Monday, 30 June 2008

Not-So-Dim Bulbs

The government wants your old-fashioned energy-hungry incandescent tungsten light bulb gone, and gone soon. But some people are willing to go to great lengths to hang onto the lights they love.
It seems some people aren’t so willing to accept the decisions of the Greenies and are stockpiling normal bulbs for later use:
The 150w, in particular, is seriously rare. They're gone from Tesco. Morrisons have already chosen to ditch them, with 100w to follow in the autumn and 60w next year.
My tip…? Boot sales!

It’s not just a case of disliking the attempt to force us all to use the ‘green’ option, either:
"I'm stocking up now, before they're banned or get ridiculously expensive," says Bradley, an insurance broker from West Sussex. "The green ones might save you money and everything, but I just can't stand them."

"They don't look right," he explains. "They're not bright enough and they take an age to come on. That's not what you want from a light bulb. You want it to light up the whole room, just like that." He clicks his fingers.

Jo, who works in the same office, agrees. "I did try the energy saving ones," she says, "but they're not the same. One of them made a buzzing noise, one of them kept going on and off. We gave up on them."
And then there’s the mercury problem:
Government advice says that because of the mercury in low energy bulbs, if you break one you should leave the room for 15 minutes, clear up the pieces with rubber gloves, not with a vacuum cleaner, and take them in a sealed bag to your local council. The bulbs should not be thrown in normal waste.
None of that sways the ecoloonies, mind you:
Campaigners see the hoarding of bulbs in a dim light (Ed: Ho, ho….). "It's a bad idea," says Ben Stewart of Greenpeace. "They're not only bad for the climate but mean a bigger electricity bill. Incandescent light bulbs were invented in the 1880s and use 80% more electricity than energy saving ones. The time has come to move into the 21st Century."
Changing to something that doesn’t work as well, is disliked by the consumer and poses disposal problems is moving forwards…?


John M Ward said...

What I'd like is infinite-life bulbs. I hate having to clamber up to change blown bulbs, and it is particularly irritating when the whole circuit's breaker trips when one does.

I think it's about time that light bulbs were treated the same way as other electrical items. After all, we don't have to replace the toaster or microwave oven every few months.

JuliaM said...

"What I'd like is infinite-life bulbs..."

Ah, if only. Perhaps they'd be better off looking at improving the current design, rather than introducing a new 'green' version that no-one wants...

John M Ward said...

The greenest variety would be those that don't need to keep being produced (as consumables) and dud being dumped into landfill -- which is what I was proposing.

I realise it would need Government-level intervention to force the producers into making such products for the UK market -- but they could simply not bother with us and we'd end up with nothing.

It'd need to be either a worldwide requirement, or -- dare I suggest it -- a State-owned factory to kick-start the market. Only when other companies realise that there is a workable market here and join in could the factory be sold off. Meanwhile, other countries would become aware of our product, and through market forces end up changing the world view (and market) that way.

Thus we see one of those rare occasions where a State-run piece of industry can be beneficial, if needed to be State-owned for just a few years, as this should be.

It would need to be backed by legislation that eventually requires all lamp bulbs (and tubes?) to have a true "lifetime" guarantee, which could be introduced once the concept is successful on its own merits.

Anonymous said...

o noes o noes! my lightbulb takes a tiny bit longer to come on! and, er, that's it! sod the future generations and the planet - it inconveniences me a tiny bit!