[personal profile] matgb
I'm a liberal. I don't like banning things. I'm an environmentalist, I think destroying the planet is a Bad Thing, and am fairly convinced by the science on climate change. But, as is always the case, liberalism wins out. Banning traditional lightbulbs is a bad idea.

Sometimes, they're the most efficient method of both heating and lighting something; lava lamps my be kitsch decorative junk not to everyone's taste, but there's no reason to ban them. Snake and reptile housings also benefit from a combine light/heat source, etc. Sometimes, they're simply a very cheap alternative, and when you're living on very little money at all, and generally don't use lights that much but need to have them, they're an acceptable option.

The answer, therefore, is not to ban them. The liberal answer is to apply a pigouvian tax on them. You can even, if you like, apply a pigouvian subsidy on the much more expensive, complex and hard to dispose of safely "environmentally friendly" bulbs containing mercury and other expensive poisons to make them cheaper. But banning something? It's just asking for trouble:

German heatball wheeze outwits EU light bulb ban | Reuters (via)
Rotthaeuser has pledged to donate 30 cents of every heatball sold to saving the rainforest, which the 49-year-old sees as a better way of protecting the environment than investing in energy-saving lamps, which contain toxic mercury.
I think Herr Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law deserve a little bit of praise for their Heatball project. And they're not even breaking the law, just showing it up as the futility it is.
83_tauri: Alien beasties, falling toward a gas giant's moon (Default)

Date: 2010-10-16 02:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] 83_tauri
Speaking personally, I have to say that I've come to prefer energy-efficient bulbs. When I had key-system electricity a few years ago, it really was the case that every penny counted, as it was so ridiculously expensive. Although the efficient bulbs cost more upfront, I found that using them knocked about 10% off my weekly electric bill.

I was quite surprised by this, so I did a quick estimation and it turns out that lighting can be quite expensive - the problem is that, unlike other appliances, lights will be on for hours at a time.

Also, the nice thing about the efficient bulbs is that they last a lot longer than, say, a Tesco cheapo-bulb (a.k.a click-blink-pop). The upshot is, I feel that they do make sense, particularly for low-income households.
83_tauri: Alien beasties, falling toward a gas giant's moon (Default)

Date: 2010-10-16 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] 83_tauri
Oh, all good points, certainly. And I will confess that I still use a single surviving incandescent in my timer-switched alarm lamp (which is a good thing, actually - when it inevitably goes plink-pop, I will have to get off my backside and sort my dysfunctional sleeping habits out!).

Oddly enough, re: any sort of painting, I've never had an issue with flourescents. (And given how picky I am generally, that's little short of a miracle...) Rather with me it seems to be the *level* of the light that's important, rather than the specific type. So if I can maximise the number of lights I have on, without having to feel too environmentally or financially guilty, all the better!

This has mainly become one of my 'windbag' issues due to a silly person they had on the news a couple of years ago. They were interviewed about this, and their argument against it was basically 'Oh my, this is Britain, we don't do Change, nothing can ever Change, it would be unBritish! Oh my, watch me swoon at the thought!' (And I'm not actually straw-manning that much there, either - they *did* actually denounce it all as unBritish!)

It's probably on YouTube somewhere - if it is, it's worth a watch, because it was quite funny in an inverse sort of way!
83_tauri: Alien beasties, falling toward a gas giant's moon (Default)

Date: 2010-10-16 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] 83_tauri
I know that there is such a thing as daylight-mimicing flourescents, actually. I was going to give them a go a while ago. I should probably dust that plan off, actually...
frith: Parking meter (Fail)

Date: 2010-10-16 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] frith
Incandescent light bulbs will be banned here in North America in a few years as well. I've been stocking up on 10,000 hour incadescent light bulbs. The 10,000 hour bulbs last as long as the compact fluorescents. Incandescents are simpler to manufacture, easier to recycle, use fewer resources, and are an essential element in the heated water trough in my barn (they keep the water ice free and discourage rodents). Compact fluorescents emit UV radiation that can affect paint colour in nearby surfaces, they grow dim with age, they grow dim at cold temperatures, their life expectancy is reduced if they are turned on and off frequently and they contain mercury. I do take advantage of the low wattage of compact fluorescents to increase the light in the kitchen (the ceiling fixture has a 60 watt limit). Eventually there will be LED "bulbs". LED's can last 60 years but I expect that part of the development of the LED "bulb" involves producing LED's with very short life spans.
ext_392011: (Default)


Date: 2010-10-17 08:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rankersbo.wordpress.com
I bought LED bulbs to replace some of the halogen spots we had in the Attic. (Well still have as we still own that house even though it's rented out to someone else).

I was doing a "You and your environment" course at the OU at the time. Yes the bulbs are not cheap, and the ones you can get in B&Q don't give out enough light. But even when you buy the larger units on the internet, you save enough energy to recoup the cost relatively quickly.

I did my own post on this a while back, and had a slightly different perspective.

chris: (power)

Date: 2010-10-16 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chris
The partial objection that I have to compact flourescents is the colour of the light they produce; get that cracked and I'm all over them. That said, Tesco seem to have some 24W CFs that claim to be somehow equivalent to 120W incandescents; if they're even nearly as bright as 100W incandescents then they may well be worth a try.
ext_392011: (Default)

Date: 2010-10-17 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rankersbo.wordpress.com
I find a 20W standard bulb does the job of a 100w OFI (old-fashioned-incandescent) easily. Problem is they usually sell 15w as comparable to the old 100w, which is where the idea that "they don't give out enough light" comes from. 15w CFLs usually don't match 100w OFI out in the field.

daweaver:   (Default)

Two notes

Date: 2010-10-17 09:37 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
1) Noting down research in the hope that someone (maybe me) might remember it: Pigovian Tax: A special tax levied on activites that create excess social costs, such as polluting the environment.

2) It's interesting to compare the disappearing incandescent lightbulbs with the disappearing cathode ray television set. The manufacturers have decided, independently and without external influence, to discontinue production of CRT sets, without regard to arguments that the CRT gives better pictures than the flat-panel variety. There's a hidden economic message in this, but I'm blown if I know what it is.
daweaver:   (Default)

Re: Two notes

Date: 2010-10-17 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
All of the above is true, though I find a poor-quality digital picture (of which there are a depressingly large number of examples) more watchable on CRT than LCD.

The CRT television set is off the shelves because of decisions from the manufacturers. The incandescent light bulb is off the shelves because of a decision from the regulators. From the customer's point of view, both markets are experiencing a reduction in choice, and that reduction in choice is (in part) from reasons external to the customers.

But no-one is seriously complaining about the death of the cathode ray. Is that because it's the operation of the "invisible hand" as opposed to the very visible hand of the regulators?

Anyway, here's the DW News report on the Heatball.
ext_392011: (Default)

Re: Two notes

Date: 2010-10-18 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rankersbo.wordpress.com
"People" don't resent any such thing. You should not dignify such childish beings with the name people.

Yes, I realise that it's counter productive not to take into account such bloody-minded attitudes. But lets not pretend it's a normal, or morally neutral attitude.

Re: Two notes

Date: 2010-10-22 02:00 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Well as an Engineer that description of economists is news to me!

I don't see that I was doing anything other than looking at the world as it is. I recognise the need to present things in a way that's not going to cause problematic levels of resistance.

Perhaps we need to ignore the problematic nature of certain people when discussing how to work round them. Because, yeah, maybe these discussions don't occur in a vacuum with only decent enlightened people present.

Personally I value informed scepticism. I value enquiring minds who question authority. I just don't like knee-jerk resentment of authority, or people who witlessly moan about the nanny state.

This is why I'm a supporter of politicians and not myself a politician.

matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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