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Steve Rozmiarek
12-13-2013, 1:45 PM
I just got notice of my power company's upcoming rate hike. It'll be 10% this year. This coincides with the outlawing of incandescent bulbs at the first of the year. Now I get the pleasure of not only having to pay a lot more for bulbs, but any savings that the new bulbs create is offset by another rate hike. I'm sure all parties meant well, but....

Yes, I'm venting.

John McClanahan
12-13-2013, 2:09 PM
I think the incandescent light bulb mandate has been either delayed or repealed.

John

Mark Engel
12-13-2013, 2:22 PM
Prices are starting to come down on LED and CFL bulbs. Put in LEDs and you may not have to replace them for a looooong time.

I picked up some 40 watt equivalent LED bulbs that only use 3 watts. Makes a big difference in a 9 bulb light fixture.

Pat Barry
12-13-2013, 2:42 PM
I don't think the light bulb police are going to come to your house and arrest you for using incandescents (just yet anyway)

Rich Engelhardt
12-13-2013, 2:58 PM
Pfft!

I'm still fighting a skirmish w/my Kohler water waster - five-flush-special...

The bulb police would be a welcome diversion.

David Weaver
12-13-2013, 3:51 PM
I just got notice of my power company's upcoming rate hike. It'll be 10% this year. This coincides with the outlawing of incandescent bulbs at the first of the year. Now I get the pleasure of not only having to pay a lot more for bulbs, but any savings that the new bulbs create is offset by another rate hike. I'm sure all parties meant well, but....

Yes, I'm venting.

This is similar to the water and sewer bills here. People have been (by law) decreasing their water use with more efficient appliances and toilets, etc, but that has put the sanitary authority and the water company in a pinch because it appears the maintenance of the system is the big factor in the cost. So, with reduced consumption comes higher rates (there's no assitance for people who have clogs due to the reduced consumption not being enough to flush their older lines, of course).

In the end, the net effect is that the water bill is still higher. They'll get it out of you one way or another.

Bryan Rocker
12-13-2013, 7:48 PM
I have been trying CFLs and LEDs for some time. While CFLs are much cheaper because they are usually subsidized by somebody I have found them to last no longer and sometimes much shorter than my incandescent bulbs. I have decided that I am abandoning CFLs, they are hazardous which has happened and I much prefer LEDs.......

Dan Hintz
12-13-2013, 8:38 PM
I don't think the light bulb police are going to come to your house and arrest you for using incandescents (just yet anyway)

The law is for manufacturing, not use... I believe the end of 2013 is the end of 75W+ bulbs. End of 2014 is the end of 60W+...

Bruce Wrenn
12-13-2013, 9:22 PM
Here in drought about five years ago, water utilities BEGGED everybody to conserve water. Many upgraded to low flush toilets amongst other things. Fast forward, utilities are going to raise rates because we are now using less water as per their request. I expect during next drought, or crisis they will be told to go to HE77, if they ask us to cut back on usage. In the last year, we have replaced both of our refrigerators with energy star models. Bill went UP! Next door, I have had well pump on separate meter for years. Last month used $1.53 worth of electricity, but after junk fees and sales taxes on junk fees, bill came to almost $27.00. That what, about a 2000% mark up.

Alan Sweet
12-13-2013, 9:43 PM
The DOJ will not be using armed agents to arrest, detain or neutralize users of incandescent lights until the end of 2014. They will work with the IRS however to identify and register all user of incandescent lights at the beginning of 2014.

Mike Henderson
12-13-2013, 9:51 PM
Southern California has been pushing people to use less water for years. Low use toilets are pretty standard here and they seem to work well. One powerful tool that almost all of the water and electric companies use is to make the product more expensive the more you use (tired rates. Low tier is cheap per unit, last tier is very expensive per unit). So there's a strong financial incentive to use less water and electricity.

My house is pretty much all CFL (compact florescent) and it makes a big difference in my electricity usage. I have a lot of ceiling cans and when they are on, they'd draw a lot of power if they were all incandescent (and they'd produce a lot of heat).

We all need to use less of the earth's resources. Southern California especially needs to use less water because one day the water we're getting from the Owens Valley and Northern California is going to be cut off. And we're doing pretty well. We're taking less "foreign" water even though the population has grown.

Mike

[If you really want to cut your electricity bill, install solar. My annual electricity bill is zero or negative, but even if you cut your draw from the electric company in half, you will generally save a lot of money because of the higher cost of electricity for greater usage (if you have tiered rates in your location).]

Mike Henderson
12-13-2013, 9:58 PM
Pfft!

I'm still fighting a skirmish w/my Kohler water waster - five-flush-special...

The bulb police would be a welcome diversion.
Get a Toto low flush toilet. Works very well.

Mike

Leo Graywacz
12-13-2013, 10:26 PM
Almost sounds like the mandated MPG rules for cars. The constantly tell us that we need to save gas, conserve, buy a fuel efficient car. What happens? We use less fuel, but the oil companies expect to make a certain amount of money per yer, no matter what. They boost prices. And another effect is because we use less fuel there are less taxes paid and the road maintenance that comes from these taxes are depleted.

I have noticed that anytime they tell you to save something by reducing use, the price of that something will go up.


I replaced all my bulbs in my house with CFL's and then the power company boosted their rates. Net zero. Well, negative because I had to buy the bulbs.

Brian Elfert
12-13-2013, 11:36 PM
Power companies in many states are in the unique position of getting a guaranteed return on equity. Rather than cut costs when demand drops like most companies have to do they just apply to the state to raise rates because they aren't making enough money.

Government laws that require power companies to close coal powered electric plants and replace them with wind and solar is also causing rates to go up. Coal is generally the cheapest way to produce power.

Mike Henderson
12-13-2013, 11:46 PM
Government laws that require power companies to close coal powered electric plants and replace them with wind and solar is also causing rates to go up. Coal is generally the cheapest way to produce power.
Actually, the conversion is from coal to natural gas most of the time. It's pretty impossible to replace a standard fossil fuel power generating station with wind and solar.

Also, coal may be the cheapest way to produce power but it has a lot of external issues, one of which is that it produces the most greenhouse gas. And unless the plant is equipped with the latest and greatest scrubbers, it also puts out a lot of sulfur that comes back to earth as acid rain.

Mike

Mike Henderson
12-13-2013, 11:57 PM
Almost sounds like the mandated MPG rules for cars. The constantly tell us that we need to save gas, conserve, buy a fuel efficient car. What happens? We use less fuel, but the oil companies expect to make a certain amount of money per yer, no matter what. They boost prices. And another effect is because we use less fuel there are less taxes paid and the road maintenance that comes from these taxes are depleted.

I have noticed that anytime they tell you to save something by reducing use, the price of that something will go up.
If you follow the price of crude oil, you'll see that as demand falls, the price per barrel falls. When the recession hit, the usage of oil declined and the price of a barrel of oil declined. As the economies in the world have recovered, usage of oil has increased and the price of a barrel of oil has increased.

The price of a barrel of oil is also affected by the availability of oil. When there's unrest in the middle east, and fear that one or more sources will be cut off, the price of a barrel of oil increases. OPEC tries to control the availability of oil, and thus maintain a certain price level, but it's been like herding cats. Almost all the members cheat.

While oil companies wish that they had absolute pricing power, they are blown by the winds of the economy and the geopolitical situation. They respond rather than lead as far as pricing goes.

Mike

[The price of gasoline is affected by the price of a barrel of oil but also by refining capacity. Here in California we have spikes in gas prices if something happens to one of the local refineries (such as a fire, or a shutdown for maintenance, etc.). It's all supply and demand.]

Brian Elfert
12-14-2013, 12:40 AM
Actually, the conversion is from coal to natural gas most of the time. It's pretty impossible to replace a standard fossil fuel power generating station with wind and solar.

Also, coal may be the cheapest way to produce power but it has a lot of external issues, one of which is that it produces the most greenhouse gas. And unless the plant is equipped with the latest and greatest scrubbers, it also puts out a lot of sulfur that comes back to earth as acid rain.


The state of Minnesota is requiring power companies to get 20% to 25% of their electricity from renewable sources while at the same time requiring coal plants to close or convert to natural gas. This is causing power prices to increase. Coal may not be the best option for generating power, but it is usually the cheapest and it works works 24/7 unlike wind or solar. Personally, I hate using natural gas for power as it will eventually cause natural gas prices to rise and therefore cause my heating costs to rise.

Mike Henderson
12-14-2013, 12:56 AM
The state of Minnesota is requiring power companies to get 20% to 25% of their electricity from renewable sources while at the same time requiring coal plants to close or convert to natural gas. This is causing power prices to increase. Coal may not be the best option for generating power, but it is usually the cheapest and it works works 24/7 unlike wind or solar. Personally, I hate using natural gas for power as it will eventually cause natural gas prices to rise and therefore cause my heating costs to rise.
California is also requiring the electric companies to get a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources but that's different than closing a coal fired plant and replacing it with wind or solar. It should be obvious that a fossil fueled plant cannot be replaced by wind or solar because of the irregular nature of those two technologies.

Wind and solar are mostly used for peak loading. For example, the highest demand for electricity is in the middle of the day, exactly when solar is producing the most power.
When thinking about power generation, it's important to think beyond ourselves. Natural gas produces less greenhouse gases than coal (and a lot less acid rain). Solar and wind turbines don't produce any greenhouse gas, beyond what it takes to manufacture them. If we don't do something to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, we may not have much of a world to pass to our children and grandchildren.

Mike

Jeff Erbele
12-14-2013, 4:12 AM
Power companies in many states are in the unique position of getting a guaranteed return on equity. Rather than cut costs when demand drops like most companies have to do they just apply to the state to raise rates because they aren't making enough money.

Government laws that require power companies to close coal powered electric plants and replace them with wind and solar is also causing rates to go up. Coal is generally the cheapest way to produce power.

I'm pretty sure hydro-electric is the least expensive power. The problem with hydro is every river that could be damed already has been. The Yellowstone River is the exception being the longest un-damed river in the US and it never will be given the environmental impact and other objections,
After harnessing all the rivers we still need much more power.

Jim Matthews
12-14-2013, 8:21 AM
When a forward thinker like Dean Kamen discontinued use of incandescent lights in all his facilities, including his own personal island -
that says a great deal about the validity of the choice. He does it because the incandescent bulb generates more heat than light from any watt consumed.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/dean-kamens-led-nation/?_r=0

Art Mann
12-14-2013, 9:39 AM
What Deam Kamen's action tells me is that he is rich enough to make the conversion to LED lighting regardless of the economic feasibility. For example. in the article it explains he secured the services of the Chief Technology Officer of Philips Color Kinetics to do his project. I suspect that cost of that consultation was more than the entire yearly power bill of an average household.

Brian Elfert
12-14-2013, 9:44 AM
The topic of the thread is electricity price increases. While it is true utilities are raising prices because of reduced demand, mandates for renewable power and cleaning up or replacing coal plants are also driving up prices. One utility in Minnesota is raising rates 4% strictly to pay for required pollution controls on a coal plant. Coal plants emit tons of CO2, but they are the cheapest way to make power next to hydro.

I wouldn't mind seeing more of the new type of nuclear plants. They aren't a particularly cheap way to make power, but no fossil fuels and no greenhouse gases. The new plants supposedly can use the spent fuel from the current nuclear plants and produce very little waste.

Frank Trinkle
12-14-2013, 10:08 AM
The incandescent lights WILL be disappearing shortly. The big lot stores will not be stocking any shortly either.

Here's the latest news:

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/12/13/final-phase-out-incandescent-light-bulbs-jan-1/

I have prepared for this with Prepper-like contingencies....:D

277080

Should last at least 10-15 years of usage!

David C. Roseman
12-14-2013, 10:39 AM
We've gone to CFLs for the most part, but it's been my experience that they take a short while to gain full intensity when turned on. I've picked up a few spare packs of 60w incandescents to use in the shop for quick on/off uses, like task lighting on the bench grinders and buffers, still sporting standard screw bases. I also prefer incandescent bulbs, and small magnetic-based LEDs, for task lighting at the lathes to supplement the overhead fluorescent T8s. They avoid the "strobe" effect on spinning objects that can occur with the fluorescent tube lighting. BTW, I don't know for sure (anyone?), but I think the strobe effect is much less of a problem with the CFLs than standard tube fluorescents because they operate at a much higher frequency than the latter.

David

Art Mann
12-14-2013, 10:51 AM
What is the economic feasibility of converting your house from incandescent to LED lighting technology? I went to the Government website www.eia.gov (http://www.eia.gov) to get answers. Here is what I found out. The average home consumes 940KWH monthly with 13% of that going to lighting only. That translates to 122KWH used on lighting. The average cost of electricity in the US is $0.1252 per KWH. That means the average household spends $15.72 for lighting. There is about an 80% reduction in power requirements for LEDs, so the average household could save $12.58 per month.

Lets assume I want to replace every bulb in my house with LED equivalents. I counted about 72 bulbs, not including fluorescent, and my house is very modest in size. I looked on Amazon and standard LED bulbs are going for $10 but I would require some specialty bulbs that cost $15 or $20. I will assume the average cost per bulb is $13. That means I could replace all the incandescent bulbs with LED equivalents for $936. Using the monthly savings calculated in the first paragraph, it would take me about 6 years and 1 month to get to the break even point. On the other hand, if I stuck with the incandescents and put the $936 with the rest of my investments, it would have turned into around $1500 if the last 30 years of performance data are any indication.

Maybe the price of LED bulbs will drop significantly with increased market penetration, but for now, I will stick with what I have and replace bulbs with CFLs as needed.

Brian Elfert
12-14-2013, 11:10 AM
CFL bulbs save nearly as much energy as LED. You don't have to buy expensive LED light bulbs to save on electricity. I just bought a six pack of GE "100 watt" CFLs at Sam's Club for $8 with tax included. The GE CFLs come to full brightness nearly instantly. I've decided to give LED a little more time to mature and come down in cost. I'm also strongly considering building a new house so it might not make sense to invest in LED bulbs. I am going to try to use purpose built LED light fixtures in a new house.

glenn bradley
12-14-2013, 11:15 AM
Pfft!

I'm still fighting a skirmish w/my Kohler water waster - five-flush-special...

The bulb police would be a welcome diversion.


Get a Toto low flush toilet. Works very well.

Mike

*** threadjack *** Mike is right. Toto's aren't cheap but they will be the best and last you ever buy.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-14-2013, 12:15 PM
My original vent was partially because the rate hike negligates savings. I did the calculations, and assuming that there will be no more rate increases (ha, they are annual), the led's have a 39 month break even. I don't intend to use some of these fixtures that long, so what then?

Everything that Americans do that actually makes something is simply the conversion of energy to matter. Be it crops in my case, or cars. When the price of energy goes up, guess what happens. To make it worse, when the price of energy is increased not by market forces, but rather by social engineering, well meaning short sighted idiots tend to really mess things up.

When my farm and home is forced to replace the seriously, 1000's of perfectly adequate bulbs with something else, it also makes another problem. I don't need a 25,000 hour light bulb on a center pivot that i'm sure a hail storm will destroy in several years. Thats wasting money, and it pisses me off that I am now forced too.

Frank, I'm using your approach, but we shouldn't have too.

Jerome Stanek
12-14-2013, 12:55 PM
I just got notice of my power company's upcoming rate hike. It'll be 10% this year. This coincides with the outlawing of incandescent bulbs at the first of the year. Now I get the pleasure of not only having to pay a lot more for bulbs, but any savings that the new bulbs create is offset by another rate hike. I'm sure all parties meant well, but....

Yes, I'm venting.

Well you could still use your old bulbs at the higher electric rate

Mike Henderson
12-14-2013, 1:24 PM
To make it worse, when the price of energy is increased not by market forces, but rather by social engineering, well meaning short sighted idiots tend to really mess things up.

Perhaps a better description might be "well meaning, long sighted". If we don't do something about greenhouse gases we won't have a world for our children and grandchildren to live on.

Would you prefer to have lower cost energy today and an uninhabitable world tomorrow? Or air pollution like Beijing has today?

Mike

Leo Graywacz
12-14-2013, 1:34 PM
Please don't bring the thread there. You won't like what I have to say.

Brian Elfert
12-14-2013, 1:54 PM
When my farm and home is forced to replace the seriously, 1000's of perfectly adequate bulbs with something else, it also makes another problem. I don't need a 25,000 hour light bulb on a center pivot that i'm sure a hail storm will destroy in several years. Thats wasting money, and it pisses me off that I am now forced too.


Nobody is forcing anyone to give up bulbs one already owns. They won't be going door to door confiscating light bulbs. Rough service incandescant light bulbs are still legal to make and buy. There are at least two different companies making them right here in the USA. The bulbs are about $2 each from one company and supposedly last 20,000 hours. Cheaper than LED.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-14-2013, 1:57 PM
Well you could still use your old bulbs at the higher electric rate

It's a false savings. Because the power rate is going up, the savings on power to match the hype of the more efficient bulb needs to increase 10% as well. Lower cost of equipment helps offset more cost, so let me use the old bulbs. My dollar today is worth more than a dollar will be worth 4 years from now, I don't want to pay forward with my hard earned dollars today.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-14-2013, 1:58 PM
Perhaps a better description might be "well meaning, long sighted". If we don't do something about greenhouse gases we won't have a world for our children and grandchildren to live on.

Would you prefer to have lower cost energy today and an uninhabitable world tomorrow? Or air pollution like Beijing has today?

Mike

Mike, in an effort to keep this friendly, let's just agree to disagree on this.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-14-2013, 2:05 PM
Nobody is forcing anyone to give up bulbs one already owns. They won't be going door to door confiscating light bulbs. Rough service incandescant light bulbs are still legal to make and buy. There are at least two different companies making them right here in the USA. The bulbs are about $2 each from one company and supposedly last 20,000 hours. Cheaper than LED.

True, but they outlawed the manufacture of bulbs that don't meet a certain criteria designed to eliminate incandescents. The 100 watt have disappeared already, the 60's and 40's are gone at the end of the year. I'm glad the rough service found a loop hole, but for certain applications, a cheaper incandescent is seriously the best choice. Try using an led or cfl in the oven for example.

Traffic light bulbs are still manufactured too I think. I doubt you could find a incandescent traffic light left, but they are another loop hole source.

Art Mann
12-14-2013, 2:34 PM
Perhaps a better description might be "well meaning, long sighted". If we don't do something about greenhouse gases we won't have a world for our children and grandchildren to live on.

Would you prefer to have lower cost energy today and an uninhabitable world tomorrow? Or air pollution like Beijing has today?

Mike

There is more and more evidence accumulating to show that naturally occurring phenomena have such a great affect on climate that any human behavior is negligible in comparison. According to the most reliable sources, the earth has not warmed in the last 15 years. At this point, I think the real "climate change deniers" are those who choose to ignore this evidence. In any case, an "uninhabitable world" is only predicted by the fringe scientists.

Brian Elfert
12-14-2013, 2:34 PM
True, but they outlawed the manufacture of bulbs that don't meet a certain criteria designed to eliminate incandescents. The 100 watt have disappeared already, the 60's and 40's are gone at the end of the year. I'm glad the rough service found a loop hole, but for certain applications, a cheaper incandescent is seriously the best choice. Try using an led or cfl in the oven for example.


There are MANY exceptions to the light bulb law. One can still buy incandescent appliance light bulbs.

If you still want to use incandescents bulbs then buy up every one you can find, or simply switch to rough service incandescent light bulbs and you can get even get them in 100 watt. There are still ways to get incandescent light bulbs if really want them. I don't understand why anyone would run a light bulb exposed to hail, but I'm not a farmer and I'm sure there is a good reason for it.

Mel Fulks
12-14-2013, 2:49 PM
Steve,since you mentioned the rough service bulbs . I noticed one day that our auto mechanic was using a cfl bulb in a trouble light under a car. When I commented that I thought it would break easily ,he intentionally dropped it a few inches onto the concrete and told me they are more unbreakable than the rough service standard bulbs and cheaper(if bought at Costco. I have found that to be true. Tired of those delicate halogen lights with portable oven-like heat, I made a shop light out of foam insulation. Octagon shape with one cfl in the middle. The 'bulb' is surrounded by two layers of angled mirrors. Diffuser is the cheap pebbly stuff. Ugly ,but quite bright and shock resistant. I've tested it in a dark room and it is much brighter that cfl without mirrors.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-14-2013, 3:22 PM
I don't understand why anyone would run a light bulb exposed to hail, but I'm not a farmer and I'm sure there is a good reason for it.

LOL, not sure about good reasons, pretty sure you can't be a farmer and think like that...

The one I mentioned was an indicator light on a pivot, it is in a enclosed fixture initially, but hail obliterates the fixture, cover and light, so it's cheaper to just run an exposed sacrificial bulb rather than replacing the whole cover each time it hails.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-14-2013, 3:23 PM
Mel, thanks for the idea, that makes sense. Trouble light take a beating for sure,

Jerome Stanek
12-14-2013, 3:36 PM
I tried a cfl in my trouble light Lasted about 10 minutes. Had it hooked to the hood bumped it with my heat and it exploded Lucky it was in an enclosure.

Mike Henderson
12-14-2013, 3:36 PM
There is more and more evidence accumulating to show that naturally occurring phenomena have such a great affect on climate that any human behavior is negligible in comparison. According to the most reliable sources, the earth has not warmed in the last 15 years. At this point, I think the real "climate change deniers" are those who choose to ignore this evidence. In any case, an "uninhabitable world" is only predicted by the fringe scientists.
I don't know of any reliable evidence that demonstrates that human activity has has little or no effect on climate.

For some discussion by a reliable source, see here (http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence).

Mike

Leo Graywacz
12-14-2013, 3:50 PM
This chart seems to disagree with your chart by a long shot.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanthinker.com%2F2 009%2F01%2Fco2_fairytales_in_global_warmi.html&h=0&w=0&sz=1&tbnid=K-XNyIqM1-q6SM&tbnh=178&tbnw=283&zoom=1&docid=Ekc3X5cX6uFZ7M&ei=88OsUu7NI4_yoASMk4GADw&ved=0CAQQsCUoAQ

They cherry picked the information. They went back far enough to make it look like a long time but made sure not to go back far enough to have the results they are shooting for be negated.

Or this

http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/13/study-earth-was-warmer-in-roman-medieval-times/

Art Mann
12-14-2013, 4:35 PM
I don't know of any reliable evidence that demonstrates that human activity has has little or no effect on climate.

For some discussion by a reliable source, see here (http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence).

Mike

Leo just posted a couple of links. There are many more. I live in the same city as climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer and he has published many peer reviewed papers on the subject. He isn't well known because his research does not correspond to the theories on which so many famous climatologists have staked their careers.

Andrew Joiner
12-14-2013, 4:41 PM
LOL, not sure about good reasons, pretty sure you can't be a farmer and think like that...

The one I mentioned was an indicator light on a pivot, it is in a enclosed fixture initially, but hail obliterates the fixture, cover and light, so it's cheaper to just run an exposed sacrificial bulb rather than replacing the whole cover each time it hails.

Wow, talk about rough service! I'm with you on this Steve. I have many uses for incandescents. I'm cheap so I look at the entire cost,not just the energy cost. You developed a good low cost solution for a problem and a law makes it obsolete, frustrating!

Mel Fulks
12-14-2013, 4:56 PM
One thing that has made it easier for me to do without the bulbs is that years ago they lowered the quality . When they had those tungsten filaments they lasted a long time. When one finally blew out the family didn't have any extra ones, had to go and buy ONE. And they would look a little different and have different graphics. Now the slightest jostle does them in. This reminds me of an old joke. How many Virginians does it take to change a lightbulb ? Four. One to do the work ,and three to talk about how good the OLD bulb was.

Duane Meadows
12-14-2013, 5:39 PM
Well you could still use your old bulbs at the higher electric rate

Yep, that's about the size of it!

Pat Barry
12-14-2013, 7:10 PM
When a forward thinker like Dean Kamen discontinued use of incandescent lights in all his facilities, including his own personal island -
that says a great deal about the validity of the choice. He does it because the incandescent bulb generates more heat than light from any watt consumed
Jim, was it arleady hot enough on his personal island that the heat from all his incandescent bulbs was causing his air conditioning bill to skyrocket?

Andrew Joiner
12-14-2013, 10:54 PM
One thing that has made it easier for me to do without the bulbs is that years ago they lowered the quality . When they had those tungsten filaments they lasted a long time. When one finally blew out the family didn't have any extra ones, had to go and buy ONE. And they would look a little different and have different graphics. Now the slightest jostle does them in. This reminds me of an old joke. How many Virginians does it take to change a lightbulb ? Four. One to do the work ,and three to talk about how good the OLD bulb was.
I'm not from Virginia, but I like the old bulbs. Here's some 110 watt incandescent bulbs with an 18 year life and only $2 each http://www.mcmaster.com/#light-bulbs/=pt8q6e

David C. Roseman
12-15-2013, 9:00 AM
Steve,since you mentioned the rough service bulbs . I noticed one day that our auto mechanic was using a cfl bulb in a trouble light under a car. When I commented that I thought it would break easily ,he intentionally dropped it a few inches onto the concrete and told me they are more unbreakable than the rough service standard bulbs and cheaper(if bought at Costco. I have found that to be true. Tired of those delicate halogen lights with portable oven-like heat, I made a shop light out of foam insulation. Octagon shape with one cfl in the middle. The 'bulb' is surrounded by two layers of angled mirrors. Diffuser is the cheap pebbly stuff. Ugly ,but quite bright and shock resistant. I've tested it in a dark room and it is much brighter that cfl without mirrors.

Mel, would love to see a pic of your creation! :cool:

David

Mike Cutler
12-15-2013, 10:20 AM
I just got notice of my power company's upcoming rate hike. It'll be 10% this year. This coincides with the outlawing of incandescent bulbs at the first of the year. Now I get the pleasure of not only having to pay a lot more for bulbs, but any savings that the new bulbs create is offset by another rate hike. I'm sure all parties meant well, but....

Yes, I'm venting.

Steve
Which part of your bill will see the 10% increase, or is it a combination. Electric bills are "generally" separated into two categories. Generation, or the actual retail cost to generate electricity, and T&D (transmission and distribution), or the cost to get the power to you. One component you have some control over, the other you do not have as much. If you use less, you save.
For me, in Connecticut, my T&D component is actually greater than my usage component cost for any month where I don't use AC.
A CFL is much more efficient, power consumption wise, bulb than an incandescent, and as they have been out a few years now they are actually pretty cheap when bought in bulk. I believe that as LED's become more the "norm" you will see their retail cost drop also. No matter what though, the CFL comes out on top as being cheaper in todays economy. You would need four 100watt incandescents bulbs to be cheaper in cost and last longer than one 100 watt CFL for the incandescent to come out on top. Not discounting that a 100 watt CFL is 1/4 the the cost to operate of a 100 watt incandescent. The LED's will be even greater savings.
What I like about the future of LED lighting will be the ability to "tune" ambient light. ;)
Nobody likes their power bills to increase, especially when you have no say. But the fuzzy math is nonsense. Unless all of the lights in someones house are on 24/7, lighting is not 10-12% of the average power bill in the US, unless it's broken down into generation and T&D.

As for the politics of coal?
I'm sorry but I have no sympathy for the coal plants. They've had 20+ years to develop and implement the technology to clean up their emissions and address the fly ash issues, but they've spent their energy fighting, delaying, and trying to modify the Clean Air Requirements, instead of upgrading their plants. Their issues are of their own making.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-15-2013, 11:57 AM
Steve
Which part of your bill will see the 10% increase, or is it a combination. Electric bills are "generally" separated into two categories.

Mike, it's a combination of both, they call it an average rate increase. Depending on how many KWH I use, my residential bill rate ranges from $.22 to $.09 per KWH. The "facilities" charge which is separate increases about 5% as well. There is also an access charge, and tax. If you want to split hairs, an extremely efficient house would actually see a rate increase of closer to 20% because the fees are not spread out over as many KWH.

I don't begrudge anyone who wants to buy different bulbs, but I don't want to, and I fail to see the savings for becoming more efficient. Yes, I'll use more power if I keep incandescents, but with a rate range like my power company, and probably most of yours too, power is cheaper if you use more.

Power distribution systems need maintenance, and as you pointed out, if the companies aren't getting their margin from the sale of power, the facilities charges will increase. A scenario where the facilities charge is the vast majority of the bill, because the cost of maintaining the system is fixed (less cost increases), is not only plausible, but very likely, exists.

Now those cost increases, they are driven buy everything from cost of copper to healthcare. Anyone notice whats happening to expenses lately?

I stand by my original thought, there is no cost savings with the light bulb mandate. Its a false economy.

Now, for the environmentalist types. How do you reconcile the energy put into the much more expensive manufacture of the new bulbs? Sure, they save the consumer power, but they sure cost the manufacturer a lot more, do they sum zero? How about the fact that CFL, and I'm pretty sure leds, both use nasty stuff to operate? There are just too many hypocrisies.

Mel Fulks
12-15-2013, 12:13 PM
Mel, would love to see a pic of your creation! :cool:

DavidIve only posted pics once and had to get my son to my son to do the work. He will be here for Christmas and I'm making a note to PM you when the heavy lifting is done. I used the one inch thick foam ,a hardware store rubber socket ,old thin mirror scrap ,polyurethane glue. I think I've got a piece of wood glued to hold the diffuser screws. It looks like something a self taught dentist might make.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-15-2013, 12:27 PM
Mel, if you don't mind, I'd like to see it too. If you get to that point, post a pic for us all please.

Mel Fulks
12-15-2013, 1:19 PM
Steve ,I appreciate the interest . I'm going to post it here . The pm is just going to be a notice that it is ready . I have added your name to PM "warning list".

Ken Fitzgerald
12-15-2013, 1:20 PM
I wish I could find those CFLs that last as long as incandescent bulbs and come on instantly.

We have a steep stairway into our basement and the light at the bottom was switched to CFL. It doesn't come on instantly and it's in a heated area so it's not related to cooler operating temperatures.

We have bought various brands of CFLs locally even our Costco. I haven't seen one yet that outlasts a standard incandescent bub.

While for a long time I wasn't a fan of low volume flush toilets due to bad experiences, a friend installed one and when I asked him later if he was happy he said he was. He explained his criteria for selecting his and it made sense. A while later one of our toilets needed replacing, and using my neighbors criteria, I bought one. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. A year or so later with good experiences, I bought another one to replace the large volume toilet in our downstairs bathroom.

Mel Fulks
12-15-2013, 1:30 PM
That's interesting Ken. The ones we use come on instantly but do take a little time to go to full brightness. Mine are lasting a long time .We've been using them for years and have only replaced 3 or 4, I'm sure about that because I'm keeping all of them for eventual recycle .

Jim Koepke
12-15-2013, 2:02 PM
Read this (http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html)


and this (http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/grand-view-4-billion-years-climate-change)

There have always been guardians of the old ways trying to prevent change.

I like an incandescent bulb in our well house to keep it from freezing. It only takes a little energy, 60W to be exact.

I like the energy efficient lamps to keep my electric bill down.

It is in the interests of the fossil fuel industry for all of us to keep using fossil fuel instead of trying to be more energy efficient.

jtk

Leo Graywacz
12-15-2013, 2:05 PM
The life of a CFL has everything to do with heat.

If you have a fixture which has the bulb in the upside down position (base on top) the heat from the bulb will greatly diminish the life of the bulb. If you have it in a sealed fixture it will kill it relatively fast. I had an enclosed fixture that I put two 100w equivalent bulbs in and one of them blew within a day. I replaced it and the other blew within a day. I left it as a single bulb and it lasted about 2 years before it became temperamental.

Ken Fitzgerald
12-15-2013, 4:13 PM
Mel,

I should restate my complaint. The CFL bulbs do come on immediately but don't achieve full brightness for several minutes. The problem I have is that the one at the bottom of the stairs is needed for safety and I can't turn it on and just trot down stairs with full light.

Point blank...none of the ones I have bought and installed has had a life that was longer than normal incandescent bulbs. Our local utility company sent every customer a box of CFLs to try to generate interest in their use. Those haven't lasted any longer. I would happily embrace CFLs if they provided both immediate full brightness and equal or better life span than normal incandescent bulbs.

Jim Koepke
12-15-2013, 4:34 PM
Mel,

I should restate my complaint. The CFL bulbs do come on immediately but don't achieve full brightness for several minutes. The problem I have is that the one at the bottom of the stairs is needed for safety and I can't turn it on and just trot down stairs with full light.

Point blank...none of the ones I have bought and installed has had a life that was longer than normal incandescent bulbs. Our local utility company sent every customer a box of CFLs to try to generate interest in their use. Those haven't lasted any longer. I would happily embrace CFLs if they provided both immediate full brightness and equal or better life span than normal incandescent bulbs.

Ken,

For this fixture it seems paying extra for an LED lamp might be a good investment.

Bright and instant on.

jtk

Brian Elfert
12-15-2013, 4:43 PM
Mel,

I should restate my complaint. The CFL bulbs do come on immediately but don't achieve full brightness for several minutes. The problem I have is that the one at the bottom of the stairs is needed for safety and I can't turn it on and just trot down stairs with full light.


You should try the GE CFLs. The "100 watt" ones I buy come on at nearly full brightness. I have a fixture at the entrance from my garage with two GE "100 watt" CFLs and those bulbs are at least five years old. They get turned on and off fairly frequently. I bought some Philips CFLs about a year ago and those take a good minute to come to full brightness. I plan to stick with GE CFLs for now.

I like CFLs, but I still have a lot of incandescent bulbs in my house too. I have a number of little used light bulbs that are original from when the house was built in 2001 and still haven't burned out.

Mel Fulks
12-15-2013, 4:45 PM
The difference in results is interesting . I've noticed (and read) that the cfls must be screwed in by the BASE ,not the glass . That's a big change in our habit and is not possible with some fixtures . Even in tv commercials advocating cfl use ,they install them the wrong way! I think its possible that some that don't last might have sustained damage at instalation. The light I made several years ago is still on first cfl .

Ken Fitzgerald
12-15-2013, 5:12 PM
For the record,

most of the bulbs in use in my house are CFLs but so far none of them have lived up to their proclaimed advantages except they use less power. I wish I had reason to totally embrace them!

Brian Elfert
12-15-2013, 5:59 PM
My assumption is the reason they don't want people screwing them in by the glass is for liability reasons. They don't want cuts from broken glass. I have fixtures with CFLs where I have to twist the glass and the bulbs still lasted five years or more.

Mike Cutler
12-15-2013, 6:01 PM
Ken
We have the same situation with the basement stairs it seems. I too have to descend the stairs, and don't really like doing it in the dark as I usually have an armload of firewood.
I put a standard 7 watt bulb, yep only 7 watts, and it is always on. It's just not worth the risk of doing a digger down the stairs too me, so I can justify the 7 continuous watts.
It's odd that the Cfl's you're getting aren't lasting. I've had the opposite experience. I had one infant mortality, and I think I've only replaced one in the past few years. I have them outside also exposed to all types of weather, though they are protected, but they see all of the the extremes here in Connecticut.

The thing I don't like about the whole issue is the loss of choice to the consumer. Nobody is really going to save any "real" money, but the excess capacity and generation, as a total, is fairly substantial on a national scale.

Leo Graywacz
12-15-2013, 6:12 PM
I put a 100w equivalent bulb in my bathroom. When you flick it on it is more than bright enough for you to do your thing. In a few minutes it ramps up to full brightness and puts out more then enough light. 23w is what they draw.

Brian Elfert
12-15-2013, 7:13 PM
Ken
We have the same situation with the basement stairs it seems. I too have to descend the stairs, and don't really like doing it in the dark as I usually have an armload of firewood.
I put a standard 7 watt bulb, yep only 7 watts, and it is always on. It's just not worth the risk of doing a digger down the stairs too me, so I can justify the 7 continuous watts.
It's odd that the Cfl's you're getting aren't lasting. I've had the opposite experience. I had one infant mortality, and I think I've only replaced one in the past few years. I have them outside also exposed to all types of weather, though they are protected, but they see all of the the extremes here in Connecticut.

The thing I don't like about the whole issue is the loss of choice to the consumer. Nobody is really going to save any "real" money, but the excess capacity and generation, as a total, is fairly substantial on a national scale.

I put motion sensing switches in places like the laundry room and walk-in closets where one might not have a hand free to work the light switch. You might consider a motion sensing switch for your stairway. None of my motion switched fixtures have CFLs because the bulbs haven't burned out yet.

I saw a measurable decrease in my electric bill the month after I converted several high use fixtures to CFL, but it could have been coincidence. I've spent between $20 and $30 on CFL bulbs in the past five years and I'm fairly certain I saved enough to pay for them. (I got the CFLs at subsidized prices.)

Mike Cutler
12-15-2013, 7:40 PM
I put motion sensing switches in places like the laundry room and walk-in closets where one might not have a hand free to work the light switch. You might consider a motion sensing switch for your stairway. None of my motion switched fixtures have CFLs because the bulbs haven't burned out yet.

I saw a measurable decrease in my electric bill the month after I converted several high use fixtures to CFL, but it could have been coincidence. I've spent between $20 and $30 on CFL bulbs in the past five years and I'm fairly certain I saved enough to pay for them. (I got the CFLs at subsidized prices.)

Brian
I thought about that, but after awhile i just got either used to, or lazy, with the current setup. You'd actually be surprised at how much light a 7 watt bulb is in the dark.
If you have lights that, burn for many hours a day, you can't help but realize a savings, measurable, on your electric bill. In Connecticut a single 100 watt bulb burning 12 hours a day will cost 5+ dollars a month. Multiply this by each fixture, and it can add up to the point that you will see it reflected in your monthly bill.

I must be missing something, or just lucky, because I always find CFL's on sale at Lowes, Home Depot, or a Walmart. We bought them in six packs and the last time we bought them they were < 75 cents each. I have a Tote full of them downstairs, but haven't had to replace one in quite awhile.

Mike Henderson
12-15-2013, 7:55 PM
I put motion sensing switches in places like the laundry room and walk-in closets where one might not have a hand free to work the light switch. You might consider a motion sensing switch for your stairway. None of my motion switched fixtures have CFLs because the bulbs haven't burned out yet.

I saw a measurable decrease in my electric bill the month after I converted several high use fixtures to CFL, but it could have been coincidence. I've spent between $20 and $30 on CFL bulbs in the past five years and I'm fairly certain I saved enough to pay for them. (I got the CFLs at subsidized prices.)
I put motion sensing switches in my garage. I like the fact that when I walk into the garage the light comes on, AND I like the fact that it turns off. I can't tell you how many times I went into the garage in the morning and found that I had left the light on all night (before I put the motion sensor in).

Mike

Steve Rozmiarek
12-15-2013, 8:14 PM
I put motion sensing switches in my garage. I like the fact that when I walk into the garage the light comes on, AND I like the fact that it turns off. I can't tell you how many times I went into the garage in the morning and found that I had left the light on all night (before I put the motion sensor in).

Mike

I know a guy that has made a handsome living out of retrofitting factories and warehouses with motion sensor switches and upgrading sodium lights. There are some pretty good applications for that tech for sure.

Ethan Melad
12-16-2013, 8:24 PM
Steve, where have you seen evince that producing CFLs or LEDs consumes more energy that the production on incandescents? i've not seen anything that indicates that. yes, CFLs use a low level of mercury, but as long as they are correctly disposed of there is not reason believe they are any more 'nasty' than than thousands of other products.

The discontinuation of incandescent bulbs has never been about economics; this type of bulb is being phased out due to the proportionately large amount of energy they consume. the more energy people use, the more energy needs to be created. the more energy being created, the more pollution, and the less resources available for the future. obviously renewable energy sources are the best solution, but at this point they're not going to supply the entirety of the country with electricity.

edit: i should also say that i completely agree that neither LED or CFL technology is particularly great yet. given a choice, i may still often prefer a halogen over CFL, but not for every light in the house. there are some fixtures that require certain bulbs, and some that are fine with others. in general, i choose the most efficient option that will best serve the fixture's purpose.

in all honesty, i think that to lament a (relatively) small price increase (or, as you've said, a net zero increase) and ignore the general benefit to the country at the present -and, in particular, the future - is a rather selfish way of thinking. Again, this isn't about money, its about preserving resources and environmental stability for the future.

David C. Roseman
12-17-2013, 9:38 AM
Ive only posted pics once and had to get my son to my son to do the work. [snip].

Mel, please don't be deterred by that! The posting part is not so hard. The toughest is remembering how you did it a couple months later, when you next try. :)

David

Steve Rozmiarek
12-17-2013, 10:24 AM
Steve, where have you seen evince that producing CFLs or LEDs consumes more energy that the production on incandescents? i've not seen anything that indicates that. yes, CFLs use a low level of mercury, but as long as they are correctly disposed of there is not reason believe they are any more 'nasty' than than thousands of other products.

The discontinuation of incandescent bulbs has never been about economics; this type of bulb is being phased out due to the proportionately large amount of energy they consume. the more energy people use, the more energy needs to be created. the more energy being created, the more pollution, and the less resources available for the future. obviously renewable energy sources are the best solution, but at this point they're not going to supply the entirety of the country with electricity.

edit: i should also say that i completely agree that neither LED or CFL technology is particularly great yet. given a choice, i may still often prefer a halogen over CFL, but not for every light in the house. there are some fixtures that require certain bulbs, and some that are fine with others. in general, i choose the most efficient option that will best serve the fixture's purpose.

in all honesty, i think that to lament a (relatively) small price increase (or, as you've said, a net zero increase) and ignore the general benefit to the country at the present -and, in particular, the future - is a rather selfish way of thinking. Again, this isn't about money, its about preserving resources and environmental stability for the future.

Ethan, I've never seen it printed that the cfl or led bulbs use more power to produce, and I doubt we ever will. Such a story wouldn't be politically correct. Think about it though, a cfl has around 20 parts, most electronic, which use expensive and power hungry processes to produce. Mercury, which must be mined or at least refined, and several gasses that are not free to generate. It also uses petroleum to make the plastic. A led is a plastic jewel, filled with electrical components. There is no average bulb, but it could easily be in the hundreds of parts. All of it's parts are either petroleum based or require mining. A traditional light bulb takes two types of wire, an inert gas or vacuum, some glass and a little conductive metal.

More components=more energy to make. Shipping of the components to the manufacturer alone supports that, so do many other reasons. Price is also an indicator of the energy consumption of the manufacturing process, because the cost of energy is passed on to the consumer. This drives the question that I asked, do the more efficient bulbs actually offset their efficiency in use by the energy used in production?

I have no problem with cfl or led bulbs. I'm glad the technology is being developed, the consumer craves choices. My problem is with the process that they are being forced on us. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to keep incandescents, and some legitimate reasons for the others as well. Why are we being forced one way in a "free" country?

I'll tell you the same thing I told Mike H about the environmental questions. I'd like to keep this friendly, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

One quick thought, the environmentalists tend to refer to the non believers in disparaging ways, ie ludites, flat earth, etc. Keep in mind that we can learn a lot from history. Our earth and sun is temporary at best, and far more powerful than anything humans can even fathom. History is full of ancient civilizations that thought they could control the seasons/weather/sun through many crazy ways. The Mayans for example. We know they were misguided now, how will history view today's environmentalism?

When the gigantic caldera under Yellowstone releases it's energy, it will likely do more to effect the climate, in minutes, then the sum product of all the combined product of humans existence. Is it really humans that control the climate?

Pat Barry
12-17-2013, 1:05 PM
In todays market, CFL bulbs look to be the best value to the consumer when comparing the price of the bulb, the life expectancy, and the electrical energy cost to operate. CFL's have come down in price considerably over the past two years because of the volume manufacturing benefits and the competition. We should all expect this to happen for LED bulbs over the next couple years and that will make LED bulbs a more acceptable short term payback choice.

I calculated that for a 60W equivalent LED bulb, CFL bulb, and incandescent that for a typical application in my home (4 hours use per day) for a short term (2 year scenario) that the CFL bulb is the best value decision, followed by the LED, and the Incandescent is trailing. Here were the results I obtained for total cost to operate for 2 years -- CFL = $5.66, LED = $16.01, Incandescent = $21.02. The high cost of the LED bulb is quickly offset by the operating cost of the incandescent ($1.52 per year for LED, $2.08 per year for CFL, $9.61 per year for Incandescent).

The LED bulb used for this calculation is the CREE - probably the most expensive choice for out of pocket cost to purchase. Alll prices for bulbs are from current Home Depot website.

What does this mean to me? I need to get a couple LED bulbs and try them out. I am totally unhappy with the CFL bulbs for a variety of reasons (poor cold weather performance - important in my shop and garage and outdoor fixtures here in MN; the CFL aren't compatible with the dimmers we have installed in the house; the CFL bulbs don't last as expected / advertised; the CFL bulbs are all over the map with regard to light color and uniformity especially after a few hundred hours of use).

How do the LEDs do in cold weather?

Mike Henderson
12-17-2013, 1:32 PM
One quick thought, the environmentalists tend to refer to the non believers in disparaging ways, ie ludites, flat earth, etc. Keep in mind that we can learn a lot from history. Our earth and sun is temporary at best, and far more powerful than anything humans can even fathom. History is full of ancient civilizations that thought they could control the seasons/weather/sun through many crazy ways. The Mayans for example. We know they were misguided now, how will history view today's environmentalism?

When the gigantic caldera under Yellowstone releases it's energy, it will likely do more to effect the climate, in minutes, then the sum product of all the combined product of humans existence. Is it really humans that control the climate?

As the old saying goes, "In the long run we're all dead." While I know that the sun will eventually burn all it's fuel and consume the earth, I don't see that as a reason to take not actions that will affect us all in the short term.

Mike

David Weaver
12-17-2013, 1:37 PM
I can't imagine that light bulbs are going to be the source of our troubles with energy. Heating and cooling several thousand square feet for two people and driving around two ton bricks seems a bigger problem.

As my dad loves to say (and I think I mentioned it earlier), "I hate CFLs, and I'll guarantee my incandescents use less energy than the CFLs in your house, because we don't turn any of them on if we're not using them".

The only thing that will ever stop us from using large amounts of energy is economic collapse and extreme poverty, and the likes of which none of us will probably ever see. For us to convince ourselves that keeping our houses at 72 degrees, commuting an average of 25 miles per day per person (usually alone) and using a couple of efficient light bulbs makes us conscious of everything is deluded.

Personally, I am as guilty as anyone, but if any of us really wanted to make a difference, we'd go off grid and learn to stay in one place and heat and cool only as necessary. We're more or less arguing about a small % of the problem, and ignoring the big parts of it.

Dan Hintz
12-17-2013, 4:59 PM
LEDs don't really flinch at cold temps like CFLs... in fact, it'll help longevity.




There are some applications where (at least for the moment), incandescents (and their kin) are the only solution. For example, ever thought about that light in your oven? An incandescent doesn't blink about a 500 degree oven... but an LED bulb would last all of 5 minutes. Moving forward, ovens will need to be designed to highly insulate the lighting portion of their caverns if there is any hope for LEDs to be used there.

David Weaver
12-17-2013, 5:05 PM
I'd assume that those bulbs (incandescent) will be available indefinitely for hot appliances. I hope so!!

The first LED bulb I ever put in my house, maybe it's the only one, is in the fridge. we lost two incandescent bulbs in the fridge almost at the same time, and the LED 1 watt fridge bulb was 7 bucks. I figured I'd put an end to screwing around fixing that bulb when the fridge is full of food. I expect I'll be able to take it out of the fridge when the fridge dies and put it in the next one.

Brian Elfert
12-18-2013, 12:58 PM
I can't imagine that light bulbs are going to be the source of our troubles with energy. Heating and cooling several thousand square feet for two people and driving around two ton bricks seems a bigger problem.

My energy costs are lower than average because my house is highly insulated and sealed against air infiltration. I also have zoned heat so only the 2nd floor is heated at night. I'm hoping my next house will have geothermal to save even more energy. Programmable thermostats are set so my house is kept at low temps when I'm not there. I'm doing my best to cut energy costs for my house. I am hoping to move to a much smaller house next year to cut my energy costs even more.

The average size of new houses in the USA is going down as people decide they don't want the high costs of a huge house.

Due to the way mass transit is done here it just doesn't work for me. It takes 80 minutes to commute by bus and 20 minutes by car. Even with the subsidies mass transit gets it is cheaper for me to drive. (I can't replace my car with mass transit and I still have to pay for my car regardless.)


As my dad loves to say (and I think I mentioned it earlier), "I hate CFLs, and I'll guarantee my incandescents use less energy than the CFLs in your house, because we don't turn any of them on if we're not using them".

I'll take your dad up on that challenge. I almost never leave a light on when I leave a room. There is one light fixture (with CFLs) that is on almost all evening, but I spend most of my time in that room.

Lee Reep
12-18-2013, 1:22 PM
I've taken the last CFL out of the house, and tossed them in the Goodwill box. Hate them. The worst were the flodlight style (PAR30)M lamps my wife bought, not realizing they had a twisty type CFL inside them. They were in the basement bathroom can lights, jsut outside my shop. They manged to get up to enough brightness to see what you were doing about the time you were done doing it. :)

I have a mixture of regular fluorescent T8s in my shop, along with some clip on reflector lights with LED lamps for additional task lighting. Our regular incandescents and halogens will slowly get converted to LED as prices come down.

But being a child during the 60s, I just realized I need to run out and buy up some incandescent bulbs to secret away as spares for the lava lamp in the bedroom ...

David Weaver
12-18-2013, 1:44 PM
I'll take your dad up on that challenge. I almost never leave a light on when I leave a room. There is one light fixture (with CFLs) that is on almost all evening, but I spend most of my time in that room.

You may surpass my father's energy use, you may not. He doesn't usually turn a light on when he's in a room, unless he's reading. It's a habit he and my mother learned from their parents. I can tell it grates on them (that I like to have a light on when i'm in the room) when we visit.

You are not typical of the average person commuting 25 miles a day in a 2 ton car and patting yourself on the back for a lightbulb, though.

Personally, I'm not averse to the progress, I have incandescent in one bulb in my attic and in the fridge, but I recognize that it is not by any means a substantial part of my energy footprint. When I was single, I lived in an apartment that was half underground. I could heat 750 sq feet in the winter on $30 a month of electricity (increase over a base spring or fall bill) not very long ago. I didn't heat the bedroom, at all, and generally didn't use the air conditioner in the summer. Not for environmental reasons, but because I realized that once I was used to it, it was no better or worse than having heat or A/C, and it was like a personal contest to see where the comfort limit was.

Unfortunately, if you get married, that will not fly unless you have a spouse on board.

Mel Fulks
12-18-2013, 2:09 PM
Tip of the day, One could also take a bunch of sharpening stones to work to absorb free heat ,then bring them home in an insulated pizza box!

Steve Rozmiarek
12-18-2013, 3:33 PM
Tip of the day, One could also take a bunch of sharpening stones to work to absorb free heat ,then bring them home in an insulated pizza box!

I like it!

Jim Matthews
12-18-2013, 8:48 PM
Mr. Kamen is self-diagnosed ADHD.

I believe his take was that waste heat is wasted.
On the island, a test bed for ideas was made.

The notion is to take a given premise and test it under controlled conditions.
He extrapolates many of his ideas on a global scale.

It's not so much the developed world that holds his current attention.
Many of his projects roll out in Africa, in conditions that aren't what you would describe as "predictable".

The water anywhere project and LED lighting projects are designed to run on 'flea'watt generators,
using whatever fuel can be locally procured. In that environment, a few degrees of efficiency
translate into black and white (or dark and lit) differences.

Personally, I like the way LEDs light my benchtop.
I have low vision, and the intensity of LED lighting makes it easier to see what I'm doing.

I much prefer the color temperature of LEDs to both incandescent and CFL lighting.

Greg Portland
12-19-2013, 1:49 PM
What does this mean to me? I need to get a couple LED bulbs and try them out. I am totally unhappy with the CFL bulbs for a variety of reasons (poor cold weather performance - important in my shop and garage and outdoor fixtures here in MN; the CFL aren't compatible with the dimmers we have installed in the house; the CFL bulbs don't last as expected / advertised; the CFL bulbs are all over the map with regard to light color and uniformity especially after a few hundred hours of use).
I've found that there are a lot of quality differences between fixtures. When someone buys a LED "bulb" they are actually buying an entire fixture (which often contains multiple bulbs). I've had some that had an audible buzzing and some that are silent.


How do the LEDs do in cold weather?Well, they make outdoor Christmas lights with them so they must work pretty well. I have some 60W equivalent LED floods on my porch but it doesn't get ultra-cold where I live (high 20s at night). They have only been in use for 6 months so I can't provide feedback on longevity.

Jason Roehl
12-19-2013, 6:56 PM
Steve,since you mentioned the rough service bulbs . I noticed one day that our auto mechanic was using a cfl bulb in a trouble light under a car. When I commented that I thought it would break easily ,he intentionally dropped it a few inches onto the concrete and told me they are more unbreakable than the rough service standard bulbs and cheaper(if bought at Costco. I have found that to be true. Tired of those delicate halogen lights with portable oven-like heat, I made a shop light out of foam insulation. Octagon shape with one cfl in the middle. The 'bulb' is surrounded by two layers of angled mirrors. Diffuser is the cheap pebbly stuff. Ugly ,but quite bright and shock resistant. I've tested it in a dark room and it is much brighter that cfl without mirrors.

Halogens are only hotter because they are typically higher wattage than an incandescent bulb. The filament in a halogen bulb is actually cooler than the filament in an incandescent, and halogens are somewhat more efficient than an incandescent (a higher percentage of their input energy goes to light than an incandescent).

I had, at one time, a desk lamp containing a 100 or 150W halogen bulb that was made of very thick glass (had kind of a flare from the base to a truncated cone shape and flat on the end). It put off great light for working at the desk, and I could take the bulb out with my bare hands while it had been on for hours. I've never found a similar bulb again.

Speaking of fluorescent trouble lights, I have one in my van waiting on me--it had shifted to the wrong place as I shut the door a few weeks back... The previous bulb in there I broke trying to readjust the clear housing because it had twisted out of place. I'll keep using the thing, though, because one of my boys built it (from a kit) as a 4H project, and it's kind of handy to have in my work van--great for inspecting finishes.

Mike Henderson
12-19-2013, 7:07 PM
Halogens are only hotter because they are typically higher wattage than an incandescent bulb. The filament in a halogen bulb is actually cooler than the filament in an incandescent, and halogens are somewhat more efficient than an incandescent (a higher percentage of their input energy goes to light than an incandescent).

I don't think that's correct. Halogen bulbs are just incandescent bulbs that are filled with a halogen gas and actually operate at a higher temperature than regular incandescent bulbs. The halogen gas causes the metal which boils away to be partly redeposited on the filament (if I remember correctly). See wikipedia here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halogen_bulbs).

Mike

Dan Hintz
12-19-2013, 7:50 PM
Halogen bulbs are just incandescent bulbs that are filled with a halogen gas and actually operate at a higher temperature than regular incandescent bulbs.

^^^ This ^^^

Mike Cruz
12-19-2013, 11:04 PM
Steve, AND if you have dimmers in your house and want to change to LEDs, you will likely need to change out your switches...to the tune of about $30 a pop. How's THAT for saving money?!?!?!

Curt Harms
12-20-2013, 7:10 AM
That's interesting Ken. The ones we use come on instantly but do take a little time to go to full brightness. Mine are lasting a long time .We've been using them for years and have only replaced 3 or 4, I'm sure about that because I'm keeping all of them for eventual recycle .

Our experience is similar. We've had CFLs for years but haven't bought any for at least 5 years - because we haven't needed to. We even use them for outdoor lights, those take a few minutes to come to full brightness this time of year. We didn't get ours for any $1-$2 though, probably closer to $8-$10/bulb. Who knows what was cheapened or what corners were cut to get to that lower price point. We don't have any LED bulbs but I've used two 16' rolls of LED tape for pantry and under cabinet lighting. I really like the warm white color and the even illumination due to not being point sources.

Robert Delhommer Sr
12-20-2013, 9:02 AM
But the lying government says the cost of living has not gone up?

Jason Roehl
12-20-2013, 9:49 AM
I don't think that's correct. Halogen bulbs are just incandescent bulbs that are filled with a halogen gas and actually operate at a higher temperature than regular incandescent bulbs. The halogen gas causes the metal which boils away to be partly redeposited on the filament (if I remember correctly). See wikipedia here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halogen_bulbs).

Mike

Well, after some poking around, I can't find definitive temperatures like I thought I remembered. However, both operate in a range of filament temperatures (depending on design) that overlap by quite a bit and are around 3000K (about 5000F). I did learn more about how a halogen bulb operates, though--the halogen gas reacts at the bulb surface (at about 250C) with the tungsten vapor that has evaporated from the filament, preventing a deposit (the gray you see in a standard incandescent). Then, convection takes the tungsten bromide or tungsten iodide (bromine and iodine are the most common halogens used) back to the filament area, where the much higher heat of the filament causes the tungsten to dissociate from the halogen and be redeposited on the filament, leading to a longer filament life.

Halogens are more efficient, though, which to me says that if you compare a 100W incandescent and 100W halogen, the halogen will put off less heat. But, like I said, most halogens you will find for portable task lighting are 300W or 500W. How many standard incandescent bulbs do you see at those wattage levels?

Brian Tymchak
12-20-2013, 10:12 AM
Steve, AND if you have dimmers in your house and want to change to LEDs, you will likely need to change out your switches...to the tune of about $30 a pop. How's THAT for saving money?!?!?!

And if your light fixtures are built assuming you will use clear bulbs in them to look good, you are also sunk. We have several lights with crystal globes. Not going to look very pretty with a cfl or an led in it.... I'm hoarding clear 40w incandescents... Cheaper than changing light fixtures.

Curt Harms
12-21-2013, 9:49 AM
And if your light fixtures are built assuming you will use clear bulbs in them to look good, you are also sunk. We have several lights with crystal globes. Not going to look very pretty with a cfl or an led in it.... I'm hoarding clear 40w incandescents... Cheaper than changing light fixtures.

I thought 'specialty' incandescents such as candelabra bulbs were still manufactured. I wonder how 'specialty' is defined?

Brian Tymchak
12-21-2013, 11:56 AM
I thought 'specialty' incandescents such as candelabra bulbs were still manufactured. I wonder how 'specialty' is defined?

Interesting. I hadn't heard that. My fixtures all take standard medium base bulbs. And look best with the typical A19. I figured they would be
on the hit list.

Curt Harms
12-22-2013, 8:04 AM
Interesting. I hadn't heard that. My fixtures all take standard medium base bulbs. And look best with the typical A19. I figured they would be
on the hit list.

And I may be mistaken on that, dunno. I did find this:

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA628.html

In particular, I did not know this, assuming it's factual:

By 2020: Say goodbye to, among others, Halogen incandescents, such as Phillips' EcoVantage. These bulbs often are cited as "proof" there is no light bulb ban because they are incandescents and public will be able to buy them after January 1, 2012. Bulb ban backers rarely volunteer that these bulbs are banned also – just a bit later.


The above implies to me that by 2020 absent an amendment to the law, all incandescents will be found only in museums. At least by then LED technology should be advanced enough to fit in most niches and be more affordable than it is today.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-22-2013, 12:25 PM
You guys are full of good news. I was just looking at the dimmer switch operated recessed incandescents in my office that are less than a year old, and it drove home the point of how utterly misguided this law is. How is it a good idea to in essence force obsolescence of a functioning product, so that the consumer then has to spend more money on a worse product? Wait, I think there is a pattern there.... ;)

I have less available money to pay for my energy, because I also have to upgrade hardware, so it makes my effective cost of energy higher. It's another way that the energy saved by the green bulbs is a false economy. I'm suspicious that the breakeven on these new bulbs is longer than most of us will live now.

Brian Elfert
12-22-2013, 12:48 PM
Not all of us have dimmers on our light fixtures. I don't have a single one in my entire house by my choice. I know that a lot of businesses like LED lighting because the bulbs don't need replacing for far longer. The labor to replace a single bulb can very well cost more than an LED bulb. My employer is moving to a new location in just over a year and I wouldn't be surprised to see some LED lighting used although I suspect there will mostly fluorescent lighting.

Jim Koepke
12-22-2013, 2:52 PM
If you want incandescent bulbs you will still be able to buy them for service in appliances. Most likely in 25, 40 & 60W sizes.

If they happen to find their way into other fixtures there likely won't be spies from the government looking into your windows with warrants to confiscate them.

jtk

Leo Graywacz
12-22-2013, 3:07 PM
You guys are full of good news. I was just looking at the dimmer switch operated recessed incandescents in my office that are less than a year old, and it drove home the point of how utterly misguided this law is. How is it a good idea to in essence force obsolescence of a functioning product, so that the consumer then has to spend more money on a worse product? Wait, I think there is a pattern there.... ;)

I have less available money to pay for my energy, because I also have to upgrade hardware, so it makes my effective cost of energy higher. It's another way that the energy saved by the green bulbs is a false economy. I'm suspicious that the breakeven on these new bulbs is longer than most of us will live now.

Keeps the economy going :mad:

Cyrus Brewster 7
12-23-2013, 7:32 AM
If you want incandescent bulbs you will still be able to buy them for service in appliances. Most likely in 25, 40 & 60W sizes.

If they happen to find their way into other fixtures there likely won't be spies from the government looking into your windows with warrants to confiscate them.

jtk

Here is a link to a distributor that will still produce incandescent bulbs after the end of the year - http://www.brightlights-inc.com/. The inventor was a guy who used the "rough" fixture loophole to get around the ban. The loophole has to do with appliance use. The bulbs meet all gov't mandates and these are estimated to last as long as 9 years.

I personally can't stand CFLs. The light is wrong (I feel like I am being interrogated), they give me headaches, and the fact that they contain mercury are some of the things that turn me off to them (among all of the other complaints). I am all for doing what we can to stop polluting our home but I will skip this step. When LED's come a little further down in price I will be switching to those.

Mike Cruz
12-23-2013, 8:52 AM
Cyrus, if you are a member of Costco, I suggest going to the Frederick location. Their 60 watt equivalent LEDs are about $6-7 IIRC. I've put them in every light socket in the house that doesn't have a dimmer. Oh, they are dimmable, but you have to have a compatible dimmer switch. Costco doesn't carry dimmers for LEDs, so off to HD for those. For the kind I like, they are about $30 or so each. I bought ONE! for the lamp with 3 LEDs that gets used a lot. The others will have to wait until the price of LED compatible dimmers comes down...

Cyrus Brewster 7
12-23-2013, 9:39 AM
That is a great price. I will have to check out Costco. As for dimmers I really only need one for now so the cost is OK. Thanks.

Andrew Joiner
12-23-2013, 10:38 PM
Here is a link to a distributor that will still produce incandescent bulbs after the end of the year - http://www.brightlights-inc.com/. The inventor was a guy who used the "rough" fixture loophole to get around the ban. The loophole has to do with appliance use. The bulbs meet all gov't mandates and these are estimated to last as long as 9 years.

I personally can't stand CFLs. The light is wrong (I feel like I am being interrogated), they give me headaches, and the fact that they contain mercury are some of the things that turn me off to them (among all of the other complaints). I am all for doing what we can to stop polluting our home but I will skip this step. When LED's come a little further down in price I will be switching to those.

Thanks for the link Cyrus.

Ralph Sprang
12-25-2013, 11:42 AM
This coincides with the outlawing of incandescent bulbs at the first of the year.

There is no "outlawing of incandescent bulbs" - that is a myth perpetrated by the media mis-representing the bill. Note that the media says "banning traditional incandescent bulbs" - which is technically true - while people interpret that as banning incandescent bulbs - which is not true.

They do have to meet higher efficiency standards, but several manufacturers are already producing compliant bulbs.

It's likely over the next five to ten years incandescents will decline and disappear, due to declining demand, but they will still be legal to make and sell.

Here is a link to the law: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ140/html/PLAW-110publ140.htm

which shows this table:

``GENERAL SERVICE INCANDESCENT LAMPS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maximum Rate Minimum Rate Effective
Rated Lumen Ranges Wattage Lifetime Date
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1490-2600 72 1,000 hrs 1/1/2012
1050-1489 53 1,000 hrs 1/1/2013
750-1049 43 1,000 hrs 1/1/2014
310-749 29 1,000 hrs 1/1/2014
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bulbs in all common wattages that meet the new efficiency standards are currently available at the box stores and will continue to be sold. The average consumer will see no change in availability of incandescent bulbs, just more efficient bulbs at around the same price.

Brian Elfert
12-25-2013, 12:14 PM
Bulbs in all common wattages that meet the new efficiency standards are currently available at the box stores and will continue to be sold. The average consumer will see no change in availability of incandescent bulbs, just more efficient bulbs at around the same price.

You're technically correct that government did not ban traditional incandescent light bulbs, however they effectively banned them by increasing lighting efficiency standards that traditional incandescent light bulbs cannot meet.

Where does one find a traditional incandescent light bulb that meets the new efficiency standards without utilizing a loophole like rough service? There are halogen light bulbs now available in the traditional A19 shape, but I don't consider these a normal incandescent light bulb.

Ralph Sprang
12-25-2013, 1:17 PM
Where does one find a traditional incandescent light bulb that meets the new efficiency standards without utilizing a loophole like rough service?

They have been available at the box stores for several months. Around here, they closed out the "traditional" incandescents in early 2013 and only the "legal" ones have been available most of the year. The incandescents people have been hoarding are likely the ones that will continue to available - they look about the same as the old ones.

The better question, though, is why would one want to buy incandescents? CFLs and LEDs are more energy efficient, can produce the same color of light as incandescents, and generate less waste heat. In spite of all the hysteria about mercury in CFLs, they still have less mercury than a fluorescent tube, thermometer, or most incandescent bulbs. With the utility incentives making them essentially free, CFLs are the way to go until LEDs become essentially free.

Dan Hintz
12-25-2013, 7:18 PM
The better question, though, is why would one want to buy incandescents?

When someone makes an LED bulb that can withstand the heat in my oven, then I'll switch away from incandescents completely.

Roy Harding
12-26-2013, 2:14 AM
...
The better question, though, is why would one want to buy incandescents? ...

Although I gradually switched over to CFLs (over a few years, as the lights needed replacing), I still use incandescents in my oven, in my fridge and freezer, and in my exterior fixtures. Of course - I live in Northern Canada - where CFLs take a LONG time to throw any useful light when it's 40 below. A motion sensor exterior light which takes five minutes to throw light doesn't do you much good when approaching a doorway.

Charles Coolidge
12-26-2013, 2:32 AM
You guys are full of good news. I was just looking at the dimmer switch operated recessed incandescents in my office that are less than a year old, and it drove home the point of how utterly misguided this law is. How is it a good idea to in essence force obsolescence of a functioning product, so that the consumer then has to spend more money on a worse product? Wait, I think there is a pattern there.... ;)

I have less available money to pay for my energy, because I also have to upgrade hardware, so it makes my effective cost of energy higher. It's another way that the energy saved by the green bulbs is a false economy. I'm suspicious that the breakeven on these new bulbs is longer than most of us will live now.

You have to use a government approved 'green' calculator for it to make sense. Much the same logic of government forcing mileage killing pollution controls on diesels so now you have to burn 20% more diesel to go the same distance...wait how is burning more fuel producing less pollution?

Ralph Sprang
12-26-2013, 7:44 AM
When someone makes an LED bulb that can withstand the heat in my oven, then I'll switch away from incandescents completely.

That is a good point - there are still applications where commercially available LEDs and CFLs may not perform well - like your oven.

Is your oven lamp really in the oven, though? On my oven, the lamp is outside the insulation of the oven and only gets to 100 F or so, well within the range of LEDs.

Interesting question, though, whether incandescents can withstand higher temperatures than LEDs.

Ralph Sprang
12-26-2013, 7:45 AM
Of course - I live in Northern Canada - where CFLs take a LONG time to throw any useful light when it's 40 below. A motion sensor exterior light which takes five minutes to throw light doesn't do you much good when approaching a doorway.

Is that for older CFLs, or do the newer "instant on" CFLs also take a while to achieve full brightness at those temperatures?

Dan Hintz
12-26-2013, 8:26 AM
Is your oven lamp really in the oven, though? On my oven, the lamp is outside the insulation of the oven and only gets to 100 F or so, well within the range of LEDs.
Light from the bulb needs to pass through to the heat chamber, which means at some point the bulb has to be open to heat soak. In all ovens I've seen, this is done through a glass/quartz window. No matter how much you insulate the light well, the heat within it will eventually rise to the heat chamber's temp, so easily 500F+.


Interesting question, though, whether incandescents can withstand higher temperatures than LEDs.
There's no question, they can. An incandescent works off of the principle of heating a filament until it's hot enough to glow in the visible spectrum... by its very nature it is designed to get hot.

Matt Meiser
12-26-2013, 8:38 AM
Although I gradually switched over to CFLs (over a few years, as the lights needed replacing), I still use incandescents in my oven, in my fridge and freezer, and in my exterior fixtures. Of course - I live in Northern Canada - where CFLs take a LONG time to throw any useful light when it's 40 below. A motion sensor exterior light which takes five minutes to throw light doesn't do you much good when approaching a doorway.

Try LEDs. Our dusk-dawn post light out front uses 3 candelabra base bulbs. Incandescent would last about 6 months. CFL's a maybe a year. The LEDs, from Costco, have been in there a couple years now. The incandescent used a total of around 75W...LED, something like 8W. I've got a purpose-made motion light that uses LEDs on the back of my shop that's great too. I'll convert the others to LED bulbs as they go out. We did LED under cabinet lighting in our kitchen too and I'm really happy with the result. The LED bulb I bought for over the sink went back thought--it hummed and threw weird shadows on the translucent shade.

Ralph Sprang
12-26-2013, 9:46 AM
No matter how much you insulate the light well, the heat within it will eventually rise to the heat chamber's temp, so easily 500F+.

...
An incandescent works off of the principle of heating a filament until it's hot enough to glow in the visible spectrum... by its very nature it is designed to get hot.

The bulb compartment is well insulated and does not rise to the heat chamber's temp, in my experience and measurement. If it did, I expect the glass bulb on an incandescent would rupture due to the high temperature. That's one reason for using quartz as "glass" in ovens.

FWIW, LEDs are used in industrial heat chambers. We heat and cool through a range of -200F to 800F or so. The bulb enclosures are well insulated and don't exceed the industrial temp range, so really any bulb - incandescent, LED, or CFL - that meets industrial temp range (-40C to +85C) is fine.

Home ovens are likely not as well insulated, but also cover a lower temperature range and can be insulated to keep the bulb in the commercial temp range (0C - 70C).

Brian Elfert
12-26-2013, 12:10 PM
Appliance bulbs, rough service bulbs, yellow bug bulbs, colored bulbs, among others are all exempt from the light bulb ban. You'll still be able to get an incandescent bulb for your oven.

Roy Harding
12-26-2013, 1:31 PM
Try LEDs. Our dusk-dawn post light out front uses 3 candelabra base bulbs. Incandescent would last about 6 months. CFL's a maybe a year. The LEDs, from Costco, have been in there a couple years now. The incandescent used a total of around 75W...LED, something like 8W. I've got a purpose-made motion light that uses LEDs on the back of my shop that's great too. I'll convert the others to LED bulbs as they go out. We did LED under cabinet lighting in our kitchen too and I'm really happy with the result. The LED bulb I bought for over the sink went back thought--it hummed and threw weird shadows on the translucent shade.

Thanks for that - I'll give the LEDs a whirl when the incandescents give out. I haven't tried the LEDs yet.

PeterTorresani
12-26-2013, 2:19 PM
[QUOTE=Mike Henderson;2193493]I don't know of any reliable evidence that demonstrates that human activity has has little or no effect on climate.

I won't argue global warming or climate change here (wrong forum), but if you don't know of any reliable evidence that human activity has little to no effect on climate, then you are not looking for it. There is "evidence" for both sides of the argument, and even more theories. Regardless of your belief, if you don't take the time to understand the other side of an argument, then you have nothing but blind belief.

Your link was interesting. Every time I see it used, I remember Dr. James Hanson who testified to congress on the extreme consequences of GW. Years later he testified again and admitted that he exaggerated the potential in order to increase awareness of the problem. A cynic might say he lied in order to increase the funding for his department.

Mike Henderson
12-26-2013, 2:46 PM
I won't argue global warming or climate change here (wrong forum), but if you don't know of any reliable evidence that human activity has little to no effect on climate, then you are not looking for it. There is "evidence" for both sides of the argument, and even more theories. Regardless of your belief, if you don't take the time to understand the other side of an argument, then you have nothing but blind belief.

Since it's so readily available, perhaps you could post some links to it. The difficult hurdle you have to overcome is to show that the vast majority of climate scientists are wrong. If the scientists who believe there's no correlation between human activity and climate change can't convince their peers, I have to look askance at their claims.

Mike

Brian Hood
12-26-2013, 4:38 PM
I own a company that is 80% lighting design and it is all going LED. People just love them and they are getting better and better. For example, the best garage/shop lighting you can get may be the Pixie flatlight from Home Depot.
http://pixi-lighting.com/flatlight-residential.html
http://pixi-lighting.com/where-buy.html

At this point our goal is to design without any fluorescent lighting at all, and the ratio of LED to incandescent is about 80% LED, just because it is so much better lighting. It is tricky though and there is a learning curve. The failure rate is very low but the costs are all over the map but dropping.

Clarence Martin
12-27-2013, 10:03 PM
I wish they would bring back the 5 gallon flush toilet !

Jason Roehl
12-28-2013, 10:22 AM
I wish they would bring back the 5 gallon flush toilet !

I see those all the time on jobsites when someone doesn't realize the water hasn't been turned on yet and uses the commode. You have to bring in a 5 gallon bucket of water to flush the toilet...

David Weaver
12-28-2013, 11:19 AM
I wish they would bring back the 5 gallon flush toilet !

I just put out two in the last year! They had a casting date of 1953 in them. After watching seinfeld and married with children, you'd have thought the junkers might pick them up to sell them on the black market! (kidding of course, i know they're worthless, because my neighbors have had one in their garage for 7 years, trying to find someone who will buy it).

They were american standards with brass parts in them that had finally worn out. Took a different mode to save money with them - one we abided by in the house when I was growing up. Flushes only occur with solids, otherwise everything else is left to steep (to save water). That wouldn't fly with my wife!

Clarence Martin
12-28-2013, 11:43 AM
I just put out two in the last year! They had a casting date of 1953 in them. After watching seinfeld and married with children, you'd have thought the junkers might pick them up to sell them on the black market! (kidding of course, i know they're worthless, because my neighbors have had one in their garage for 7 years, trying to find someone who will buy it).

They were american standards with brass parts in them that had finally worn out. Took a different mode to save money with them - one we abided by in the house when I was growing up. Flushes only occur with solids, otherwise everything else is left to steep (to save water). That wouldn't fly with my wife!

I got a water well , so no worry about conserving water.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-28-2013, 12:37 PM
I see those all the time on jobsites when someone doesn't realize the water hasn't been turned on yet and uses the commode. You have to bring in a 5 gallon bucket of water to flush the toilet...

LOL, we use them here when the power goes off for days too...

Leo Graywacz
12-28-2013, 5:18 PM
I got a water well , so no worry about conserving water.

Don't let the EPA hear you say that.:eek:

Mel Fulks
12-29-2013, 9:47 PM
Here is my home made shop light ,mentioned earlier in this thread. Aprox. 16 and 1/2 inches flat to flat.278344278343

David Weaver
12-29-2013, 9:59 PM
I got a water well , so no worry about conserving water.

both of my parents were in the same situation, they still are (well with good flow), but they are hard core about minimizing toilet flushing. Could have something to do with their septic, I guess.

I, on the other hand, have to pay about 1 1/2 cents per gallon of water between water and sewer charges. IT makes my teeth gnash a little to waste water.

Brian Elfert
12-29-2013, 10:32 PM
I'm paying about 1.7 cents per gallon for water and sewer. I figure $400 a year is cheaper over time than well and septic.

There isn't an unlimited supply of clean water which is why it pays to conserve water regardless if one has a well or city water.

David C. Roseman
12-29-2013, 10:47 PM
Here is my home made shop light ,mentioned earlier in this thread. Aprox. 16 and 1/2 inches flat to flat.278344278343

Clever, Mel! Thanks for posting.

David

Steve Rozmiarek
12-30-2013, 1:53 AM
Thanks Mel, that makes sense now, and looks like it works very well!

David Weaver
12-30-2013, 10:12 AM
I'm paying about 1.7 cents per gallon for water and sewer. I figure $400 a year is cheaper over time than well and septic.

There isn't an unlimited supply of clean water which is why it pays to conserve water regardless if one has a well or city water.

I guess. It's pretty much unlimited here, though (no crop irrigation), it comes from a river that never dries up. But the infrastructure isn't so unlimited here, though time and regulation is its biggest enemy and not capacity. What that amounts to, I guess, is that the water costs more because of the infrastructure, and even if it's not limited from the water standpoint, infrastructure drives up the price of the water and still implores conservation.

With a wife who has a clinical cleaning problem (lots of loads of laundry, etc) and two kids, I could only wish my total bill was $400 for the year. it's closer to $1000. I'm sure my parents haven't paid close to that for their wells and septic on an annual basis (over the last 35 years), BUT, their rural townships are slowly forcing people to sign up for public water and sewer, so they're not going to have a choice soon, AND they're going to have to pay a large share of the hook up costs in a place where a lot of houses are far from the road. Not sure how that's going to work for houses that are set back far and below the road level.

Building a well and putting in a septic with a new house now isn't as simple of a proposition as it used to be, what used to be specified as septic appropriate now seems to require sand mounds. I guess the conditions for what's acceptable have changed.

It's all part of the price of progress, I guess.

Brian Elfert
12-30-2013, 11:34 AM
I believe a new well and mound system here in Minnesota is upwards of $25,000. New houses here in Minnesota are required to have two locations for a septic system that cannot be disturbed during construction. The second site is for a replacement septic system in the future. It seems like a septic system here lasts maybe 30 years. I've seen where people will just keep using a failed system because they don't know it has failed, or don't have the funds to replace it. Sale of the house generally forces replacement of failed systems because the new owner will have the system inspected and will require the seller to replace a failed system.

I would much prefer to pay $400 a year for water and sewer than pay for a septic system replacement.

I'm currently looking for a lot to build a new house and some have city sewer and some would require a septic system.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-30-2013, 11:43 AM
I was thinking of something while wiring in an exterior light on the woodshop yesterday. Circuits are sized for electrical loads, while it's no problem to put lower draw bulbs in an existing circuit, if at some point in the future a circuit that was designed for leds or something, it could be easily overloaded by something as simple as the wrong bulbs. I suppose someone has thought of this, and there is a plan, anyone know what it is?

I'd think the days of the Edison base on all light bulbs may be a thing of the past at some point, or code changes or who knows?

Dan Hintz
12-30-2013, 1:24 PM
I was thinking of something while wiring in an exterior light on the woodshop yesterday. Circuits are sized for electrical loads, while it's no problem to put lower draw bulbs in an existing circuit, if at some point in the future a circuit that was designed for leds or something, it could be easily overloaded by something as simple as the wrong bulbs. I suppose someone has thought of this, and there is a plan, anyone know what it is?

Yep, it's called a breaker.

Mark Bolton
12-30-2013, 2:13 PM
Ethan, I've never seen it printed that the cfl or led bulbs use more power to produce, and I doubt we ever will. Such a story wouldn't be politically correct. Think about it though, a cfl has around 20 parts, most electronic, which use expensive and power hungry processes to produce. Mercury, which must be mined or at least refined, and several gasses that are not free to generate. It also uses petroleum to make the plastic. A led is a plastic jewel, filled with electrical components. There is no average bulb, but it could easily be in the hundreds of parts. All of it's parts are either petroleum based or require mining. A traditional light bulb takes two types of wire, an inert gas or vacuum, some glass and a little conductive metal.

More components=more energy to make. Shipping of the components to the manufacturer alone supports that, so do many other reasons. Price is also an indicator of the energy consumption of the manufacturing process, because the cost of energy is passed on to the consumer. This drives the question that I asked, do the more efficient bulbs actually offset their efficiency in use by the energy used in production?

I have no problem with cfl or led bulbs. I'm glad the technology is being developed, the consumer craves choices. My problem is with the process that they are being forced on us. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to keep incandescents, and some legitimate reasons for the others as well. Why are we being forced one way in a "free" country?

I'll tell you the same thing I told Mike H about the environmental questions. I'd like to keep this friendly, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

One quick thought, the environmentalists tend to refer to the non believers in disparaging ways, ie ludites, flat earth, etc. Keep in mind that we can learn a lot from history. Our earth and sun is temporary at best, and far more powerful than anything humans can even fathom. History is full of ancient civilizations that thought they could control the seasons/weather/sun through many crazy ways. The Mayans for example. We know they were misguided now, how will history view today's environmentalism?

When the gigantic caldera under Yellowstone releases it's energy, it will likely do more to effect the climate, in minutes, then the sum product of all the combined product of humans existence. Is it really humans that control the climate?


http://www.greenmuze.com/blogs/guest-bloggers/1031-the-dark-side-of-cfls.html

Steve Rozmiarek
12-30-2013, 3:05 PM
Yep, it's called a breaker.


LOL, ok Dan, I asked for that one. It could be a new revenue stream for electricians though, "specializing in blown lighting breakers".

Steve Rozmiarek
12-30-2013, 3:10 PM
http://www.greenmuze.com/blogs/guest-bloggers/1031-the-dark-side-of-cfls.html

Mark, that was a fun read. I'm sure some wouldn't agree with the conclusions though, but I enjoyed it.

Mark Bolton
12-30-2013, 3:29 PM
Mark, that was a fun read. I'm sure some wouldn't agree with the conclusions though, but I enjoyed it.

Steve,
Coming from an off-grid background I have to say I have a bias for CFL's but its from a perspective of consumption as opposed to long term economics. That said, I have absolutely never had the experiences many here say they have with regards to longevity. All of the CFL's and LED's Ive used in my OG home as well as for all of my on-grid customers (home builder) have lasted very well. Futher, we are in a rural area with a lot of voltage fluctuation which is very hard on incandescent bulbs. I have had many customers who only get a month or two out of regular off the shelf incandescent bulbs. My electrical supplier only stocks 130v filaments for this very reason and many customers will ask me to get them bulbs because they simply last longer but they still wont match a CFL.

I have to wonder if these problems with CFL's are of the Wal-mart making. You can only cheapen things down so far and I would bet my stack on that being the case.

I will however agree that your overview makes a lot of sense in that the multitude of components, the amount of plastic, and so on, in a CFL would make them a much bigger expense than many think. I however also seem to never be able to get my head around the concept of scale. For instance how they can make a halogen work light in china, three middle men, and ship it here for 8.99, and they are all still profitable. Its an issue of volume. I wish there were an accurate and reliable accounting of the total picture with regards to CFL's and their total impact on energy. I have to think that the energy saved over the course of millions of homes, which would equal tens and tens of millions of bulbs, is where the math gets "right".

But who knows.

Tom Stenzel
12-30-2013, 4:09 PM
I have quite a few CFLs in the house but right now in the basement bathroom I have 9 60 watt incandescent bulbs. Normally the bathroom temperature is in the low 60's F. in the winter, the bulbs ARE the room heater. That changes in the summer.

So when I'm forced to spend good money to upgrade the bathroom to high efficiency lighting, I'll then have to pay more money for a space heater. The resulting energy saving? Um, you tell me but the first number that comes to mind is zero or maybe even less.

That's why I hate these mandated decisions. We're not allowed to use our own intelligence to figure out what's the best solution for our circumstances.

-Tom Stenzel;

Mark Bolton
12-30-2013, 4:23 PM
We're not allowed to use our own intelligence to figure out what's the best solution for our circumstances.

-Tom Stenzel;

The problem unfortunately is the vast majority of the population rarely if ever use their own intelligence, hence drowning warnings on 5 gallon buckets and "this is not a toy" on plastic packaging. They simply plod along in a busy and chaotic life oblivious to the swill in their wake (until it washes up on their front doorstep). So those who do try, suffer for the lack of the rest.

Its always been the case that a few, or a group, of people see a problem on the horizon and try to act. Of course not always effectively or correct, its still action the masses simply either dont have time, or choose not to, focus on.

It would be wonderful to live in a world, or even a society, where everyone pondered the true consequences of their actions but our odds of finding utopia are slim. ;)

Its all old hat but air bags, seat belts, smoke detectors, crumple zones, DDT, Asbestos, Lead paint, etc.. All met with great disdain.

Phil Thien
12-30-2013, 6:05 PM
Late to the party, but my biggest complaint about alternative technology bulbs has been the color. For the living room and bedrooms, I really prefer that soft white light that incandescent bulbs provide.

This last weekend my wife asked me to take a look at her favorite table lamp because the pull chains on the sockets were broken. This is a lamp that was really designed to use the lower profile halogen bulbs with a medium base. If you use conventional bulbs, the shade doesn't fit well.

So I explained that finding those types of bulbs, in sufficient wattage (brightness) is going to be difficult. So she said, "well, you can get fluorescent bulbs for me, right?"

So I replaced both of the lamp sockets, and then headed off to Menards where I found "Sylvania Living Spaces MicroMini CFL bulbs." They are very small CFL bulbs that (at 13 watts) provide 800 lumens. Now, they take a minute to warm up. But the quality of the light is AMAZING. It is "only" 82CRI, but as far as CFL bulbs go, I'm sold.

I did replace all the bulbs in the kitchen with LED, because I was tried of replacing the floods. The color could be better, but we've grown accustomed to it.

I'm sure in a few years we will look back on this and chuckle. As good as LED bulbs have gotten, they are getting a lot better and a lot less expensive fairly quickly now.

Pat Barry
12-30-2013, 7:13 PM
That was funny. Thanks for the chuckles Mark. I needed it after reading the nuclear meltdown posting.

Ralph Sprang
12-31-2013, 7:11 AM
Ethan, I've never seen it printed that the cfl or led bulbs use more power to produce, and I doubt we ever will.

I agree you are unlikely to find factual information that CFLs use more power to produce, since in reality CFLs use less power to produce.


Think about it though, a cfl has around 20 parts, most electronic, which use expensive and power hungry processes to produce. Mercury, which must be mined or at least refined, and several gasses that are not free to generate. It also uses petroleum to make the plastic. A led is a plastic jewel, filled with electrical components. There is no average bulb, but it could easily be in the hundreds of parts. All of it's parts are either petroleum based or require mining.

Might want to read up on manufacturing processes. CFL parts do not " use expensive and power hungry processes to produce.". The manufacturing cost of a CFL is around $0.25 in volume - including power, materials, etc. The manufacturing cost of an LED lamp is around $1.00 - and dropping rapidly. (Prices are still high because the perceived value allows them to charge a premium). For that matter, some LEDs are just an LED and a base - call it two components vs the 25 or so for an incandescent lamp.


A traditional light bulb takes two types of wire, an inert gas or vacuum, some glass and a little conductive metal.

Ever looked at what processes are required to produce that wire? To draw a good enough vacuum, then seal the bulb without losing the vacuum? To produce that "conductive metal" and form it as necessary to make the bulb? There is a reason production of an incandescent bulb costs four times the cost to produce a CFL.

Just to be clear, more components does not equate to higher cost or higher power requirements - it's just not that simple.

Regarding mercury, there is mercury in incandescent bulbs, tuna, and some thermometers - all in much, much greater quantities than in a CFL lamp.

It's difficult to get the objective facts, but they are out there if one is willing to dig. Sadly, there are many special interest groups that financially benefit by riling up consumers against CFLs and LEDs (among other topics) and post inaccurate information on seemingly "documented" and credible web pages. Unless and until the consumer wises up and gets technically savvy enough to see through the nonsense, it's unlikely to change.

David Weaver
12-31-2013, 8:18 AM
Picked up one of the cree bulbs this weekend, it's just about enough to change my opinion of LED bulbs. For the most part, I'll wait until they're a little cheaper, but the color of the light is great and they produce adequate light (slightly less than the 13 watt CFL that was in the light where I put the cree bulb).

The only trouble with them is what's already been mentioned - they have a dead spot on the top of the bulb, it's not like blackout dead, just not as bright, and I would love to have been able to hang three of them in a hanging fixture in the dining room.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-31-2013, 2:53 PM
Ralph, I'd love to see the cost analysis you're using, I can't find much out there.

A couple things, an LED is not just one component. To make an individual light emitting diode is a manufacturing process in itself. It's missing a whole layer of construction to say that making an LED bulb requires only a base and an LED.

I agree that more parts don't equal more cost always, but generally they do. A computer costs more than a glass of milk, obviously more parts in the computer. A box of macaroni is cheaper than a brick of gold though, so it's not always about the parts. In the light bulb example though, I think I'm right, more parts equals more cost and more energy used. There is profiteering going on for sure as well, so who knows how cheap LED's will get.

David, I have a exterior light on my woodshop that vibrates slightly in the wind. Because the wind seems to always blow here, the bulbs constantly vibrate. I think it fatigues the filament, which makes them fail quickly, so a week ago I put an LED bulb in it. So far it is working just fine, and in that fixture it will save me money. I also put one in another different type of exterior light fixture on the woodshop (it was a two bulb per pack deal from Home Depot) and the shadow you mentioned is obnoxious. It is at the front entry door, and I liked the front of the building being lit up slightly. It didn't look so much like a dark hulk in the night that way. The LED bulb lights from fixture level down only, completely changed the look. It was a sylvania bulb I think. The Cree's were more expensive, but maybe I should have bought them if they don't do that as bad.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-31-2013, 3:15 PM
The problem unfortunately is the vast majority of the population rarely if ever use their own intelligence, hence drowning warnings on 5 gallon buckets and "this is not a toy" on plastic packaging. They simply plod along in a busy and chaotic life oblivious to the swill in their wake (until it washes up on their front doorstep). So those who do try, suffer for the lack of the rest.

Its always been the case that a few, or a group, of people see a problem on the horizon and try to act. Of course not always effectively or correct, its still action the masses simply either dont have time, or choose not to, focus on.

It would be wonderful to live in a world, or even a society, where everyone pondered the true consequences of their actions but our odds of finding utopia are slim. ;)

Its all old hat but air bags, seat belts, smoke detectors, crumple zones, DDT, Asbestos, Lead paint, etc.. All met with great disdain.

Mark, I think you'll agree that lightbulbs are not apples to apples with the list of other disdained advancements that had some sort of immediate personal protection impact.

Interesting thoughts about the intelligence of the populace. I wonder if another way to look at that might be that for the survival of the species, a resistance to change is critical. One of our lifespans is irrelevant in the timeline of a species, so to take several generations to catch on to new ideas is generally probably safer than radical changes. Using any one of the last centuries fascist dictators that the populace blindly followed as an example may be relevant. It's frustrating to those trying to change the status quo, but steering the minds of the general public shouldn't be easy.

Leo Graywacz
12-31-2013, 3:38 PM
Regarding mercury, there is mercury in incandescent bulbs, tuna, and some thermometers - all in much, much greater quantities than in a CFL lamp.




There is no mercury in an incandescent bulb. The trick they use to say there is mercury in an incandescent bulb is the smoke stack mercury output of a coal fired plant is calculated and used to fool an ill informed population. And when they compare them to CFL's they neglect to add in the same smoke stack output of mercury produced. Making an apples to orange comparison.

The components that are different in a CFL vs Incandescent are basically the electronics to drive the CFL. They both have glass and a metal base. The incandescent has a tungsten filament while the CFL has an electronic ballast.

Which do you think use more energy and resources to make. A single strand of tungsten or a myriad of electronics?

Dan Hintz
12-31-2013, 8:10 PM
On the cost of LED manufacturing...

To figure out the cost of manufacturing something, the easiest off-the-cuff method is to look at how inexpensively a Chinese factory can crank it out. The labor cost itself is minimized, and they will scrimp every possibly scrap of a penny. The energy put into the plant has a nearly direct effect on the LED cost in such a case. Disregarding quality control issues, even the bright LEDs used for lamps cost pennies directly from China (and they're still making a profit)... last I checked, the 100-lumen LEDs are well under $0.50/each. If they can sell them so inexpensively, it can't be that expensive to make.

Brian Elfert
01-01-2014, 1:02 AM
People are really looking for reasons not to like CFL and LED light bulbs if they complain about power circuits for lighting possibly being designed only to support CFL or LED light bulbs. Existing house and buildings will still have the same sized lighting circuits unless someone rewires them. Also, electric code still requires lighting circuits based on regular incandescent light bulbs. By the time electric code is rewritten to allow smaller lighting circuits, if it ever does, incandescent light bulbs will be but a distant memory.

The most likely change, if any, would be to allow lighting circuits to handle more fixtures. Code requires minimum of 15 amp circuits and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

Ralph Sprang
01-01-2014, 8:04 AM
Ralph, I'd love to see the cost analysis you're using, I can't find much out there.

It's personal experience, really, based on cost analysis developed and shared working with lamp manufacturers on senior design projects.


A couple things, an LED is not just one component. To make an individual light emitting diode is a manufacturing process in itself.

Agreed, just like making the tungsten wire or glass required for an incandescent bulb.


It's missing a whole layer of construction to say that making an LED bulb requires only a base and an LED.

or that an incandescent bulb is just wire, glass, and base.


I agree that more parts don't equal more cost always, but generally they do.

Sorry, can't agree with you on that, especially when compared across product categories.


A computer costs more than a glass of milk, obviously more parts in the computer.

A diamond ring costs more than a computer, fewer parts - many, many contradictions, which is why the "rule" is not valid.


In the light bulb example though, I think I'm right, more parts equals more cost and more energy used.

Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's, and I'm just offering my understanding of electronics manufacturing.


There is profiteering going on for sure as well, so who knows how cheap LED's will get.

I think it's more about recovering development costs and long term net profit rather than "profiteering". The electronics market is an economic anomaly - they charge more when a product is introduced, because the market will pay it, and they make their profit at that point. Later, when they are selling the product at cost or a loss, the earlier profit averages out to a reasonable net profit over the life of the product.

Ralph Sprang
01-01-2014, 8:11 AM
There is no mercury in an incandescent bulb.

There actually is mercury in an incandescent bulb - it's used in some of the processes to manufacture the filament and also the glass. Trace amounts end up in the bulb, but still more than is actually in a CFL. Here is a link to the EPAs page regarding mercury in CFLs http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/what-are-connections-between-mercury-and-cfls.


Which do you think use more energy and resources to make. A single strand of tungsten or a myriad of electronics?

The single strand of tungsten, actually. May not be intuitively obvious to the casual observer, but well understood in the business.

Just to be clear - CFLs do require an electronic chip to drive them. LEDs often have a driver chip to facilitate dimming, but it is not required. Still, considering the component count approach suggested earlier in the thread, this adds only one component to the bulb. Incandescents required a holder for the filament, so parts cound remains about the same for all three lamp types.

Leo Graywacz
01-01-2014, 12:59 PM
There actually is mercury in an incandescent bulb - it's used in some of the processes to manufacture the filament and also the glass. Trace amounts end up in the bulb, but still more than is actually in a CFL. Here is a link to the EPAs page regarding mercury in CFLs http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/what-are-connections-between-mercury-and-cfls.

All I got out of that site page was they are confirming what I had said. They are taking into account the mercury from the power plant emissions into the equations.

Ralph Sprang
01-01-2014, 5:55 PM
All I got out of that site page was they are confirming what I had said.

Did you catch the part where they point out a thermometer has 125 times the mercury in a thermometer? BTW, looked up the numbers, a can of tuna has in the range of 25% to 100% of the mercury in a CFL (depending on whose numbers you find more credible), while an incandescent has 4.6 times the mercury in a CFL (according to some sources). [Energystar attributes the mercury in incandescents to the power used (http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf), while other sources say that number represents the mercury in the bulb materials]

I think the key points are:
1. mercury content is not appreciably different between bulb types and is so small as to be essentially irrelevant.
2. Our mercury exposure from the food we eat is much greater than the possible exposure due to broken bulbs.
2. CFLs and LEDs save money and energy, in comparison to incandescents.

Jeff Erbele
01-02-2014, 7:09 AM
I don't think the light bulb police are going to come to your house and arrest you for using incandescents (just yet anyway)

The new ban is on manufacturing them. Existing incandescents can be sold and used.

Jeff Erbele
01-02-2014, 7:11 AM
I don't need a 25,000 hour light bulb on a center pivot that i'm sure a hail storm will destroy in several years.

Why do you need a light bulb on a center pivot, any light fixture?

Steve Rozmiarek
01-02-2014, 10:32 AM
Jeff, it's an indicator light that lets you know when the timer that runs the end tower is on. Pivots are muddy, and it saves you a mile of slogging through mud at night if you can see that the circuit is working without physically driving to the pivot.

Steve Rozmiarek
01-02-2014, 10:38 AM
Ralph, I don't have the time to go find the numbers, but your conclusion that a can of tuna has more mercury than a cfl doesn't sound right.

Use the bulbs if you want, I don't care what you do with your money. The problem is that many care what I do with mine.

Tom Stenzel
01-02-2014, 1:24 PM
Just to throw more fat on the fire,

I'm looking at a Ecosmart CFL and on the side it has:

120V 60Hz 14W 0.230A

The problem is that 0.23 amps at 120 volts is 27.6 watts. So which is it? The Feit CFLs have similar numbers but not quite as far apart as the Ecosmart.

It probably has something to do with the non-linearity of the current. Now that my interest is sparked (ahem), I intend to set up a test and look at the current waveform with my scope. I'd also l;ike to see what the in rush current is on power up.

Problem is I can't access all the stuff I need right now, and I'm headed back for another week-long in-patient chemo treatment soon. So nothing will happen for a couple weeks.

In the meantime, I'm saving tallow to make candles. :)

-Tom Stenzel

Leo Graywacz
01-02-2014, 3:09 PM
Probably has a power factor multiplier.

Steve Rozmiarek
01-02-2014, 5:10 PM
Ralph, I'm bored at work, so did a little investigation. An average cfl has 3-5 mg of mercury in it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

Fish mercury levels are all over the place, dependant on their exposure, but using this info, .25 ppm looks about average for the fish sampled. http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/outreach/upload/2004_07_21_fish_advice_1-meal-per-week.pdf

Using that, you can calculate that a cfl has MANY times more mercury in it than an average lake trout. I pick that one because it tastes good. I can't find the data for tuna specifically, but as the EPA says in this link, canned tuna is safe, some of the others have more. http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/outreach/advice_index.cfm

Just putting this out there to balance out the info.

Anthony Diodati
01-02-2014, 6:49 PM
I just got notice of my power company's upcoming rate hike. It'll be 10% this year. This coincides with the outlawing of incandescent bulbs at the first of the year. Now I get the pleasure of not only having to pay a lot more for bulbs, but any savings that the new bulbs create is offset by another rate hike. I'm sure all parties meant well, but....

Yes, I'm venting.

I figured they would do that. So where is the savings
More garbage this country feeds us that you can't do a thing about.

Pat Barry
01-02-2014, 6:55 PM
Ralph, I'm bored at work, so did a little investigation. An average cfl has 3-5 mg of mercury in it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

Fish mercury levels are all over the place, dependant on their exposure, but using this info, .25 ppm looks about average for the fish sampled. http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/outreach/upload/2004_07_21_fish_advice_1-meal-per-week.pdf

Using that, you can calculate that a cfl has MANY times more mercury in it than an average lake trout. I pick that one because it tastes good. I can't find the data for tuna specifically, but as the EPA says in this link, canned tuna is safe, some of the others have more. http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/outreach/advice_index.cfm

Just putting this out there to balance out the info.

So, assuming you have 1 pound of fish (455 grams) - the 0.25ppm translates into .00011 grams = .11 mg of mercury per pound of fish. So you'd have to eat 30 to 50 pounds of fish to equal eating just 1 CFL lightbulb. Thank goodness I am bad at catching fish.

Matt Meiser
01-02-2014, 7:54 PM
You all know you aren't supposed to eat CFL's, right?

Knock on wood, the early death issues seem to have stabilized in all but the 150W equivalent ones we use in the kitchen from Home Depot. They've done 3 warranty replacements on 2 bulbs in a year.

Ralph Sprang
01-03-2014, 8:02 AM
Ralph, I don't have the time to go find the numbers, but your conclusion that a can of tuna has more mercury than a cfl doesn't sound right.


The numbers cited are not my conclusion, but published data. To save you the time and since I had already looked up all the data,
1 ppm FDA limit on mercury in tuna (http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/ac/02/briefing/3872_Advisory%207.pdf) (or 1 ug/g)
355 g in a 12 ounce can ==> 355 ug in a 12 ounce can, which is 0.355 mg, which I quantized to 0.5 mg

As I said, it depends on what numbers you like or accept, but the mercury in a CFL reportedly ranges from 0.5 mg (http://www.science20.com/make_love_not_war/blog/one_broken_%E2%80%98green%E2%80%99_cfl_bulb_contai ns_least_5_mg_mercury-72032) (about the same as a can of tuna) to 4 mg or so (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_mercury).


Other common mercury exposures:
(http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/cfl-mercury2.htm)Watch battery -- up to 25 milligrams Thermometer -- up to 2 grams
Tilt thermostat -- up to 3 grams

Comparison in mercury between CFLs and incandescents (http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/blogs/which-uses-less-mercury-incandescents-or-cfls)

Ralph Sprang
01-03-2014, 8:11 AM
Just to throw more fat on the fire,

I'm looking at a Ecosmart CFL and on the side it has:

120V 60Hz 14W 0.230A

The problem is that 0.23 amps at 120 volts is 27.6 watts.

The current draw cited is a limit, actual is usually less. In addition, recall that power factor reduces real power (watts), which is a measure of power actually delivered to the load. So, if we assume the numbers cited are actual current draw and power consumption, then pf=P/S=14/27.6=0.51, a little low but not too far off from what others report (http://cdonner.com/power-factor-and-compact-fluorescent-bulbs-cfl.htm).

Ralph Sprang
01-03-2014, 8:19 AM
So, assuming you have 1 pound of fish (455 grams) - the 0.25ppm translates into .00011 grams = .11 mg of mercury per pound of fish. So you'd have to eat 30 to 50 pounds of fish to equal eating just 1 CFL lightbulb.

The challenge is that the numbers are all over the place for the actual level of mercury in fish. FDA limits it to 1 ug/g and regularly cites commercial vendors who exceed that limit. Other claim the lower numbers previously cited. So you could expect to find from 0 to 13.6 mg in 30 lbs of fish.

Of course, the exposure to mercury from eating ANY fish is higher than that from normal use of a CFL - the mercury in a CFL is contained within the bulb and stays there, as long as the bulb is not broken. If the bulb breaks, since the mercury is in vapor form it rapidly dissipates, and it would be very difficult to inhale more than about 10% of the mercury vapor without making special effort to do so, so let's say you could potentially inhale 0.4 mg of mercury, using the highest numbers cited in this thread. Using the lowest numbers cited in this thread, that's the equivalent of eating 56 ounces of tuna, or, using the FDA limit, 14 ounces.

So, the bottom line is that one is very unlikely to receive more mercury exposure from CFLs than from eating fish. As a practical matter, it just doesn't matter - unless you are eating LOTS of mercury laden fish or are constantly breaking CFL bulbs, it will have essentially no impact on your health or life.

Steve Rozmiarek
01-03-2014, 10:40 AM
So, the bottom line is that one is very unlikely to receive more mercury exposure from CFLs than from eating fish. As a practical matter, it just doesn't matter - unless you are eating LOTS of mercury laden fish or are constantly breaking CFL bulbs, it will have essentially no impact on your health or life.

Ralph, of the 2 billion cfls produced each year, most will end up in land fills. I think normal use better go from the beginning to the end of the bulb, not from the time it gets screwed in to out. What happens to all those bulbs that get compacted?

Leo Graywacz
01-03-2014, 12:17 PM
Oooo Ooooo Me Me......


The release their mercury in the landfill.


Am I right huh huh, am I ? Am I?

Jon Nuckles
01-03-2014, 12:36 PM
There is more and more evidence accumulating to show that naturally occurring phenomena have such a great affect on climate that any human behavior is negligible in comparison. According to the most reliable sources, the earth has not warmed in the last 15 years. At this point, I think the real "climate change deniers" are those who choose to ignore this evidence. In any case, an "uninhabitable world" is only predicted by the fringe scientists.

Scientists overwhelmingly disagree with the quote above.

Leo Graywacz
01-03-2014, 1:07 PM
Government paid scientists and scientist with government grants disagree with that quote above. They still don't have a theory about how things interact within the atmosphere let alone a good working theory.

Them saying that the oceans are absorbing the heat for the last 15 years is the reason there have been no rise in temperature in those years is laughable. Did someone throw a heat vacuum switch on the ocean and now all of a sudden the ocean is more of a heat sink then it has ever been?

CO2 levels have been increasing and the temps have leveled off. Something else needs to be inserted in their equations to fix their broken theory.

I don't disagree that temps have been warming. That is pretty indisputable. What I am saying is that we are still emerging from the little ice age and will continue to do so until a new trigger gets set off and we plunge into another ice age.

The low sunspot count is reminiscent of the Maunder Minimum that sparked the little ice age. We may not have to worry about global warming.

Jason Roehl
01-03-2014, 1:11 PM
The challenge is that the numbers are all over the place for the actual level of mercury in fish. FDA limits it to 1 ug/g and regularly cites commercial vendors who exceed that limit. Other claim the lower numbers previously cited. So you could expect to find from 0 to 13.6 mg in 30 lbs of fish.

Of course, the exposure to mercury from eating ANY fish is higher than that from normal use of a CFL - the mercury in a CFL is contained within the bulb and stays there, as long as the bulb is not broken. If the bulb breaks, since the mercury is in vapor form it rapidly dissipates, and it would be very difficult to inhale more than about 10% of the mercury vapor without making special effort to do so, so let's say you could potentially inhale 0.4 mg of mercury, using the highest numbers cited in this thread. Using the lowest numbers cited in this thread, that's the equivalent of eating 56 ounces of tuna, or, using the FDA limit, 14 ounces.

So, the bottom line is that one is very unlikely to receive more mercury exposure from CFLs than from eating fish. As a practical matter, it just doesn't matter - unless you are eating LOTS of mercury laden fish or are constantly breaking CFL bulbs, it will have essentially no impact on your health or life.

Of course, you also left out the bioavailability factors--how much of that inhaled mercury is absorbed into the body via the lungs and how much of that fish-borne mercury is absorbed into the body via the digestive system.

Rick Potter
01-03-2014, 1:26 PM
Forget Gold. Forget silver. I am stockpiling 100 Watt bulbs, and in a few years I will be rich. RICH I tell you! Hee, hee, hee. Light bulb king, that's me. When you need to see the light...call the Light Bulb King. 1-800-get rich.

King Richard

Leo Graywacz
01-03-2014, 1:30 PM
Until the light bulb police come and take you away.... :eek:

Brian Elfert
01-03-2014, 2:52 PM
Until I went to CFLs I used almost zero 100 watt light bulbs. I just didn't need the extra light of a 100 watt bulb except in the garage. Most of my fixtures only support 60 watt regular bulbs anyhow.

Brian Elfert
01-03-2014, 3:17 PM
As far as mercury goes, a janitor at the school at my church dropped an old piece of science lab equipment with mercury in it a few years ago. The school was closed for something like a week and the cleanup cost around $100,000. I believe they even had to replace the carpet in that part of school. I think they overreacted, but I don't know how much mercury was actually released.

I'm from a generation where we used raw mercury in the science lab at school. My mother had mercury thermometers and she just swept up the glass and mercury if one broke and put it in the trash.

Ralph Sprang
01-03-2014, 3:19 PM
Ralph, of the 2 billion cfls produced each year, most will end up in land fills.

Statistics suggest most will be recycled rather then end up in landfills.


I think normal use better go from the beginning to the end of the bulb, not from the time it gets screwed in to out. What happens to all those bulbs that get compacted?

The mercury is released into the air and dissipates, same as it does in nature. Remember the mercury is a vapor, not a solid, so if the bulb is broken, within 5 minutes or so the vapor is "gone".

Ralph Sprang
01-03-2014, 3:24 PM
I don't disagree that temps have been warming. That is pretty indisputable.

Guess that explains why we are expecting record low temperatures....

Those who have been following this issue for a while may recall that the original term was "global warming" - but the term "climate change" was adopted when research confirmed that temperatures were not really increasing.

Temperatures naturally fluctuate over time, and one current theory is that the weather is cyclical over long periods (hundreds of years), and periodic "ice ages" are normal for the earth.

I'm not aware of any general consensus within the academic community of the precise causes of climate change or the quantitative impact of man-caused vs. natural phenomena. However, this is not really my research area and I am not really an expert on this topic.

Leo Graywacz
01-03-2014, 4:12 PM
Guess that explains why we are expecting record low temperatures....

Those who have been following this issue for a while may recall that the original term was "global warming" - but the term "climate change" was adopted when research confirmed that temperatures were not really increasing.

Temperatures naturally fluctuate over time, and one current theory is that the weather is cyclical over long periods (hundreds of years), and periodic "ice ages" are normal for the earth.

I'm not aware of any general consensus within the academic community of the precise causes of climate change or the quantitative impact of man-caused vs. natural phenomena. However, this is not really my research area and I am not really an expert on this topic.

You're not telling me anything. Preaching to the choir. But summer temps have been getting warmer around here, but winter temps have been getting cooler too.

It's the sun I tell ya.....

Dan Hintz
01-03-2014, 7:01 PM
The mercury is released into the air and dissipates, same as it does in nature. Remember the mercury is a vapor, not a solid, so if the bulb is broken, within 5 minutes or so the vapor is "gone".

Uhm, say wha?

Mercury's boiling point at standard pressure is nearly 700F... it's going to stay a liquid in the dump for a looooong time.

Phil Thien
01-03-2014, 8:10 PM
Uhm, say wha?

Mercury's boiling point at standard pressure is nearly 700F... it's going to stay a liquid in the dump for a looooong time.

I thought CFL bulbs contained mostly mercury VAPOR, I don't think there is much solid mercury in them.

Dan Hintz
01-03-2014, 8:30 PM
I thought CFL bulbs contained mostly mercury VAPOR, I don't think there is much solid mercury in them.

If you've ever seen them manufacture a bulb, before the final sealing it passes along to the "mercury addition" spout... a single drop of mercury (liquid form) is dropped into the tube. The next step is insertion of electrodes/sealing while a vacuum is pulled.

The mercury turns to vapor as the vacuum is pulled (and as the bulb warms). Ever seen a bulb slooooowly get brighter when it's cold out? The mercury has condensed into bigger drops and needs to re-disperse into more of a viable vapor. This is the starter's job. But turning off the bulb allows it to condense back a little (particularly if cold). Once the bulb is broken, however, it's back to atmospheric pressure and vapor goes back to liquid (though it will be well coated throughout the bulb in very fine droplets by this point, not one sub-pea-sized blob).

Jeff Nicol
01-03-2014, 8:56 PM
Scientists overwhelmingly disagree with the quote above. Jon, Scientists is a word to describe anyone who uses many different things to come up with a theory, prediction, thought, idea and so on. So that means that there are many millions of different opinions, thoughts, theories, dreams, lies, calculations and on and on. The thing is that there will always be those who claim to be scientists who will create an equation that will come up with a scenario that will fit whatever is needed by the one who is paying them the most money. These are not scientists but greedy highly educated shills for hire with no morals, values, or problems lying for the almighty dollar. The proof of this is all the so called "Climate Scientists" from East Anglia who fudged the numbers and data to create all the garbage that good old Al Gore based all of his propaganda on and by the way made HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ using all that bogus data. This is all truth because the guys who perpetrated the lies admitted to it and all of their e-mails were leaked to prove they lied. Why is this always forgotten when any of this is brought up about climate this, climate that Global this and GLobal that! WHY???? because it does not fit the narrative of those who have made all the money off the mis-information.

This all was done in the 70's with the gas crisis, but then it was going to be a new "ICE AGE" and all the predictions were so grim and scary for the world and guess what.............................NONE OF IT CAME TRUE! It takes just a little bit of common sense to see that if man was truly responsible for some impending catostrophic situation, we meaning all humans and especially those who have been predicting massive destruction, would be doing something of EPIC proportions to stop the very near in the future destruction of the planet. But of course this is not happening and never will, because if there is still money to be made, there will be new and more evil problems created by whatever "SCIENTISTS" at the time are willing to sell their souls for money to make sure someone can be blamed for something that is not real or possible.

This means that the truth is MAN IS JUST A SPECK OF DUST IN THE BIG SCEME OF THINGS THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE GLOBAL CLIMATE. Because if it was at all possible to control the weather, earth quakes, volcanoes, all natural occurances of the world, we would be doing right now, because of course............THERE WOULD BE BILLIONS AND BILLIONS TO BE MADE IF IT WERE POSSIBLE. So go out and do your own research on all types of things, and make sure to not go to anyplace that is affiliated with any government agencies, and use your own good sense to make a judgement of your own. The truth has no agenda, but ideology does and facts are easy but lies will always show them selves eventually, because the facts will prove the lies are what they are.

Follow the money and you will find the creators of epic potential global destruction that will be blamed on humans, for no other reason than control, greed and power. Life is hard enough without trying to make everything dangerous when it is not.

Phil Thien
01-03-2014, 9:05 PM
If you've ever seen them manufacture a bulb, before the final sealing it passes along to the "mercury addition" spout... a single drop of mercury (liquid form) is dropped into the tube. The next step is insertion of electrodes/sealing while a vacuum is pulled.

The mercury turns to vapor as the vacuum is pulled (and as the bulb warms). Ever seen a bulb slooooowly get brighter when it's cold out? The mercury has condensed into bigger drops and needs to re-disperse into more of a viable vapor. This is the starter's job. But turning off the bulb allows it to condense back a little (particularly if cold). Once the bulb is broken, however, it's back to atmospheric pressure and vapor goes back to liquid (though it will be well coated throughout the bulb in very fine droplets by this point, not one sub-pea-sized blob).

Then why do "they" tell you to ventilate a room (to remove mercury vapor) in which a CFM bulb has been broken?

This article states that gaseous mercury is what is used in fluorescent bulbs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(element)

I'm not saying they aren't adding a tiny bit of elemental mercury, but I think there is more reactive gaseous mercury. In several articles they are differentiating between powdered mercury and gaseous mercury, so the gaseous mercury can't just be from pulling a vacuum, can it?

Leo Graywacz
01-03-2014, 9:11 PM
Because if it was at all possible to control the weather, earth quakes, volcanoes, all natural occurances of the world, we would be doing right now, because of course............THERE WOULD BE BILLIONS AND BILLIONS TO BE MADE IF IT WERE POSSIBLE.


Ding ding ding.

So, you say Johnie is having a party of the 5th of July in Kansas City? And what's the temperature that you would like? Would you like a nice gently breeze from the north to keep the insects at bay to ma'am? For only $125 we could have that included in your weather manipulation party package. Yes ma'am. Yes ma'am. OK. It's all setup. We'll have a nice 78 degree day, humidity will be low, a few clouds will pass by in the middle of the day and the breeze won't go over 7MPH. Will that be Visa or Mastercard.

Pat Barry
01-03-2014, 9:40 PM
Jon, Scientists is a word to describe anyone who uses many different things to come up with a theory, prediction, thought, idea and so on. So that means that there are many millions of different opinions, thoughts, theories, dreams, lies, calculations and on and on. The thing is that there will always be those who claim to be scientists who will create an equation that will come up with a scenario that will fit whatever is needed by the one who is paying them the most money. These are not scientists but greedy highly educated shills for hire with no morals, values, or problems lying for the almighty dollar. The proof of this is all the so called "Climate Scientists" from East Anglia who fudged the numbers and data to create all the garbage that good old Al Gore based all of his propaganda on and by the way made HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ using all that bogus data. This is all truth because the guys who perpetrated the lies admitted to it and all of their e-mails were leaked to prove they lied. Why is this always forgotten when any of this is brought up about climate this, climate that Global this and GLobal that! WHY???? because it does not fit the narrative of those who have made all the money off the mis-information.

This all was done in the 70's with the gas crisis, but then it was going to be a new "ICE AGE" and all the predictions were so grim and scary for the world and guess what.............................NONE OF IT CAME TRUE! It takes just a little bit of common sense to see that if man was truly responsible for some impending catostrophic situation, we meaning all humans and especially those who have been predicting massive destruction, would be doing something of EPIC proportions to stop the very near in the future destruction of the planet. But of course this is not happening and never will, because if there is still money to be made, there will be new and more evil problems created by whatever "SCIENTISTS" at the time are willing to sell their souls for money to make sure someone can be blamed for something that is not real or possible.

This means that the truth is MAN IS JUST A SPECK OF DUST IN THE BIG SCEME OF THINGS THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE GLOBAL CLIMATE. Because if it was at all possible to control the weather, earth quakes, volcanoes, all natural occurances of the world, we would be doing right now, because of course............THERE WOULD BE BILLIONS AND BILLIONS TO BE MADE IF IT WERE POSSIBLE. So go out and do your own research on all types of things, and make sure to not go to anyplace that is affiliated with any government agencies, and use your own good sense to make a judgement of your own. The truth has no agenda, but ideology does and facts are easy but lies will always show them selves eventually, because the facts will prove the lies are what they are.

Follow the money and you will find the creators of epic potential global destruction that will be blamed on humans, for no other reason than control, greed and power. Life is hard enough without trying to make everything dangerous when it is not.

Not really sure that I follow the 'logic' in these comments. Seems very extreme. It doesn't take much to recognize that people do affect the environment even though they be small specks in the big scheme of things. Just take a look for the clear blue skies in Bejing or LA for that matter and explain how come the clear blue sky is not to be found. Now tell yourself that there aren't side-effects from this that we can't yet understand. Sorry, but extremism comes in many forms.

Jon Nuckles
01-03-2014, 11:11 PM
Jeff,
If you "follow the money," you are not likely to end up at the doorstep of many scientists. You are much more likely to end up at the gates of an oil company or another "person" making money by the burning of fossil fuels.
Jon

Jeff Erbele
01-04-2014, 6:08 AM
I wish they would bring back the 5 gallon flush toilet !

You just wasted a wish :eek:

I have a 1.6 gal water saver that acts like a 5 gal; except that I have to use a plunger and push the flush lever 3 or 4 times :rolleyes:

Jeff Erbele
01-04-2014, 6:32 AM
Jeff, it's an indicator light that lets you know when the timer that runs the end tower is on. Pivots are muddy, and it saves you a mile of slogging through mud at night if you can see that the circuit is working without physically driving to the pivot.

Steve, thanks for explaining that. I grew up on dry-land farming/ranching in south central ND. Most of the land is rolling hills, unsuitable for a center pivot system, although there were some nearby. Plus we had enough rocks to contend with. That was before no-till farming. Any tillage and frost replenished the rocks even if you picked them. Later we had two generations of rock pickers. Today my brother uses a roller; you push them back in the soil instead of trying to pick'em.
In the bigger picture I'm not sure what the aquifer situation and permitting is there. We never had to wory about it.

My guess is you draw from the Ogallala aquifer. That outlook is alarming if not scary. ...back to light bulbs :)

Jeff Erbele
01-04-2014, 7:17 AM
...
We all need to use less of the earth's resources.

Mike

[If you really want to cut your electricity bill, install solar. My annual electricity bill is zero or negative, but even if you cut your draw from the electric company in half, you will generally save a lot of money because of the higher cost of electricity for greater usage (if you have tiered rates in your location).]

Amen to that, o use it smarter and stop wasting it. In the Denver metro area we have Water Cops which is a good thing. Generally they take a good approach to offenders and educate first, but they can and do write citations to repeat and blatant offenders.

The recent state legalization of medical marijuana and as of January first recreational use has caused a HUGE increase in power consumption and grean house gases. I forget the exact statistics but something like adding 40,000 motor vehicles to the highways and Excel Energy experienced a 25% increase in electrical sales due to warehouse pot growers. Big warehouses and lots of them with grow lights and indoor irrigation. It is a huge new industry; one many of us are not pleased about.

We have a solar system and I can attest to your comments, except Excel Energy will not approve a system that generates a loss to them and a financial gain to the metered account. In other words they do not want to write checks at the end of the year for excess power generated from consumers' solar systems. Further, Excel is about the only utility company in the Denver Metro and surronding area that will work with consumers on solar. For use it was a good deal when we went solar about 3 years ago. It was better for those that did earlier and worse for those that converted later.
One of the perks was our rates were locked for life. The cost per Kw will never increase.

I don't know what the rules will be when our new house is complete later this year, but we are sold on solar. Solar works here (makes sense) and most places clear to California, but that is not the case in many places going the other direction; at least not yet.

It is interesting to note, before I was born, before the rural electric cooperatives, maybe in the 1920's - 1930's my Dad and Grandfather had a wind charger on their farm in ND. It was a 32 volt system with a lead-acid battery bank in the cellar under the house. Dad said the batteries were in glass jars. It was pretty hi-tech in the day and not everybody had such a thing but some had.

Jason Roehl
01-04-2014, 9:19 AM
I thought CFL bulbs contained mostly mercury VAPOR, I don't think there is much solid mercury in them.

I think we need to check our terms here. A substance in gaseous form will be a bunch of individual molecules floating around, separated by some distance. A VAPOR is not gaseous--it is a bunch of tiny droplets floating around, but those droplets are 2 or more molecules. Mercury is a much-heavier-than-air liquid at room temperature, so any mercury in a light bulb, whether it's gas or vapor, will fall to the floor when the bulb is broken. The only exception would be if there's enough of an electric or magnetic field acting on the droplets to keep them suspended in the air, but I doubt that is the case.

For a real-world comparison between a gas and vapor, look at your tea kettle when it's boiling. That stuff you see slowly floating through the air is vapor--a bunch of multi-molecule droplets. Now, look at right where the steam is exiting the small hole in the tea kettle cap--it's perfectly clear there, probably for 1/8-1/4". That's water in it's single-molecule, gaseous form. When it cools below the boiling point, it forms the droplets, which is the "steam" you see. (Thanks, Mr. Wizard!)

Phil Thien
01-04-2014, 9:51 AM
I think we need to check our terms here. A substance in gaseous form will be a bunch of individual molecules floating around, separated by some distance. A VAPOR is not gaseous--it is a bunch of tiny droplets floating around, but those droplets are 2 or more molecules...

Wikipedia:
A vapor (U.S spelling) or vapour (British spelling) is a substance in the gas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas) phase at a temperature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature) lower than its critical point (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_temperature).[1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor#cite_note-Petrucci-1)

It seems Dan is right, that CFL's contain mercury vapor (elemental mercury made into a vapor by pulling a vacuum). And in doing so, they've made the mercury very dispersive, just like the sub-micron dust in our shops. So that is why it is important to ventilate a room where a CFL bulb has broken.

That is obviously a giant simplification because I still read of the various forms of mercury in bulbs, but I think it is pretty accurate.

Ralph Sprang
01-05-2014, 7:34 AM
A substance in gaseous form will be a bunch of individual molecules floating around, separated by some distance. A VAPOR is not gaseous--it is a bunch of tiny droplets floating around, but those droplets are 2 or more molecules.

This is more of a semantics argument. A vapor is simply the transition phase from all liquid to all gas, and therefore a vapor contains both solids and gas. It's common for gas to occur in molecules of two atoms, so your "droplets" are solids, not gas, while the two atom molecules are gas.


For a real-world comparison between a gas and vapor, look at your tea kettle when it's boiling. That stuff you see slowly floating through the air is vapor--a bunch of multi-molecule droplets. Now, look at right where the steam is exiting the small hole in the tea kettle cap--it's perfectly clear there, probably for 1/8-1/4". That's water in it's single-molecule, gaseous form. When it cools below the boiling point, it forms the droplets, which is the "steam" you see.

The vapor will occur on the surface of the water in the pot, at the interface between liquid and gas. The visible "steam" in the air is gas.

We will have real data for an example in another day or two - someone broke a CFL and I decided to measure the mercury. Initial results suggest that essentially all the mercury dissipated as gas, but I should have the chromatography results back in another day or two, and then we will know.

John Coloccia
01-05-2014, 8:03 AM
FWIW, the ban has been effective in Australia for a while, and the results are in. Energy usage has gone UP. Search around and read for yourself why. The incandescent ban is a complete failure in every possible sense, except for the manufacturers that have admitted CFLs and LED lighting are far more profitable for them.

Pat Barry
01-05-2014, 8:34 AM
FWIW, the ban has been effective in Australia for a while, and the results are in. Energy usage has gone UP. Search around and read for yourself why. The incandescent ban is a complete failure in every possible sense, except for the manufacturers that have admitted CFLs and LED lighting are far more profitable for them.
John, are you sure this isn't just coincidence and not cause/effect. For example, if they have been seeing the 'global cooling' in Australia that we are here in Minnesota you can be sure the energy usage is way up but its not due to the type of lightbulbs. ROFL

John Coloccia
01-05-2014, 9:07 AM
John, are you sure this isn't just coincidence and not cause/effect. For example, if they have been seeing the 'global cooling' in Australia that we are here in Minnesota you can be sure the energy usage is way up but its not due to the type of lightbulbs. ROFL

If I remember correctly, it was a report by their own government. Most of the inefficiency of a standard bulb is given off as heat. For CFLs, there are other inefficiencies. It's generally darker in the winter than the summer. In the end, the heat given off by an incandescent, even when you consider summer cooling costs, is an overall winner, and when you combine that with the inefficiencies in a CFL that DON'T help heat your home, CFLs become big losers overall. Honestly, I was a little surprised too, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. If you're going to have any inefficiency, it makes sense to make it inefficient in a way that's beneficial, at least.

So while your electric bill may go down a little, ultimately your oil bill goes up more. That's how it's working in Australia at any rate.

Brian Elfert
01-05-2014, 9:19 AM
It costs about twice as much per BTU to heat with electricity than it does to heat with natural gas. Therefore it is cheaper for me to heat with my furnace than with light bulbs. In areas of the world where they heat with propane or fuel oil it could be slightly cheaper to heat with electricity.

John Coloccia
01-05-2014, 9:38 AM
It costs about twice as much per BTU to heat with electricity than it does to heat with natural gas. Therefore it is cheaper for me to heat with my furnace than with light bulbs. In areas of the world where they heat with propane or fuel oil it could be slightly cheaper to heat with electricity.

But its cheapest of all to heat your house with energy you would otherwise throw away.

Phil Thien
01-05-2014, 10:30 AM
But its cheapest of all to heat your house with energy you would otherwise through away.

I will also note a great number of people I've spoken to seem to leave the CFL bulbs on nearly all the time because it takes a while for them to warm up (especially in a cold garage or basement), and "because they don't cost much to run."

I've tried to explain to people that a 100-watt bulb around here (at our rates) costs about $10/month to run continuously, so a 23-watt fluorescent bulb would cost about $2.30. The thing is, if people only turned the 100-watt bulb on here and there and ran it maybe 24 hours/month, it was only costing about $.33/month.

So I think there are some fundamental misconceptions about how much money they save by switching to CFL, and I think some people are blowing any savings out of the water because of the warm-up time.

In cases of closets and hallways and stairways and garages where bulbs would be turned on only briefly, LED is probably a better way to go, because people will use them more like a conventional (incandescent) bulb.

But I absolutely agree from my casual observations that some people may actually increase energy usage by switching to CFL bulbs.

Steve Rozmiarek
01-05-2014, 11:47 AM
FWIW, the ban has been effective in Australia for a while, and the results are in. Energy usage has gone UP. Search around and read for yourself why. The incandescent ban is a complete failure in every possible sense, except for the manufacturers that have admitted CFLs and LED lighting are far more profitable for them.

One of the links posted earlier said that New Zealand had ended its incandescent ban because of similar results.

Matt made an interesting observation I think as well, he said he increased bulb output ratings when switching to cfl, (I'm paraphrasing as I can't back out of this page to find the actual quote, sorry if I butcher his actual words). I have a couple cfl bulbs in various places still, and they are both 100 watt bulbs, in places that a 60 watt incandescent would work. Perhaps it not fair to assume the savings of equal wattage bulbs because there may be a need to put a bigger cfl in to equal the existing incandescent. These are two anecdotal incidents, but they raise the question.

Steve Rozmiarek
01-05-2014, 11:59 AM
Steve, thanks for explaining that. I grew up on dry-land farming/ranching in south central ND. Most of the land is rolling hills, unsuitable for a center pivot system, although there were some nearby. Plus we had enough rocks to contend with. That was before no-till farming. Any tillage and frost replenished the rocks even if you picked them. Later we had two generations of rock pickers. Today my brother uses a roller; you push them back in the soil instead of trying to pick'em.
In the bigger picture I'm not sure what the aquifer situation and permitting is there. We never had to wory about it.

My guess is you draw from the Ogallala aquifer. That outlook is alarming if not scary. ...back to light bulbs :)

Hi Jeff, interesting stuff. We are actually stealing the farming practices that you North Dakotans originated. We don't have to no till farm, but it makes sense from most every other angle. Saves water, money and erosion. We do get water out of the Ogallala aquifer. We do have new well moratoriums, pumping restrictions, etc to deal with though. The recent long drought caused the levels to fall, but it has stopped that mostly. Lots of water down there, and as long as it snows on the front range to make runoff and storms here, we get the recharge and all is ok. If it doesn't, then we have problems.

Steve Rozmiarek
01-05-2014, 12:01 PM
Ding ding ding.

So, you say Johnie is having a party of the 5th of July in Kansas City? And what's the temperature that you would like? Would you like a nice gently breeze from the north to keep the insects at bay to ma'am? For only $125 we could have that included in your weather manipulation party package. Yes ma'am. Yes ma'am. OK. It's all setup. We'll have a nice 78 degree day, humidity will be low, a few clouds will pass by in the middle of the day and the breeze won't go over 7MPH. Will that be Visa or Mastercard.

Leo, I love that business idea, if you get if figured out, I'll be your first customer!

Brian Elfert
01-05-2014, 1:25 PM
I will also note a great number of people I've spoken to seem to leave the CFL bulbs on nearly all the time because it takes a while for them to warm up (especially in a cold garage or basement), and "because they don't cost much to run."

I have both Philips and GE CFLs in my house. The GE CFLs come on at probably 85% brightness from the get go. The Philips are dim at turn on and take forever to get bright. I just bought a new batch of GE CFLs at Sam's Club and they still come on just as fast as the older GE CFLs I have. I'm actually going to Sam's Club today to get another batch of GE CFLs to put in a fixture and replace the remaining two Philips CFLs.

I have two GE CFLs in the fixture at the entrance from my garage. This is probably the worst place to use CFLs due to being turned on and off a lot, but I believe the current GE CFLs have been there since 2007 or so.

Leo Graywacz
01-05-2014, 1:34 PM
I have a CFL in my porch entrance. It's connected to the automatic flood lamps. When they go on so does the porch lamp. During the cold snap we just had it wouldn't come up to brightness. Just stayed at about 25 watt brightness. To cold for it I guess.

Pat Barry
01-05-2014, 7:30 PM
Higher efficiency incandescent bulbs? Who would have thought...what are they talking about (http://news.yahoo.com/why-parents-closet-full-lightbulbs-123000144.html)?

Brian Elfert
01-06-2014, 10:34 AM
GE has a line of more efficient incandescent bulbs that use halogen capsules instead of a tungsten filament. You can't see the halogen capsule since they are frosted. I saw them at Walmart this weekend and they cost about $1.20 a bulb. More expensive than the old style incandescent bulbs, but cheaper than CFL or LED technology.

Neal Clayton
01-07-2014, 1:45 PM
FWIW, the ban has been effective in Australia for a while, and the results are in. Energy usage has gone UP. Search around and read for yourself why. The incandescent ban is a complete failure in every possible sense, except for the manufacturers that have admitted CFLs and LED lighting are far more profitable for them.

Kinda like how lead paint bans are for paint companies.

The lead white paint on my 105 year old soffits? Still going strong, never been recoated.

The silica/quartz white paint on my siding? Not so much. Just had it all redone after about 10 years. Admittedly the last time was done improperly by previous owners, this time it was done right (with an oil/mineral spirits pre-treat after scraping the old stuff off, oil primer, and then the paint), but even at that what's it good for? 15? 20 tops?

Dennis McDonaugh
01-07-2014, 9:17 PM
I wish I could find those CFLs that last as long as incandescent bulbs and come on instantly.

We have a steep stairway into our basement and the light at the bottom was switched to CFL. It doesn't come on instantly and it's in a heated area so it's not related to cooler operating temperatures.

We have bought various brands of CFLs locally even our Costco. I haven't seen one yet that outlasts a standard incandescent bub.

While for a long time I wasn't a fan of low volume flush toilets due to bad experiences, a friend installed one and when I asked him later if he was happy he said he was. He explained his criteria for selecting his and it made sense. A while later one of our toilets needed replacing, and using my neighbors criteria, I bought one. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. A year or so later with good experiences, I bought another one to replace the large volume toilet in our downstairs bathroom.

We moved into a new house in July, There are 41 cfl bulbs in ceiling mounted light fixtures and another 8 in wall mounted fixtures. Besides taking one to two minutes to warm up enough to put out more than dim light, four of them have already burned out, two of them recessed floods in can lights that cost $6 apiece. I've never gotten anything near the claimed 8000 hours service out of them.

Ole Anderson
01-08-2014, 6:42 PM
If you have CFL's that are slow to come on, I have had some, you need to get a different bulb. Don't assume all CFL's are bad because of some bad actors. But, let's face it, LED's are here to stay and will be as common shortly as incandescent bulbs used to be. They come on almost instantly, are dimmable, last virtually forever and are available in different temperatures, most common seems to be 2700 degrees, about the same as the old favorite incandescent bulb. And costs are dropping fast.