Australia is set to become the first country in the world to stop using the cheap standard light bulb, with the federal government expected today to announce a commitment to phasing out inefficient incandescent light within three years.
The ambitious plan, set to be unveiled by Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull, aims to have every Australian home lit by compact fluorescent light by 2009-10.
Replacing the old bulb is expected to cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by 800,000 tonnes, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Under increasing pressure to deal with climate change, the Howard government is set to use this plan as an example of Australia's commitment to solving the problem of global warming.
But will the plan be effective? Australia's emissions in 2004 totalled 564.7 million tonnes. The 800,000 saved is barely 1/700 of the total released.
Phasing out the old 40-cent bulbs will also cost Australians more, with fluorescent light generally several times more expensive than the standard option.
But Colin Goldman, the head of lighting importer Nelson Industries, told the Herald he supports the move.
"These days you can buy a six-pack at the $10 mark," he said. "The prices are coming down, and as soon as you get volume with greater numbers on the market they come down further."
Goldman said compact fluorescents were available that offered a range of light for use within households.
Compact fluorescent lights use only 20 percent as much electricity as standard light bulbs to produce the same amount of light, according to the federal government.
I wonder if anyone has considered that the compact fluorescent lamps themselves are not very "earth friendly" - they contain mercury and circuit boards with solder and electronic components. Hmmm........
I think the whole thing is a big joke.
Re: Australia to phase out standard light bulbs#146643 02/19/0710:33 PM02/19/0710:33 PM
I'm getting sick and tired off politicians telling us what to do and what we can't do.
It's my business weather i use inefficient 60 cents lightbulbs or $3 compact fluro's or $20 led lamps. I pay the powerbill, not them, which has already enough tax and overpriced unit rate in it anyway. All generating stations are government owned with inflated power tariffs, hence the ripped off consumer as end user, after the so called privatisation and cheaper power tariffs.
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
Re: Australia to phase out standard light bulbs#146646 02/20/0710:59 AM02/20/0710:59 AM
CFL bulbs cost about 20 times more than a cheap incandescent. Assuming competitive market forces, this indicates the material acquisition, energy, and labor to create these wonders is roughly 20 times that of an incandescent. Material acquisition, energy input, and bringing in a labor force to build stuff all equal pollution. It seems with CFLS, like hybrid cars (to some extent), we are just doing more of the polluting up front and at the end of life. I suppose that's fine, IF they last 20+ times longer AND very few break during shipping, installation, and infant mortality. Maybe the newest generation of bulbs are better, but I've found about half of the CFLs I've bought over the past ten years have not lasted 5 years (infant mortality being the big one). Is it fair to say that a typical incandescent bulb under average household use lasts maybe a year and a half? I'd love to find some data showing how long a CFL MUST last to outweigh the process pollution (minus energy saved).
I'm not sure, but I think I'm a skeptic...
Re: Australia to phase out standard light bulbs#146647 02/21/0705:23 PM02/21/0705:23 PM
No doubt when they introduce that idea to the UK they will try out in Scotland first
I think we will see some investment in LEDs for domestic lighting. I know that by altering the voltage you can increase the light out-put (but shortens the life span) so perhaps these could be an alternative for "mood" lighting.
I can see where you coming from about the waste problem. Just a short term fix for a long term problem. I said the same about windfarms, what happens to all that fiberglass in 25 years time?
Re: Australia to phase out standard light bulbs#146648 02/21/0707:25 PM02/21/0707:25 PM
I have some mis-givings about some brands of CFL lamps. I posted a thread here sometime last year about a neighbour of mine that had one of her lamps nearly catch fire. What I am more concerned about, was the fact that this brand of lamp is one of the cheapest on the local market, now people will go for the cheaper brand of lamp, naturally to save money. I would tend to hope that the lamp manufacturers have addressed this issue with overheating, otherwise we will start to have the same thing happening in houses that we had when recessed downlights and dichroic fittings became prevalent in domestic installations. The onus is on the manufacturers to prove that thier product is safe to operate for what could be an extended period. Ever felt the body of a CFL lamp after it has been running for a while?. They get as hot as a standard incandescent lamp, even though the actual lamp glass stays relatively cool. I would hate to think that any reduction in energy usage would be at the cost of the users safety.
Re: Australia to phase out standard light bulbs#146649 02/21/0707:44 PM02/21/0707:44 PM
I'm with you all. I do not want to see the end of the regular bulb, and I am getting increasingly fed up with the way the government is trying to dictate what I use or do not use, especially when the arguments they're using are often based on half-truths or just outright incorrect information.