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Re: Strange problem with low energy light bulb

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by JANA, Jun 26, 2007.

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  1. JANA

    JANA Guest

    If the switch that is series with the light bulb has a night light in it,
    the current pass of the night light will cause the CFL to flicker.

    If the CFL is connected to a switch that is electronic, the small leakage of
    the electronics will cause the CFL to flicker or in some cases to not turn

    Regular CFL's cannot be used on standard light dimmers and many of the
    electronic timers. This is a big inconvenience for many people.

    When regular lamps become unavailable, I can see a lot of problems with
    these new types of lamps. The biggest one will be the pollution from their
    disposal. They use mercury, phosphors, and many types of materials that are
    very harmful for the environment. There is also the electronics circuit
    board, which contain components that have the same recycling problem as used
    in most electronics. Even though they last longer, when they are eventually
    put out in to the garbage, they will eventually end up in the land fills.
    They are going to be a very big problem compared to the simple light bulb
    that was made of simple glass and metals.

    Regular light bulb materials are about 85% recyclable. There are almost no
    materials in these that are bad for the environment. Most CFL's materials
    are not recyclable, and their materials are very polluting.

    It looks very strong that the government is pushing the CFL's to save some
    electricity to sell to large industry. This is the only answer that is
    logical. There are NO green house gasses from using regular light bulbs.
    When more electricity is sold to industry, the pollution problems from its
    generation will actually increase, unless the generation is from water
    power, or nuclear power.



    I am not sure if this is an appropriate group for this question. If
    not, please suggest a better one.

    I have a light in the house which I have wanted to switch to a low
    energy bulb for a long time. The hold up was that I needed a very
    small bulb. At last, I have found a small enough bulb but something
    odd occurred as soon as I put it in.

    When it is switched on, it works as expected.

    When it is switched off, it blinks every few seconds. So, I guess
    that there must be a problem with the switch If it is passing nothing
    then it would seem impossible for the bulb to do anything. I did not
    notice any problem with the previous incandescent bulb but I guess
    that if the switch is leaking a tiny amount, the filament would glow
    too little to be seen.

    I have a few questions:

    What is going on? Is a tiny current leaking, building up a charge in
    a capacitor somewhere until a sufficient voltage builds up to spark in
    the bulb and discharge the capacitor, and then the cycle repeats.

    Is it safe?

    Will it wear out the bulb very fast?

    Is it likely to be enough to replace the switch? (Actually three
    switches can turn this bulb on and off).

    Might I have to replace the wiring? (Much harder than just replacing
    the switches)
  2. Blash

    Blash Guest

    JANA wrote on 6/26/07 7:50 AM:

    Couldn't you think of any more newsgroups to cross-post to???
  3. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    These are my (well known) views also, but I fear we are squeaking like
    little lost mice in the dark ...

    The general public are not told - and would not understand anyway - the
    wider implications of these knee-jerk government interventions in our lives.
    All too often, they are poorly thought through, and are dreamed up as a
    response to the latest bit of pseudo science to hit the news stands. At the
    moment, anything with the words 'green' or 'eco' or 'environment' or 'global
    warming' are fair game for this sort of nonsense, and to add to its
    'validity' in the public's eyes, they've already started inventing new bits
    of techno-babble like 'carbon footprint' and 'carbon offsetting' to justify
    what amounts to little more than opinions by a vociferous band of scientists
    getting paid large amounts of money and credibility ratings, to promote the
    government line. As you say, these CFLs are just trading one form of alleged
    pollution, for another definite one ...


  4. Quite apart from the problems of disposing of old CFLs, I question the whole
    principle of Low Energy lighting. If you have a conventional bulb, much of
    the energy output is in the form of heat, which will help heat the room, and
    consequently will reduce the need for other heating, central or otherwise.
    Putting in a low-energy lamp mean that there is less heat being put into the
    room, and consequently, more heat has to be supplied externally. The only
    way that Low Energy lighting makes a positive difference is if people change
    their lamps when they stop using external heating. As in Northern Europe we
    usually have to have our heating on for at least 7 months of the year,
    typically 8 months, low energy lighting doesn't make a lot of sense. Also,
    how much energy does it take to make a low-energy lamp compared with a
    conventional one? When this is factored in, together with the extra energy
    required to dispose of it safely, I doubt very much whether low-energy
    lighting helps at all.

  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    That's sort of fine if you want extra heat. Often as not you don't.

    The other downside of your idea is that electricity is more costly than other
    heat sources (often by a large amount).

    No, that's no excuse for low efficiency lighting.

  6. David

    David Guest

    wrote in message
    While I generally agree with your
    comment above, there is still a lot of
    hype on this topic because people (an
    especially politicians) fail to consider
    the total energy equation. This is
    especially true here in the U.S. where
    ethanol is a big topic. The public does
    not realize that the savings are
    relatively small. The BTU content/unit
    volume is about 70% of gasoline (lower
    miles/gallon), it takes a lot of energy
    to make it (fertilizer, fuel for
    planting, cultivating, harvesting,
    distilling), the diversion of corn to
    ethanol is driving up prices for animal
    feed and therefore milk and meat, and if
    all corn was turned into ethanol you may
    divert 3% of the total energy use in
    this country. If it was not subsidized
    by the taxpayers, no one would use it.
    The 3% number is higher if you only
    consider the energy from oil, but we are
    looking for solutions for the CO2
    problem and you have to count all fossil
    fuels including natural gas and coal.
    Where are we going to get the holy grail
    of hydrogen for our cars? Yes, it takes
    energy to create it. Solar cells for
    home use are another myth. It takes more
    energy to produce the solar panels,
    batteries, and all of the auxiliary
    equipment than the system will ever
    generate. Large scale applications in
    areas with high solar illumination have
    a much better equation. I could go on,
    but you get the idea.

    The switch to more efficient lighting is
    a good conversation measure, but the
    energy production area is where the hype
    sets in. In general energy use is
    directly proportional to population and
    standard of living. The best way to save
    energy to reduce one or both of those.
    Alternatively we could create the
    necessary energy form nuclear power
    which has essentially zero carbon

  7. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    The idea of making ethanol fuel from corn is unique to the USA. I hear ADM
    regularly named as the culprit here.

    Far better to use feedstock that doesn't require intensive agriculture.

    Is your newsreader set to a line length of about 30 chars or so btw ?

  8. If the central heating is on, then you are, by definition, needing extra
    heat. The heat output from lighting will mean that the room thermostat (or
    radiator valves) will turn off that bit sooner.
    Agreed , but cost isn't part of my argument, energy usage is. The end to end
    energy costs of low energy lighting, that is, the energy to make them, use
    them and dispose of them compared with conventional filament lighting isn't
    at all clear. I have not seen any such figures published, only for the
    energy consumption in use, which is clearly lower, but again, the energy
    re-use as heat doesn't seem to be taken into account in any calculation I've
    It's not an excuse, but to me the case isn't completely made. In my own
    home, any light that is on for more than an hour a day is a low energy
    light, but that's more an act of faith on my part rather than a soundly
    calculated decision.

  9. It wasn't an excuse, it was a reason, and a good one, there was more to his
    point than you quoted. Most times light is used, heat is also wanted. Where
    it isn't, you use a light source that doesn't add heat, and there are
    several choices. LED's in outdoor and tunnel and other places where people
    don't need to spend time keeping warm, or any of the other types already in
    use, but that's not where people spend most of their time.

    The current availability of CFL's is no excuse to risk vast pollution and
    ebergy use in manufacture for all the general domestic uses that also need
    heat, and this is true before you begin to consider all the dimmers that
    must be replaced and thrown away.

    If you're looking for excuses, at least look in the right place. Trying to
    force an end to the incandescent lamp to satify a political expedient is
    not engineering, but an excuse. No matter how people heat their homes, the
    important thing is not to let it all out of the roofs, doors and windows,
    it's less important where it comes from.
  10. hr(bob)

    hr(bob) Guest

    Let's get back to the original poster's problem.
  11. Fine by me. I never saw the original problem in the group I saw this appear
    in, it's migrated just a tad. Look at the number groups it's posted to...
  12. Ray King

    Ray King Guest

    I think our polititions are afraid to tell the American public how
    fast/serious the worlds energy is being depleated. The mercury issue can be
    solved as suerage is now. This could be fixed overnight.
    Almost all of the CFLs will be made in Asia. Not many are made in the US
    now. Asia competes with Europe. The US is not in the running. The best CFL
    is now Philips.
  13. I suppose that depends where you live. In many parts of the populated
    world, heating and cooling seasons are roughly even in length.

    Also, even in heating seasons, the heat generated by light bulbs is not
    necessarily efficiently generated or distributed. Resistive heating is
    hardly the most efficient way to heat your home or office.
    LEDs will become a good option. From what I've read so far, their
    efficiency will be very similar to that of fluorescents, both requiring
    a little more than 1/5 as much energy as incandescent bulbs, for a given
    lumens level.
    I agree with this. The disposal of these things will create a pollution
    problem. One mitigating factor is that one of these will last many years
    as opposed to months, in normal use. But the disposal problem is
    definitely an issue, and it also applies to hybrid cars or all-electric

    You try to fix one problem and risk creating an even bigger one.

  14. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    I disagree totally. Furthermore an incandescent lamp adds heat at ceiling level
    usually where it is useless for warming a room.

    LED lamps are currently hugely expensive and the light they create is even
    wierder than CFLs. No, CFLs do fine at this.

    I happen to disagree with simply 'banning incandescent bulbs' but that's more
    from a libertarian perspective than anything else.

    Banning incandescents totally would also have the effect of banning modern high
    efficiency halogens too, some of which currently can be twice as efficient as
    standard tungsten incandescents and both Philips and GE have plans to improve
    this figure further still.

  15. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    How about you tell me ?

    I'm all ears.

  16. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Not really.

    The heat from most lamps hangs around at ceiling level. It does sod all to warm
    a room.

    I suggest you compare sitting in front of a 1kw bar electric fire to switching
    on ten 100w light bulbs to see how true that is.

  17. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Why would 'disposal' of electric or hybrid cars be a problem ?

    The batteries would obviously be recycled, they're far too valuable to throw
    away, as would electric motors too I expect for their copper content. I'd have
    thought by the time they're commonplace, there ought to be very good car
    recycling facilities in place.

  18. Look at all the energy that is wasted producing light! :)
  19. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I'm not so sure about that. Go to downtown Vegas and walk under the entrance
    awnings of some of the 'legacy' casinos that still have incandescent
    lighting rather than LEDs, and then tell me that it doesn't feel like having
    an electric fire a few feet over your head ...

  20. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    What happens to all the 'waste' heat produced in vacuum "filled" bulbs that
    used to be, if not still are, produced for garden use ? It can't be radiated
    into the atmosphere, as the envelope is substantially cold to the touch.
    Does the fact that it must be hanging around in the vicinity of the
    filament, modify the power consumption of the lamp compared to its light
    output ? Does this make it a low(er) energy lamp? Why does the heat from the
    anode of a power tube readily radiate across the vacuum, but the heat from
    the filament of a vacuum light bulb seems not to? d;~}

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