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Earth Technology

ESL — a CRT-Based Replacement For CFL Lights Without the Mercury 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the yet-another-bright-idea dept.
New submitter An dochasac writes "Everyone knows incandescent lights are inefficient little space heaters which happen to convert 5% of their incoming energy to light. Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are more efficient, but they contain toxic, brain-eating mercury and emit a greenish light. LEDs are also efficient and last longer, but if their blueish 'white' light doesn't mess up your melatonin balance, their price is high enough to wreck your checking account balance and give you the blues. A company called Vu1 has come up with something called Electron Stimulated Luminance (ESL) lights which claim to solve the mercury and price problem with a light based on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology. These lights have the warm color balance of incandescents and are compatible with dimmer switches. The article has further ESL details along with an explanation of why it's still a bad idea to say these are 'trash can safe.'"
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ESL — a CRT-Based Replacement For CFL Lights Without the Mercury

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  • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:37PM (#39331165) Homepage Journal

    But we're finally trying to improve the lightbulb again. Thanks, energy crisis.

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:55PM (#39331409)
      People have been trying to improve the lightbulb ever since it was invented. They have, so far, been unsuccessful, which is why they had to lobby the government to get rid of traditional incandescent lightbulbs, so that they could sell the "improved" bulbs they had developed.
      If they had actually improved on the traditional incandescent, they would not need to have a law passed in order to displace it, people would have switched. Do people need to have laws passed against old computers to get people to buy new ones?
      • by Kenja (541830) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:02PM (#39331501)
        The LED bulbs I'm using sure seem to be an improvement. But perhaps you're using some metric other then price, quality, efficiency or environmental impact.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          ... perhaps you're using some metric other then price, quality, efficiency or environmental impact.

          Yes. Quality of the light (not quality of the physical bulb).

        • by DanTheStone (1212500) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:09PM (#39331591)

          But perhaps you're using some metric other then price, quality, efficiency or environmental impact.

          Maybe he wants to use them in his easy-bake oven.

          • Some bulbs are specifically designed to be used in overhead heat lamps. Typically used in a bathroom where you want bright light and lots of projected heat. Psychologically and physically, they do wonders for those who live in Seattle, WA and Alaska. Personally, they've pulled me out of a funk after living a week with overcasting drizzle and near freezing temps.

            • by Hatta (162192)

              SAD is ameliorated by blue wavelengths. Heat lamps radiate near the red end of the spectrum. Heat lamps are really just the poor mans sauna.

        • by green1 (322787) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:24PM (#39331797)

          Price: LED $27.98, Incandescent $0.43 (Comparison of 60w incandescent vs 9w LED (approximately same brightness) at local home depot store)
          Efficiency: 9w vs 60w, that's an improvement.
          quality: very little ever goes wrong with incandescent bulbs, they work until they eventually burn out, often many years later. LEDs theoretically last longer, but there is a lot more that can go wrong with them, and I've seen many reports of individual LEDs within the arrays not working, or annoying flickers developing etc. Quality may be a wash, but it certainly isn't something I would easily award to the LED side.
          Environmental impact... this is really hard to tell, sure the LED uses less electricity, but there is a LOT more involved in the manufacture as well including various components that are not exactly great environmentally. Additionally they are generally manufactured overseas and not locally as Incandescent bulbs are, so there's the shipping impact to add in to that as well. and when it comes to disposal, incandescents are just glass and metal, LED bulbs leave a bit more of a question as to their environmental impact.

          Now for the bad news. I also can't give you usability. Sure they work just fine in standard fixtures, however they don't work in a couple of extremely common applications. 1) oven lights 2) microwave lights 3) enclosed fixtures (apparently the electronics can't handle the heat they generate) 4) dimmers (sure they CLAIM to dim, but I have never found any type of bulb other than incandescent that actually does, and I've tried quite a few)

          Incandescent bulbs have 2 huge drawbacks, lifespan and efficiency. But they have everything else going for them. So far those 2 drawbacks are the only thing any of the replacements do have going for them, at the expense of all the others.

          People want an improved light bulb, they just haven't seen one yet.

          • by PRMan (959735)
            I got the cheapo LEDs at Home Depot and they dim just great.
          • by Technician (215283) on Monday March 12, 2012 @06:08PM (#39333065)

            FYI, they work great in microwave ovens. They are located outside the cavity and survive the short duty cycle better than any other bulb. The location is fan cooled. An LED bulb in this use will see low run hours due to intermittent use so a 2000 - 6000 hr LED will typically outlast the magnetron which has a typical 1000 hour life. The mid base 16 Chip LED bulb made for fan lights fits most microwave ovens directly.

        • by mhajicek (1582795)
          Do you have an affordable 100 Watt equivalent LED bulb that fits in the physical envelope of a 100 Watt incandescent? I haven't seen one.
        • by Hatta (162192) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:37PM (#39331991) Journal

          But perhaps you're using some metric

          Spectrum.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        Are you against having any gas milage requirements for cars, too?

        Or energy efficiency requirements for homes, businesses, etc?

        • Are you against having any gas milage requirements for cars, too?

          Or energy efficiency requirements for homes, businesses, etc?

          Yes...I am in favor of freedom. I do not believe that some government bureaucrat can better determine how I should spend my money than I can.

        • I dunno about him, but I'm certainly against such things. I think your mistake is that you believe the government cares about the environment and that these laws in some way help it. The environment doesn't contribute to campaigns.
          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            Why did *Richard Nixon* sign the law creating the EPA then?

            I'm "for freedom", as another person says (in fact, I'm voting for Ron Paul), but just like we have other societal agreements (e.g. paying for roads, and _some_ schooling), not polluting the air/water/ground has to be done through laws, since it is more cost effective to just dump it in the sewer/river/air.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Well put.

        I know I would never buy another CFL if it wasn't for Congress forcing me too (because they outlawed incandescents). CFLs are the perfect example of an "improved" product that is actually worse than what it is replacing. Kinda like Windows 8 or Vista.

        And I suspect if anybody did a study, they'd find CFLs actually use more energy & increase the carbon footprint more than incandescents, because of the extra energy needed to ship them from China & then drive the dead CFL to a recycling cente

        • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:31PM (#39332633)

          And I suspect if anybody did a study, they'd find CFLs actually use more energy & increase the carbon footprint more than incandescents, because of the extra energy needed to ship them from China & then drive the dead CFL to a recycling center to dispose of the hazardous mercury.

          As opposed to...the energy needed to ship incandescents from China, then drive them in garbage trucks to a landfill site?

          It would be similar to how the ACEEE's study showed EVs are no cleaner than a 45mpg gasoline vehicle (and less clean than a natural gas Civic or 88mpg Lupo TDI).

          Which completely ignores the fact that electricity is independent of it's energy source, whereas natural gas, diesel and petrol are all fossil fuels which can't be easily substituted.

        • by raygundan (16760) on Monday March 12, 2012 @05:53PM (#39332901) Homepage

          Incandescents are not outlawed. Efficiency standards were set, and met, by improved incandescents. You can buy them (and have been able to since at least 2008, when I bought my first) at Home Depot (and probably other places) under the Philips Halogena Energy Saver brand name (and probably others here as well).

          • In Europe they are outlawed... rather than do the right thing and insist on a minimum efficiency standard, they just banned the higher wattage incandescents first and basically rammed CFLs down our throats... I strongly suspect some kickbacks from the CFL manufacturers helped this... Same thing happened with catalytic convertors for autos... the technology was mandated rather than a standard set for emissions that could be met by any tech that could get there... again, someone with connections had positione
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        Actually, the light bulb has been improved on. Halogen lamps are still incandescents with all their drawbacks and advantages but they are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescents.

        They do have the added disadvantage that you need to keep the bulb very clean; however, most household halogen bulbs sold are either drop-in replacements for normal lightbulbs (which means they have an outer bulb that doesn't need to be kept clean) or are reflector lamps for sockets like MR16, which also come with a l
        • Then why did they need to pass a law doing away with traditional incandescents to get people to buy them (except for special applications)?
        • Halogens don't improve on the physics of an incandescent though. The luminous efficiency improvements are due to the fact that the halogen cycle lets you run the lamp hotter, which pushes more of the peak of the black body emitter to where you want it. It's still, fundamentally, a black body emitter.

    • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:02PM (#39331493) Homepage

      But we're finally trying to improve the lightbulb again. Thanks, energy crisis.

      I'm not sure that they know what they're talking about when they say the "bluish 'white' light" of LEDs. Maybe five years ago white LEDs had a blue tint, but these days you can buy consumer LED bulbs in about any color temperature you like, including the "warm" light indistinguishable from incandescents.

      • by crath (80215)

        ...silly and ignorant ideas in the article about the color of various light technologies...

        Fluorescent lights and LED lights can be manufactured in any color desired; it's simply a matter of choosing the correct phosphors. The fact that lamp manufacturers don't bother to manufacture lamps in a particular color(s) has nothing to do with ESL being any better or worse than other technologies.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:40PM (#39331213)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_stimulated_luminescence [wikipedia.org]

    Slashdot needs a copy of the wiki alertbox: "This article appears to be written like an advertisement".

    "Light is generated instantly when power is applied." So how are they doing the thermionic emission of electrons... cold cathode which I thought had serious amps/meter limits, or ?

  • by sehlat (180760) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:42PM (#39331247)

    There are still good uses for incandescents, particularly in environments where the heat is a major benefit.

    As an example, my wife's theater group has a detached wooden shed which is used to store costumes, wigs, etc. She keeps a 60-watt light bulb burning in that shed to keep the place warm enough that condensation and mildew aren't a problem. Since the bulb hangs in open space from the ceiling, it's a lot safer and much more efficient than any space heater, and it's also cost effective, since, as noted, it keeps mildew down.

    • by Millennium (2451) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:47PM (#39331297) Homepage

      And don't forget the lava lamps.

      Please, won't someone think of the lava lamps?

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Given how little heat is produced by a 60-watt bulb, an electric blanket would likely work just as well if not better, and be just as safe. I'm not saying the light bulb should be replaced in her use case, but if incandescent disappear, she will be just fine with the widely available replacements.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:57PM (#39331433)

      Don't forget traffic lights. In cities up north that have replaced their traffic lights with LED units they are having problems with the lights getting obscured by snow and ice. The old incandescent bulbs kept the temperature up and melted the snow,

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        They could put tiny electric heating elements inside there to keep them warm and still end up with a more efficient system.

        • not in the north were electricity come from some hydro-electric mega-damn

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            Why does that matter? My point was the dedicated heaters in the right spots combined with the LEDs will still be more efficient than the old incandescents. Your location doesn't determine how efficient the incandescents were...

            You don't care about ice and stuff on the sides/back - only the crap hanging off the shields. Put de-icers on the rims of the shields and it should keep them clear enough.

    • At least if you pull down the blinds. But then, so are all other electrical heaters, and indeed pretty much most electrical equipment. Light, and all other radiated energy, all ends up as heat in the end. The only difference is how a heater distributes the heat, and and how convenient that process is.

      Reverse-cycle air conditioners are an exception, as they're heat pumps, not radiators.

    • There are still good uses for incandescents, particularly in environments where the heat is a major benefit.

      As an example, my wife's theater group has a detached wooden shed which is used to store costumes, wigs, etc. She keeps a 60-watt light bulb burning in that shed to keep the place warm enough that condensation and mildew aren't a problem. Since the bulb hangs in open space from the ceiling, it's a lot safer and much more efficient than any space heater,

      Neither lightbulbs nor space heaters are particul

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      I hate CFLs, but if she was unable to get a 60-watt incandescent she could just substitute a 70-watt CFL (200 equivalent) and get about the same level of heat.

      Or a small portable heater (they make them in small 60 watt sizes).

    • by mhajicek (1582795)
      In Minnesota the incandescent bulbs heating effect is useful about 50% of the time.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:45PM (#39331271)

    A light bulb with no "native resolution!"

  • LED FUD? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:49PM (#39331323)

    You can get LEDs in any color balance you want now, including very warm color balances. For example:
    http://www.cree.com/products/xlamp_mtg.asp

    And price is falling fast:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitz's_Law

    The lighting industry is rapidly gearing up for a complete transition to LED lighting.

    The melatonin study? The comparison point is high pressure sodium, which produces very yellow light. I'd be surprised if there is anything specific to LEDs as compared to any other light with decent Color Rendering Index, other than that they are efficient enough to be a candidate to replace High Pressure Sodium.

    • by djdanlib (732853)

      Ah, Cree. They are in just about everything.

      I like how they have such a significant spike of UV production that they feel the need to include a warning telling you to never look directly at the light.

      I'm still waiting for theatrical LED lighting to be bright enough to use from the back of an auditorium, without having to buy the super high end Philips stuff.

    • Re:LED FUD? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jittles (1613415) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:38PM (#39332005)
      I just bought a bunch of LED bulbs this weekend at Costco. They have coupons right now. They were about $3 a bulb, and I think they put out great light. At an estimated $0.30 a year in operating cost, I think I'll keep them!
    • You can get LEDs in any color balance you want now, including very warm color balances.

      Not to mention, they aren't that expensive (especially for downlight replacements) and their price is falling fast. I haven't been able to find many ESL bulbs, but a quick search online reveals that they aren't exactly competitively priced compared to LEDs, and their wattage seems to be a bit more than CFLs for the same amount of light (and both are more than LEDs).

      Additionally, LEDs, if they last long enough, will cost less money in the long run. I've affordably replaced most of the bulbs in my house and h

  • by RoboRay (735839) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:49PM (#39331329)

    I just discovered a use for that old CRT monitor buried in my closet!

  • Now I can be sure that my lighting solution can deliver true blacks for better contrast
  • You can get your choice of color temperatures from a fluorescent: they make different phosphor mixes for different applications.

    LED lights can even have their color balance changed on the fly.

  • Warm white? Yuck! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:54PM (#39331399)

    I go out of my way to find daylight or cool-white bulbs. I have been living with cool white for over 10 years and when I see a regular incandescent bulb outputting that putrid yellow color, I cringe. It is awful. This is the year 2012. Why do we still want our artificial light to be the same color of candles used back in the stupid ages?

    • Color temperature. Incandescents range from 2700K to 3000K. CFLs have just now started to emulate that where before they started off at 5000K (bluish white). Personally, I can't stand first generation 5000K CFLs. You have this bluish white color and everything else in grey shadows. It's like I'm in a freezing cold morgue. How in the hell can people live like that? I prefer burning candles over that shit.

    • by westlake (615356)

      Why do we still want our artificial light to be the same color of candles used back in the stupid ages?

      Think of the choices you have made in clothing and in interior design:

      Materials. Colors. Textures, Patterns --- all will be affected by any change in lighting. You wife won't take kindly if your high-efficiency lamps turn her newly remodeled kitchen and bath into the CSI Morgue.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:55PM (#39331413)

    LEDs are about ~$30 on amazon. They've dropped about half what they were two years ago, so not really that expensive (they last a lifetime). I'm tempted to buy one sometime.

    CFLs:
    - are dim for the first 4-5 minutes, so you have to sit and wait before you can read your book (or walk down the basement steps)
    - filled with mercury
    - have to drive the burned-out ones to the landfill (thus increasing carbon footprint) (and no I don't CFL or battery recycling where I live)
    - have to ship them in from China (again increasing the carbon footprint)
    - they don't last long in my fixtures because they are upside down (trapped heat kills CFL electronics)
    - or startup when outside (subfreezing temps)
    - and every dimmable CFL I've ever tried went "zzztt" and died within an hour.

    I wish the incandescent bulbs were still available. They didn't use as much power as the CFLs do (I'm including the power to ship from China & drive them to the landfill). Or frustrate me. Or require special handling. And they were built here on this continent (close to market).

    • by nschubach (922175)

      The last time I checked (2 weeks ago?), my local Wal-Mart (and Meijer) still had Incandescent bulbs.

    • Re:I hate CFLs (Score:4, Informative)

      by hankwang (413283) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:08PM (#39331567) Homepage

      [incandescent bulbs] didn't use as much power as the CFLs do (I'm including the power to ship from China & drive them to the landfill).

      One 12 W CFL, equivalent with 60 W incandescent, over 5000 hours: electricity savings = 225 kWh = 800 MJ electrical energy = 2 GJ heat of combustion in a power plant.

      Equivalent car fuel @ 35 MJ/liter: 57 liters (15 gallons). How far do you live from the landfill?

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        My 60 watt equivalents are 15 not 12 watts. Also they never last 5000 hours..... more like 1/2 a year which figuring 6 hours in the morning + evening == 1100 hours. Adjusting your math I get:

        36 kWh saved. 128 MJ saved.
        That's just 3.6 liters of gasoline.
        I could easily burn that up in the drive to the landfill + shipping the CFL from China to the EU or US (and probably shipping it back since most electronics are recycled in China not here) + transport of the mercury to the disposal site. Net producti

        • by tragedy (27079)

          But have you ever in your life taken a trip to the landfill _just_ to throw out some lightbulbs, or have they just been among the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of other items you had in the load?

        • You know... those incandescent bulbs? They come from China too. And they only last a fraction of the life, so you have to ship a lot more of them, which should easily outweigh the extra trip back for recycling.
        • by rahvin112 (446269)

          You have atrocious power quality if you are only getting 1100 hours. I bought my home 8 years ago and promptly replaced almost every bulb with CFL's. I've yet to replace one, yet the one major fixture I have that still has incandescents has been replaced 4 times at about $6 a pop (decorative bulbs). In fact I have one CFL light that's on nearly every minute we are in the room and still going strong 8 years later (god knows how many hours, wouldn't be surprised if it's upwards of 10,000 hours at this point).

          • I also have yet to replace a single CFL bulb from the set I installed 6 years ago. I just used generic Costco CFLs that were something like $2-4 apiece.

      • One 12 W CFL, equivalent with 60 W incandescent, over 500 minutes (in bathroom used by males, dies from on/off cycle life)...

        Bulbs don't just run. Which is an implicit assumption in you oft repeated analysis.

    • by djdanlib (732853)

      I want good LEDs, but CFLs have been good enough for many of my purposes so far.

      CFLs:
      - are dim for the first 4-5 minutes, so you have to sit and wait before you can read your book (or walk down the basement steps)

      Perfect for bathroom lights, if you rent and can't install dimmer switches! Also, they are quite good for a lamp in your living room when you have friends over to watch a movie, so that you don't cause everyone pain after the movie's over.

      - have to drive the burned-out ones to the landfill (thus increasing carbon footprint) (and no I don't CFL or battery recycling where I live)

      A lot of the stores that sell them will take them. There are a lot of laws requiring them to do so in various places, so check that out. Do you have a Home Depot / Lowe's / Walmart / anything l

      • by mhajicek (1582795)
        A common failure mode for CFLs is physical breakage (at least in my house with three cats and a nine year old kid). In that case the broken pieces go in the trash. I'd like LEDs but I can't find bright enough ones that aren't enormous, they tend to shine mostly in one direction, and I'm worried about them lasting as advertised. It's also hard to budget $50+ per light bulb up front.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      4-5 minutes? You're smoking some serious grass or something.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Welcome to slashdot where exaggeration of negative myths about green tech are pretty much par for the course. CFL's are satan's work. Electric cars are worse than gasoline cars. Solar power is doomed. Etc.

    • LEDs are about ~$30 on amazon. They've dropped about half what they were two years ago, so not really that expensive (they last a lifetime).

      Well, not what I'd call a lifetime; typical LED bulbs have lifespans rated around 12 years or so of 6 hour/day use.

    • - filled with mercury

      That's a bit hyperbolic. There's only a very small quantity of mercury in CFLs.
      Still, mercury, especially vapor, from a broken bulb is a concern.

      I believe there are CFL bulbs made in the USA, but perhaps they're not available where you are.

    • by Guppy (12314)

      I wish the incandescent bulbs were still available.

      Well, Halogens are technically a special subtype of Incandescents, capable of meeting all your requirements and suitable for use as a drop-in replacement for your beloved bulbs. Power efficiency is only slightly improved compared to standard Incandescent though.

    • by jittles (1613415)
      As I posted above, I bought a bunch of LED lights this weekend at Costco. They were about $3 a bulb with automatic coupons applied at the register. I like them a lot. Estimated cost per year: $0.30.
    • by PRMan (959735)
      Again with the mercury? It's .4mg per bulb. Old thermometers had 500mg. The old Honeywell wall thermostats had 3000mg. Even tuna, that people EAT, has 0.048 mg of mercury. If you eat 10 cans of tuna, you've eaten more mercury than is in a CFL.
    • I am ditching all my CFLs when they die for LEDs. Home Depot sells a bunch of nice ones. They aren't too expensive, and they dim properly. Their Ecosmart ones are the ones I get for most of my lighting because I like the higher colour temperature. For my living room I like the Philips AmbientLED A19. It is a real replacement for a standard A19 bulb. Same size and everything. They call it 60 watt equivalent but I measure the light output to be equal to a GE Reveal 75 watt bulb. Has a "warm white" which I don

  • CRTs eh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Didn't CRTs have to use leaded glass to prevent the users from being bathed in X-Rays?

    Seems to me a small detail or two is being overlooked here.

  • From TFA:

    Canada's $0.25 per pound e-waste charge

    Canada has used the metric system for decades (switching back around the time the US said they would switch as well). Why would they charge per pound for electronic waste?

  • I'm not deeply familiar with the details of incandescent light development, but I was always under the impression that the big challenge was, you know, just making them work at all without burning out in a short time. Did they really work hard to find the optimal "warm color balance" before they were considered successful? I doubt it. I suspect that at the time the critics were going on about the harsh glare of the incandescent lamp and waxing poetic about the superior warm color balance of the candle fl

    • I'm not deeply familiar with the details of incandescent light development, but I was always under the impression that the big challenge was, you know, just making them work at all without burning out in a short time. Did they really work hard to find the optimal "warm color balance" before they were considered successful? I doubt it. I suspect that at the time the critics were going on about the harsh glare of the incandescent lamp and waxing poetic about the superior warm color balance of the candle flame.

      They didn't need to work hard to find the optimal balance for incandescents, because it's inherent in their design - they're black body radiators, same as candle flame or sun, so they've got that nicely distributed spectrum that feels more "natural" to our eyes.

  • by madbavarian (1316065) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:15PM (#39331649)

    Their ads claim that it has similar efficiency to a CFL, but that is far from true for the CFL's one finds at Home Depot or similar.

    The company's VU1 is 600 Lumens and uses 19.5 watts. (ref: http://www.jetsongreen.com/2011/11/vu1-esl-r30-light-bulb-lowes.html [jetsongreen.com] ) This comes out to 30 Lumens per watt.

    A typical under $4 CFL from home depot puts out 1500 Lumens using 23 watts for 65 Lumens per watt or more than twice as much light for the same input power. (ref: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100686995/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=100%20watt%20cfl&storeId=10051 [homedepot.com] )

  • by Guppy (12314) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:40PM (#39332027)

    A couple years back, I wanted to get some perspective on just how much mercury is in a CFL. After looking up values for a typical CFL bulb, it turned out the entire mercury content of the bulb was equivalent to 4-5 pounds of swordfish.

    Not sure if that's an endorsement for the safety of CFLs, or a warning to the effects of bio-accumulation on seafood.

  • I can't really see the point at all in why we in the nordic countries would need to change at all ... its stupid as shit since we need to heat our homes 8 months of the year anyway.

    So what if they incandescent light-bulbs only produce light from 5% of the energy used. The rest go to heat ... to heat our homes ... which we would have done anyway. The rest of the year we don't use lights indoor that much since we've 18-24h sunlight here anyway.
    • by PRMan (959735)
      I agree with you. For Nordic countries. But for Southern California, where I leave my AC on 24/7/365 (it doesn't come on that much, but probably comes on over 200 days a year) you definitely don't want to be heating the same thing you are trying to cool.
  • by Niscenus (267969) <ericzen@nosPaM.ez-net.com> on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:38PM (#39334489) Homepage Journal

    You know what's high efficiency, has long term cost benefits and is environmentally friendly?
    Sulfur Lamps!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur_lamp [wikipedia.org]

    Best use, however, is piping the light, as installing them into a room comes with many annoyances, like communication interference and microwave ballast placement. However, I must admit, they have some great uses, and currently, nothing beats them for central lighting...they glow a Fusor Test-fire purple when they first get started; how awesome is that?

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