Do you like low energy bulbs?

Want to share some knowledge of eco products. Or have you heard about any new eco projects that you want to share with the world?
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Stonehead
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Post: #80410 Stonehead
Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:25 pm

contadina wrote:There really seems to be a low energy lighting backlash in the press at the moment a small sample of headline in the past week include:

Low-energy bulbs 'could cause skin cancer'
Eczema Nightmare As Brits Move To Low-Energy Bulbs
Low-energy bulbs 'cause migraine'
Low-energy bulb disposal warning


When you read the first few paragraphs of these stories, you're told these are the facts "according to experts".

Only when you get right to the very end do you find they're not referring to people who have carried out properly reviewed studies, but to spokesman for various interest groups who are going on anecdotal evidence.

Someone's lupus flares up a week after they put in a compact fluorescent light and they attribute the flare up to the change of light.

Someone else has a migraine after spending 20 minutes sitting in a room with a CFL, and blames it on the CFL.

That's not a reliable indicator of cause and effect. What else did those people do and experience in the time leading up to their conditions flaring up or occurring?

We don't know.

Thoroughly investigated anecdotal evidence can help indicate where thorough, properly reviewed research is needed, but at the end of the day it's no more than a collection of folk stories.
Last edited by Stonehead on Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post: #80414 Shirley
Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:24 pm

good point Stoney!

My skin has certainly flared up since we've moved over to low energy bulbs but then it's also coincided with our move to this house and it's very acidic water... oh and I also stopped using mainstream shampoos and soaps etc, and started eating organic as much as possible... and oh... I get more fresh air than normal too.. perhaps that's it! Fresh air is bad for you. I also use my digital camera a lot...

It's an interesting point - I guess the low energy bulbs could be responsible for the skin problems, etc.. etc... but further research is needed before we can actually apportion the blame.

I don't have a problem with the slow light up of the CFL bulbs - it's positively beneficial when you need to put the light on in the middle of the night because your 4 year old needs to visit the loo... much easier on the eyes.
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Post: #80456 Muddypause
Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:31 am

Stoney's got it exactly right - these sort of claims are not establishing cause and effect, but association. In the same way that doing a rain dance will sometimes make it rain. Actually, you just associate two unrelated events and conclude that one causes the other.

Of course there is a whole lot that we, the average consumer, don't know about these things - we don't know how much of the ultra-violet spectrum is radiated by them, whether ultra-sonic frequencies are emitted, subtle magnetic fields, the effects of colour temperature upon our sense of well-being - this can make us easy prey to anyone who is interested in manipulating our opinions (look how <political rant warning> it's in the interests of capitalism to keep us consumers ignorant).

I've not noticed any difference in daily use - in fact I'd forgotten that I'd changed all my lights a while back. But I'm not sure I'd favour an outright ban (for example, as a CFL flickers 100 time a second it is possible for it to make rotating machinery - eg my table router - appear stationary (strobe effect), and this can have nasty consequences). I think the right approach is simply to make filament bulbs irrelevant - in 90% of cases there is no advantage to them. We could also encourage people to ask why they need so many lightbulbs in their house or why their officeblock is fully lit up 24 hours a day. That way, we don't have to turn people into criminals over a household lightbulb.
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Post: #80477 Cheezy
Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:31 am

My penny's worth. In the kitchen we have 6 GU10 "halogen " light fittings each rated for the 50watt GU10 bulb (ie 300 watts of 'leccie)

These build up a hell of heat (ie inefficent), so much so in the small space they recess into it tends to burn them out well before the 2000 hrs they're susposed to. So i switched to the 11 watt GU10 "50 watt replacement" flourescent.
Now this is a big saving in wattage, and they last longer (ment to do 10,000hrs) as they don't build up heat. I have several types from different sources, and I would say you pays your money....as the cheaper ones although they are a better yellow they take an age to warm up. My friend tried to use the 5 watt ones in his kitchen and they are useless at best (30 watt equivalent!) THe 11 watt ones however are a longer bulb and extent out of the recess...we don't mind them, but you might.

Last week I saw that B&Q were selling two LED GU10'sfor £8 , theyre meant to do 30,000 hrs and only use 1.2 watts!
This means I could r4epalce one of my old GU10's with nearly 42 of these!!!!.....HOWEVER, I have trialled these now they are OK, it's a bluey bright white, but as Martin says they are VERY directional, great if you are actually using them as a spot light to "spot" some thing, but not as good as the flourescent's for general lighting.
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So you know how great Salsify is as a veg, what about Cavero Nero,great leaves all through the winter , then in Spring sprouting broccolli like flowers! Takes up half as much room as broccolli

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Post: #80521 Shirley
Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:31 pm

We've got the GU10s in the kitchen... along with several other light fittings. At the moment the GU10s are popping fairly regularly (and fusing ALL the lights when they do)

total for our kitchen - 5 x 50w gu10 (always needing replaced)
3 x 25 watt g9 (replaced all three bulbs about 3 times in two years)
1 x cfl wall light (hasn't needed replacing)
and 4 under cupboard fluorescents that have stopped working.

we've also got 3 gu10 in the cooker hood that have also stopped working.

Oh... and even with all the working lights on the light in there is terrible and you are always in the shadow of yourself.

We are thinking of changing our light fittings - can anyone suggest the best way of lighting your kitchen?
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Post: #80527 Stonehead
Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:37 pm

I ripped out the trendy spotlights and downlights in our kitchen, replacing them with modern strip fluorescent fittings with electronic ballasts and daylight tubes. No nasty shadows, no colour casts and good even lighting throughout.

It doesn't look sexy, but neither does the rest of the kitchen or I! :mrgreen:
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Post: #80530 Cheezy
Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:55 pm

Shirlz wrote:We've got the GU10s in the kitchen... along with several other light fittings. At the moment the GU10s are popping fairly regularly (and fusing ALL the lights when they do)

total for our kitchen - 5 x 50w gu10 (always needing replaced)
3 x 25 watt g9 (replaced all three bulbs about 3 times in two years)
1 x cfl wall light (hasn't needed replacing)
and 4 under cupboard fluorescents that have stopped working.

we've also got 3 gu10 in the cooker hood that have also stopped working.

Oh... and even with all the working lights on the light in there is terrible and you are always in the shadow of yourself.

We are thinking of changing our light fittings - can anyone suggest the best way of lighting your kitchen?


If your prepared to change the fittings I would do as Stoney and use a low energy strip light in the centre of the room. I would then put low energy strip lights under cupboards above work surfaces to act as task lighting., and if there are any area's that are stuck in a corner, or say a breakfast bar/above the kitchen sink etc, where you may cast a shadow I would use the new GU10 LED as spot lights above you.

In the cooker hood I would definitely try the LED GU10's, and that'll be a massive 3.6watts! for the three. :lol: And this will give you an idea of what the LED's look like and how directional the light is.

If you wanted to try the cfl GU10's in your ceiling go for the 11 watter's. THey will definitely last much longer than the std halogen, I suspect like us they are popping because of the heat build up. Your fittings might be the ones which you can adjust the cage to accept the slightly longer cfl GU10 11 watt bulb. Or you can now buy new fittings to accept them.

In summary try before you change everything. I would try the LED's in your cooker to see if you like them, I would also replace a "popped" GU10 with one of the 11 watt cfl's to see how you get on "Megaman" ones are OK from B&Q
It's not easy being Cheezy
So you know how great Salsify is as a veg, what about Cavero Nero,great leaves all through the winter , then in Spring sprouting broccolli like flowers! Takes up half as much room as broccolli

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Post: #81630 Steve M
Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:33 pm

I have been using low energy bulbs for years - in fact I have just had to replace one that I have had about 9 or 10 years - it had moved house with me several times.

I don't mind them - they aren't as bright but have never given me
migranes or eczmer or anything like that. Howver at the end of the day natural light is the best thing for you.

(I apologise - here comes a bit of a rant!) the story, that fueled alot of the other stories int he press against using low-energy bulbs came originally form the environment agency. They seem to make a habit of doing this sort of thing - EA did a similar thing regarding real nappies a year or so ago - they issued a press release saying that Real nappies aren't better for the environemtn based on a life cycle comparision they had done with disposable nappies. This didn't include the impacts of disposal to landfill and also didn't consider modern real nappies that can be waste in the washing machine with out the need for chemicals or boiling. I notice with the light bulb story they missed the oportunity to highlight the benefits, e.g. lower energy bills, they last longer and just focus on what could be percieved to be the negatives.

I just think that as the body responsible for the environmetn in the UK they should also promote the benefits more..... it really bugs me....rant over (deep breath and relax).

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Do you like low energy bulbs?

Post: #82081 marshlander
Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:43 am

I have no problems with low energy bulbs either - just about all our lamps are switched now but I still use an old daylight bulb for sewing.

We also have a moonlight on the landing which is enough light (dim green glow) to see your way to the loo and back withought falling down the stairs. It costs only 1/2p per day to run if used 24/7

There are lots of hideous chemicals used in the electronics industry, arsenic and phosphorous to name but two. The mercury must be disposed of safely of course.
In the end we all want to use less energy - right?
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Post: #82100 Stonehead
Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:45 am

Steve M wrote:(I apologise - here comes a bit of a rant!) the story, that fueled alot of the other stories int he press against using low-energy bulbs came originally form the environment agency. They seem to make a habit of doing this sort of thing - EA did a similar thing regarding real nappies a year or so ago - they issued a press release saying that Real nappies aren't better for the environemtn based on a life cycle comparision they had done with disposable nappies. This didn't include the impacts of disposal to landfill and also didn't consider modern real nappies that can be waste in the washing machine with out the need for chemicals or boiling. I notice with the light bulb story they missed the oportunity to highlight the benefits, e.g. lower energy bills, they last longer and just focus on what could be percieved to be the negatives.


They also failed to spell out the fact that incandescent bulbs actually put more mercury into the environment than is found in CFLs. Burning fossil fuels releases mercury (amid a whole host of heavy metals).

As incandescents use more energy, more fuel is burned and much more mercury is released by using a single 100W incandescent bulb than is found inside one 11W CFL.

Relatively speaking, CFLs' mercury content would only be an issue if something like 80 to 90 per cent of our electricity came from renewables. Only then would CFLs put more mercury into the environment than released by electricity generation.

The problem is that many people have a tendency to see only the tangible - a CFL in their living room has mercury in it, shock horror. It's hard for them to grasp that an incandescent bulb in their living room is actually dumping much more mercury into the environment in someone else's back garden.

It's also a convenient get out clause when they don't want to make the slight adjustments to their lifestyle that energy efficient bulbs can involve.

"Oooh, I can't wait 30 seconds for the brightest light, and I look ugly in that light, and the bulbs have mercury in them. I know, I'll buy 30 year's supply of incandescents."

Sigh. Chickens have more sense.
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Post: #83133 Jackie
Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:17 pm

Where in these energy saving bulbs is that mercury actually? I broke one today. The glass broke. Now his bulb is sitting on my outdoor landing and I don't know what to do with it.

Help!

--

Further, I have been looking for energy saving bulbs to replace some more in my house. There are so many different products. What is good to buy? And how would I know?

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Post: #83139 Martin
Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:33 pm

I'd be tempted to sweep it up carefully, pack securely in a box, and post to
Melanie Phillips at the Daily Mail :mrgreen:
Then I'd console myself with the thought that not so many years ago, if you'd had your temperature taken, it would probably have been using a very breakable glass thermometer under your tongue containing oodles more mercury than a house full of cfl lightbulbs........and if you had any tooth fillings, they were like as not "amalgam" - an incredibly dodgy mix of mercury and silver, which leeched it direct into your system! :roll:
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.
Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

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Jackie
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Post: #83148 Jackie
Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:09 am

Well if that lamp got so little mercury, why don't I just throw it to to waste bin?

When I lost an amalgan filling to a taffy I didn't carry it to any special place either. :roll:

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Post: #83179 Stonehead
Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:39 pm

Avoid the Kosnic GU10 LEDs (2.2W). They're supposedly rated at 50,000 hours but all of ours failed within 12 months. The last one went this morning — with a bang and blowing out the glass front plate. It's the third of six to do that; the other three simply stopped working.

That's almost £50 gone.

In contrast, I've changed a number of light fittings in the byre and workshop today to take CFLs and two of the Phillips CFLs I fitted are getting on for 10 years old. I've definitely had my money's worth out of them.
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Post: #83263 Shirley
Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:47 pm

thanks for your suggestions stoney and cheezy - am thinking that we'll rip out the trendy spots and go for the striplight (not that we'll be having any strippers over... errrm,,,,!)

We've got the low energy bulbs elsewhere in the house and I don't have a problem with them - apart from the ones outdoor because they do take a fair while to brighten up and yet you only need them for a short time. It's often time to turn them off again before they've reached full brightness.

Some of the cfls we've had for years and have moved them from house to house.
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