Wednesday, December 03, 2008

On Light Bulbs

So, we understand that good old tungsten (incandescent) light bulbs are to be phased out. To be replaced by "energy efficient" bulbs that produce less light, take time to warm up and reach operating levels and contain toxic levels of mercury that will require special disposal (read, drive them to your local re-cycling center).

Those halogen downlighter lamps aren't much better - it seems they have a tendency to blow circuit breakers when they fail and are also a pain to replace. Our local electrician, a nice guy, replaces old ladies' downlighter bulbs for free because they simply cannot do it themselves.

The answer, we are told, is to stock pile a load of tungsten bulbs. But due to modern product diversity we now have bayonet cap and screw cap bulbs in various wattages and physical shapes and sizes.

As someone said recently: "And this is called progress?"

Progress is a strange word these days - look at this quote from the link:

On September 27, 2007, the government in the United Kingdom announced plans to phase out the sale of incandescent light bulbs by 2011.[18] Under the plan, retailers will voluntarily decline to stock 150 watt bulbs from January 2008, 100 watt bulbs from January 2009, 40 watt bulbs in 2010, and all remaining bulbs by 2011. These plans are voluntary, however they have had wide support from retailers and consumers. The initiative has, however, been criticised by environmental groups such as Greenpeace, and other political parties, who believe mandatory measures should be introduced.

I am not sure what the difference is between a "voluntary decline" and "mandatory measures" in that ultimately there will be no choice, regardless.