Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Man, South Carolina has some Bulbs, don't they?

So, South Carolina is butching up to the federal beauroweenies over the incandescent bulb ban.
They are working legislation through the system to legalize production of incandescent bulbs in the state, for sale only in the state of South Carolina. I see an email in my near future to my state senator. This is Texas damnit, you let those S.C. boys upstage us?
I found my way to this tidbit via IOTW, which links to The Foundry.
Aside from South Carolina taking its own bulbs into its own hands, my favorite quote regarding cfl bulbs is:
And they’re more expensive. But that’s all right, says the Department of Energy, because they use less energy than incandescents and last longer. Although, as I mentioned on C-SPAN last week, studies have shown that the energy savings from CFLs aren’t as great as initially purported. California utilities have spent nearly $550 million to subsidize CFL bulbs for its consumers, and these utilities were eager to see what kind of savings they were getting to subsidize bulb purchases. It turned out that the savings weren’t nearly as high as the electric utility PG&E thought they would be.
but..that's all right, it's a feature, not a bug.
There's a missing bit of info in the article. If you break an incandescent bulb it implodes and sucks some of the C02 out of the atmosphere. (take that algore) Ok, so I made that part up.
If you break a CFL, you must immediately evacuate your domicile while holding your breath, don tyvek bunny suits with HEPA breathing filters, call in a HAZMAT clean up crew, and dutifully remove the contents in a ziplock baggie to your nearest big box hardware store for disposal, due to the mercury in the curlycue bulb. Following which, big box hardware store will dutifully dispose of it in the nearest landfill. (ok ... I made that part up too, it actually gets exported to Nicaragua where convenience store owners build their mansions)

The other buzz that's been rounding the interwebs for quite some time are the led bulbs. I've had lighting consultants pushing led lighting for the better part of a decade. Even now they are very expensive. They always get cut from the lighting budget. It's gotten to the point where I just want to tell them not to waste my time with trying to sell the LED fixtures.
LEDs are amazing technology to be sure, but energy efficient, meh, not so much.
If you run the numbers on the individual LEDs they look astounding with respect to energy consumption.
There is one little problem. It's known as a transformer, which is needed to drive the LEDs. Mister transformer is not so efficient, and as a by product wastes a great deal of energy generating heat.
I was completely on the LED bandwagon until recently when I had one of my lighting consultants admit that the LED lighting he was proposing was less energy efficient than the less expensive metal halide fixtures that were the alternate. The magic just isn't there any more.
Yes, I've seen all the test data, but the fact of the matter for both CFLs and LEDs is that the energy savings comes from producing less light. The argument that the color temperature and brightness of the CFL and LED lamps compensate is just plain bunk. This I can see with my own eyes.

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud of my neighboring state! Time for us to step up too. Nothing in the MSM about the last GE light bulb plant in the US shutting down earlier this year either.


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