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#183238 - 01/01/09 04:00 AM NZ spared incandesent bulb ban
aussie240 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 222
Loc: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
No doubt our Kiwi members will want to chime in here, but a friend coming back from NZ brought me a newspaper article claiming that the politically correct bulb ban is to be dropped under the new govt.
If only such common sense would prevail over this side of the Tasman, but it has got me thinking; just get some friendly kiwis to post me over a carton of bulbs when I need them. Seriously, I wonder if the ban in Australia would make it illegal to import them for ones own use (eg. buying them on ebay). GLS bulbs have already gone from one major supermarket chain here. Meanwhile the sales of plasma tv's and airconditioners continues to rise...
For fellow bulb hoarders, this link may be of interest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7480958.stm

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#183241 - 01/01/09 07:11 AM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: aussie240]
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Ireland's still ploughing ahead with it regardless. Initially for bulbs rated 75W or more.


FAQs from the Irish Department of the Environment

Will householders have to replace all of their light bulbs at once?

Not at all. When standards come into force, it will mean that energy inefficient lightbulbs will no longer be available on the market. It will simply mean that when a light bulb comes to the end of its life, there will only be more energy efficient products available in Ireland to replace them.

When will the standards come into force?

The standard is being introduced in 4 phases and the first phase will start on 1 March 2009. From that date, manufacturers will not be allowed to supply bulbs covered by this phase to retailers in the Irish market. This would include bulbs with a rating of 75W or more (the specific bulbs are detailed in the consultation paper). However retailers will be allowed to clear existing stock of these bulbs up to the end of May 2009. The detail of the other phases is outlined in the consultation paper.

What if there is no energy efficient alternative to some of the lights in houses?

This consultation process will help to identify what difficulties, if any, there are with some lighting products and fittings. There is no intention to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards where there are no alternatives currently available.

Are some energy efficient light bulbs dangerous, as they contain hazardous materials like mercury?

Absolutely not. CFLs, which contain very small amounts of mercury, are manufactured to stringent safety standards. Lights containing mercury (fluorescent tubes) have been widespread in Ireland for more than 50 years. The Department cannot find any records or evidence of them having posed serious safety issues for the general public. Nevertheless, as CFLs are likely to become more widespread, the Department has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to draw up guidelines for people in the unlikely event of breakage of these products.

Is this all about promoting CFL bulbs?

No, in fact no particular bulb or technology will be specified. What will be introduced is an energy efficiency standard and it will be a matter for the industry to respond with products that meet that standard. It is probable that CFL bulbs will be part of the overall response but other technologies such as LEDs (light emitting diodes) may also form part of the response.

What about recycling?

The Department will work closely with industry on disposal issues. The bulk of energy efficient lightbulbs, including all CFLs, are covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive (WEEE). This means that they can be disposed of at civic amenity sites free of charge. Used CFLs can also be returned to any outlet that sells them.

What about the quality of light? Is it not the case that energy efficient lighting produces poorer quality lighting than traditional bulbs, and that the bulbs flicker?

This is not the case. Good quality energy efficient lights produce the same light output as incandescent lighting. Flickering used to be a problem with traditional fluorescent tubes, but that is not the case with the current generation of CFLs. In addition, Tungsten Halogen bulbs look and function the same as incandescent bulbs.

What about price?

Will the public end up spending more on lighting?
They will actually be spending less. While energy-efficient alternatives are more expensive to buy initially, they save money in the long run. Good quality CFL bulbs can last ten times as long as ordinary incandescent tungsten filament bulbs. In addition, they use just one fifth of the electricity used to power an incandescent bulb.

What about medical conditions? Is it true that some energy efficient lighting has negative effects on people suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, lupus or migraine?
Again, this is an area covered by this consultation process, to establish if this is the case, and if any special measures are needed to cater for this. However, as per above, Tungsten Halogen Bulbs would seem to provide the answer if this is the case.

Is it true that CFL bulbs do not work with dimmer switches?

The Department understands that there is an issue in relation to dimming in the case of some CFL’s. Tungsten Halogen bulbs are fully dimmable.

Further details on Energy Efficient Domestic Lighting are available in the European Lamp Companies Federation document The European Lamp Industry’s Strategy for Domestic Lighting - Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

This was the public consultation document:

http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Environment/Atmosphere/FileDownLoad,18645,en.pdf

They basically invited submissions from anyone who was interested in making one.

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#183242 - 01/01/09 07:17 AM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: aussie240]
pdh Offline
Member

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 354
I was reading somewhere several days ago that some "study" had determine that it would take 5 years of continuous usage of an average CFL for the carbon footprint reduction of CFL over incandescent to make up for the carbon footprint produced in shipping the CFLs from China to the USA (you'll have to recalculate for the effect of shipping to NZ, UK, etc). Unfortunately, I didn't save the link. It might have been a "Chinese import hater" or a "CFL hater". But it could be something to consider.

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#183243 - 01/01/09 07:17 AM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: djk]
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
I hope this isn't just simply going to see regular incandescent bulbs being replaced by Tungsten Halogen incandescent versions!
Not exactly a vast energy saving as they tend to be used in recessed lighting and they're potentially fire hazards if installed incorrectly!

The majority of CFL bulbs on sale here are made within the EU, because of import duties it's not cost-effective to make them in China.

Most of them seem to be made in Poland or Hungary from what I've seen.
Particularly Philips & Osram, who seem to dominate the market.

I doubt the majority of incandescent bulbs are made in the USA or EU anyway, I'm sure quite a % come from China etc too. They're a low tech, cheap bulk manufacturing job. It's ideal for China. The shipping costs would be similar to CFLs but the replacement would be more frequent, so the CO2 transport impact would be much bigger.

They're shipped by sea & over land, not air as they're cheap and non-urgent, so it's really a question of volume of the box rather than weight too. A container load of CFLs isn't a heck of a lot less difficult to ship than a container of incandescent but they'll last years longer. So, I don't think there's much of a difference. The boxes are similarly sized and they're not a heck of a lot heavier.


Edited by djk (01/01/09 07:26 AM)

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#183246 - 01/01/09 08:14 AM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: djk]
pdh Offline
Member

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 354
Originally Posted By: djk

What about the quality of light? Is it not the case that energy efficient lighting produces poorer quality lighting than traditional bulbs, and that the bulbs flicker?

This is not the case. Good quality energy efficient lights produce the same light output as incandescent lighting. Flickering used to be a problem with traditional fluorescent tubes, but that is not the case with the current generation of CFLs. In addition, Tungsten Halogen bulbs look and function the same as incandescent bulbs.

I have found that the quality measurements being used by government agencies have failed to include measurement of the spectral uniformity. Incandescent lights have a spectral continuity somewhat like that of natural sunlight. CFLs, however, have a spectral continuity similar to conventional fluorescent lights. A lot of the effects of fluorescent lights in the past have been incorrectly attributed to flicker. Instead, the problem in many cases is due to the fact that the spectrum has two or three distinct emission bands.

The human eye does not focus all wavelengths of light at the same time. There is much science of lens design to correct optical devices (cameras, telescopes, microscopes, etc) in this regard. The effect in the human eye is not significant enough for people to notice because the brain does things to compensate. This compensation works best with natural sunlight that has a fairly uniform spectrum.

When viewing black on white text under a single wavelength light, the edges of the letters will be sharp and crisp because the eye can focus exactly as needed. When the light is a broad spectrum like sunlight or incandescent, that focus averages to the center of most of the light, generally slightly to the green side of the yellow wavelengths. The edges will effectively be soft in the blue and far red portions of the spectrum. But this doesn't affect the ability to read the text and is generally not seen by most people. People using corrective lenses could see a greater effect because these lens make it a bit worse.

Under most fluorescent and most LED lighting, the spectrum has two or three distinct bands or peaks of emission. The human eye has more difficulty focusing on this kind of light. In particular, the focus tends to wander or shift back and forth between the red peak and the green peak. The brain continues to hide this. However, it creates a level of stress in the brain as well as in the eye muscles.

I have personally found that I cannot read a newspaper (black text on white) under fluorescent light for more than about 15 minutes before stress becomes noticeable. By 25 to 40 minutes it can become a genuine headache. This effect happens from both fluorescent tubes as well as CFLs. Any kind of task involving this kind of light I generally find to be time limiting due to the headaches that can happen. The tasks that can be affected include non-reading work in the kitchen and shop areas. I am affected by this more than the average person. But I believe a significant portion (15% estimated) of the population could be severely affected. Most would not understand why.

I have also found that some halogen lights (a form of incandescent) have this effect. It appears the effect may be due to prismatic effects of the reflectors, lenses, or dichroic coatings, that many of these bulbs and fixtures include. When encased in diffusing fixtures, the effect is diminished.

Count me in as one of the stockpilers of incandescent bulbs.

Originally Posted By: djk

What about price?

Will the public end up spending more on lighting?
They will actually be spending less. While energy-efficient alternatives are more expensive to buy initially, they save money in the long run. Good quality CFL bulbs can last ten times as long as ordinary incandescent tungsten filament bulbs. In addition, they use just one fifth of the electricity used to power an incandescent bulb.

Unfortunately, a great volume of CFL stock available at discount retailers is not the "good quality" that would make a CFL last ten times as long as ordinary incandescent bulbs. I have incandescent bulbs running well beyond 8 years. Few ever burn out in less than 3 years and almost all of them are the low wattage bulbs, particularly 4 or 7 watt bulbs (C7 socket, generally used as nightlights). The lower wattage bulbs have thinner and longer filaments, and thus are weaker. Bulbs intended for the 230 volt markets such as Ireland will be inherintly weaker than the same wattage bulbs for the 120 volt markets.

Originally Posted By: djk

What about medical conditions? Is it true that some energy efficient lighting has negative effects on people suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, lupus or migraine?
Again, this is an area covered by this consultation process, to establish if this is the case, and if any special measures are needed to cater for this. However, as per above, Tungsten Halogen Bulbs would seem to provide the answer if this is the case.

Halogen bulbs can be used, but must be carefully selected and properly installed to eliminate the spectral effects, where this issue is what affects the people involved.

The hum of some fluorescent lights can also affect people. These people could in turn be affected by the hum of the transformer stepping line voltage down to the typical 12 volts used by halogen lights. Locating the transformer at some distance can resolve this issue. This rules out integrated halogen units that work directly from line voltage and include a small step down transformer.

Originally Posted By: djk

Is it true that CFL bulbs do not work with dimmer switches?

The Department understands that there is an issue in relation to dimming in the case of some CFL\u2019s. Tungsten Halogen bulbs are fully dimmable.

This is misleading. While it is true you get a smoothly reduced light when dimming a halogen light, the lower temperature involved can disrupt the halogen vapor cycling that extends the life of the high temperature filament. The problem with dimming a halogen light is it can severely reduce the life of the bulb.

Additionally, many dimmers can cause severe heating of the step down transformers used to reduce line voltage to the halogen operating voltage. Dimming of halogen lights that have integrated transformers (intended to be used in line voltage sockets) could, in addition to a shortened life, be a fire hazard.

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#183247 - 01/01/09 08:25 AM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: pdh]
pdh Offline
Member

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 354
Let me add that I am not at all opposed to government pushing for better energy standards for lighting. I am, however, opposed to the ban of incandescent bulbs. What I think should be done is for incandescent bulbs to be specially taxed. The amount of the tax could be the sum of the CO2 emissions credits, administrative costs to ensure taxation and avoiding black market bulbs (which under a ban will certainly exist), an amount to support energy efficient lighting research, as well as an amount designated to provide discounts for CFLs and other efficient lighting units for economically disadvantaged. Quadrupling the cost of an incandescent light bulb would seem to be in order. Such a tax should also be applied to incandescent Christmas light strings.

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#183253 - 01/01/09 10:41 AM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: pdh]
pdh Offline
Member

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 354
Yet another factor to consider with incandescent lights. In colder climates, the waste product of incandescent lights is actually useful for a greater portion of the year, depending on how installed and used. Heating an attic with ceiling can lights might not be so useful. Heating a room with a table lamp can be, when cold outside, especially when other forms of heat are more expensive and/or have greater impact. So what will the countries like Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, be doing with incandescent lights?

It was also pointed out to me just a few minutes ago that someone found that his generator used more fuel with CFLs compared to the equivalent light level of incandescent. He attributed it to poor power factor of cheap CFLs. Maybe those "better quality" ones would not have this issue.

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#183263 - 01/01/09 03:17 PM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: pdh]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
One other issue that is not being talked about in regard to self-ballasted CFL's.
Are power systems going to be able to handle the harmonic content that these lamps put back into the mains?
Sure, changing the odd lamp here and there (as has been the case up until now)is probably not going to be much of a problem, but, if you have a compulsory up-take of these lamps, where every house in a given area HAS to have them, is this going to cause problems with the loading of cables and transformers?


Edited by Trumpy (01/01/09 03:18 PM)
Edit Reason: Typo
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#183264 - 01/01/09 03:32 PM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: Trumpy]
pdh Offline
Member

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 354
Originally Posted By: Trumpy
One other issue that is not being talked about in regard to self-ballasted CFL's.
Are power systems going to be able to handle the harmonic content that these lamps put back into the mains?
Sure, changing the odd lamp here and there (as has been the case up until now)is probably not going to be much of a problem, but, if you have a compulsory up-take of these lamps, where every house in a given area HAS to have them, is this going to cause problems with the loading of cables and transformers?

What percentage of a typical home's power usage is lighting? That percentage would have to fall with CFLs, in theory. I guess we need to know just how much harmonics are involved.

I'd be worried about harmonics even on single phase when most of the load is the same kind of harmonic mix (e.g. a single current spike all at the same time in the cycle, 100 or 120 times a second). The I2R losses are increased with more narrow and higher spikes of current (because the averaging of the loss is figured after squaring the instantaneous current).

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#183272 - 01/01/09 08:26 PM Re: NZ spared incandesent bulb ban [Re: pdh]
aussie240 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 222
Loc: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Has anyone with an oscilloscope noticed that over recent years that the mains waveform is becoming less sinusoidal? It seems to be becoming more and more flat topped (think of all those harmonics as we gradually approach a square wave). No doubt we can attribute the flat topping to things that rectify the mains and feed it into a filter capacitor, such as switchmode power supplies...and CFL's! While iron cored control gear for discharge lighting is becoming unfashionable, it is easier on the supply.
The 'dimmable properties' of halogen lamps, as mentioned by pdh, seem to be conveniently not mentioned by the eco propaganda squad, either out of ingnorance of how a halogen lamp works, or just by hoping people will buy their halogen replacements, see they are dimmable and therefore be satisfied, and hope they're just imagining things when they keep having a short life in dimmed mode.
Has anyone actually seen the much fabled 'dimmable CFL' or are they just that?
I actually get very good life out my incandescent lamps; some of the less used ones are over 20yrs old, others I've replaced once or twice over the last 13 years since I bought the house. I seem to have a rock steady 245V supply at my place; the regulation is quite impressive.

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