|Posted: October 28 2008 at 21:57 | IP Logged
I did a search on the web and read nearly every article on the new incandescent light ban that I could find. Most of the reader's comments were uncomplementary. Some were downright unprintable.
First, the plan is to convert all incandescents to CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps?). LEDs are hardly mentioned, but seem to be acceptable to the law on the basis of efficiency. The problem with LEDs (at the moment) is that they are much more expensive than CFLs and incandescents.
At first the CFLs seem like a great idea. They last a long time and only use about 20% of the energy of an incandescent. But then the problems appear:
1. Current CFLs won't fit a lot of existing lamp fixtures.
2. CFLs aren't compatible with existing dimmer switches and timers.
3. Turning CFLs on and off frequently shortens their life.
4. CFLs take several minutes to reach full illumination.
5. The new CFLs contain toxic mercury. Wait until the housewives of America learn that the CFLs are going to poison their children. Instructions for CFLs say that if broken you should vacate the room. How long? They don't say.
6. There is no way to get three way lighting out of a CFL. If you have a CFL on your TV room side table you want full brightness for reading, medium brightness for entertaining and low brightness for watching TV. But the CFL can't do that.
7. CFLs are temperature sensitive and simply won't work properly outdoors. In some climates they won't even start in the winter.
8. CFLs are supposed to be disposed of at an approved disposal facility. If that's several miles away how many people do you think will bother? All that toxic mercury is going to wind up at your local dump.
9. Many people complain that reading under a CFL causes severe eye strain.
10. The cost to retrofit a typical house with more than 100 incandescent bulbs of all sizes and types mounted in many different types of fixtures could be in the thousands of dollars (exclusive of the cost of the bulbs).
11. I'm waiting to see what my first string of CFL Christmas Tree lights will look like and cost.
Obviously many of these problems could be avoided with LEDs. But LEDs have their own set of problems.
This is a well intentioned bill and the reduction in energy consumption is laudable. But I think that a lot of modifications are going to have to be made before it's practical.
In the meantime, I'm not going to worry about changing the lights in the bilge of my boat. When suitable bulbs are available I will replace my incandescent lamps. In the meantime, I like you, will make do with the old fashioned but dependable kerosene lantern. The efficiency of kerosene lanterns does not have to be improved to comply with the new law.
Edited by Pete37 on October 28 2008 at 22:17
A Murray Chris Craft Constellation 500