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Old 02-01-2007, 04:28 AM   #11
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In "southern" climates, that makes a lot of sense. I'm not too finicky- as long as I don't bump my toes on the dresser, I'm happy. And actually, I don't even notice many of the bulbs that we install.

Unfortunately we have electric heat only in our condo, so during the winter months I don't mind having little 55W incandescent "heaters" since a watt is a watt.

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Old 02-01-2007, 09:13 PM   #12
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you can't just blindly buy a compact flurecent light, you have brightness, and color temp, color temp is basicly how white or yellow the light is, and it's a fine line in what is comfertable, a very slight bit of yellow, as opposed to blue or green, is normaly ideal, sometimes you can find a brand that you like the color of, and stick with it.

I just read a thing about a $1,000 LED flashlight, that is suposed to be simaler output as a 60 watt haligen light (they compared it to the low beam on a car head light), altho I think my LED for my mag light is almost as bright as my car head lights... I should compare the two at some point... I have a screw in LED bulb that works with 120 volt a/c, it's ok, it's only a 1 watt LED, and it was a shade of yellow, I should have gotten the white.

I think it might be Thiland where it is almost impossible to find incondesent household bulbs, of course I'm sure they are at least 10 years ahead of us in this area as well.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
I think my LED for my mag light is almost as bright as my car head lights...
I LOVED my LED mag light - I lost it but plan on buying another one.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:25 AM   #14
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I hvae about 90% compact flurecents in my house. They have inproved a lot but they are still the total answer. Since I live in a cold climat they do not work outside.
A few other other examples of were they do not work.
Fridge,
Oven,
Not the best for Bathroom (Wife need to look good infront of mirror)
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:18 PM   #15
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I hvae about 90% compact flurecents in my house. They have inproved a lot but they are still the total answer.
True.

On the down side CFs are often slightly bigger (physically) than an equivalent incandescent. While this (slight) extra size often is not a problem, it can be a real PITA when you are tight on space for the bulb. And CFs do light up a little slower (often a few seconds from off to maximum light) than an incandescent does. And you have to be extra careful which florescent you pick, if/when you have something "unusual" about the light circuit (such as a "dimmer", or a lighted up light switch). And finally, they are generally more costly to buy initially than an incandescent bulb.

However, CFs also have a number of advantages over the older bulbs. In general they last a lot longer, so the extra bulb cost is offset by the fact that the bulb often lasts a lot longer. And they do use a lot less power (most CFs use between 1/3 and 1/4 of the energy of an equivalent incandescent light), and also generate a lot less heat (due to the lower power usage). And while some CFs have lousy light color, you can get some real pleasing light colors/tints (including a bulb that mimics the natural "white" of "outdoors") if you look carefully (so you have much more choice in how the light looks with a CF, whereas most incandescents are the same yellowish-white).

In my case, most of our lights are now CFs in the house. And we are also starting to use LED lighting in a few key places in the house as well. However, we still have a very limited number of incandesents in special places in the house (for example, the light inside our cloths dryer is still the incandescent "utility bulb" it came with).

BTW:
I think the reason why florescent bulbs have such a "bad rap", is that the original florescent bulbs produced what was known as "cool white" light. This was the result of some scientist figuring out that the human eye is extra sensitive to shades of blue/green, so they made the first florescents with a blue-green tint to the white light. But the trouble was, that the scientist wasn't also a psychologist, and so it was only after florescent bulbs had been out for a while, that they started hearing about how MANY humans considered that blue-green tinted white as "unnatural"!

But the "good news" is that florescent technology (unlike incandescent lights) really lets the bulb makers put out any tint of light they want. So a few years after the first "cool white" bulbs were complained about, some bulb makers started making much more pleasing (to the human psych) tints of light in their bulbs. These tints are not quite as energy efficient as the old "cool white" tint (the original science about the human eye was correct, it just overlooked the "unnatural" psych element of that color), but they were much more "pleasing" to the people that used that light (and even an inefficient florescent tint, is still a lot more energy efficient than an incandescent bulb). And once those "warm white" (slightly yellowish-pink tint of white) bulbs became popular, even more light tint options came on the market (because the bulb makers realized that people would buy them if they made them). For example, you can now even buy florescent bulbs (either CF or traditional florescent tubes) in a tint that does a credible job of mimicking "natural daylight" (which to many humans is even a more pleasing tint of white than the yellowish tint incandescent bulbs put out). So with florescent bulbs these days, you really do have to pay attention to what sort of "white" it produces (especially if "how the light looks" is important to you). The old (often complained about) "cool white" bulbs are still out there (the "cool white" tint still is the most energy efficient tint, it's just not the most pleasing tint), but there is also a lot of much more pleasing tints to choose from (I personally like a combo of "warm white" and "natural daylight" myself, but I'll sometimes use whatever bulb tint is cheap in areas I don't frequently visit).

NOTE:
In my experience, LED based lighting is a good compliment to CF lighting. While LED lights aren't nearly as bright as most CF lights, they are just as energy efficient (in some cases the LED lights are even more energy efficient than the CFs are). And LEDs can be used in some places that CFs don't work well. For example, you wouldn't want to try putting a CF in your fridge/freezer) due to the problems florescents have in cold, but LEDs don't have that problem. So I was able to put $6 LED "bulbs" in my fridge/freezer, with each "bulb" burning under 1 watt of power and putting virtually no heat into the fridge/freezer while it is on (unlike the incandescent utility light, which pumps out a lot of heat into an area that should stay cold). And I've also found that putting a small LED "bulb" on a circuit with an CF, means that when I hit the switch I can instantly see something (as LEDs light up even faster than traditional incandescent bulbs do), seconds before the CF warms up and starts producing the "big light" (so I can see "right away", even though I have to wait a few seconds for "full light")! And small LED "night lights" (available for about $4/each at some hardware stores) are great around the house, as they give off enough light to avoid running into things, while still using so little power you can leave them on "all the time" (the LED night lights I picked up from the local Menards, use only about 1/3 of a watt of power each, or all of 5 watts of power to scatter 15 of them around your house)!
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:06 PM   #16
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when comparing Compact Florecent lights, don't just compare the "watt equivlent" first look at the color temp of the bulb, and try to figure out what kind of light you like, this might meen buying a few differnt brands of bulbs, and of course differnt brands seem to varry even if they clame to be a simaler color temp.
you can also look at the lumen output of a bulb if you really want to know how bright it is.
I've found that it's hard to find bulbs that are less then 13 watt, and for abent light in a room, I like less light then that, I had a 7 watt westinghouse mini twist CF that was perfect, great color, and lit up the whole room, but after about 10,000 hours of use, it burnt out.
light fixures are rated for a set size of bulb to protect them from over heating, so you can often fit a brighter CF in a fixture that would otherwise only alow a dimmer bulb, I really like how CF take time to come to full brightness, I'm often shocked when I go to friends house's and turn on a light, and am blinded by this sudden light.
If I was writting the law, I wouldn't ban incondesent lights, but I would put a surcharge, or tax on lights that put out less then a set amount of lumens per watt, kind of like a gass guzzler tax.
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
I really like how CF take time to come to full brightness, I'm often shocked when I go to friends house's and turn on a light, and am blinded by this sudden light.
When I was still living with my parents, I had a CF bulb in my night stand light...it was very nice when waking up in the morning to not be hit by the wall of light but instead having a gradual increase in brightness.
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:05 PM   #18
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When I was still living with my parents, I had a CF bulb in my night stand light...it was very nice when waking up in the morning to not be hit by the wall of light but instead having a gradual increase in brightness.
Makes sense.

However, I still think it's nice to have some "small" light come on "right away". Which is why I have a real low power LED bulb on some of my multi-bulb circuits (such as the light switch for our "master bathroom"). That way, the ("night light" only brightness) LED comes on IMMEDIATELY (when the switch is turned), followed (a couple of seconds later) by the (much brighter) CF starting to light up (the CF seems to take a second or two before I get ANY light, followed by several more seconds before it gets to full brightness). By doing things this way, I still get the "gradual brightening", but (unlike with just the CF) the initial "night light" level light starts "right away" (due to the 7/10th of a watt LED bulb I have on the circuit, along with the CF), followed by the CF "warming up".

FYI:
I'm sure you know it. But in case any other members don't know, "Compact Florescent" bulbs, are DESIGNED to fit in the SAME screw in light sockets that you use "normal" incandescent bulbs in. Essentially, the CF is a small screw in adapter, coupled with a small (often twisted, to keep it small) florescent bulb. Essentially, the adapter converts between the socket you put a "normal" bulb in, and what the florescent light itself needs. With some CFs (especially the cheaper units), the two parts (the adapter and the bulb) are built as one piece (so when either part burns out, the CF is toast). And with other CFs, the adapter and the bulb can be unplugged from each other (so you can replace just the broken part if either part burns out). But in either case (and I personally use both the 1-piece and 2-piece CFs in my house), you can OFTEN screw a CF into places designed just for "normal" (incandescent) bulbs (for example, I have CFs in ceiling light fixtures, table lamps, bathroom light fixtures, etc). The idea is, unlike an old style florescent light, CFs were invented to be used as "normal" (incandescent) bulb replacements (down to directly screwing into a normal incandescent bulb light socket)!

BTW:
I agree with a few other posters, that I wouldn't like to see an outright ban. People should have personal choice in the matter. And furthermore, there are some (minority of) situations, where the incandescent bulb really is the best fit (for example, while there are some expensive CFs that will work with dimmers, most CFs will fail miserably on bulb dimmer circuits). However, I see nothing wrong with using "economic incentives" to encourage sound energy use. So if CA feels that encouraging energy efficient bulbs is in it's best interest (given their apparent energy shortage), how about taxing energy wasting bulbs (such as normal incandescent bulbs) and use that money to offer rebates/incentives on the CFs/LEDs/etc? That way, choice is maintained, while still encouraging a lot of people to switch.

OTOH while I see nothing wrong with this carrot and a stick economic approach (i.e. tax "piggish" bulbs, and rebate part of the cost of highly efficient bulbs), it's also unlikely to effect me personally. After all, I don't live in CA, so I'm unlikely to be directly effected by any CA rules. And besides which, even if I was affected, I've long since switched the vast majority of my home lighting over to energy efficient bulbs anyway (simply due to the huge electric bill savings that can result from this change alone)!
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:52 PM   #19
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There's going to be a massive toxic waste issue when everyone throws them in the garbage instead of disposing of them properly.
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:16 PM   #20
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There's going to be a massive toxic waste issue when everyone throws them in the garbage instead of disposing of them properly.
That could be built into the incentives (carrots), like returning aluminum cans or glass bottles.

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