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Topic # 23178 20-Jun-2008 22:33
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Okay, so our government is going to ban sales of incandescents in favour of CFLs.. being curious, I've tried to hunt down "What does that mean exactly"? So far this is what I have been able to piece together:

1. All news stories are rehashes of one media statement - most are just reprinting the same AP story which provides no detail.

2. This article had a little extra quote explaining this was a import-for-sales ban. You can still sell existing stock, and you can still import for your own personal use: http://news.theage.com.au/nz-govt-to-ban-oldstyle-light-bulbs-20080617-2rwb.html (yay for Australians who can do real reporting!)

3. This website http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz covers a strategy document http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/pdfs/advisorygroups/pjtteam/LESG/Efficient-Lighting-Strategy.pdf. But none of this is specific. In fact from what I understand ALL forms of lighting must meet efficiency standards, and will be enforced from next year onwards. To me, that means if anyone creates an efficient incandescent, this will NOT be banned. And most likely an inefficient CFL could be banned...

Okay, so that still leaves many questions unanswered:

1. Will I still be able to buy a 250W+ heat lamp for the bathroom? Or is this banned? Especially considering the lamp is more for heating rather than lighting.

2. What about decorative lights? e.g coloured, etc

3. What about dimming switches or lamps? Dimming CFLs are quite expensive and not really suitable sometimes.

4. Outdoor security lights?

5. Torch lights?

6. Do I really need to put an expenisve light in rarely used cupboards and rooms?

7. And so what if 95% of an incandescent is heat - in the winter I may find that is enough to keep my well insulated house warm, and in the summer, I barely use the lights anyway...

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BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 139505 20-Jun-2008 22:41
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And because of the mercury in th CFL, make sure you don't break them. If you break don't use a vacumm cleaner. Use a wet wipe, and dispose of the whole thing - wipe included - in sealed plastic bags.

They are actually a danger to the environment and health... If they break and when disposed at end of life (of the lamp of course).




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  Reply # 139513 20-Jun-2008 23:28
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freitasm: And because of the mercury in th CFL, make sure you don't break them. If you break don't use a vacumm cleaner. Use a wet wipe, and dispose of the whole thing - wipe included - in sealed plastic bags.


I think they also suggest that you dispose of the clothes you were wearing at the time.

The amount of mercury is now so low also that in terms of profit margins it in un-economical to recycle the mercury as well.




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  Reply # 139517 20-Jun-2008 23:59
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The amount of Mercury in a CFL is much less than the amount that would be in a typical 4' fluorescent tube.

These tubes are already used in the millions and far more likely to be broken in garbage crushers.

But no problem, the office cleaners will deal with them...

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  Reply # 139523 21-Jun-2008 06:44
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You can get mercury free ones now too (haven't got the link but it was a school fundraising site that sells them).
One thing that annoys me is people banging on about the "harsh white light"  from cfl's - you can buy whatever you like! Cool white, warm white or daylight.
We have 90% cfl's in the house: Philips Tornado warm whites for light fittings, and Alume 15w R80's for downlights. No one even notices that they are not incandecents.

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  Reply # 139528 21-Jun-2008 08:08
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Mattnzl: You can get mercury free ones now too (haven't got the link but it was a school fundraising site that sells them).



The "Mercury Free CFLs" from the school fund raiser are most likely Low Mercury types. Mercury free CFL using Xenon do exist but they are only 30% as efficient as Mercury types.

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  Reply # 139530 21-Jun-2008 08:21
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In regards to the heat lamp issue this is something that hasn't been answered and is something that a lot of people are talking about. If the ban covers specialised incandescent lamps it's going to create a lot of issues.

Personally I hate CFL's but I do realise they are more energy efficient. They aren't suitable for all purposes but I don't think it's going to be long until we have far more efficient LED lighting take it's place. Obviously the pricepoint is a big issue for many people which may inhibit it's potential in the short term but I think in the next 5 - 10 years time it will be the next big thing.

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  Reply # 139542 21-Jun-2008 10:16
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I've been using CFL's for quite some time and wouldn't go back. Mind you, I don't have any special requirements for lighting, and have found the range impressive. The savings of power and length of life are impressive.

Banning them? I'm not too sure if thats the way. If people are prepared to pay more to run standard incadescents, then so be it - they pay more in terms of power which no doubt has GST, tax etc attached to it. Education on the savings rather than taking away choice...

The NPR has a very good section (article on the mercury in bulbs) on the bulbs, as does easy earth.

Some of the benefits, quoted from the npr article

According to the federal government, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star approved compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), the United States would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.....

— Energy Star qualified CFLs use at least two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer (average lifespan of a CFL is five years).

— CFLs save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb's lifetime.

— CFLs generate 70 percent less heat, making them safer to operate....

Myths

— CFLs have a harsh, cold light quality. Increasingly, this is less of an issue. Over the past few years, manufacturers have worked to provide a warmer color. Some people say they still notice a difference, but the gap is narrowing. For a warmer, white light, look for a color temperature of 2,700–3,000K on the package.

 





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  Reply # 139545 21-Jun-2008 10:33
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One thing that has always intrigued me about CFL's has been the lack of any real action from the Government.

Take this claim from the Ecobulb people in NZ


If every home in New Zealand replaced the 5 most commonly used standard bulbs with 5 ecobulbs, the peak power saving would exceed the 430MW Clyde Dam Hydro Power station"


Why aren't the NZ government giving every household in the country 10 free bulbs?

There are roughly 1.5 million households in NZ. You could argue that a retail price now of around $2 for a quality CFL bulb that has a retail margin involved that if the NZ government was to purchase 15 million CFL's from a supplier they could probably get them as low as $1 - $1.50 each tops.

That would mean that it would cost them somewhere in the $15 - $25 million range to supply every household in the country with 10 bulbs that would (if you are to believe the Ecobulb people) save us probably $500 million that would need to be spent on new generation.

Why are they not doing this?


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  Reply # 139550 21-Jun-2008 11:35
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Remember that a big part of Ecobulb's business model relies on the Carbon Credits they retain.



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  Reply # 139562 21-Jun-2008 13:24
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cokemaster: I've been using CFL's for quite some time and wouldn't go back. Mind you, I don't have any special requirements for lighting, and have found the range impressive. The savings of power and length of life are impressive.


I totally agree - I do like the idea of CFLs and most of our lights have been replaced with CFL wherever possible.

We were replacing standard bulbs about once every couple of weeks. I havent had to replace a CFL in over 2 years!

But I also know that not all fittings are designed for CFLs. Especially our enclosed down lights, and fittings for smaller (<40W) bulbs.

I dont understand why the government just doesn't subsidise more efficient lights, or perhaps tax inefficient lighting? At least then you could still buy if needed.




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  Reply # 139564 21-Jun-2008 13:29
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freitasm: And because of the mercury in th CFL, make sure you don't break them. If you break don't use a vacumm cleaner. Use a wet wipe, and dispose of the whole thing - wipe included - in sealed plastic bags.

They are actually a danger to the environment and health... If they break and when disposed at end of life (of the lamp of course).


Mercury is bad, although I saw a recent tv news item saying that it shouldn't be too bad unless you licked the remains of the CFL off the floor!

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  Reply # 139567 21-Jun-2008 13:47
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Would this effect halogen light bulbs? As if it does we would have the slight problem that both our dining room and kitchen would be royally stuffed as there are only halogen light fittings (or smaller light fittings at least)







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  Reply # 139569 21-Jun-2008 13:56
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If it is going to be based on efficiency and not requiring a change in fitting, it will probably mainly affect BC and ES bulbs for the standard sized fittings.

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  Reply # 140101 24-Jun-2008 09:31
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The main problem with CFLs is that they run budget electronic ballasts at the limit of their physical electrical ratings- the bases and circuitry gets HOT and with lamps that get power cycled frequently (e.g. bathrooms, cupboards) the frequent surge currents kill them fast. Some of the Philips ones have only lasted a couple of months in these applications for me. I have gone back to plain old incandescents for these applications, as well as for bedside lamps, not to mention halogen spots and outdoor spotlights. There is no way I will replace these with CFLs.

The thing I resent is the compulsion here- why should I be forced to do this- it's a free country fer chrissakes. And in winter they are 100% efficient as the heat produced warms the house!

Also if Chinese manufacturing stops using sweatshop/slave labour or our exchange rate tanks these bulbs will quadruple in price, meaning they are not economic...

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