Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

The Light Bulb That Can Change the World 1137

An anonymous reader writes to tell us FastCompany is reporting on the latest and greatest version of the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). While CFLs of the past may have been efficient, they certainly were not effective. However, according to the article, CFLs have come as far as cell phones have since the mid 80s while still maintaining that high efficiency. From the article: "if every one of 110 million American households bought just one [CFL], took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Light Bulb That Can Change the World

Comments Filter:
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @04:55PM (#16002399) Homepage Journal
    People don't see the benefits that these bulbs bring, the biggest thing people can commonly do to help the environment is to simply turn off unused lights and devices.
    We are all guilty of leaving extra lights on and not shutting off the pc or tv, think of how much energy we can save if we switched off the internet just for a couple of hours (and I mean all of it, not just your terminal!)
  • Oil != electricity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by flanksteak ( 69032 ) * on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @04:56PM (#16002401) Homepage
    In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.
    While I'm glad to see that WalMart is making an effort to promote energy efficiency, everyone in the article kept tying more efficient light bulbs to our dependence on foreign oil. The last time I checked, the US generates very little electricity from oil. It's coal and nuclear these days. Can't we get people to try more compact cars to go with their compact bulbs, or at least straighten out the details on our energy generation story?
  • PG&E in California (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bi_boy ( 630968 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @04:57PM (#16002423)
    PG&E in California is currently running a program where they take the bill for rebates on CFL bulbs so they can be had for under a dollar easily from Wal-Mart. Stock up and switch all your homes lighting over if you have not done so already.
  • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bloggins02 ( 468782 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @04:59PM (#16002445)
    Why not?

    Because they:

    - are 3x-10x the cost of an ordinary light bulb
    - are a bit dimmer than their stated wattage equivalent standard bulbs
    - take a bit of time to warm up
    - don't have quite the same color temperature as standard bulbs
    - sometimes don't fit under (e.g.) ceiling fan light domes, especially the 100W equivalent models

    Now don't get me wrong, I love CFLs and have replaced every single bulb in my house with one, but I can imagine quite a few people resisting the idea based on the list above.

    That said, they are rapidly getting better (and cheaper!).
  • by Max_Abernethy ( 750192 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:00PM (#16002456) Homepage
    FTA a $3 swirl pays for itself in lower electric bills in about five months well, they don't sell the things at a loss, and the bulbs last up to ten years, so I guess that amount of energy is negligible.
  • Re:White light? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fruity_pebbles ( 568822 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:01PM (#16002463)
    The ones I've been buying recently have been marked "soft white". They're not the same as an incandescent bulb, but they're close enough that my wife doesn't complain about them (like she did with older CFLs).
  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:01PM (#16002471) Homepage Journal
    Only that statement is not true at all. Electricity is not oil. You can't really store electricity, it is either generated and used right away or it is just not used and the extra production is wasted. You can easily use more electricity when there is enough capacity generated and not worry that you are using more energy to produce that same electricity, if you don't use it, it'll just be wasted.

    However I do believe that oil powerplants should be all changed to nuclear and hydro where possible.
  • by Jherek Carnelian ( 831679 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:02PM (#16002473)
    Shamelessly plagarized [] but also edited for clarity:

    A CFL in every Home = 1 Nuclear Power Plant

    I spent a lot of my weekend doing research on energy, power generation, etc. (See my MyWeb links) I decided to run some rough numbers, and have come to the conclusion that the best use of government funds is to probably have a CFL handout/trade-in program.

    There are an estimated 110M households in the US, so if you replaced one 60W incandescent with a similarly lumen-rated 13W CFL (I'd estimate a distribution cost of $100M-200M), you'd save just over $4.1B in electrical bills over the lifetime of the bulbs ($0.10/kWh over 8000 hours). At 5 hours/evening of usage (~4.4yr), we're looking at almost a billion bucks a year. That's not a bad ROI.

    Another interesting figure that comes out of that is that we're talking about a significantly large amount of power saved. Over the bulb lifetime, the number comes out to over 41M MWh, or based on the 4.4y estimated lifetime, about 9.4M MWh/yr. That's more than your average 1000MW nuclear power plant will be able to generate (about 7.8M MWh at 90% efficiency), and a significantly lower cost ($2-4/MWh for handing out light bulbs versus $50-80/MWh).

    So, replacing 1 incadescent light-bulb in each of the 110M households in the country would save the equivalent of one nuclear power plant (or better yet, a bunch of fossil fuel ones, which function at a much lower efficiency (around 60%) and are usually lower capacity).

    It's probably fair to say that up to 4 bulbs per house could be replaced before the law of diminishing returns kicks in. So we could save the equivalent of 4 nuclear power plants or 8-10 "dirty" power plants at 1/10th the cost of operating them, plus saving all the externalities like reduced pollution too.

  • LED Bulbs? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swngnmonk ( 210826 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:05PM (#16002513) Homepage

    I'm curious about the future of LED light bulbs - the potential from a bulb w/ 60,000 hours of life and power consumption under a watt is very attractive. I know light dispersion is an issue (e.g. they just don't throw out enough light), but what's on the horizon?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:08PM (#16002550)
    I've found that the flicker is often caused by poor electrical connection at the socket and is not itself a reflection on the CFL
  • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rorschach1 ( 174480 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:15PM (#16002608) Homepage
    I've replaced most of the bulbs in my house too, but what I don't see this article addressing is the total bulb lifecycle. These things have mercury in them, which will probably mean people screaming about disposal when they DO have to be replaced. Are there recycling programs in place? What's the environmental impact of making them in the first place, compared to incadescents?
  • by cdipierr ( 4045 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:19PM (#16002650) Homepage
    The highest I've seen readily available replace 100-watt bulbs, which is close, but not quite what I want. The more important issue is that as I mentioned they're clear bulbs, not "soft white". I've yet to see a CF have the equivilent spectrum.

    Even in the case of the 100-watt CF bulbs, they're using 27-watts. So let's assume 40-watts for a 150 replacement. This reduces my 3x150-watts=450 to 3x40=120. Let's assume I use the lights 8 hours a day (overstatement, but let's assume maximum). This means I save 2.6KWH each day, which at about 10 cents per KWH means a savings of just over 26 cents a day, or about $95/year. Not bad, but unless the light quality is the same, not exactly enough to motivate me to jump out and buy them either.
  • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigitalRaptor ( 815681 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:20PM (#16002660) Homepage
    I have been very pleased with these CF bulbs [].

    - are 3x-10x the cost of an ordinary light bulb
    At less than $2 each, the ROI is VERY fast on a CF bulb. Unless you're very short sighted it doesn't make financial sense to use a normal bulb.

    - are a bit dimmer than their stated wattage equivalent standard bulbs
    With off-the-shelf CF bulbs I agree. With the ones linked above, using my preferred full-spectrum 5100K bulb, my experience has been just the opposite. I love the way they brighten up my home.

    - take a bit of time to warm up
    I haven't noticed this a bit. Instant on. They may get brighter after 30 seconds, but I've never noticed it, so if these ones do you'd need scientific instrumentation to pick it up.

    - don't have quite the same color temperature as standard bulbs
    With the full spectrum CF's linked above, that is a good thing! The few normal bulbs I have left put off a nasty yellow light compared to the full spectrum CF's. Gloomy and depressing. I just placed a $100 order before gets slashdotted so I can replace the rest of my normal, yuck-yellow bulbs.

    - sometimes don't fit under (e.g.) ceiling fan light domes, especially the 100W equivalent models
    OK, ok, size does matter. But they come in many different sizes and with a little planning I've had 100% success. I even rewired my kitchen chandelier to use these CF bulbs instead of those stupid tiny expensive candle ones. Couldn't be happier.

    As you can see I'm sold on good full-spectrum CF bulbs. I have no affiliation with, they just happened to be what I was looking for and have good prices, products, and service.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:32PM (#16002782) Journal
    I'm not going to be much help here, but let me share an anecdote:

    My wife replaced all the bulbs in our McMansion with some kind of super-efficient full-spectrum bulbs. I didn't look at the credit card statement, so I don't really know how much it all cost, but I do know that we're using about 15% electricity each month and I can read and work at the computer longer without eye fatigue. Also, I look prettier in the mirrors and I can tell when I'm wearing one dark green and one dark blue sock (I didn't used to be able to do that).

    I don't know what kind of magic these new bulbs posess, but I'm all for it.
  • by prandal ( 87280 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:39PM (#16002867)
    A Watt is a Watt, whether it comes from a lightbulb or an electric heater.

    Correct, and in the winter, the heat from the 100W incandescent bulb reduced the load on your central heating boiler, which, with the new energy-efficient CFLs installed, now has to work harder. The result being that the energy savings aren't as great as claimed. You might say that is countered by the reduced work of the aircon in the summer, but that doesn't enter the equation in Europe where domestic aircon is almost unheard of.

    The technology we should be watching is high-efficiency white LEDs, much more efficient than CFLs.
  • Re:Too much work (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:45PM (#16002925) Homepage
    I used to do the CFL bulb in every socket thing. But I later learned there is real scientific evidence that full-spectrum light will put you in a better mood. Since then, I replaced all bulbs in my house with GE Reveal incandesent bulbs. They are extremely expensive for light bulbs, they use a log of energy, but they feel better than the flicker+spotty wavelength of CFLs. It is like sunlight inside (instead of warehouse light with CFLs or ugly yellow light with the old-style bulbs).

    I think it is worth the cost to my pocket and the Earth.
  • huge typo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Frightening ( 976489 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:48PM (#16002957) Homepage
    In terms of "oil not burned"

    should read: "countries not invaded"

  • Re:How many... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kphume ( 744991 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:50PM (#16002991)
    I've been using CFs for YEARS and I love them. I have not replace a regular bulb with another regular bulb in many years.
  • Re:The trade off (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:53PM (#16003008) Homepage
    CFL mercury use []

    According to this article in Wikipedia, an incandescent bulb actually releases more mercury into the environment than CF bulbs. This is because there is a minute amount of mercury in coal, which is released when it is burned for electricity. So the net result is less mercury released because less coal is burned.

    Frankly, this is just a little too convenient. But it doesn't sound like a real problem anyway, since the Mercury was extracted from natural materials in the environment. If the rest of the Mercury article [] is correct, it seems like a bigger problem is what to do when we run out of the material, or when it becomes too expensive to extract from the minute sources that remain.
  • by mrmcwn ( 566272 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:53PM (#16003009)
    From Fortune a couple of weeks ago: "If each customer who visited Wal-Mart in a week bought one long-lasting compact fluorescent (CF) light bulb, the company estimates, that would reduce electric bills by $3 billion, conserve 50 billion tons of coal, and keep one billion incandescent light bulbs out of landfills over the life of the bulb."
  • Energy Savings (Score:5, Interesting)

    by laduran ( 998667 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @05:57PM (#16003043)
    I used to be on the board of an HOA for a small 12-unit condominium. The HOA was owner run and we were looking to cut our expenses. One major expense was electricity. In part this was because all the common hallways were lit 24/7/365 by old incandescent flood lights. Replacing about 36 60Watt floodlights with 15Watt CF bulbs saved the HOA over $1200/year. Not to mention that we haven't had to replace a single CF since they were installed in summer 2003. This cost savings meant that we didn't need to raise HOA dues when other condos across town were doing just that. We recup'ed our investment in the bulbs in less than three months.
  • Re:White light? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Moofie ( 22272 ) <lee@ringofsatur n . c om> on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:00PM (#16003067) Homepage
    Are they dimmable?
  • Re:How many... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:03PM (#16003091)
    that's really funny. Unfortunately nothing would really change, only the prices would go up to reflect the loss of revenue. Sad but true. Cost of living is a constant, it's just a little more than you really can afford. As soon as you create some kind of savings as a group the cost of living will increase to offset the lack of motivation you might feel from having enough money.
  • Re:So... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MajorPeabody ( 998676 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:05PM (#16003105)
    Several years ago I replaced every bulb I could in my house with CFL's, at a considerable expense. Most burned out within 3 months. The only situation where they lasted is when they were located in a position that was turned on 24X7.

    I'm gonna wait awhile before I do that again..
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:06PM (#16003117)
    I've tried to replace the conventional bulbs with CFLs where I could, but I've found that even when the other issues aren't a problem, they don't always last as long as they should.

    They seem to not last long at all in enclosed fixtures or hung upside down. I've gone through 2 CFL recessed-lighting bulbs in my office (enough to just switch back). The 75-watt equivilent in the 50s era enclosed fixture on the stairwell died within a week. The 150-watt equivilents I use in our outdoor fixtures have died with 9-12 months (but the cheesy yellow bug light models have lasted through 3 winters...).

    All-in-all I'd say I've maybe broken even cost-wise (savings vs. lamp purchases). The best luck has been, strangely, in ceiling fan applications (ugly as sin, but no dead bulbs) and as lampshade-type lamp replacements.

  • Re:So... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:14PM (#16003184)
    It is the type of switch that turns on the power that causes a problem. I have some motion sensor switches that say do not use CFLs. So I did anyway. The CFLs do not turn on correctly...They just blink constantly and eventually just burn out. The lights on the motion sensor circuit are only on for at most 10 minutes a day so I can think of no economic reason to iprove this situation.

    Also items like the lighted switches I have installed draw a little bit of power on the circuit constantly and the CFL bulbs pick that up and blink dimly when they are supposed to be off. The CFLs on that circuit burn out quickly.

    So, pick the right tool for the right job.

    Another note: there are some really expensive CFLs that work with dimmers, but I can only get them from the electric company. But since a regular bulb on a dimmer generally only consumes 25% of the power of max output, I am saving more money because I can buy cheaper bulbs. And good luch finding CFLs that work in a chandelier.
  • by ballpoint ( 192660 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:18PM (#16003201)
    Same here.

    About 30% of the halogens in my living room - where they get ample use - have not been replaced in 10 years, whereas I don't have a single fluorescent (tube or compact) that hasn't been replaced three times in that period. True, anecdotes do not make data, but I've learned to trust my gut feel more than advertisements.
  • by gte910h ( 239582 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:24PM (#16003251) Homepage
    > 90% of the energy output of a incandescant bulb is heat. Think about how an easy bake oven works.

    The A/C costs of COOLING that 90% are another huge energy gain.

  • by jmhewitt ( 811760 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:26PM (#16003265)
    Do these have the same problems as most florescent bulbs? I can not stand having the lights on in my office as they give me headaches. I haven't adopted the bulbs for this reason.
  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:32PM (#16003314)
    When I livedin the northwest, I heard lots of talk about people wanting to get rid of the hydro dams because they believe it would be beneficial to salmon. (This seems NUTS to me.)

    You want to hear real crazy in the northwest?

    Tacoma, Washington recently decided to add another span to their overloaded Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge. (You might remember the original one was Galloping Gurdy... yeah, it's that bridge.) The designer who created the new bridge came up with a great idea... the Tacoma Narrows is known for having insanely-fast currents while the tide is coming in and going out. His idea was to put turbines in the base of the bridge tower to generate power during the tide shifts. Selling the generated power would, over the course of a few dozen years, pay for the construction of the bridge while at the same time providing clean energy to everyone nearby. Win-win!

    But of course, this is Washington Wacko-Environmentalist State. Instead, his plan was cancelled because the Wacko-Environmentalist movement decided that turbines, even covered with safety grilles, would kill fish-- and God knows that the lives of 3 fish a year is more important than tons of clean power! So now the bridge has a conventional base with no turbines and, as an added bonus, all of us non-wackos have to pay TOLLS to cross it!

    I have nothing against practical environmentalists, but that movement needs to filter a little more against the wackos who seem more against the advancement of humanity than the protection of the environment. Washington and Oregon seem to be the foundation of this wacko movement, unfortunately.
  • by djtack ( 545324 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:34PM (#16003321)
    Cree just announced [] an LED with an efficiency of 131 luments per watt (compared to incandescent light bulbs at 10 to 20 lumens per watt range, and compact fluorescent lamps range from 50 to 60 lumens per watt).

    So they are coming. Then again, Cree seems to have a history of "science by press release", where they announce these amazing specs, then never bring the product to market.
  • Re:White light? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PJC1 ( 301605 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @06:57PM (#16003462)
    There are two factors which can cause a CFL to look "harsh." One is the color temperature and the other is the color rendering index. Typical color temperatures range from 2,700K-6,500K. The best color temperature is a matter of preference, but a general rule is to use lower CCTs (warmer) at lower light levels and higher CCTs (cooler) at higher light levels. While many people consider the color temperature of a fluorescent bulb, fewer take the CRI into consideration. Older and cheaper fluorescent lamps with warm white or cool white phosphor have a CRI in the 50s 60s. These lamps have an abundance of yellow and green, but are lacking on the red and violet ends of the spectrum. This can cause objects to look discolored or dull. Regardless of the color temperature you choose, always look for bulbs with a CCT of 80 or higher. Unfortunately, many manufactures don't tell you the CRI on the box, so you may have to do some research before making a purchase. Luckily, these days most CFLs have CCTs in the 80s or even 90s, but some bargain models use the cheaper phosphors.
  • Re:White light? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @07:19PM (#16003580)
    Kindof.... The light they give off is not blackbody radiation, so it will never behave truly like sunlight. For instance, grab a CD, turn it upside down, and look at a fluorescent bulb through it. You see multiple images, one in each of several colors. The bulb is emitting discrete bands of color. Look at a normabl bulb and you see a rainbow smear, continuous blackbody radiation.

    A fluorescent bulb does not have an equivalent "temperature" perse, as the radiation is not blackbody. That being said, modern ones are far better than the old ones.
  • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @08:12PM (#16003827)
    that light bulb is heating the house most of the year. if you replaced it you would turn up the heat. This would in turn burn more heating oil, propane, wood, coal. the energy savings might occur in summer or in a few parts of the US. But mainly it would have no effect. It might even be net negative, since the light is heating an occupied room directly whereas heating a whole house just to heat one occupied room is less efficient. The oil companies will thus love this because the net effect is to use less nuclear and hydro electric power (for the electricity) and more oil and gas
  • Re:How many... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rs79 ( 71822 ) <> on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @09:30PM (#16004160) Homepage
    "When I saw them in costco, I bought a bunch and replaced about 80% of the lightbulbs in my house with them. The remaining bulbs are where my wife sits and reads, and she doesn't like the light from the CF, although I can't tell the difference."

    Recycle your wife for a more energy efficient model. There's an energy war going on doncha know? Be patriotic... do your bit. Uh, she cute? Got her number?

    Or try this trick: get a daylight CFL. They're right bluish. Ask her how she likes it. She'll hate it. Then put a regular (warm white) CFL back in and say you've fixed it. She'll say "That's better" and even when she realizes its not incandescent, because married women hate admitting they're wrong, she'll live with it rather that admit she thought it was incandescent.

    Worked here.
  • Lower A/C costs, too (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RealGrouchy ( 943109 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @09:39PM (#16004209)
    As I recall from my high school science courses (and which is supported by anecdotal experience...and wikipedia), about 95% of the energy output of an incandescent bulb is heat, and only 5% is light.

    Ironic as it may be for a Canadian such as myself to complain about air conditioning costs, but if you have a bunch of these going on in hour house, they're putting out a noticable amount of heat. If on top of this you are air conditioning your house (presumably in the summer), then you're paying to cool the air that your light is heating.

    CFLs (BTW, CFL in Canada stands for Canadian Football League...please co-opt this acronym) use less energy to produce the same amount of light, so I can only assume that the energy difference is in heat savings. Add to this the savings from not having to re-cool that air, and you are then saving double in the summer.

    Quite a clever investment!

    - RG>
  • LED lights (Score:3, Interesting)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <<falconsoaring_2000> <at> <>> on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:30PM (#16004462)

    All of my home lighting is LED using the luxeon 3 and 5 watt models. I use about 1/20th the energy that I used when I was using CFs. Granted, I had to build nearly all the fixtures and powersupplies myself, but the 5 watt units only cost about 7 $US and put out light equal to an 80 watt tungsten. They cost far less and use way less energy that CFs, I don't know why they haven't caught on

    Are the LED lights you have any good for whole room lighting? Last I heard the LED light good for whole room lighting are expensive. A few months ago I saw one for more than $50. That's way too much for me, I'd pay $10 but not $50.

  • by robbak ( 775424 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:37PM (#16004494) Homepage
    I find it intersting that many people are complaining about the colour temperature of CFLs. I don't know if it is the case in other countries, but here in Australia, we have the choice of at least three, sold as 'warm white', 'white' and 'daylight'. Personally, I much prefer the slightly blue tone of daylight, find white acceptable, and 'warm white' is more a horrid, dull orange.
    Can you get a range of colour temperatures in other countries?
  • by chris_eineke ( 634570 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:44PM (#16004528) Homepage Journal
    oblivious to the power consumption of our tin box
    My computer uses about 25 W/h. Two lightbulbs are on in my room: one uses 20 W/h, the other one is 12 W/h. So far 57 W/h. That's less than some idling Intel CPUs. One lightbulb uses almost as much electricity as my computer. And these are halogen lightbulbs.
  • Re:How many... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zxnos ( 813588 ) <> on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @11:34PM (#16004758)
    I don't know why they haven't caught on

    they are coming. they are just expensive now. it is hard getting people to pay even 5$ for a decent cf that saves money and lasts a long time. that written, i have spec'd them in some high-end projects for mood (colors, effects) lighting.

    and to appeal to authority, i am an architect.

  • by mbourgon ( 186257 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:44AM (#16005040) Homepage
    Serious question - was telling my wife about these, and she mentioned how they still hum (which I'm sensitive to), they cause/worsen her migraines, and that some people (not us) are sensitive to flicker.

    Are these better now?
  • Re:RF Noise? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by logullo ( 315085 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:44AM (#16006519) Homepage
    Do me a favor--repeat your test, but this time see if it affects AM radio reception. Choose a weak station in the high end of the AM band (around 1400 or so) and tell us if the bulb makes the radio buzz.

    I'd start replacing bulbs in my home tomorrow if they didn't cause RFI...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:28AM (#16007730)
    This thread is a bit old, but I still want to post because damnit, I need to.
    I was born and raised in the great U.S. of A. Currently, in my early 30s, I am living in a European country and since electricity prices are such a contast to CF light bulb prices, I use CF for every single light we use.

    GE and Philips suck ass. Let me say that right now. When I first came here these were the brands I knew and trusted and I thought they were the best. I mean come on!? GE??? The lighting company? Philips?! The company on the cusp of tech? They had to know what they are doing...

    No. they don't. And after a few years of using and trusting these light manufacturers, I learned something. Sometimes the biggest and the smartest really isn't. They have no idea how to make lights. And it shows in everything that is made in this market from them. I go home every 6 to 12 months. Back to the USA.

    I go back and I try to find good CF lights. THERE ARE NONE... PERIOD. they suck. They suck hard. They are medium priced, but their performance is second to shit. There is a huge marget gap in America. HUGE... I live in TURKEY for christs sake. A country that is still considered third world by a lot of people. The CF lights that are here I would replace in a heartbeat if I had access to them in the states. Instantly. I only buy 120 equivelent bulbs for my home. oh yeah. OSRAM. German brand. Fucking Awesome. There is no warm up time and you get 120 watts equivilent instantly. running 23 watts of power. Yeah, it's bigger, but for 23 watts it kicks out a hell of a lot of light.

    People complain because they have no options. there is a market gap in what there is in America and other countries. There are great technologies out there if you can find it. American is great, but it is not the end all be all of tech. Oh, and by the way, here in Istanbul, the cheap lights are the OSRAM lights. The best. The GE and philips? Expensive as hell. They last a year. Then they BURN OUT. I have an Osram light that has never wavered in my office. Same light, instant on, and I hit it sometimes when I dust. OSRAM is a sturdy brand. Look around. Search. In this world we as apeople are being held back by politics and marketing. Nothing more.

    Find out.

  • by Antony-Kyre ( 807195 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @06:49PM (#16011577)
    I question how efficient it would be though. Do LEDs suck up a lot of power when you have 16 to 32 used in a handheld flashlight?

    I think most bicycle lights tend to have three LED lights, more or less. Maybe six. Imagine taking three or four 32-LED flashlights (128 LEDs in all) and putting them on the front of one's bike.
  • LED idea for homes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Antony-Kyre ( 807195 ) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @03:49AM (#16013957)
    I would imagine it would be useful to design one's hallway with LEDs at floor level to give a little bit of light to see. These would be motion activated and photo sensitive to turn on.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury