Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent.
Tags: cfl, cfl shape, compact fluorescent, compact fluorescent light bulb, Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving compact light bulb, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, Enviromental Protection Agency, fluorescent, LED, led lighting, light, light bulb, light bulbs, lightbulb, spiral, spiral light bulb, Technology of a light bulb
Gadzooks! It seems everyone has an opinion about Light Bulbs these days! Nothing stirs up more conversation than saying “spiral bulb” in mixed company..Anyways this guy from USA Today thinks the “new light bulbs” are “can do”..Me to! As long as they don’t suck..
ZOinmks! Did I say that?
When it comes to energy, the United States is too often the nation of “can’t.” Can’t drill for oil in new areas offshore. Can’t build a new generation of nuclear power plants. Can’t raise gasoline taxes to discourage the use of imported oil. Can’t move quickly to site new offshore wind plants. By PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. EnlargeCloseBy PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. OPPOSING VIEW: Turn on the BULB Act What the nation can do is limp along with a status quo energy policy that takes many energy decisions out of Americans’ hands and weakens national security and the environment. More than half the oil Americans use is imported — a vulnerability underscored by the ongoing tumult in Egypt. Electricity production relies heavily on coal, which exacts a heavy toll on the global climate. Congress and the president spend far more time talking about these problems than solving them, but occasionally they get it right. One of those times was in 2007, when then- President Bush signed an energy bill that, among other things, raised car mileage standards and took aim at an extravangantly inefficient household item: the light bulb. The best way for government to boost energy efficiency isn’t to micromanage by picking winners and losers, a job better suited to free-market innovation. It is to set a reasonable standard — miles per gallon or light per watt, for example — and let the market sort it out. That’s what Congress did in 2007. Americans are already reaping the benefits of higher-mileage vehicles, but a rebellion is brewing against the new standard for more efficient light bulbs, which takes effect next New Year’s Day. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., complained in a response to President Obama’s State of the Union address that the government “now tells us which light bulbs to buy.” A group of House Republicans has introduced a bill to repeal the standard.. That would be a mistake. The familiar incandescent bulb is a 125-year-old design that’s handy and cheap but a huge waster of electricity. Roughly 90% of the juice that goes to a typical bulb generates heat, not light. The new rules require bulbs to be at least 25% more efficient, starting with 100-watt bulbs. Incandescents can’t do that, so they’ll begin to disappear. There’s a huge payoff for this. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that fully implementing the new lighting standards would make it possible to avoid building 30 new power plants and cut CO2 emissions by 100 million tons a year. But what will Americans switch to? The most common alternative now is the compact fluorescent light (CFL), the spiral bulb that uses far less electricity than incandescents. It costs two to four times as much as an old-fashioned bulb but lasts five to 10 times as long —a big saving for consumers and country. CFLs aren’t perfect. Some people don’t like the light they give off, the delay before they reach full brightness or the extra care required because CFLs contain tiny amounts of mercury. Even so, millions of early adopters are perfectly happy with them because they reduce electricity bills. But light bulb makers know that some people hate CFLs, so manufacturers have produced an alternative: a halogen bulb that looks just like an incandescent and produces similar light but meets the new standard. You can buy them today. The evolution won’t stop there, which is the virtue of unleashing market forces. Manufacturers are working on next-generation LED bulbs that last roughly four times as long as long-lived CFLs. They’re wildly expensive now — as much as $30 to $40 or more for a single bulb — but the price inevitably will drop. Some of this innovation would have happened without the new law, but not as much, or as quickly. Faced with deadlines and a market for their new products, manufacturers intensified efforts to develop better bulbs. It would be a shame to undo that progress — and produce yet another energy “can’t.”
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights.
Tags: cfl, cfl shape, compact fluorescent, Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, green, i, incandescent, LED, led lighting, light, light bulb, light bulbs, lightbulb, lightbulbs, philips, Technology of a light bulb
America’s most common light bulb gets LED replacement
Consumers will soon be able to replace the most common light bulb in U.S. households, the 60-watt incandescent, with an ultra-efficient LED, according to manufacturer Royal Philips Electronics.
This new 12-watt Philips LED light bulb, available to consumers later this year, will be able to replace 60-watt incandescents, the most commonly used light bulb in U.S. households.
By Royal Philips Electronics
The company unveiled its new LED at the Lightfair International trade show in Las Vegas, just two days after Home Depot announced it’s begun selling a $20 LED replacement for the 40-watt incandescent.
As incandescents begin their Congress-mandated phaseout in 2012, companies are scurrying to develop and market more efficient replacements.
Philips says its 12-watt Endura light bulb is the industry’s first to replace its century-old predecessor. The company says the LED delivers the same soft white light and dimmability but uses 80% less energy and lasts 25 times longer. The LED will be available to consumers later this year, likely in December, but its price hasn’t been finalized.
More than 425 million 60-watt incandescents are sold each in the United States, representing half the domestic incandescent market, according to Philips. The company estimates its new LED has the potential to save 32.6 terawatt-hours of electricity each year — enough to power the lights of 14% of U.S. households.
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights.
Tags: Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving compact light bulb, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, ge, General Electric Co., LED, led lighting, LED replacement, Led replacement 40 watt bulb, light, light bulbs, lightbulb, Technology of a light bulb
GE makes LED replacement for incandescent
Zoinks! LED’s are back in the news ! Check out the article below!
General Electric, the granddaddy of light bulbs, has developed an LED replacement for 40-watt bulbs that can last for 17 years. GE on Thursday unveiled the Energy Smart LED bulb that puts out 450 lumens–about the same output as a 40-watt incandescent–while consuming 9 watts. GE’s bulb is designed to disperse light more evenly than typical LED lights. (Credit: General Electric) The company plans to show off the LED bulb at upcoming lighting conferences and to start selling it by this fall or early next year. It ios expected to cost $40 to $50. LED lights tend to give off light in a specific direction, which is why they are often used for spot lighting. The GE light has a shape that looks like fingers wrapped around a traditional bulb and is designed to disperse light. Prototypes of the bulb will be fitted with an LED lamp from LED component manufacturer Cree. The bulb is rated for 25,000 hours which, if used four hours a day, means it will last for 17 years. The other advantages of LED bulbs are that they don’t need to warm up to give off full light, are cooler than incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, and do not contain mercury. “This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid’s bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation,” John Strainic, global product general manager of GE Lighting, said in a statement. He added that the bulb is designed to satisfy consumers who are reluctant to move from incandescent bulbs because they like the light quality. Because of their relative energy efficiency and durability, LED lights are expected to start replacing other technologies more rapidly this year, particularly in commercial settings. As LEDs reach the output of 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent, lighting companies are also planning general-purpose LED replacements for traditional screw-in bulbs. Osram Sylvania, for example, plans to introduce an LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent this spring. The high up-front cost, however, remains a barrier to broader adoption. Lighting manufacturers expect that sales will be driven by consumers’ interest in efficient, long-lasting bulbs and by more stringent national efficiency standards.
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Uncategorized.
Tags: composer miya mosaoka, LED, led art, led dress, LED kimono, led lighting, light, light and music, light art, light music, miya mosaoka, Technology of a light bulb
Zoinks! It looks like LEDs aren’t only the future of general lighting.. They also the future of stage performance! Check out this great article and video below from ecouture.com!
RAZZLE DAZZLE Depending on the pitch of the accompanying music, or the angle and rate of motion of the sleeve, the LEDs turn on and off to create a fluid light show. And here’s where it gets technical: The LEDs, which are connected with conductive thread to eight 9-volt batteries underneath the fabric, are driven by tiny Arduino processors that are sewn into pockets on each side. The processors, in turn, can be hooked up to a computer via Bluetooth wireless or USB. More than a dress, the LED kimono is an interactive light-and-sound instrument. Eventually, Masoaka plans on running LEDs throughout the entire kimono, an endeavor that will require more than 5,000 hand-sewn LEDs. If each point of light is considered a single pixel, the dress can function as a low-resolution video monitor that evolves with its environment.
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Uncategorized.
Tags: fluorescent, fluorescent light box, fluorescent light bulb, fluorescent lighting, fluorescent tube, led lighting, light, light bulb, light therapy, lightbulb, sad and light therapy, sadd and light therapy, seasonal affective disorder, seasonal affective disorder and light therapy, seasonal depression and light therapy
Light Bulbs Always Make Me Happy!
Zoinks! Here is a great article on using light help treat seasonal depression. It comes from the Cleveland.com website. Useful info!
Light therapy can relieve symptoms of seasonal depression
Kim Sherwin’s recent two-and-a-half week trip to Europe, made partly to watch the Cleveland Orchestra performances in Vienna, Austria, was perfect except for one thing.
She forgot her portable light therapy device.
The contraption is what helps Sherwin endure the overcast, dark and dreary days from September through March.
Sherwin, 70, of Cleveland, suffers from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
SAD is a form of depression marked by its consistency of almost always occurring in late fall or early winter.
The decrease in sunlight, compounded by shifting the clock back one hour, can affect an individual’s internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake rhythm.
And that, in turn, can do a number on energy levels. Symptoms include sleeping more than usual, eating more, particularly carbohydrates, and having an overall tendency to hibernate deeply.
For Sherwin, that meant staying in bed most days until afternoon.
“It just gets grimmer and grimmer, and I don’t want to get out of bed,” she said.
That’s where light therapy comes in. Five years ago, Sherwin, who takes antidepressants for other forms of depression, started using light therapy every morning.
Light therapy is the best form of treatment for seasonal affective disorder, says Dr. George Tesar, chairman of the department of psychiatry and psychology at the Cleveland Clinic.
Light therapy is not about sitting in a room illuminated with regular or fluorescent bulbs.
Nor is it jetting off to a warm, sunny climate for a few days, although that might provide fleeting relief.
Rather, it’s exposure to a special light with a particularly high intensity.
“Your eyes have to be open, and the back of your eyes need to see this light,” Tesar said. “The light that hits your retina triggers the changes in the brain that result in a positive response that relieves the depression.”
The light helps regulate one’s internal alarm clock, or circadian rhythm. It also helps regulate melatonin, the sleep hormone, and serotonin, the chemical in the brain that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Changes in serotonin levels can affect a host of things, such as mood, appetite, sleep and memory.
The best time for light therapy is first thing in the morning, for about 30 minutes a day. Most people start to notice subtle changes in the first couple of weeks. But “the moment you stop using it, the effects start to wear off,” Tesar said.
Antidepressants (such as Wellbutrin, the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the specific treatment of SAD) are also available for more severe cases if light therapy isn’t effective.
“It’s best to avoid medication if you can,” Tesar said. “But if other treatments don’t work, it’s shortsighted not to try medication. Sometimes that’s the only thing to help re-regulate the chemical environment of the brain.”
Experts also recommend reducing carbohydrate intake, exercising more, staying social and getting fresh air whenever you can.
Light therapy, which has not been approved by the FDA to treat seasonal affective disorder, isn’t designed for everyone (extra caution is needed for people with pre-existing eye disease and certain mood disorders).
It’s easy to order devices online or buy them in stores, but using them should be done under a doctor’s supervision.
A couple of years ago, Sherwin stopped using a big light box and switched to a newer product the size of a compact disc holder.
Today, Sherwin eats breakfast and reads the newspaper while her Litebook sits off to the side, providing her light therapy for 30 minutes every morning.
“It just starts to grow on you,” Sherwin said. “So many people complain about the problems they have, but I just don’t think people know about these machines.”
The Litebook Co. is collaborating with Harvard University, Yale University and universities in Canada and the Netherlands on a clinical trial that started last December to explore how the product can be most effective in treating SAD.
“People have always acted like broad spectrum light is important, but it’s the pattern of light that’s important,” said Dr. Paul Desan, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University who is coordinating the study.
Desan and his team are testing to see how the Litebook affects a person’s circadian rhythm. “Right now, [no device] that has been developed has been approved by the FDA to treat seasonal affective disorder,” Desan said. “We’d like to change that. We think this is the direction that the field is going in.”
Finding the right light
At least a dozen companies sell a wide variety of light therapy products — visors, alarm clocks, floor lamps, big light boxes — even though the Food and Drug Administration has not approved their use to treat seasonal affective disorder. Here’s some things you should know before buying.
What to look for
A good starting point for picking a product is to look for the unit of light intensity, or LUX. Special light therapy products often have 10,000 LUX, versus 500 LUX of a standard light bulb.
It’s important that the product emit little or no ultraviolet light. Some newer products use blue light instead of the standard white light found in most light therapy boxes. Some research suggests that blue light is more effective at reducing SAD symptoms; however, the retina is much more sensitive to blue light than it is to white light and could be damaged if directly exposed.
Check your insurance
Light therapy usually isn’t an item that insurance companies uniformly cover, but it’s worth checking with your provider; sometimes providing documentation of a SAD diagnosis from a physician is all you need.
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights.
Tags: christmas lights, Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving christmas lights, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, Holiday lighting, holiday lights, LED, led christmas lights, led lighting, light, light bulb, lightbulb, santa, Technology of a light bulb
Zoinks! Even Santa is getting the LED out!
Its the Holiday Season and running those Christmas Lights can really jack up your energy costs.. A great solution for this is changing for traditional (incandescent) Christmas lights to LED Christmas lights.
Cherie Jacobs, a Progress Energy spokeswoman, says:
Running 10 strands of 100 LED light bulbs during evenings for the month of December will cost about 70 cents.
• Running 10 strands of 100 conventional light bulbs during evenings for the month of December will cost about $7 — 10 times as much.
The Electric Power Research Institute says if seasonal lights nationwide were replaced with LED lighting, carbon emissions could be reduced by as much as 400,000 tons per year and electricity cost savings would exceed $250 million.
Thanks to By Ivan Penn, Times Staff Writer for the info
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture.
Tags: Cambridge University physicist, cfl, coal, compact fluorescent, compact fluorescent light bulb, compact fluorescent shape, Energy Crisis, Energy Crisis Sustainable Fossil Fuels Climate Control Power Wave Wind, Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving compact light bulb, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, fluorescent, fluorescent light bulb, fluorescent lighting, fluorescent tube, gas, heat, incandescent light bulb, incandescent lightbulb, LED, led lighting, light, light bulb, lightbulb, lightbulbs physics science, oil myths, Physicist David Mackay, Science Tips Stephen Fry, wind turbines
Zoinks! Check Out Physicist David Mackay’s video of how the light bulb provides a graphic way of communicating to non-physicists the scale of the energy gap now facing our society! Light bulbs will always lead the way for me!
Zbulbs: Make the Switch!
Cambridge University physicist, David Mackay, in a passionate, personal analysis of the energy crisis in the UK, in which he comes to some surprising conclusions about the way forward. The film is based on his new book Sustainable Energy without the hot air, in which Prof Mackay has calculated the numbers involved for the alternatives to fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil.
He debunks some myths about energy saving – unplugging our phone chargers, does not make any appreciable difference. After showing us what won’t work – he goes on to show what will make a difference at home, like turning your thermostat down.
But, his big point is that this will not be enough – individual efforts are not enough. Instead we need to make sweeping national changes to our energy production, and we can’t reject everything available to us. If we are going to follow the advice of climate scientists, and get off fossil fuels by 2050, which currently provide 90% of our energy, Britain’s main options are wind power and nuclear power. But to make this huge change in our power supply, Mackay says that we have to get building now!
For more information go to David Mackays website
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, Controversial information, incandescent light bulb, light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture.
Tags: cfl, compact fluorescent, compact fluorescent light bulb, Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving compact light bulb, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, EU incandescent light bulb ban, eu light bulb ban, european light bulb ban, fluorescent, fluorescent light bulb, fluorescent lighting, incandescent light bulb, incandescent lightbulb, incandescent lightbulb ban, light, light bulb, light bulbs, lightbulb, spiral, spiral light bulb, Technology of a light bulb
Zoinks! The European Light Bulb ban is still a controversial subject! Seems some of the citizens don’t want to let go those incandescents! Check out this LA Times article!
Resistance to EU’s lightbulb ban By Henry Chu Los Angeles Times
FRANKFURT, Germany – Ulf Erdmann Ziegler takes a dim view of the newfangled lightbulbs people are required to buy, so dim that he has stocked up on 3,000 of the old, incandescent bulbs – enough, he has calculated, to last him his lifetime. His stockpile is the fruit of a frenzied shopping spree. For weeks, he spent many of his waking hours on the phone and online tracking down vendors and snapping up incandescent bulbs. The buying binge was necessary, he said, to beat a ban by the European Union. As of Sept. 1, the manufacture and import of 100-watt incandescent bulbs have been outlawed within the EU, to be followed by bulbs of lesser wattage in coming years. Once current stocks are gone, incandescent bulbs will join Thomas Edison in the history books. The ban is part of the EU’s effort against global warming. The object is to encourage people to switch from energy-wasting incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps, which last longer and are up to 75 percent more efficient. For EU officials, it’s all about the math. Ditching the older bulbs, they say, will save 40 billion kilowatt-hours a year by 2020 – equal to the output of 10 power stations. The United States is to begin phasing them out in the next few years. But not everyone considers it such a bright idea. Dissenters have sprung up across the Continent, people who complain that fluorescent lamps are inferior, cost more, and pose their own environmental problems. Art galleries fret over how best to display their works without the warm glow of incandescent bulbs. A petition to save the conventional bulb is circulating on the Internet. “There’s been quite a bit of consumer backlash,” said Peter Hunt, chief executive of Britain’s Lighting Association. To help consumers and manufacturers get used to the change, the EU decided not to ax all incandescents at once. The ban from September covers only clear bulbs of 100 watts and frosted ones of all wattages. Clear incandescent lamps of 60 and 40 watts are to be eased out by September 2012. The advantages of the ban outweigh any deficiencies, EU officials say. Good-quality fluorescent bulbs can last years, far longer than conventional bulbs, so while they cost more, they are more economical in the long run. The new lamps also save on electricity costs because of their more efficient use of energy. In conventional bulbs, most of the energy is lost as heat rather than converted to light. Then how to explain that low-energy fluorescent lamps have been around for 25 years but have never caught on with ordinary consumers? “The early ones were the size of large jam jars, they flickered, they had a cold blue light, and they took a long time to switch on,” Hunt said. The technology has improved considerably, Hunt said. None of that matters to Ziegler. Months before the Sept. 1 deadline, he went through every room of his apartment with a floor plan, marking an X wherever there was a light fixture and noting what kind of bulb it required. His local vendor worked out how many bulbs Ziegler would need for the next decade. “I said forget 10 years,” Ziegler recalled. “I want a lifetime supply.”
October 23, 2009
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights.
Tags: dangerous minds blog, japan led, LED, LED Eyelash, led eyes, led lighting, light, Technology of a light bulb, weird news, weird news light bulb
Zoinks! Have you heard about the latest fashion coming out of Japan? LED Eyes! Check out this from the Dangerous Minds Blog!
I know the LED Eyelash craze is sorta old news. However, I’ve never seen the video of the eyelashes in action.
LED Eyelash is a clever product that speaks to many Asian women’s desire for bigger eyes. It features an inclination sensor with mercury to turn on and/or off. The sensor can perceive the movements of the pupil in the eyes and eyelids. If someone wears it and moves her head, LED Eyelash will flicker following the movement.
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, incandescent light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture.
Tags: cfl, compact fluorescent, compact fluorescent light bulb, compact fluorescent shape, Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving compact light bulb, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, european light bulb ban, fluorescent, fluorescent light bulb, fluorescent lighting, fluorescent tube, green, incandescent light bulb, incandescent lightbulb, incandescent lightbulb ban, LED, led lighting, light, light bulb, light bulbs, lightbulb, spiral, spiral light bulb, Technology of a light bulb
Germans torn between incandescent and fluorescent
ZOinks! The Controversy over the European Incandescent Light Bulb Ban continues. This Oct 17th article from the LA Times gives the lowdown..
Reporting from Frankfurt, Germany – Here’s a twist: How many lightbulbs does it take to change a person?
For Ulf Erdmann Ziegler, the answer is 3,000. That’s how many bulbs are squirreled away in his modest apartment here in Frankfurt, the number that turned an otherwise ordinary guy into a hoarder, made him the object of his neighbors’ pity and got him thinking about death and divorce.
His enormous stockpile is the fruit of a frenzied summer shopping spree. For weeks, he spent many of his waking hours on the phone and online tracking down vendors and snapping up enough incandescent bulbs to last him the rest of his life.
The buying binge was necessary, he said, to beat a ban by the European Union. As of Sept. 1, the manufacture and import of 100-watt incandescent bulbs have been outlawed within the EU, to be followed by their dimmer brethren in coming years. Once current stocks are gone, such bulbs will join Thomas Edison in the history books.
“It will run out,” Ziegler warned of the limited supply, “and everyone will be sorry.”
The ban is part of the EU’s effort to retard global warming. The object is to encourage people to switch from traditional energy-wasting incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps, which last longer and are up to 75% more efficient.
For EU officials, it’s all about the math. Ditching old-fashioned bulbs, they say, will save nearly 40 billion kilowatt-hours a year by 2020, equivalent to the output of 10 power stations. Australia has already abandoned incandescent bulbs, and the United States is set to begin phasing them out in the next few years as well.
But not everyone considers it such a bright idea. The ban has been met with some resistance in Europe, showing what happens when the collective goal of greening the planet clashes with issues of individual choice and even aesthetics.
Dissenters such as Ziegler have sprung up across the continent, people who complain that fluorescent lamps are inferior, more expensive and come with their own environmental problems. Art galleries fret over how best to display their works without the warm glow cast by incandescent bulbs. A petition to save the conventional bulb is circulating on the Internet.
There have also been reports of runs on lighting stores. In Britain, where major retailers began taking 100-watt incandescent bulbs off their shelves even earlier, in January, a retired teacher in southern England spent $800 of her pension to buy 1,000 of them.
“There’s been quite a bit of consumer backlash,” acknowledged Peter Hunt, chief executive of Britain’s Lighting Assn. “A lot of it we expected.”
To help consumers and manufacturers get used to the change, the EU decided not to ax all incandescent bulbs at once. Last month’s ban covers 100-watt clear bulbs and all frosted ones. Clear 40- and 60-watt incandescents are to be eased out by September 2012.
The advantages of the ban outweigh any deficiencies, EU officials say. Good-quality fluorescent bulbs can last years, many times the life span of regular bulbs, so although they cost more, they are more economical in the long run.
The new lamps also cut electricity bills because of their more efficient use of energy. In conventional bulbs, most of the energy is lost as heat rather than converted to light.
“You can . . . look at it the same way that you’re looking at improvements of washing machines and fridges, where consumers don’t even notice that the fridges [have] become more efficient,” said Andras Toth, a policy officer in the EU’s energy directorate.
Maybe. But then how to explain that low-energy fluorescent lamps have been around for 25 years but have never caught on with consumers? Though he supports the switch-over, Hunt acknowledges that there were good reasons why fluorescent bulbs were passed over on store shelves.
“The early ones were the size of large jam jars, they flickered, they had a cold blue light and they took a long time to switch on,” he said. “So it’s not surprising that consumers have a bad preconception of this lighting.”
The technology has improved considerably on all those counts, Hunt said. But fluorescent bulbs haven’t shaken their bad rap.
Their start-up time still lags well behind the instant on-and-off of incandescent bulbs. They cannot be used with dimmer switches. And the most commonly available ones still do not provide the same spectrum of light as the old lamps, which worries art collectors, photographers and others who need light sources that offer sharp color rendition. (Officials point out that halogen bulbs, which give off light of a similar quality to incandescent varieties, remain on the market.)
Then there is the fluorescent bulbs’ mercury content, up to 5 milligrams per bulb. Cleaning up a shattered bulb requires more than just sweeping up jagged shards: Users should ventilate the room and avoid touching pieces with bare skin.
Still, “if you compare it to other mercury content, like dental fillings, the amount we’re talking about is really rather small,” Toth said. “And you have to be extremely unlucky to be exposed to it in a dangerous way.”
None of that cuts any ice with Ziegler.
A writer and former art critic, he sees the EU’s ban as unnecessarily extreme. Why not slap a tax on the old-fashioned bulbs, rather than outlaw them entirely?
“The law just says you can’t use the best lightbulb ever invented,” he grumbled.
A few months ago, with the Sept. 1 deadline looming like a neon sign, he decided to take preemptive action.
With typical German precision, he went through every room of his apartment with a floor plan in hand, marking an X wherever there was a light fixture — about 25 in all — and noting what kind of bulb it required. Then he took the checklist to his local vendor, who worked out how many bulbs Ziegler would need for the next decade.
“I said forget 10 years,” Ziegler recalled. “I want a lifetime supply.”
That, though, posed an unanticipated question. At 50, he suddenly had to ponder — or guess — how much longer he expected to live. He drafted his wife into his existential contemplations, and together, like actuaries, they finally decided that a lifetime supply meant enough bulbs to last 30 years.
Laying his hands on 3,000 incandescent bulbs was another story. He cleaned out one supplier and went on to the next, seeking them out on the Internet. Bulky packages kept arriving at the apartment, and “I was not unaware of the pitying looks of my neighbors,” he confessed in a newspaper column.
Thankfully, his wife supported his panic buying, because she “hates [fluorescent bulbs] even more than I do,” Ziegler said.
But that sparked yet another uncomfortable discussion. Who gets custody of the hoard in case of divorce? (Stay tuned.)
For now, the incandescent cache is carefully stowed away in the attic, to which Ziegler disappears to extract an unusually shaped bulb to show a visitor the way a wine lover might disappear down the cellar to produce a prized bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild.
Ziegler still hopes the EU ban will somehow fail, or be repealed. He’s mulling the idea of writing a political manifesto on behalf of the incandescent bulb, laying out its history and its merits.
And he urges people to build their own stockpiles as soon as they can, before supplies dry up.
“If you want to get in on it, get in,” he said. “It’s not too late.”