Hoarding incandescent lightbulbs is silly.

Status
Not open for further replies.

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
If they have the money to buy carts full of lightbulbs, they have the money to buy high-quality CFLs or newer LED bulbs. The fact that these bulbs are largely only available online is hardly an excuse if they can read CPF. Perhaps they should think of those less fortunate than themselves and leave remaining stockpiles of incans for people who really can't afford to spend $10-40 apiece on newer lighting technology.

...that aside...

I recently moved and opted to buy all new LED lightbulbs for my new apartment. 10x 12W Philips, 2x 8W Philips, 6x 8W EcoSmart globes, and 6x 3W Philips candelabra bulbs. The equivalent of 1030 watts of incandescent lighting, provided by 194 watts of LED lighting. That's an 82% reduction in power consumption. I've brought in friends and family who have all sorts of artistic and photographic backgrounds, and they cannot tell the difference in the light quality. I wish I could show you what it looks like, but my camera's white balance is terrible indoors. Nonetheless, incans are dead.

...well, except for the light above my stove. I did concede to put in a 60W Philips Halogena bulb above the stove, because that's one place where the heat could very well damage an LED bulb. I might buy a couple extra to keep handy while I wait for high-temperature LEDs to improve, but that's all the incans I'll ever need from this point on.

EDIT: Pics! Finally got the camera to cooperate.

This was taken using the Neutral White Fluorescent light setting. This is the most accurate; the light is only slightly warmer to my eyes, not enough to make a fuss over:

CIMG4817.jpg


This was taken using the Bright Sun light setting. As you can see, the lights are much warmer than sunlight, which is actually a good thing because 6000K lighting in the middle of the night would be very harsh on the eyes, and lots of blue light makes it hard to wind down before bed anyways. But I assure you, they don't look like foglights in person.

CIMG4814.jpg


And lastly, here's a picture taken using the Tungsten light setting. Admittedly I don't know what wattage the setting is calibrated to, but since this picture shows them as noticeably cooler than real life, I'm guessing it's calibrated to a 40W tungsten bulb.

CIMG4819.jpg


So there you go. The top picture is basically what my living room looks like, illuminated solely by Philips LED bulbs. There are three of them, though only two are visible in the photos. Total wattage: 36. Let's see you do that with incans.
 
Last edited:

Harold_B

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
410
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

:devil: Unless they plan to sell them at a profit later when they can't be bought at the store...
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

I see your point, but in a way that's even worse from the "those less fortunate" perspective I mentioned in my first post.
 

Harold_B

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
410
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Exactly. Worse all the way around but don't be too let down if you see it happen. People are people.
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Well, as long as we're talking about my feelings, it won't affect me at all. I already made the leap, and my electric bill is around 25% lower than my neighbors'. But having made the leap and having seen for myself that "the other side" has plenty of solid ground to stand on, the behavior of hoarding old tech (as opposed to keeping one or two for posterity's sake) seems all the more silly. I like being able to light my entire apartment using the power consumed by two incandescent reading lamps.
 

EZO

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Messages
1,431
Location
Vermont, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Wait! If Michele Bachmann gets her way nobody will need to hoard incandescent bulbs!

She says, “I think Thomas Edison did a pretty patriotic thing for this country by inventing the lightbulb, and I think darn well, you New Hampshirites, if you want to buy Thomas Edison’s wonderful invention, you should be able to!”

She has introduced H.R. 849, "The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act" which would repeal the Bush era law that seeks to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy efficient ones.

I want to be careful not to unintentionally turn this into a political discussion because it doesn't belong here, so please keep that in mind if you respond to this post. The discussion should restrict itself to the marketplace, innovation and potential hoarding. I hope I can stretch the parameters of this thread without hijacking it or derailing it. In any event, the whole question of hoarding is coming about because the government was trying to create the environment for the flurry of rapid innovation in energy efficient lightbulb design we have been witnessing lately.

http://iowacaucus.com/2011/04/01/michele-bachmanns-lightbulb-moment/

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h849/news_blogs
 
Last edited:

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

I want to be careful not to unintentionally turn this into a political discussion because it doesn't belong here, so please keep that in mind if you respond to this post. The discussion should restrict itself to the marketplace, innovation and potential hoarding. I hope I can stretch the parameters of this thread without hijacking it.
In any event, the whole question of hoarding is coming about because the government was trying to create the environment for the flurry of rapid innovation in energy efficient lightbulb design we have been witnessing lately.[/URL]

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h849/news_blogs
1. Michelle Bachmann is also silly. Edison's patriotism was demonstrated by his forward thinking and his innovation. I don't know if he was the patriotic type, but I don't think he'd be any more impressed with people "patriotically" clinging to antique technology nowadays than he was with candle hoarders back in his day. (yes, people actually believed candles would go extinct once the lightbulb took over. Someone clearly forgot to tell Yankee Candle Co.)

2. If people REALLY want incandescent bulbs, they can still buy encapsulated halogens. No government anywhere in the world is trying to get rid of those. Only the less efficient "classic" incandescent bulbs, i.e. the least efficient lightbulbs in the world, are being phased out.

3. The government's attempt to "create the environment for the flurry of rapid innovation etc etc etc." worked very well. The good LED bulbs still cost an arm and a leg, but they actually perform as advertised now, which means they're finally worth buying.
 
Last edited:

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
6,748
Location
Flushing, NY
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

My main beef with people hoarding incandescents is that they're operating on the assumption that newer technology will NEVER be able to overcome whatever shortcomings they perceive to be in existing products (never mind that incandescents have a huge number of their own shortcomings compared to other lighting technologies which are seemingly glossed over-short life, miserable efficiency, very high operating temperature, omnidirectional light distribution which wastes much of the output, poor color rendering of cooler colors, etc.).

Bottom line is no technology is going to be perfect for every use (i.e. I wouldn't use an LED or CFL in an oven), but new technologies generally improve their shortcomings or face death in the marketplace. We're already seeing that with newer LEDs which are worlds better than what was out even a year ago. The main drawback is initial purchase price but even that isn't a problem when you factor it in over the life of the bulb (i.e. one $25 LED bulb outlasts 50 $0.50 incandescents while saving money on electric). Anyway, to me hoarding incandescents is analogous to hoarding tubes back when transistors were coming out. We all know how that turned out. And yes, I know some people still use tube amplifiers, but that's a very niche use. Tubes are otherwise a dead technology. At the rate LEDs are going I feel any lighting technology using gas and glass (including CFLs) will be history in the not too distant future.
 

calipsoii

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
1,411
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Let's look at one of Philip's flagship LED offerings, the funky-looking MyAmbiance LED bulb.

Now, a comparable incandescent offering, the Philips 60W soft white.

I've seen the above LED bulbs in action and I can agree that the CCT is a very pleasing 2700k. The thing is, it's a very pleasing tint with 80CRI. For a fraction of the cost, I can get a bulb that offers the same tint at 100CRI.

I haven't started hoarding incans yet, but I'm not entirely against it if the ban comes down and the best the manufacturers can offer for $40 is a bulb with 80CRI.
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

I have ten of those LED bulbs you linked to. "Funky-looking" is a matter of taste; I think they do a great job of looking like modern tech shoehorned into an antique form factor. Regardless of what you think of them, though, if your method of using them is to look directly at them, you're doing it wrong.

CRI is a recurring topic on CPF, and a few months ago I participated in one conversation also involving McGizmo. I raised the point that light sources with color temperatures below 2000K contain no blue light whatsoever, yet are still 100CRI. McGizmo responded that this demonstrates that 100CRI, while perhaps the most "natural-looking" light sources, are not necessarily the best for actually seeing anything. Lava emits light that's 100CRI, but nobody would say that light is good for general illumination. What's most important is a reasonable balance of RGB, and once you get above 80CRI your eyes won't notice the difference unless you're closely examining the colors of objects, which you are not likely to be doing in your living room at night.

Bad lighting gives me terrible headaches. I have to stay away from fancy restaurants because of their rampant abuse of 25W "accent lights". Despite this, I'm quite happy with the Philips LED bulbs currently available. I wouldn't have spent hundreds of dollars on them if they didn't work well.

EDIT: One last point, about price. You quote $1.50 for a 60W incan and $39.99 for the Philips LED bulb. Philips claims the LED bulb will last 25x as long as an incan, and while most incans are rated at 3000-5000 hours of operation, that assumes continuous use, so it's entirely possible that Philips' claim is accurate. So, $1.50 x 25 = $37.50, which is almost the cost of the Philips LED bulb, and that doesn't include the extra cost of buying 5x as much electricity to run the incan bulbs over the 25000-hour lifespan of the LED bulb. Where exactly are you saving money, again?
 
Last edited:

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
6,748
Location
Flushing, NY
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Regarding LED bulb lifetime, I was discussing this with a friend about a month ago. We actually came to the consensus that manufacturers may be putting a MUCH lower number of the package than the bulb will see in actual service in order to increase customer satisfaction. Think about this for a moment. Suppose you buy an LED bulb which says 60,000 hours on the package, and it gives up the ghost at 35,000 hours. You're not happy because it didn't perform as claimed. Now consider if that exact same bulb said 25,000 hours instead. You're thrilled as heck because it exceeded its rating by 10,000 hours. Based on what I know about LED lifetime versus current and junction temperature, it's not unreasonable to suppose that many of today's quality (i.e. not the junky showerhead type) 25,000 hour LED bulbs will still happily be in service at 75,000 hours (assuming their owners live long enough to see it). While I wouldn't factor this into TCO calculations, it's something to think about which skews the equation even more away from hoarding or buying incandescent. People just need to stop looking only at initial purchase price but that's more a consumer education problem than an engineering one.

And yes, CCT is in my opinion even more important than CRI. To me 2700K, 100 CRI light is just awful compared to 5000K light, even with a CRI of only 70. Also, for any given CRI, things look better under LED versus fluorescent because it's a continuous spectrum, albeit with dips and valleys, versus a spiky spectrum.
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Honestly, I never liked warm-tinted lighting until I got these Philips LED bulbs. I was all about cool fluorescents until I tried these, probably because warm incandescents don't emit enough blue light, whereas all white LEDs at this point are powered by blue emitters. So to the extent that the Philips LED bulbs don't match the color spectrum of an incan, it's probably due to a blue spike, but whatever's going on it agrees with my eyes just fine.

I have every confidence that the emitters in the Philips LED bulbs will last as long as the rated lifetime, if not longer. Putting the phosphor in a plastic shell instead of coating the LED with it was a great idea, because it means the phosphor won't burn and lose efficiency over time. Whether the ballast will hold up, I don't know, but I agree that it's pretty likely the manufacturers are at this point under-rating their LED products to avoid disappointing customers.
 

Launch Mini

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
1,546
Location
Vancouver, BC
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

I have completely changed every bulb in my home office the Philips LED. I love them. The colour & lack of heat is very important, as well as the lower energy usage.
Now I have CFL bulbs throughout the house and a scattering of regular old incandescents. All for various reasons.
LED's are primarily spot lights. They are great in pot lights & track lighting, but suck in lamps & areas where 360 flood is needed.
CFL's, I don't like them in hallways with stairs as they take too long to light up to full.
CLF's on our outdoor porch/deck don't last very long as they are too exposed to the elements.
So IMO, there is a need for all 3 types
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

I'm confused; you say you switched your home office lightbulbs to Philips LED bulbs, but then you say LEDs suck for 360-degree illumination. This seems contradictory.

The 12W Philips LED bulbs I'm using have 18 emitters arranged in three panels, all pointing sideways in 120-degree arcs, so they're actually very effective at 360-degree illumination. Are you using a different model?
 

richpalm

Banned
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
965
Location
Central Pa.
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Not gonna burn down my house with junk CFL's, that's why.

How well did low flow toilets work? You know, the ones you've got to flush 4-5X. Same with this crap. Leave freedom of choice to me. This really is becoming a police state.

I am NOT trolling or getting political... just calling it as I see it.

Rich
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

So don't buy junk CFLs. Nowhere in this thread did I recommend buying CFLs of any kind, regardless of quality. This is an LED lighting discussion. LEDs don't need super-high voltages to work like CFLs do, and they don't get really hot like incans do, so they're safer than both alternatives AND they use less power.

There were a couple mentions of CFLs in this thread, I'll grant you, but if you go back and read them you'll notice they both mention how the CFLs have lasted much longer than their rated lifetime, which is kinda the opposite of shorting-out and catching fire.

I'll ignore your bait that "the government should let me waste everyone's resources if I damn well want to", because I too am not getting political. ;)
 
Last edited:

Steve K

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2002
Messages
2,786
Location
Peoria, IL
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

If I understand it correctly, incandescents will continue to be available, but it will only be versions with halogen, so will provide better efficiency. I think I heard that plain incandescents will continue to be available for niche applications, small bulbs, etc. My guess it will be some time before you can't buy a low tech bulb at the average store.

Generally, I'd prefer that the government address a problem more directly. If the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, then let's implement "cap and trade" or a simple carbon tax (or CO2 tax?). At least then you'd have people and businesses making the most cost effective choices. Of course, both cap and trade and a carbon tax have been rejected or deemed politically dead. No comments on why this might be.

Given this less than ideal situation, I think I might have preferred a small tax on the worst incandescents, and perhaps a subsidy for the development and production of more efficient light sources.

I've been using flourescents and CFL's for over 10 years now, and have been happy enough. Nice to save a little power, and nice to not have bulbs heating the place up while the AC is trying to cool it! I might wait a little while before I buy a commercial LED light, but I do want to build a LED light for my bathroom. The light gets turned on and off a lot, so it's not a great location for CFL. It gets used a fair amount too, so it'll save some power too.

As far as people hoarding incandescents.... let 'em hoard them. I think the economics will change soon enough to discourage actually using them all.

regards,
Steve K.
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

They are addressing the problem directly, just not in your preferred way. Lighting accounts for somewhere around a quarter of domestic electricity consumption in the USA, which is to say it also accounts for somewhere around a quarter of the CO2 generated to provide domestic electricity in the USA. Doing the math, that means if everyone switched to LEDs for their general-illumination needs, the amount of CO2 generated to provide domestic electricity would be reduced by 20%. That's a very direct and significant step in the right direction.

I understand there are a lot of people who object to the government manipulating the "free market" in specific, targeted ways instead of a broad approach like a "carbon tax". Certainly, when the goal is just to tighten up some slack in the system, a broad approach works fine because everyone just huddles a little closer together. However, as an engineer (and any other engineer on CPF will agree with me), I know that if you increase the pressure on a system beyond its current tolerance without first ensuring the system has a way to deal with that increased pressure, things start to break. What the government is doing is designing a transition to low-power lighting that will actually work, so if the cost of electricity jumps dramatically -- whether due to higher fuel prices or a "carbon tax" or any other reason -- people will be able to adjust their behavior smoothly and effectively instead of panicking and looking for a solution at the last minute. And if the cost of electricity doesn't jump dramatically, well, everyone will still be using less electricity and paying less money as a result. It's a win either way.
 
Last edited:

Sub_Umbra

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
4,748
Location
la bonne vie en Amérique
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

I disagree with the generalized subject of this thread. My wife and I have a great need for the lowly 7.5w Edison based incan bulb. We use it as part of the way we make our living. The lovely law that banned them required that no cost effective replacement be forthcoming.

Our goal is to hold enough of them in stock that we may continue to use them (cheaply) while the actual market pressures slowly react to the need, and finally produce an LED replacement at an appropriate price point.

What I think is silly are those who blindly buy into loopy legislation by buying first run, poorly engineered, overpriced products with an inherently short service life. At the same time I must salute your compliance -- without it I would have to buy those half-baked products at overblown prices myself.

Yeah, hoarders are silly -- you guys are smart.
 

fyrstormer

Banned
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
6,617
Location
Maryland, Near DC, USA
Re: People who hoard incandescent lightbulbs are silly.

Sorry, Sub Umbra, but your needs are pretty far outside the 90% envelope, and probably well outside the 95% envelope too, as far as what people use lightbulbs for. I'm curious, what do you use your 7.5W incan bulbs for that you can't use a comparable LED product for?

The products I bought are not, as far as I can tell, poorly engineered at all. I'd be interested to know what you think a well-engineered LED lightbulb would look like, provided the constraint that it has to fit into an Edison socket. As for me being compliant...if you knew me in real life I seriously doubt you'd be able to say that with a straight face. No, I arrived at this course of action myself -- and while I acknowledge that some niche markets may not be well-served by the transition to LED lighting (or at least, not yet), I do think it's better for most people in most situations, and "most people in most situations" is the only market of any interest to companies big enough to have the R&D resources to make these products.

One last thought: what you're doing, i.e. stockpiling tools and materials needed to do useful work, is perfectly fine and rational. Hoarding is NOT a rational behavior, and what you're doing does not equate to hoarding. Hoarding means accumulating things you DON'T need for any useful purpose, and I was calling them silly, not you.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top