December 7, 2008

Life with fluorescent bulbs.

You know what it will be like -- don't you? -- this life with fluorescent bulbs that Obama and his cadre of environmentalists are about to foist on us all. It will be like this:



I'm not arguing that with you...

101 comments:

knox said...

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that Leftists really just want to make everyone as miserable as they are. If the fluorescent bulb movement doesn't prove this, NOTHING does. They are pure, flickering evil.

Original George said...

Somehow reminiscent of the typewriter scene from Cronenberg's "Naked Lunch"

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OSweet said...

Will mullets come back, too?

Bissage said...

As much as I dislike fluorescent lighting, in all fairness, there is nothing better suited to raising your seedlings than the ordinary four foot shop light equipped with ordinary 40 watt T-12 fluorescent tubes.

Get to it, people!

The time for starting your pansies is NOW!!!

Skyler said...

And next he'll be telling us to wear sweaters.

I'm getting this sense of deja vu all over again.

Paddy O. said...

One of my favorite movies.

The key, of course, for life in the Obama age is for us all to have a secret stash of light bulbs and our own, usually hidden, hula lamp to put them in.

chickenlittle said...

He's got mercury poisoning, it's fatal and it don't get better,
He's got mercury poisoning, the best-kept secret in the West (etc)


Graham Parker (1979)

EDH said...

I know he can get the job.

But can he do the job?


Fitting question.

10ksnooker said...

Fitting question, the answer is no.

Everytime I see Obama give a speech I wonder, did they make the podium bigger?

k said...

That one's on my all-time favorite list!

And just yesterday, I listened to one of my daughters carry on a conversation just like Mr. Waturi's, and I thought, I wonder if I could find that clip somewhere?

And here it is in the Vortex!

Can he do the job? hm. I have no response to that.

Palladian said...

People don't want these ugly, mercury-filled things in their homes. Fluorescent light is ugly. I've experimented with these stupid CF "bulbs" and even the ones with a warmer color temperature do not produce the warm spectrum of an incandescent bulb. The problem is not color temperature or lumens, it's how the "bulb" produces light. Fluorescent sources create pulses of light rather than the continual burn of an incandescent. Save me the claptrap about better ballasts producing more even output: they're still terrible and still bother my eyes and trigger my migraines. Artwork looks terrible under their illumination. I thought these fucking hipster liberals were supposed to be the aesthetically superior ones? Fuck Obama. He can sit under the buzzing pallid glow of a mercury pigtail if he wants. I've bulk ordered every kind of incandescent bulb I'll ever need and the motherfuckers can send the EPA goon-squad over and take them from my cold, dead hands. After all, we have nothing bigger to worry about that light-bulbs, right?

Palladian said...

And a big fuck you to congress while I'm at it. They're the ones ultimately responsible for this.

"Many of these state efforts became moot when the federal Clean Energy Act of 2007 was signed into law on December 19, 2007. This legislation effectively banned (by January 2014) incandescent bulbs that produce 310 - 2600 lumens of light [7]. Bulbs outside this range (roughly, light bulbs currently less than 40 Watts or more than 150 Watts) are exempt from the ban. Also exempt are several classes of specialty lights, including appliance lamps, "rough service" bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, and plant lights."

Frank said...

This looks like Argonne National Laboratories only cheerier.

Fluorescent bulbs are a terrible technology. It's idiotic to put glass bulbs filled with mercury vapor in the hands of the public when breaking one or two would legally require a hazmat team to clean up.

Skip fluorescent bulbs. Go straight to LED's which are initially more expensive, but are far more efficient.

David said...

Here in SC, the enviros are opposing new coal fired electric plants because they say it will cause mercury pollution. They are also all in favor of florescent lights, which they say will cause only a teensy bit of mercury pollution, once we get the disposal issue worked out.

I've already got my huge stash of incandescent bulbs. I inherited it from my mother, who had a whole closet full, just in case she needed one.

Palladian said...

And here is a little comparison that I did regarding the aesthetic qualities of light bulbs vs mercury vapor powder pulse pigtails (also known as compact fluorescent "bulbs"):

My Joe Colombo designed "Triedro" fixture with the specified half-silvered round bulb installed. The same fixture with a CF "bulb". But who cares about aesthetics?!! It's "green", maybe!!!!!1

Palladian said...

Compare the CF "bulb" to these elegant, beautiful and interesting incandescents.

Now imagine how nice these fixtures at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, designed to showcase rather than hide the incandescent bulbs, will look with CF "bulbs" hanging out of them!

Whee! Apparently the "change" we were supposed to believe in was Obama climbing a ladder and changing light bulbs.

mrs whatsit said...

The worst thing about those CF bulbs -- well, one of the worst things -- is how slowly they come to full illumination, especially in a cool room. Where I work, we have CF bulbs in the file room. We only enter the room a few times a day for a minute or two at a time. But it takes three or four minutes for the bulbs to get bright enough to let us read the labels on the files. So, instead of turning on the lights only when we're using the room, we have to leave them on all day. Furthermore, since we can't turn the lights off each time we leave the room, we have to remember to make a special trip in there to turn them off at the end of each work day. The room is out of the way so, not infrequently, we forget, and the lights end up burning in the empty room all night. So much more wasteful than a nice old-fashioned incandescent bulb would have been. So dumb. And so ugly!

Twin said...

What about the warmer color temperature fluorescent bulbs? Are they any better than the "cold" ones? I hate the cold ones. I've been meaning to buy some warmer ones to see if they are closer to the experience of the traditional tungsten bulbs.

Anyone here ever use "warm" fluorescents?

Twin said...

You know, Ann, that's kind of dishonest of you, that reference you make to the tire gagues. Or maybe it's not dishonest; you might just be misinformed.

I wonder if anyone knows why Ann's comment in the MTP thread about tire gagues is either dishonest or evidence that she has been misled.

TosaGuy said...

Wonder how many CFLs vs. incandescents are/will be in that government building called the White House? Probably lots in the offices and none in the living areas and where the President gets photographed.

Twin said...

Jesus. I misspelled "gauges" twice!

Really, I'm not totally ignorant. (Yeesh!)

TitusPlayItCoolBoy said...

Palladian's on a role.

You get em girl.

Twin said...

What the MTP post shows us:

Ann will never show the blind loyalty to Obama that she showed to Bush. In all the years she's blogged, Ann has steadfastly refused to even hint at any criticism of Bush. She's been a total Bush loyalist from day one.

With Obama, she's going to be all over him.

She may have voted for Obama, but that doesn't mean she'll show him the deference she showed Bush.

Richard Fagin said...

Knox, you're right about environmentalists' motives, but the good news is technology beats 'em every time. It was not so long ago (1974) that they were poised to destroy automobiles. Oh how they lusted for the end. Then along came the catalytic converter, and after that electronic fuel injection.

Their lust to destroy the light bulb will come to naught, too, as LEDs and ultra high efficiency incandescent devices replace what we have.

As for their global warming poppycock, stay tuned. We'll fix that too.

jdeeripper said...

What does Joe the Plumber think about all this?

LoafingOaf said...

The new type of compact flourescent bulbs don't flicker. I agree the light is not as good, and I only use them in a few lights where that doesn't matter to me. Also, the bulbs are incompatible with some of my lights (that is, don't fit in them right).

I don't know what the commenter is talking about regarding the bulbs taking 3-4 minutes to turn on. Mine turn on instantly, just like any other bulb. Even the older flourescent lights I got for my closets years ago (which I suspct are more similar to what you're talking about) don't take 3-4 minutes (those take about 10 seconds to turn on). So, um, whatever they've got in your file room is crap but that doesn't apply to flourescent bulbs in general. Maybe you should, like, take matters into your own hands and change the lights in that file room....

But, yeah, the CF bulb light ain't as nice as regular bulbs, so no one should be forced to have them.

Pundit Joe said...

This post should win an award! It is simply perfect! :)

Dennis said...

Of course, the best reason to keep using the incandescents is because there's nothing wrong with using them in the first place.

Skyler said...

I can't stand the federal government telling us what kind of toilet to use or what kind of light bulb to use.

But, I really like the CFL bulbs. They put out a lot less heat which is very important in Texas summers in my home.

And "warmth" is just another way of saying "what you're used to."

Ralph said...

I've got a light fixture like the ones Palladian posted. The main piece is cast iron with gilt paint, bare aluminum brackets above and below, a chrome chain I had to replace, and a brass ceiling plate with gold highlighting. Looks good with the antique-style, low-output bulbs I got from Rejuvenation for $10 a piece.

This law is even dumber than the 1.6 gal toilet fiasco. As someone pointed out, it's stupid (and inefficient) to replace good bulbs you only use a few minutes a day.

After several tries, I found a CFL that's acceptable. I put a red shade on it (a small one, I'm not running a whorehouse).

matthew said...

I agree that the law phasing out the lights is awful, but it is a little incorrect to say that Obama and his environmentalists are "about to foist" this on us when (as Palladian noted) the law has already been passed and was signed by President Bush.

I personally have two places where, though the light fits, the light fixture doesn't go back on over the new "better" bulbs. Hmpf.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't know what the commenter is talking about regarding the bulbs taking 3-4 minutes to turn on. Mine turn on instantly, just like any other bulb

When it is cold, the bulbs take forever to turn on or don't turn on at all. The temperature in my pump house is about 40 degrees right now and stays between 40 and 50 year round.(perfect for storing wine) 40 is warm, considering that the outside temp this morning was 22 degrees. We changed to incandescent so that we don't have to wait 2 to 3 minutes in the dark for the light to come on.

If the pump house wasn't insulated so well, we would do like everyone else. Put a 60 watt bulb low on the ground near the well head and leave it on all winter so that the heat from the bulb would keep the pipes from freezing at the pump. Try that with a CFL.

Forget a CFL for an outside light. They would never come on in the winter.

zeek said...

Dear god what a bunch of whiney pussies. Suddenly every righty who can never admit the left might be right about something is concerned about mercury poisoning. They don't care how much of it is in tuna fish they eat or feed their kids but suddenly they are concerned environmentalists who apparently break light bulbs on a weekly basis. I've never dropped a lightbulb in my life and the new fluorescents have thicker glass. ROTFLMAO

Lem said...

the antique look is in vogue in suburvia design

tell the planners and arquitecs.

zeek said...

Forget a CFL for an outside light. They would never come on in the winter.

My apartment building replaced the outside lamps with fluorescent bulbs years ago. They work fine all winter long.

There may be specialized work where these bulbs are not appropriate but to pretend they should not be used for all these silly reasons is about as rational as calling Obama a socialist. So here's another way the conservatives are going to drag progress to a halt, as usual.

LoafingOaf said...

but suddenly they are concerned environmentalists who apparently break light bulbs on a weekly basis

Yes, lol, that's what I was thinking. It's amazing how many right wingers are suddenly saying they tried to give CFLs a chance but they keep dropping and breaking them every other day. I've never broken a light bulb in my life, either.

LoafingOaf said...

Anyway, CFLs and LEDs and so forth will keep improving by leaps and bounds and evenutally this will not be such a controversy.

Palladian said...

"Dear god what a bunch of whiney pussies."

God likes His name to be capitalized when you're whining to Him about people you think are whiny.

"Suddenly every righty who can never admit the left might be right about something is concerned about mercury poisoning."

So we're all "righties" because we don't like ugly fluorescent bulbs and don't like cleaning up mercury in our homes? Wow, it takes so little to be a "rightie" these days, its a wonder the "righties" lost the election.

"They don't care how much of it is in tuna fish they eat or feed their kids"

I don't eat tuna fish and I don't have any kids, so you're right, I don't care.

"...but suddenly they are concerned environmentalists who apparently break light bulbs on a weekly basis."

A commenter described breaking one light bulb. And the CF "bulbs" might be thicker glass, but they have a lot of fragile twists and a complex structure made of unprotected glass that actual bulbs don't.

"I've never dropped a lightbulb in my life and the new fluorescents have thicker glass. ROTFLMAO"

Wow. The statement "I've never dropped a lightbulb in my life and the new fluorescents have thicker glass" causes you to roll on the floor and laugh your ass off? You're easily amused, you insufferable little twat.

Palladian said...

"So here's another way the conservatives are going to drag progress to a halt, as usual."

Ahh! Progress! Forcing people to adopt an inferior, expensive, toxic, outdated technology against their will. Yep, sounds like what socialists would consider "progress".

Ralph said...

Bulb Virgins.

Palladian said...

"Yes, lol, that's what I was thinking. It's amazing how many right wingers are suddenly saying they tried to give CFLs a chance but they keep dropping and breaking them every other day. I've never broken a light bulb in my life, either."

Actually no one in this thread mentioned breaking a light bulb except you and Zeek the floor-rolling, assless, laughing loser.

One person in another thread described breaking one CF "bulb" and suddenly THE RIGHT WING BREAKS BULBS ROTFLMAO!!!1

Anyway, this is all coming from someone who's deathly afraid of an Alaskan politician's pussy, so consider the source.

"Anyway, CFLs and LEDs and so forth will keep improving by leaps and bounds and evenutally this will not be such a controversy."

CF has no future. It's a flawed implementation of an old technology that produces an expensive, inferior product. LED might have a future, though for ordinary house lighting in existing fixtures, it's a long way off. I like LEDs but their usefulness is currently limited in this arena.

Harvey said...

All indoor incandescent bulbs burning in Nova Scotia right now are 100% efficient. (It's 0C outside)

Oligonicella said...

Skyler --

And "warmth" is just another way of saying "what you're used to."

Actually, it's a way of saying "yellow". You know, like sunlight. The stuff we evolved in. The stuff shown to have a positive effect on reducing depression. The stuff that helps you manufacture D. Healthy stuff.

That's probably why we like it. Yellow light, that is.

LoafingOaf said...

Palladian, why do you gotta be bringing up Palin again? Althouse is nice enough to give us a Palin thread often enough without you having to troll me about her in unrelated threads.

But now that you have, did you see the story in Polico finding that Palin's shopping spree during the campaign was underestimated? Add another 30 grand of junk from stores like Toys R Us and Victoria's Secret.

As Politico first reported in October, the bulk of that spending, about $150,000, was spent in early September on clothes for the Alaska governor and her family.

The RNC’s post-Election Day report documented another $30,000 at outlets that read like a suburban shopping directory.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Limited, Foot Locker, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Victoria’s Secret are all listed in between the expected payments for media buys, direct mail and polling.
Link.

But I am looking forward to the Brisol and Levi wedding. When's the date for that so I can mark my calandar?

As for the bulbs, there's a propaganda campaign from right wing circles to hype up the risks of compact flourescents. I've already stated I don't think the government should require anyone to switch. I think energy efficient bulbs will become more and more popular on their own merits in the marketplace. Why are right wingers trying to scare people away from a product that can save them money and help the environment? Bizarre.

Bush uses compact flourescents in the White House, btw.

LoafingOaf said...

And CF bulbs aren't more expensive. You save lots of money over the life of the bulb.

PatCA said...

"So here's another way the conservatives are going to drag progress to a halt, as usual."

Let's see...the government controls where people smoke, what kind of food they are allowed to each, how much gas their cars are allowed to use. Why isn't life perfect?!

Maybe Big Brother just needs a teeny weeny bit more control and then everything will be fine.

LoafingOaf said...

I don't want the government to tell people what kind of cars to drive, but I do think they should do something to stop people parking giant SUVs on both sides of my Toyota when I'm in stores. Maybe have far-away sections of parking spaces where SUVs have to park. It's a hazard to back out of a crowded parking lot when people are parking those things around me.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've already stated I don't think the government should require anyone to switch. I think energy efficient bulbs will become more and more popular on their own merits in the marketplace.

I don't either, but the government just can't help itself in meddling in our lives and in f*cking up the free market. See GM for an example. Especially a government controlled by lefties who don't know thier ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to economics....or much of anything else.

Why are right wingers trying to scare people away from a product that can save them money and help the environment? Bizarre.

I'm not trying to scare you away from anything. Use all the mercury laden, ugly, inefficient CFL bulbs you want. I don't care what YOU want to do.

Just why is it that left wingers are always trying to force their hare brained ideas down the throats of the public? Telling us what to eat, what to drink, what temperature we must have our homes, what kind of cars to drive, what kind of toilets we must use to crap into....the list of interference goes on and on and on.

If CFLs are a good idea and provide value, people will buy them. But.....nooooooo.....the left must force us for our own good.

That's why.

lewsar said...

i've used CFLs for years now. i don't buy anything else, and i use them both inside and outside.

the 'warmer' bulbs do fine so far as i'm concerned, and i appreciate the power savings.

i do agree that it's stupid of congress to phase out incandescent bulbs however. muttonheads, all of them.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"I thought these fucking hipster liberals were supposed to be the aesthetically superior ones? Fuck Obama. He can sit under the buzzing pallid glow of a mercury pigtail if he wants."

Palladian, I love you.

Kylos said...

Palladian, the "pulse" you're complaining about is actually caused by the 60Hz AC current running in your house. An incandescent bulb has a high temperature inertia that keeps it from noticeably flickering during polarity. Newer CFL's with Energy Star approval do have improved electronics that increase the frequency of the current supplied from the flicker-inducing 60Hz to 10kHz or greater, at which point your eye will never be able to detect any flicker whatsover.

LoafingOaf, Mrs. Whatsit is correct that some CFL's take several minutes to achieve full brightness, and at initial power-on can actually be quite dim.

Palladian said...

"Newer CFL's with Energy Star approval do have improved electronics that increase the frequency of the current supplied from the flicker-inducing 60Hz to 10kHz or greater, at which point your eye will never be able to detect any flicker whatsover."

Interesting information. I knew about the 60hz mains frequency flicker, and I have experimented with newer lamps with Energy-Star electronic ballasts but I'm still bothered by them. I've always put down my headaches and eye strain under fluorescent lights to a problem with the flicker but I suppose that can't be it. I am extremely photosensitive and have high critical flicker fusion threshold according to a scientist friend so who knows. That's why I generally take the aesthetic argument against fluorescent lamps, to avoid straying into junk science territory as well as into science territory that I don't fully understand. :)

Meade said...

My fellow Americans... we are not here to curse the dimness of fluorescent bulbs; we are here to ask: Can he DO the job of lighting a candle. Preferably, an organic vegan soy candle.

Simon said...

Kylos said...
"Newer CFL's with Energy Star approval do have improved electronics that increase the frequency of the current supplied from the flicker-inducing 60Hz to 10kHz or greater, at which point your eye will never be able to detect any flicker whatsover."

The eye won't detect it, or the eye/brain won't process it as visual information? Can it still cause headaches even if it isn't consciously noticable flicker? I would have thought that broadcasting a noise source at a frequency just a little too high to be processed by the ears as an audio input might still have pysiological effects even if you can't "hear" it.

Simon said...

Meade said...
"My fellow Americans... we are not here to curse the dimness of fluorescent bulbs"

That's true: The issue isn't lightbulbs. The issue is coercion. The issue is choice. It's about one group of zealots makng the demand that their preference not only be accepted, but facilitated, and ultimately imposed on everyone else. And for what? It's still unclear to me what motivates these people other than the desire to have government ontrol ever-greater swathes of our lives.

Palladian said...

"The eye won't detect it, or the eye/brain won't process it as visual information? Can it still cause headaches even if it isn't consciously noticable flicker? I would have thought that broadcasting a noise source at a frequency just a little too high to be processed by the ears as an audio input might still have pysiological effects even if you can't "hear" it"

I think it has to be a visual thing in this case. We're surrounded by all sorts of vibrations at all different frequencies all the time. I do know that the hum of a fridge in other countries is often much more noticeable to American ears because of the frequency difference of the mains.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I think Obama learned something of the anthropologist's art from his mother. You don't go to Tahiti and ask people, 'How much did you pay for that straw skirt?' Similarly, you don't go to Iowa and say, 'We can get ethanol more cheaply from Brazil doncha know.' Obama in his cabinet choices has shown a lot of intelligence but it remains to be seen if we're going to be wearing straw skirts and drinking Everclear rather than putting it in our cars to deal with the inanity of it all by 2012.

Hector Owen said...

Posted on this a while back. What they want to sell to you is these things.Incandescents at about $5 each. So we see the joys of letting lobbyists write legislation. I know this has been suggested before, but—a lot of foolish legislation could be avoided if the main sponsor of each bill were required to read the bill aloud, in the Chamber, before debate or vote.

Rick H. said...

If you're going to use Joe v. the Volcano, how can you ignore the "brain cloud"? Something like: And under Obama's health care plans, medical services will become sloppy to the point patients are diagnosed with "brain clouds."

Seven Machos said...

No, Rick, it's not like that. It's that before Obama, we lived under a collective brain cloud, in a time when we did not see the true reality or perceive the value of our real selves. Now, however, the collective brain cloud has been lifted. This is a time of emergence, for ourselves, our communities, our nations.

And these fluorescent bulbs will help us see it all.

Donna B. said...

We bought florescent bulbs a couple of years ago and replaced the incandescent ones as they burned out, which didn't take long.

What we have NOT seen is a reduction in our electrical usage. I am, however, enjoying not replacing bulbs on a regular basis.

I also like the fact that I can use brighter florescents (they may take a few minutes to get brighter) than I can incandescents. The older one gets, the brighter the bulb needs to be for things like reading.

Living in the south, I don't mind the missing heat of incandescents.

But we did this conversion on our own. To have the government tell me I have to pisses me off.

beef said...

I'm an evil RIGHT WINGER (tm) who thinks CFLs have their uses. I've been using them for 18 years.

It's very true they have color issues, but that can be mitigated by finding out which ones have pleasant color and stocking up. I buy a couple of different brand "warm" bulbs, and when I find one I like I go buy around $50 worth. $50 worth usually lasts five years or more. The ones that have poor color go in the porch fixtures.

The current crop has a nice yellow tone that looks just like incandescent units. I bought these in 2004, and I'm down to three left.

They are useless when doing critical color work on graphics or photography.

They also save me about 70% the cost of operating comparable brightness incandescent bulbs.

All that said, the feds have no business ordering people to use them.

F said...

Not a single commenter has mentioned a major drawback of fluorescent fixtures: it's a lot harder to hang one's self from one than from an old-fashioned incandescent fixture. And the way this government plans to interfere in citizen's life, I expect suicide to skyrocket. F

Seven Machos said...

On the bright side, F, improved masturbation will be easier for those willing to dabble in erotic asphyxiation.

JAL said...

Why not let the market decide?

Oh. Wait. Then the government doesn't get to tell us what to do. And if they can't tell us what to do, what will they do for a living? Protecting us from enemies foreign and domestic and making treaties doesn't seem to be enough work to keep them all busy all the time (if they could even find time to do it, with all this civilian mandatory volunteerism, highway building and ADL policing).

We have replaced some of our incandescents with CFLs. Not sure of the savings as we switched houses along with light bulbs.

The color things is a PITA. I ran around Lowe's sticking various CFLs I snagged from the lighting aisle into a lamp over in the lamp section to find a color for my 91 year old mother's bathroom that didn't make her look prematurely DEAD.

That being said -- it took a while for the CFL we had in the minimally heated laundry room / porch of our other house to come on -- sort of -- in the winter (southern mountains -- in NY it porbably would never have come on).

As DBQ and others have noted -- CFLs do not do well in the cold. And they will NOT keep our pumps houses warm here in the mountains. And we don't NEED 150 watts burning 24 / 7 in the winter in there ...

Idiots in Washington -- same ones who want to tax dairy farmers $165 a cow to compensate for methane production. (It's natural guys!) Now that will help the average and poor Americans feed their kids milk.

Anyway, back OT, the beef with the mercury is that the environmentalists get in a twit over every little whatever they think is causing the global warming (how do you strike that? Isn't it cooling?) -- even when it is a nautural occurrence -- and yet turn a blind eye to a manufactured pollutant that in other incarnations (it's the season) makes them foam at the mouth. (I think hypocrite is what is coming to mind.)

Just because it is Holy Light.

At least it will be Holy Light for a couple years until all of a suddent someone will do Eureka!! All those health problems some people are having are from CFLs and we will be forbidden to use them (ADA) in public buildings and will be penalized into buying the NEW SAFE ENVIRONMENTALLY CORRECT (for the decade) light source. Whatever it is.

Will it be LED? I am using LEDs on our outdoor Christmas tree this year (20+ feet tall). It will look spectacular and my normal December electric bill will be considerably smaller. (Or so They say on the package. Am I being conned again?) I am not sure how they would do as living space lights, however. How do they work? Anyone know?

Not to mention there are many professions where CFLs will not work. Try making Barbra Steisand or Katie Couric up using CFL light....

Joe said...

Try making Barbra Streisand in any light. Now that would be a miracle.

Joe said...

Why all this discussion of artificial light? Aren't we still being lit by the glow of Obama?

John Althouse Cohen said...

Skyler said...
And next he'll be telling us to wear sweaters.

I'm getting this sense of deja vu all over again.


You're alluding to when Jimmy Carter said that, and since there are mostly conservatives in this comments section, everyone is supposed to understand that "Oh, yes, it was so terrible when Carter did that."

But why exactly was it so terrible? Seems like a good idea to me.

[cue people telling me I can't understand what was so bad about it because I'm too young]

Seven Machos said...

What Carter said was so terrible because it was such obvious bullshit. There is no shortage of resources for heating in the world.

Kylos said...

Palladian, photo-sensitivity is no junk science. Several years ago some kids in Japan experienced seizures after an episode of pokemon with rapidly flashing blue and red frame. Just recently, we've had a fluorescent tube lamp go bad in our house, and the flicker has become extremely noticeable so that if I move my head quickly, my head starts hurting and my vision is obscured. However, I wouldn't rule out color temperature as a reason for your dissatisfaction with fluorescent light; improper lighting can cause eyestrain and tire your eyes quickly.

Simon, I'm no biologist, so I don't know precisely what part of the vision system controls the max. frame-rate. I do know from research into video and photo-technologies that TV is broadcast at 30 frames per second and that most people will never notice the flicker of the tube because of persistence of vision (however, if you stare at a TV just right you can actually see the even and odd lines alternating image frames). Some flat screen TV manufacturers set their display refresh rates to 120Hz, which is considered to be indistinguishable.However, the frequency used in newer electronic ballasts is several orders of magnitude greater than what can typically be perceived by humans, so I doubt that any part of the visual system is sensitive to such high frequencies.

On a side note, I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and IIRC, at my place, electric lights at standard usage accounted for only about 3% of our total electricity usage. Electric motors use much more energy than light bulbs do, so if you really wanted to save energy, you could wash your clothes and dishes less and turn off the AC and fans, you'd be saving quite a bit more than would be possible by replacing all the bulbs in your house.

Seven Machos said...

Barb Streisand recommends foregoing the dryer and using a line to dry your clothes. That's what she does.

Simon said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
"But why exactly was it so terrible? Seems like a good idea to me."

There's nothing at all wrong with anyone choosing to do that. If you want to put on a sweater, knock yourself out. That's my preference, too. It's not about what people do - it's about coercion.

What lurks beneath so much of this is the adage attributed to Heinlein: the division between those who want people to be controlled (and who, to a man, aspire to be the controllers), and those who have no such desire.

Donna B. said...

JAC - it's not that putting on a sweater IN THE WINTER doesn't help, it's that for at least half the country you can't take off enough to make up for heat.

It's much easier to heat a home than to cool it.

My daughter lives in Phoenix and her AC is set at 80 - 82 during the summer. The only thing that makes this bearable is the pool. But that's not all that inexpensive either, is it?

Carter was a control freak and not too bright where things beyond wearing a sweater were concerned.

Palladian said...

"[cue people telling me I can't understand what was so bad about it because I'm too young]"

It's not about age, it's about wisdom. Some people your age have quite a bit. You'll get there someday.

M. Simon said...

Smartest President Ever™

M. Simon said...

How do they work? Anyone know?

When electrons combine with holes in the appropriate semiconductor light is emitted.

I'd go into band gaps and fermi levels but it would be wasted on this crowd.

However I'm sure the Smartest President Ever™ could make it understandable. Why not ask him?

Seven Machos said...

Nixon would run intellectual circles around this lightweight.

How'd that presidency work out?

Rick said...

I got an apartment building full of those lights and some of them break - plus I got those mercury fillings - plus I use to smash up those 4 foot light tubes in the dumpster.

At this point I may as well start cracking open thermometers and pouring em onto my tuna sandwich.

PJ said...

I already know what it will be like because I have lived in Berkeley - the place where they have outlawed fireplaces - one of the most enduring symbols of deep comfort to mankind throughout history.

Fluorescent lights have no warmth. They are cold light. This is why they are more efficient. Efficiency can suck.

zeek said...

The government telling me what to do is EVIL! Industry telling me what to do is HEAVEN.

How dare the government be forced to use CF bulbs in their government buildings. I want to complain about the government being inefficient and wasting money. How dare the use bulbs that last longer and use less energy. EVIL!

zeek said...

PJ said...
I already know what it will be like because I have lived in Berkeley - the place where they have outlawed fireplaces - one of the most enduring symbols of deep comfort to mankind throughout history.


Maybe you should aspire to be more than a caveman.

Fluorescent lights have no warmth. They are cold light. This is why they are more efficient.

Uh-huh.

Hucbald said...

Light bulbs are easy to make, therefore, there will be a black market (A black market for lights. Get it?... Never mind).

SWWBO said...

I live on a farm. I raise chickens for their eggs. When the chickens first hatch, they need to be under an incandescent bulb that gives out heat. I use 80 watt bulbs for this, generally, because they keep the chicks warm enough and they are inexpensive bulbs to run. Florescent bulbs are entirely unsuitable for this. So I'll have to spend more for the big 250 watt brooder bulbs, and my egg prices will have to go up!

At least my hens get sunlight, unlike factory chicken farms! They get to run around every day, they are not stuck under icky fluorescent lighting!

Tibore said...

Look, I like CFLs. I've replaced as many of the lights as I can in my place with compact fluorescents, and I have noticed the savings on the electric bill. And I like it.

That said, if the government tries to make CFLs mandatory, and regulate out incandescents, I'll be the first to object. That doesn't just cross the line of government overinterference with life, it's flies right by it at supersonic speed. There should be no stick with this, only carrot, and frankly, there should be no government action on use of CFL's at all. The electric savings should be good enough impetus to get people to change, and in my case, I'm very happy with my decision.

There are instances where fluorescents are not applicable, though, and I don't see anyone acknowledging them; my outdoor light is one example. It's base up, outside, and on a dimmer (a timer, actually, but many timers use dimmer technology), and if you read the warnings on CFLs, you'll note that any one of those characteristics is supposed to rule out the common compact fluorescent; all 3 are a certain bulb killer, and yes, that's the case with me. I've already killed 3 CFLs in that fixture in the last year, and I'm not spending any more money on it. It's got an incandescent in it, and until I find a base-up capable, dimmable, outdoor CFL, it's going to stay that way.

I like CFLs, but I'm disgusted that some folks want to force them on others. That's just stupid.

Sofa King said...

Actually, it's a way of saying "yellow". You know, like sunlight. The stuff we evolved in. The stuff shown to have a positive effect on reducing depression. The stuff that helps you manufacture D. Healthy stuff.

Actually, sunlight is not all that yellow. The bulbs that most closely resemble real sunlight are wide-spectrum cool white bulbs. Incandescents are much closer to candlelight than sunlight.

Righteous Bubba said...

Save me the claptrap about better ballasts producing more even output: they're still terrible and still bother my eyes and trigger my migraines.

I believe this belongs in the "pussification of the American male" file.

Sofa King said...

Oh, and Vitamin D is produced from ultraviolight light, which incandescent bulbs notably do not provide. (Fluorescents and LED bulbs can, but usually don't.)

Anthony said...

I initially replaced a bunch of bulbs with CFs but I've since started going back with a lot of them to incandescents. I found the CFs didn't have nearly the use life they were reported to have, and I've been unable to read by them.

Still, I have a few in locations where they make sense. Of course, the issue at hand is whether we poor ignorant citizens will still be able to decide where they make sense and where they don't.

I suppose I ought to just shut up and let my Government Superiors tell me what is best.

Matt V said...

From a Popular Mechanics report with objective and subjective data:

When it came to the overall quality of the light, all the CFLs scored higher than our incandescent control bulb. In other words,
the new fluorescent bulbs aren’t just better for both your wallet and the environment, they produce better light.

Matt V said...

Approximately 0.0234 mg of mercury—plus carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide—releases into the air per 1 kwh of electricity that a coal-fired power plant generates. Over the 7500-hour average range of one CFL, then, a plant will emit 13.16 mg of mercury to sustain a 75-watt incandescent bulb but only 3.51 mg of mercury to sustain a 20-watt CFL (the lightning equivalent of a 75-watt traditional bulb). Even if the mercury contained in a CFL was directly released into the atmosphere, an incandescent would still contribute 4.65 more milligrams of mercury into the environment over its lifetime.

nathaniel said...

Ignoring the debate about whether a CFL is actually better or not, can all of you complaing that the government should not mandate this explain to me the difference between this and it mandating unleaded gas, or make the arguement that it should not have done that either?

Joe said...

I tried CFLs about five years ago. The bulbs completely failed in three months, though by two they were showing problems. Subway Restaurants is now using CFLs and the Philips they use in my local place are quite nice. I'm considering trying them again if I can figure out the model and if they work mounted sideways.

chickenlittle said...

@nathaniel wrote: explain to me the difference between this and it mandating unleaded gas, or make the arguement that it should not have done that either?

We should and did invent alternatives to Pb(Et)4, and should get rid of the stuff that is still raining down on us from above: link

Big Mike said...

Zeek, do you know where your apartment complex got their bulbs? I tried CFLs in my garage and they wouldn't come on in the late fall, much less winter. My garage is attached, so it's way warmer than the outdoors.

The CFLs I do use around the house don't come on with full brightness right away. I guess it's something I can get used to, but right now it's an annoyance.

CFLs remind me of the 1.6 gal/flush toilets that Congress forced on us several years ago. Every time I have to clear a clog I wish my local congressman was there to do the dirty work instead. That would teach him! Eventually American manufacturers figured out how to make 1.6 gallon toilets reliable, but I sure wish I had bought my house back when 3 gallons was still the norm. Likewise, I suspect CFLs will eventually become more environmentally friendly (i.e., not use heavy metals, nearly all of which cause problems with the nervous system) but limiting my CFL use around the house to a handful of cases is enough of being a guinea pig for me, thanks.

YoloMike said...

Try buying the slightly more expensive CFLs, from GE etc., rather than the $.99 Feits. They are studier, last longer, work better, and throw a more pleasant light.

Or just keep your head up your ass.

You Know Me said...

Yeah, it would be like life without unnecessarily driving SUVs and compensator pickup trucks which drive up the cost of gas for all of us.

Are you really so clueless that you don't understand that CFLs substantially reduce electrical consumption at a very modest cost, thus delaying the need to build new generating facilities, and, thus, reducing the future increases in electrical rates for all of us? Even the clueless amongst us.

mrs whatsit said...

Loaf, you must live in a warmer climate than I do. Here in upstate NY, we tried the CFs in our dairy barn but had to take them all out again because they would not light up in cold weather. As for changing the bulbs, believe me, I'd love to, but they're 10 feet off the ground and I am not that tall. I did change the ones in my own office to incandescents by standing on my desk, but there's nothing in the file room to stand on and my government employer has not seen fit to issue us any ladders. You're welcome to come up and do it for me , if you'd like-- as long as we're allowed to buy incandescents, anyway. Which won't be for much longer.

synykyl said...

Ha ha wingnuts! All your incandescent light bulbs are belonging to us!

randian said...

Idiots in Washington -- same ones who want to tax dairy farmers $165 a cow to compensate for methane production. (It's natural guys!)

I am certain this isn't really about methane, it's about mandatory veganism. That millions of cows will die were they to get their way is an amusing side effect. You can see much the same philosophy in action from those hard at work pushing rules to make pet ownership as onerous as possible.

Haley McAdams said...

I've been reading a lot of issues about CFLs and the danger it may bring. I don't know if I already need to change my bulbs at home. All of my bulbs are CFLs. My contractor who took his Electrician Online Course said that LED is much better to use.