Kinda like Windows 8 or Vista.

And I suspect if anybody did a study, they'd find CFLs actually use more energy & increase the carbon footprint more than incandescents, because of the extra energy needed to ship them from China & then drive the dead CFL to a recycling center to dispose of the hazardous mercury. It would be similar to how the ACEEE's study showed EVs are no cleaner than a 45mpg gasoline vehicle (and less clean than a natural gas Civic or 88mpg Lupo TDI).

Re:It only took a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331769)

I'd vote for a law against MS Windows, but then...

Re:It only took a century (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331859)

They only needed a law because most people are too stupid to do the math to figure out the TCO of each solution (it also doesn't help that electricity in most of the US doesn't include any externatilities in the rate that end users pay).

Re:It only took a century (1)

hbar squared (1324203) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332035)

There is no "improvement" possible for the incandescent bulb - it is limited by physics. A blackbody is an incredibly efficient radiator, unless you only want a small slice of spectrum - in which case you're stuck with the abysmal ~5% we have now.

Re:It only took a century (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332167)

You appear to be saying that not only have they failed to improve on the incandescent bulb, that it is not possible to improve on them. Is this correct?

Re:It only took a century (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332191)

Actually, the light bulb has been improved on. Halogen lamps are still incandescents with all their drawbacks and advantages but they are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescents.

They do have the added disadvantage that you need to keep the bulb very clean; however, most household halogen bulbs sold are either drop-in replacements for normal lightbulbs (which means they have an outer bulb that doesn't need to be kept clean) or are reflector lamps for sockets like MR16, which also come with a largely dirt-agnostic closed case.

Warm LEDs [Re:It only took a century] (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331493)

But we're finally trying to improve the lightbulb again. Thanks, energy crisis.

I'm not sure that they know what they're talking about when they say the "bluish 'white' light" of LEDs. Maybe five years ago white LEDs had a blue tint, but these days you can buy consumer LED bulbs in about any color temperature you like, including the "warm" light indistinguishable from incandescents.

Re:Warm LEDs [Re:It only took a century] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331755)

Color temperature isn't the full story. Any non-black body radiator is going to make some pigments look funky. See Color Rendering Index: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_rendering_index

Re:It only took a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331823)

Planned obsolescence and capitalist competition will ensure that we are unable to have repairable light bulbs. We will always take less quality for less price as inflation reduces our income, rather than have governments limit the creation of trash through the tax system. The idealism within the article is very positive, but it unfortunately doesn't match the reality of current business practices. If politicians weren't already in the pocket of business interests, there might be a hope that they would use taxes to reduce trash creation, and mandate that our goods are once again repairable. However, I don't see that happening anytime soon, since that is not in favor of large business interests that control politics (it would create a smaller repair market). We definitely need politicians that are able to be proactive (despite the tendency towards corruption) if we want a positive future.

wiki link (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331213)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_stimulated_luminescence [wikipedia.org]

Slashdot needs a copy of the wiki alertbox: "This article appears to be written like an advertisement".

"Light is generated instantly when power is applied." So how are they doing the thermionic emission of electrons... cold cathode which I thought had serious amps/meter limits, or ?

Re:wiki link (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331485)

Nanotube forests can provide high current density cold cathode emitters, dunno about the costs.

Re:wiki link (3, Funny)

uberdilligaff (988232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332171)

They meant to say "...for sufficiently large values of instantly"

on the contrary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331225)

they're highly efficient space heaters

Re:on the contrary (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332109)

Considering that it's dead simple to make electric heaters in the 99%-100% efficiency range, doesn't all that energy lost as visible light make them relatively inefficient for the space heater domain?

Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (4, Interesting)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331247)

There are still good uses for incandescents, particularly in environments where the heat is a major benefit.

As an example, my wife's theater group has a detached wooden shed which is used to store costumes, wigs, etc. She keeps a 60-watt light bulb burning in that shed to keep the place warm enough that condensation and mildew aren't a problem. Since the bulb hangs in open space from the ceiling, it's a lot safer and much more efficient than any space heater, and it's also cost effective, since, as noted, it keeps mildew down.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (4, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331297)

And don't forget the lava lamps.

Please, won't someone think of the lava lamps?

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331645)

They did. The lamps approved for use in a LAVA lamp (which are not your standard Edison A19 bulbs) are one of the many exemptions under the law.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331405)

Given how little heat is produced by a 60-watt bulb, an electric blanket would likely work just as well if not better, and be just as safe. I'm not saying the light bulb should be replaced in her use case, but if incandescent disappear, she will be just fine with the widely available replacements.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331561)

Remember one thing about the bulb, it also produces light, which is a very-much-desired side effect of the heating. :)

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331433)

Don't forget traffic lights. In cities up north that have replaced their traffic lights with LED units they are having problems with the lights getting obscured by snow and ice. The old incandescent bulbs kept the temperature up and melted the snow,

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331667)

They could put tiny electric heating elements inside there to keep them warm and still end up with a more efficient system.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332127)

not in the north were electricity come from some hydro-electric mega-damn

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331723)

For those very cold days, add a thermostat controlled heater circuit. Why waste energy for 330 days for the 30 days with enough snow to get the signs obscured?

Incandescents are 100% efficient heaters (2)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331475)

At least if you pull down the blinds. But then, so are all other electrical heaters, and indeed pretty much most electrical equipment. Light, and all other radiated energy, all ends up as heat in the end. The only difference is how a heater distributes the heat, and and how convenient that process is.

Reverse-cycle air conditioners are an exception, as they're heat pumps, not radiators.

Re:Incandescents are 100% efficient heaters (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331557)

Yes they are.

Which really sucks if you are trying to air condition your living space and illuminate it at the same time.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331541)

There are still good uses for incandescents, particularly in environments where the heat is a major benefit.

As an example, my wife's theater group has a detached wooden shed which is used to store costumes, wigs, etc. She keeps a 60-watt light bulb burning in that shed to keep the place warm enough that condensation and mildew aren't a problem. Since the bulb hangs in open space from the ceiling, it's a lot safer and much more efficient than any space heater,

Neither lightbulbs nor space heaters are particularly ideal as dehumidifiers, which is really what you want to prevent condensation and mildew.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331751)

Neither lightbulbs nor space heaters are particularly ideal as dehumidifiers, which is really what you want to prevent condensation and mildew.

Not particularly ideal, conceded, but they are adequate in this case. Add in the fact that most of the wear and tear on incandescent bulbs is starting them up, and a bulb will last a long time if it's just left running. As a result, the bulb needs infrequent replacement, and my wife doesn't need me or a specialist to do the repairs on some expensive dehumidifier.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331575)

Hand in your geek card - you think a light bulb is a more efficient heater than a space heater. Clearly you don't understand the second law of thermodynamics.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332021)

That depends on which efficiency. It's exactly as energy efficient in a windowless room, but if you also want light it's an improvement. It is a lot more cost efficient, especially if you already have a light socket.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331597)

I hate CFLs, but if she was unable to get a 60-watt incandescent she could just substitute a 70-watt CFL (200 equivalent) and get about the same level of heat.

Or a small portable heater (they make them in small 60 watt sizes).

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331921)

I hate CFLs, but if she was unable to get a 60-watt incandescent she could just substitute a 70-watt CFL (200 equivalent) and get about the same level of heat.

Or a small portable heater (they make them in small 60 watt sizes).

If 70-watt CFL a: too bright and b: a toxic-waste-dump in a bottle which, if dropped in the will lead to endless consequences. Remember the woman who phoned her local government to find out how to clean up a dropped CFL and was told she had to spend several thousand dollars on hazmat cleanup/

Small portable heater in small space with flammable clothes? You are kidding, I hope.

Re:Efficiency Depends On What You're Effishing For (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331977)

In Minnesota the incandescent bulbs heating effect is useful about 50% of the time.

Finally! (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331271)

A light bulb with no "native resolution!"

LED FUD? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331323)

You can get LEDs in any color balance you want now, including very warm color balances. For example:
http://www.cree.com/products/xlamp_mtg.asp

And price is falling fast:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitz's_Law

The lighting industry is rapidly gearing up for a complete transition to LED lighting.

The melatonin study? The comparison point is high pressure sodium, which produces very yellow light. I'd be surprised if there is anything specific to LEDs as compared to any other light with decent Color Rendering Index, other than that they are efficient enough to be a candidate to replace High Pressure Sodium.

Re:LED FUD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331489)

Too lazy to look at your links, but unless things have changed very recently the spectrum output from LEDs still have the peaks associated with non-incandescent lighting. This will make colors look funky at a minimum.

Re:LED FUD? (1)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331503)

Ah, Cree. They are in just about everything.

I like how they have such a significant spike of UV production that they feel the need to include a warning telling you to never look directly at the light.

I'm still waiting for theatrical LED lighting to be bright enough to use from the back of an auditorium, without having to buy the super high end Philips stuff.

Re:LED FUD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331765)

It probably depends on the LED, but for the linked product at least the datasheet shows a falloff to essentially zero relative spectral power by 400nm.

http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/XLampMTG-EZW.pdf

Re:LED FUD? (3, Interesting)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332005)

I just bought a bunch of LED bulbs this weekend at Costco. They have coupons right now. They were about $3 a bulb, and I think they put out great light. At an estimated $0.30 a year in operating cost, I think I'll keep them!

Huh (2)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331329)

I just discovered a use for that old CRT monitor buried in my closet!

Awesome! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331363)

Now I can be sure that my lighting solution can deliver true blacks for better contrast

Spectral balance (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331365)

You can get your choice of color temperatures from a fluorescent: they make different phosphor mixes for different applications.

LED lights can even have their color balance changed on the fly.

Re:Spectral balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331539)

broad spectrum or peaky?

Warm white? Yuck! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331399)

I go out of my way to find daylight or cool-white bulbs. I have been living with cool white for over 10 years and when I see a regular incandescent bulb outputting that putrid yellow color, I cringe. It is awful. This is the year 2012. Why do we still want our artificial light to be the same color of candles used back in the stupid ages?

Re:Warm white? Yuck! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331993)

Color temperature. Incandescents range from 2700K to 3000K. CFLs have just now started to emulate that where before they started off at 5000K (bluish white). Personally, I can't stand first generation 5000K CFLs. You have this bluish white color and everything else in grey shadows. It's like I'm in a freezing cold morgue. How in the hell can people live like that? I prefer burning candles over that shit.

I hate CFLs (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331413)

LEDs are about ~$30 on amazon. They've dropped about half what they were two years ago, so not really that expensive (they last a lifetime). I'm tempted to buy one sometime.

CFLs:
- are dim for the first 4-5 minutes, so you have to sit and wait before you can read your book (or walk down the basement steps)
- filled with mercury
- have to drive the burned-out ones to the landfill (thus increasing carbon footprint) (and no I don't CFL or battery recycling where I live)
- have to ship them in from China (again increasing the carbon footprint)
- they don't last long in my fixtures because they are upside down (trapped heat kills CFL electronics)
- or startup when outside (subfreezing temps)
- and every dimmable CFL I've ever tried went "zzztt" and died within an hour.

I wish the incandescent bulbs were still available. They didn't use as much power as the CFLs do (I'm including the power to ship from China & drive them to the landfill). Or frustrate me. Or require special handling. And they were built here on this continent (close to market).

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331509)

The last time I checked (2 weeks ago?), my local Wal-Mart (and Meijer) still had Incandescent bulbs.

Re:I hate CFLs (3, Informative)

hankwang (413283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331567)

[incandescent bulbs] didn't use as much power as the CFLs do (I'm including the power to ship from China & drive them to the landfill).

One 12 W CFL, equivalent with 60 W incandescent, over 5000 hours: electricity savings = 225 kWh = 800 MJ electrical energy = 2 GJ heat of combustion in a power plant.

Equivalent car fuel @ 35 MJ/liter: 57 liters (15 gallons). How far do you live from the landfill?

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331805)

My 60 watt equivalents are 15 not 12 watts. Also they never last 5000 hours..... more like 1/2 a year which figuring 6 hours in the morning + evening == 1100 hours. Adjusting your math I get:

36 kWh saved. 128 MJ saved.
That's just 3.6 liters of gasoline.
I could easily burn that up in the drive to the landfill + shipping the CFL from China to the EU or US (and probably shipping it back since most electronics are recycled in China not here) + transport of the mercury to the disposal site. Net production-to-recycle cost: More energy was used by my CFL than an incandescent bulb.

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332143)

One 12 W CFL, equivalent with 60 W incandescent, over 500 minutes (in bathroom used by males, dies from on/off cycle life)...

Bulbs don't just run. Which is an implicit assumption in you oft repeated analysis.

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331577)

I want good LEDs, but CFLs have been good enough for many of my purposes so far.

CFLs:
- are dim for the first 4-5 minutes, so you have to sit and wait before you can read your book (or walk down the basement steps)

Perfect for bathroom lights, if you rent and can't install dimmer switches! Also, they are quite good for a lamp in your living room when you have friends over to watch a movie, so that you don't cause everyone pain after the movie's over.

- have to drive the burned-out ones to the landfill (thus increasing carbon footprint) (and no I don't CFL or battery recycling where I live)

A lot of the stores that sell them will take them. There are a lot of laws requiring them to do so in various places, so check that out. Do you have a Home Depot / Lowe's / Walmart / anything like that?

And they were built here on this continent (close to market).

Which continent? I'm guessing North America from the amazon.com URL, but you never know on here.

Re:I hate CFLs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331611)

4-5 minutes? You're smoking some serious grass or something.

Re:I hate CFLs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331887)

Welcome to slashdot where exaggeration of negative myths about green tech are pretty much par for the course. CFL's are satan's work. Electric cars are worse than gasoline cars. Solar power is doomed. Etc.

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39332105)

Welcome to slashdot where tilting at windmills is not just a hobby, it's a competitive sport.

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331633)

LEDs are about ~$30 on amazon. They've dropped about half what they were two years ago, so not really that expensive (they last a lifetime).

Well, not what I'd call a lifetime; typical LED bulbs have lifespans rated around 12 years or so of 6 hour/day use.

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331747)

- filled with mercury

That's a bit hyperbolic. There's only a very small quantity of mercury in CFLs.
Still, mercury, especially vapor, from a broken bulb is a concern.

I believe there are CFL bulbs made in the USA, but perhaps they're not available where you are.

Re:I hate CFLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331997)

Before I ever bought a CFL bulb, I had to clean up a broken one. It really sucks to have to deal with poisonous materials that you never wanted. I've always lived in areas where no one I know -- even people paying $2000+/month for a 1 bedroom, living in the same building as NBA starters -- has an air conditioner, so being forced into using CFLs and risking the mercury for no noticeable benefit really annoys me. There has been no noticeable effect on the electrical bill (probably because we're very efficient and typically max out at two light bulbs on at the same time, and the heating and appliances drown out what little electricity we use for lights), and the claimed lifespan increase over normal incandescents has been total crap in my experience.

Re:I hate CFLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331749)

Remember when light bulbs were instant on and televisions had to warm up?

Halogens (1)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331817)

I wish the incandescent bulbs were still available.

Well, Halogens are technically a special subtype of Incandescents, capable of meeting all your requirements and suitable for use as a drop-in replacement for your beloved bulbs. Power efficiency is only slightly improved compared to standard Incandescent though.

Re:I hate CFLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331837)

- filled with mercury

I'm only going to deal with some of your remarks, like this one. Filled with mercury you say. How much? Pick up a standard pen. Look at the end. That little ball in the tip? That's larger than the mercury in your average bulb.

Filled is a gross exaggeration.

- and every dimmable CFL I've ever tried went "zzztt" and died within an hour.

Did you get CFL compatible dimmers/switches? If you didn't, that's your problem.

I wish the incandescent bulbs were still available. They didn't use as much power as the CFLs do (I'm including the power to ship from China & drive them to the landfill). Or frustrate me. Or require special handling. And they were built here on this continent (close to market).

Yeah, because incandescent bulbs never came from China, and your horrible situation for dealing with CFL bulbs is representative. Your frustrations are entirely of your own manufacture.

But you know what used to frustrate me? Changing light bulbs. I can't remember the last time I had to change a bulb in my house since I switched to CFLs and LEDs. Well, except when I wanted different lights.

Re:I hate CFLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331845)

That LED you're touting is shipped from China as well. Not that it matters - the power requirement and carbon footprint of shipping from China is negligible, assuming you're not ordering directly from China and having it shipped via air. A large container ship is remarkably efficient at moving cargo, and you can pack a huge number of light bulbs on one.

And btw - LEDs are also very sensitive to heat. That's why they all have those huge heatsinks integrated on to them. Putting them in a enclosed space without good convection cooling is a sure way to greatly reduce their lifespan. Not to say that LEDs aren't great, but they do have their limitations as well.

Re:I hate CFLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331983)

Dim CFL's only happen when you buy crappy off-brand bulbs. I buy name brand bulbs that do not have such problems. You will have the same kind of issue with any cut rate off brand electronics, including LED bulbs.

As for mercury, if you eat seafood you are already taking in a shit ton of murcury. And if you live near a coal plant powering your incandescent then you are inhaling more mercury to power that bulb than if you simply broke your CFL bulb and ate the contents.

Where the hell do you have to live to not have any kind of recycling center nearby? I myself don't live right next door to one, but I have a box I keep for burned out batteries and bulbs that I take to Home Depot when I need duct tape or some white glue.

Everything is made in China. Including LED light bulbs.

If you don't use an electronics product properly, it has problems. I suppose you expect your television to work if you plug it into a 12 volt circuit too?

Re:I hate CFLs (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332011)

As I posted above, I bought a bunch of LED lights this weekend at Costco. They were about $3 a bulb with automatic coupons applied at the register. I like them a lot. Estimated cost per year: $0.30.

Re:I hate CFLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39332055)

You don't hate CFLs, you hate cheap CFLs. I only use Osram CFLs and I have none of the problems you mention (although I haven't tried dimmables yet). Most of them were made in Germany, so no shipping from China either.

CRTs eh? (1, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331519)

Didn't CRTs have to use leaded glass to prevent the users from being bathed in X-Rays?

Seems to me a small detail or two is being overlooked here.

ahem... (3, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331563)

Didn't CRTs have to use leaded glass to prevent the users from being bathed in X-Rays?

RTFA

The shadow mask stopped some electrons, converting their energy to X rays. To filter these, old TV screens were made of thick leaded glass

Re:CRTs eh? (1)

FlatEric521 (1164027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331603)

Even then, it seemed like I remember hearing a ton about the radiation that came from CRT monitors.

I just makes me think, these will become popular like CFLs. Then suddenly! "Oh no radiation danger!" And then it will be time for the next technology.

Don't worry about the X-rays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39331943)

The phosphor need not be irradiated from behind so the shielding need not be transparent. If you don't need a long focused beam, you don't need the high voltages either that give the electrons the energy to produce x-rays. I don't worry about the X-rays

The lack of mention of warm up time or cold cathode, nor the efficiency of LEDs, nor the comparison of light out put per gram of Europium vs an LED makes me think they really don't have much to offer.

Math check... (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331589)

From TFA:

Canada's $0.25 per pound e-waste charge

Canada has used the metric system for decades (switching back around the time the US said they would switch as well). Why would they charge per pound for electronic waste?

Warm color balance of incandescents? Really? (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331639)

I'm not deeply familiar with the details of incandescent light development, but I was always under the impression that the big challenge was, you know, just making them work at all without burning out in a short time. Did they really work hard to find the optimal "warm color balance" before they were considered successful? I doubt it. I suspect that at the time the critics were going on about the harsh glare of the incandescent lamp and waxing poetic about the superior warm color balance of the candle flame. Fast forward to the modern day, and every advance in lighting technology can't fail to have a discussion about the "unnatural light" emitted by the newer, more efficient technology of the day. Smells like a classic case of change resistence to me.

Personally, I can adjust. Being a pampered westerner, I can't know what it's like to *really* be without light, but I've experienced several long power interruptions, including last year's week-long post-hurricane Irene outage, and I'll take any light I can get, thank you very much. More efficient, brighter, requires less power? Able to produce "normal indoor light levels" from a handheld lantern powered by a battery for a week, but sorry, it's a little on the "blue" side? Who the hell cares?

Please, bring it on.

Re:Warm color balance of incandescents? Really? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331893)

I'm not deeply familiar with the details of incandescent light development, but I was always under the impression that the big challenge was, you know, just making them work at all without burning out in a short time. Did they really work hard to find the optimal "warm color balance" before they were considered successful? I doubt it. I suspect that at the time the critics were going on about the harsh glare of the incandescent lamp and waxing poetic about the superior warm color balance of the candle flame.

They didn't need to work hard to find the optimal balance for incandescents, because it's inherent in their design - they're black body radiators, same as candle flame or sun, so they've got that nicely distributed spectrum that feels more "natural" to our eyes.

fail: 30 lumens per watt (5, Informative)

madbavarian (1316065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331649)

Their ads claim that it has similar efficiency to a CFL, but that is far from true for the CFL's one finds at Home Depot or similar.

The company's VU1 is 600 Lumens and uses 19.5 watts. (ref: http://www.jetsongreen.com/2011/11/vu1-esl-r30-light-bulb-lowes.html [jetsongreen.com] ) This comes out to 30 Lumens per watt.

A typical under $4 CFL from home depot puts out 1500 Lumens using 23 watts for 65 Lumens per watt or more than twice as much light for the same input power. (ref: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100686995/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=100%20watt%20cfl&storeId=10051 [homedepot.com] )

Metal halide? (1)

ciotog (1098035) | more than 2 years ago | (#39331857)

What, no mention of metal-halide lamps [wikipedia.org] ? Not a very comprehensive article...

Mercury in Seafood-equivalents (4, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332027)

A couple years back, I wanted to get some perspective on just how much mercury is in a CFL. After looking up values for a typical CFL bulb, it turned out the entire mercury content of the bulb was equivalent to 4-5 pounds of swordfish.

Not sure if that's an endorsement for the safety of CFLs, or a warning to the effects of bio-accumulation on seafood.

Vaporware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39332047)

I had been following Vu1 for several years. I moved into a house littered with can lights on dimmer switches. I've tried dozens of CFLs that claimed to be dimmable - at best they didn't dim, at worst they made a racket. I thought these sounded great - I put my name on a waiting list, dutifully put in an order when they claimed to be in production, and have been waiting for about a year since they announced that they were shipping. In the meantime, I have gotten quite proficient at seeing in the dark, so I no longer think I need them.

What is the point of all this for us? (2)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 2 years ago | (#39332097)

I can't really see the point at all in why we in the nordic countries would need to change at all ... its stupid as shit since we need to heat our homes 8 months of the year anyway.

So what if they incandescent light-bulbs only produce light from 5% of the energy used. The rest go to heat ... to heat our homes ... which we would have done anyway. The rest of the year we don't use lights indoor that much since we've 18-24h sunlight here anyway.
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