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Happy Birthday, Joesph Swan!

Hey, who’s that?  That’s Joseph Swan!  Happy Birthday, Joesph Swan!
(It was actually on Halloween, but he’s dead and I wanted everyone to know about him!)

joseph_swan

Joseph Swan (Halloween 1828 – May 27, 1914) was one of Edison’s competitors for who really invented the light bulb first.  Joseph Swan is an English inventor and worked in the UK – Ol’ Joe here worked a lot in the chemistry of manufacturing in his life, but also had an idea for an electric lamp at the same time as Tommy Edison.  Lots of legal brew-ha-ha took place between the two men until a joint company was formed – the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Company, LTD – affectionately referred to as “EdiSwan.”  There are many indications that Swan actually invented and developed the light bulb like two decades before Edison, and got a patent for his device a full year before Edison.

Joseph’s original device design had flaws, and didn’t stay lit for very long.  His filament had a very low resistance (carbonized paper), and it got set aside for fifteen years or so.  Joe came back to it later in life and solved it.

From his beard, you’d think that he did some gold prospecting in Deadwood between the time when he started the lamp and when he came back to it.  OH BURN!  Yeah!  Anyone?  Anyone?  [high five]

Hmm.

Here’s a picture of the Swan lamp (left) next to the Edison lamp:

swan-light-bulb-edison

One of the coolest things that Joey Swan invented was a process for pushing nitro-cellulose through a really tiny hole, creating conducting fibers.  When Edison got wind of this, he wanted to keep his carbonized bamboo filaments, and he did keep his own process until Edison Light was bought by General Electric.  GE started using Swan’s cellulose filaments at that point.

So, Joe’s achievments include, but are not limited to:

  • the cellulose filament
  • inventing a method for drying wet photographic plates
  • bromide paper for photography
  • apparently beating Edison to the light bulb
  • having a huge beard
  • developing a vacuum tube with Edison

Happy Belated Birthday, Joseph Swan!

joseph-swan-lightbulb

Thanks, Wikipedia!

Materials Testing Under Different Light Sources

Now that I am back home and not in Sweden, I have been combing through some of the work that I did in my first few months at KTH.  I took a lot of photographs of pretty much everything I could take photos of when I was in Sweden, and I got some interesting shots of a variety of things, including project work.

One of the first projects we did in groups was the Materials Testing project.  It was a very simple project with a goal more along the lines of working in groups that really much else – each group was to pick three “materials” out of a bin of random stuff in the lighting lab and take pictures of it under three of the different light sources in the lab’s light box.  The box was a shelf of chambers, each with a different light source in it – halogens, fluorescents, incandescents, oh my (et al):

lightbox

As a group, we analyzed each material under the sources we chose – an opal (frosted) incandescent (around 3,000 Kelvin), a Philips Activiva fluorescent source (at around 17,000 Kelvin, I think), and high-pressure sodium lamp (around 2400 Kelvin).  What our group wanted to do over other groups was to give the images we took representational names as opposed to descriptive modifiers with no artistic or intrinsic value.

I’ve listed the nine images below – I’ve also grouped them into material type, as it’s interesting to see the same material under three different sources in contrast.

First material:  an ellipsoidal reflector
Light sources, in order:  incandescent, HPS, Activiva
The image names we invented were based on the group’s collective emotional response to each material and light source.

“Loud Halo”
loud_halo_web

“Martian Effect”
martian_effect_web

“Deep Blue Eye”
deep_blue_eye_web

Second material:  a piece of gold and silver reflective material
Light sources, in order:  incandescent, HPS, Activiva

“True Fracture”
True_fracture_web

“Super Sodium”
supersodium_web

“Regal Death”
regal_death_web

Third material:  a wash reflector, stippled
Light sources, in order:  incandescent, HPS, Activiva

“White Desert”
White desert_web

“Golden Waffles”
golden_waffles_web

“Moon Waves”
moon_waves_web

The Nernst Lamp – An Early Ceramic Glower

nernst-lamp1

In my research on light sources for a project here at KTH, I wandered across an interesting historical light source called the “Nernst Lamp.”  This source is very interesting; it was marketed by The Westinghouse Company for a while back in the early 1900’s and saw a total sale of over 130,000 units.  This lamp was invented by a pretty intelligent guy, Walther Nernst – a Nobel winner and the guy who discovered the Third Law of Thermodynamics (you know, the Law of Thermodynamics that says a crystal at absolute zero has an entropy of zero – theoretically of course).

A smart dude, that Walther Nernst.

This Nernst Lamp was a pretty interesting source – instead of using a tungsten burner, it used a ceramic rod that was open to the air and not enclosed in a vacuum environment full of Noble gas.  Since the ceramic rod didn’t oxidize, there was no need to enclose it.  Granted, it did get a bit dirty from time to time, but a cleaner kit was sold to maintain and upgrade the Nernst Lamp when it needed a little “loving.”  From the image above, the slits above the screw base and below the glower was a ballast of sorts.

A diagram of the “glower” in the Nernst Lamp:

Nernst-lamp-glower

What I found interesting about the Nernst Lamp is that it seemed to be marketed on the same principle that the whole CFL vs incandescent argument is based upon – better light with lower energy consumption, even though we know that both of those things are a crock in one form or another.  The company that filed the public holding on the Nernst lamp back in 1899, Nernst Electric Light, LTD, had many great ideas about how this source-interchangeable-glower lamp could be used in the market.  The company’s engineering consultant and board member, James Swinburne, was quoted as saying “Nernst’s Lamp is, in my opinion, the greatest invention in Electric Lighting, since the infancy of the industry.” He also happened to be the Vice President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, too.  I mean, granted he was probably selling that thing Billy Mays style and all, but it was an interesting and popular source for a while.

I found a public holdings announcement from 1899 when the Nernst Electric Light company went public; in the holdings announcement, there was a list of things that make the Nernst Lamp “better” than the regular incandescent.  Does any of this stuff remind you of the CFL vs incandescent fight?

1. The consumption of power is, at most, 1.5 to 1.6 watts per candle power, being about 60 % less than the ordinary 4 watt incandescent lamp, thus saving three-fifths of the Electric Lighting bill.

2. The Nernst Lamp is pleasant and becoming. Its light does not fall off materially during the life of the rod, and, as there is no bulb, there is no loss of light through either internal blackening or external dust and dirt.

3. Unlike the present type of incandescent lamp, which can only be used commercially in circuits not exceeding 250 volts, the Nernst Electric Lamp can be commercially employed either with direct or alternating currents, up to any pressure compatible with safety.

4. The manufacture on a small scale of the rods or light-emitting bodies, has already resulted in rods which have lasted the equivalent of a year’s ordinary daily usage. Further experience in wholesale manufacture may be expected to give even better results.

5. The rod of the Nernst Electric Lamp with its wire mounts is detachable, and when worn out can be easily replaced by any one, the body of the lamp serving for an indefinite period, whereas the ordinary incandescent electric lamp is of no use when its filament is broken or the glass darkened. This is an economic advantage in favour of the Nernst Electric Lamp of the utmost importance.

6. The cost of production of the Rod will be exceedingly small.

7. The process of manufacture is very simple, and plant of an inexpensive kind only is necessary. There is no “flashing,” no electrical mounting, no expensive vacuum, and, comparatively, no waste, as a used-up rod merely means mounting another in the same wire; it does not mean scrapping a complete lamp. The holders of the automatic lamps are merely ordinary fitting work, demanding no new type of manufacture.

8. Compared with the Arc Lamp, the Nernst has many advantages in respect to–
(a) First Cost, which is about one-eighth to one-tenth of the Arc.
(b) Maintenance, the whole of the expense of carbons and trimming and the cleaning of the elaborate mechanism of the Arc regulator being saved.
(c) Pressure. Unlike the Arc, the Nernst Electric Lamp can be made to take very high pressures, for instance, a single rod for 400 volts is only about 2 1/2 in. long, and by arranging two in series in each lamp, there is no difficulty in running parallel on 1,000 volt circuits without transformers.
(d) Absolute steadiness and freedom from flickering and hissing.

I think Walther Nernst and James Swinburne had something with this removable-replaceable-filament idea.  I’ve been thinking about this for a while, mostly in the fact that we don’t recycle CFL ballasts – we just throw everything away when they die.  When I met Willem van der Sluis and he mentioned that he had the same idea of replacing a CFL’s fluorescent tube when it burns out and not the whole ballast and electronics, I was enthralled.  A few days ago I went on a trip to OSRAM here in Stockholm, and learned that when incandescents were first being manufactured here in Sweden, lamps with broken filaments were recycled – washed out, cleaned up, and re-filamented.  What a concept.  It makes me wonder whatever happened to the Nernst Lamp.  Why did we abandon the idea of making light sources that didn’t make so much waste?  The easy answer is that the Nernst Lamp became obsolete when carbon filaments were replaced by metal filaments.  Too bad we didn’t maintain the idea in some form.

Nernst Lamp images:

nernst-lamp-3

nernst-lamp-4-keeper-instructions

nernst-lamp-5

nernst-lamp-6

Thanks Spark Museum, Nernst, and Wikipedia!

Product Review: EternaLED’s HydraLux LED Lamp

hydralux-4 jimonlight

Jeff at EternaLEDs sent me one of the HydraLux-4 liquid-cooled LED incandescent replacement lamps a few weeks ago – I took some images of the lamp when I was still in Dallas, and I have to say that I liked it!  I requested a high color temperature source – the lamp comes in “Daylight White” and “Warm White.”  I was interested in the higher color temperature to see how the source compared to compact fluorescents in our house – in the 25W category, the EternaLED kicked some butt in my opinion.  I have the 4W version, but rumor has it that 8, 12, and 16W versions will be out by the end of the year.

I wrote a post about the lamp a few weeks ago, but I was able to get my hands on it and run it through a few paces.  It’s dimmable, it’s obviously instant in power-up, and it is cool to the touch when energized.  I conducted lux measurements on the HydraLux-4 lamp while it was installed in my bedside light fixture, where it replaced a 25W incandescent.  The color temperature of the lamp it replaced was lower, but I prefer the higher color temperature.  At a distance of about a foot, the HydraLux-4 had an illuminance of 52 lux (about 5 footcandles), which decayed to about 8 lux (about 0.75 footcandles) at 6 feet – which was approximately the distance from the source to my pillow for reference.

One of the cool things about this lamp is that if you drop it and it shatters into pieces on the kitchen floor (like I almost did while taking a picture), it’s full of a paraffin oil, which is not poisonous.  It’s approved for indoor and outdoor use, and is supposed to last 35 times longer than incandescent sources of the same range.

Check out some pictures:

hydralux-4

hydralux-4 jimonlight

hydralux-4 with incandescent

hydralux-4 meter

hydralux-4 meter

hydralux

hydralux-4

Femtosecond Laser Pulses and the Little Incandescent That Could

This is a little story about an incandescent lamp – once revered by lighting designers and people who had other causes to complain about, now the source of attacks and general worldwide badmouthing.  You dirty, dirty little incandescent skank, you.

But seriously.

No, actually, that made me giggle out loud.  Incandescent skank.

UNTIL NOW!

Now that I’ve impressed myself and probably looked like a tool across the Internets, let’s get serious.  A scientists and guy with a huge skull from his enormous brain has discovered that, if you shoot a very fast, very intense laser pulse called a femtosecond laser pulse onto the filament of an incandescent lamp, you make it more efficient at making light when it is energized.  Read this press release from the University of Rochester – it makes much more sense than me making a tush of myself trying to explain it:

An ultra-powerful laser can turn regular incandescent light bulbs into power-sippers, say optics researchers at the University of Rochester. The process could make a light as bright as a 100-watt bulb consume less electricity than a 60-watt bulb while remaining far cheaper and radiating a more pleasant light than a fluorescent bulb can.

The laser process creates a unique array of nano- and micro-scale structures on the surface of a regular tungsten filament—the tiny wire inside a light bulb—and theses structures make the tungsten become far more effective at radiating light.

The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

“We’ve been experimenting with the way ultra-fast lasers change metals, and we wondered what would happen if we trained the laser on a filament,” says Chunlei Guo, associate professor of optics at the University of Rochester. “We fired the laser beam right through the glass of the bulb and altered a small area on the filament. When we lit the bulb, we could actually see this one patch was clearly brighter than the rest of the filament, but there was no change in the bulb’s energy usage.”

The key to creating the super-filament is an ultra-brief, ultra-intense beam of light called a femtosecond laser pulse. The laser burst lasts only a few quadrillionths of a second. To get a grasp of that kind of speed, consider that a femtosecond is to a second what a second is to about 32 million years. During its brief burst, Guo’s laser unleashes as much power as the entire grid of North America onto a spot the size of a needle point. That intense blast forces the surface of the metal to form nanostructures and microstructures that dramatically alter how efficiently light can radiate from the filament.

In 2006, Guo and his assistant, Anatoliy Vorobyev, used a similar laser process to turn any metal pitch black. The surface structures created on the metal were incredibly effective at capturing incoming radiation, such as light.

“There is a very interesting ‘take more, give more’ law in nature governing the amount of light going in and coming out of a material,” says Guo. Since the black metal was extremely good at absorbing light, he and Vorobyev set out to study the reverse process—that the blackened filament would radiate light more effectively as well.

“We knew it should work in theory,” says Guo, “but we were still surprised when we turned up the power on this bulb and saw just how much brighter the processed spot was.”

In addition to increasing the brightness of a bulb, Guo’s process can be used to tune the color of the light as well. In 2008, his team used a similar process to change the color of nearly any metal to blue, golden, and gray, in addition to the black he’d already accomplished. Guo and Vorobyev used that knowledge of how to control the size and shape of the nanostructures—and thus what colors of light those structures absorb and radiate—to change the amount of each wavelength of light the tungsten filament radiates. Though Guo cannot yet make a simple bulb shine pure blue, for instance, he can change the overall radiated spectrum so that the tungsten, which normally radiates a yellowish light, could radiate a more purely white light.

Guo’s team has even been able to make a filament radiate partially polarized light, which until now has been impossible to do without special filters that reduce the bulb’s efficiency. By creating nanostructures in tight, parallel rows, some light that emits from the filament becomes polarized.

The team is now working to discover what other aspects of a common light bulb they might be able to control. Fortunately, despite the incredible intensity involved, the femtosecond laser can be powered by a simple wall outlet, meaning that when the process is refined, implementing it to augment regular light bulbs should be relatively simple.

Guo is also announcing this month in Applied Physics Letters a technique using a similar femtosecond laser process to make a piece of metal automatically move liquid around its surface, even lifting a liquid up against gravity.

This research was supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The World’s Smallest Incandescent Lamp

planck

The world’s smallest incandescent lamp has been created. And I don’t mean that they’ ve created a little mini table lamp that has a little red shade and a tiny, tiny pull string either.

Scientists at UCLA Physics and Astronomy have created an incandescent lamp with a single carbon nanotube that’s 100 atoms long.  How on EARTH did they get 100 atoms stuck together?  Do you need wee little needle-nose pliers?

<crickets>

But all tomfoolery aside, this little tiny incandescent lamp has some interesting properties.  The little filament inside the lamp is so very small that it allows scientists to study it as both a quantum mechanical molecular model, but large enough in scale that it can still be applied to the laws of thermodynamics.  Do you know what Planck’s Law is?  It’s a measure of the amount of all wavelengths of light that are emitted from a black-body radiator at a given temperature.  Don’t puke:
planck
It’s quantum physics stuff.  Alas, let’s just read the press release, shall we?

In an effort to explore the boundary between thermodynamics and quantum mechanics — two fundamental yet seemingly incompatible theories of physics — a team from the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy has created the world’s smallest incandescent lamp.

The team, which is led by Chris Regan, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, and includes Yuwei Fan, Scott Singer and Ray Bergstrom, has published the results of their research May 5 in the online edition of the journal Physical Review Letters.

Thermodynamics, the crown jewel of 19th-century physics, concerns systems with many particles. Quantum mechanics, developed in the 20th century, works best when applied to just a few. The UCLA team is using their tiny lamp to study physicist Max Planck’s black-body radiation law, which was derived in 1900 using principles now understood to be native to both theories.

Planck’s law describes radiation from large, hot objects, such as a toaster, the Sun or a light bulb. Some such radiation is of fundamental and current scientific interest; the thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang, for instance, which is called the cosmic microwave background, is described by Planck’s law.

The incandescent lamp utilizes a filament made from a single carbon nanotube that is only 100 atoms wide. To the unaided eye, the filament is completely invisible when the lamp is off, but it appears as tiny point of light when the lamp is turned on. Even with the best optical microscope, it is only just possible to resolve the nanotube’s non-zero length. To image the filament’s true structure, the team uses an electron microscope capable of atomic resolution at the Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines (EICN) core lab at CNSI.

With less than 20 million atoms, the nanotube filament is both large enough to apply the statistical assumptions of thermodynamics and small enough to be considered as a molecular — that is, quantum mechanical — system.

“Our goal is to understand how Planck’s law gets modified at small length scales,” Regan said. “Because both the topic (black-body radiation) and the size scale (nano) are on the boundary between the two theories, we think this is a very promising system to explore.”

The carbon nanotube makes an ideal filament for this experiment, since it has both the requisite smallness and the extraordinary temperature stability of carbon. While the intensive study of carbon nanotubes only began in 1991, using carbon in a light bulb is not a new idea. Thomas Edison’s original light bulbs used carbon filaments.

The UCLA research team’s light bulb is very similar to Edison’s, except that their filament is 100,000 times narrower and 10,000 times shorter, for a total volume only one one-hundred-trillionth that of Edison’s.

My guess is that we”ll hear about these again.

A Big Post About Compact Fluorescents

cfl

I’ve been collecting information about CFLs for a few months now, and I’ve kept from writing this post for some reason until now.  There is so much back and forth out there about compact fluorescents versus incandescents, compact fluorescents versus using halogens at a lower intensity via a dimmer, and the economy versus compact fluorescents.

There is a fact of life that impacts the sale of CFLs right now – Americans, as well as people all over the world, are freaking broke.  A dollar difference in a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk is a big deal when everything else is costing more.  We’re in a crapstorm, and when you’re dealing with a 3-4 times price increase between incandescent lamps and CFLs, what do you think people are going to buy?  Most people are not versed in looking towards the long-term benefits of anything; a good example is the fact that McDonalds is experiencing record growth and profits in this economic downturn.  Hmm.

There are some major factors that play into compact fluroescent market share – cost vs. cost savings, output quality, manufacturing quality, application, and yes, aesthetic preference.

Maybe it’s easiest to start out with the most subjective issue – aesthetic choice, and how most people feel about the light emitted by CFLs.  It’s not hard to find pretty harsh criticism on compact fluorescent lamps, all you have to do is look nearly any review of the matter.  A lot of people do not like the quality of light that comes from compact fluorescent sources.  Sometimes this is an understatement – some people downright hate CFL light.  A New York Times article on the subject of CFLs versus incandescents had some people quoted on their feelings towards CFLs:

My experience with the new bulbs has been dismal. The quality of the light is bad until they warm up. They cost 3 to 5 times as much as an incandescent, and if you have old-fashioned energy-saving habits like turning off the lights when you leave the room, they don’t last any longer than the tungsten bulbs (sometimes less). And they’re more difficult to dispose of properly because of the toxic content. Maybe L.E.D. lights will be better if the price can become reasonable.

And:

There’s a difference between a low-flow toilet (which, if it performs properly, shouldn’t be an obvious change) and light bulbs that make your entire family look like cadavers.

And my personal favorite, leaving my opinion out of it altogether:

The amount of whining and the unwillingness to make small sacrifices of aesthetic preference in order to support an effort to save the habitability of our planet is disgusting. No wonder this country is such a mess.

At least we know how people really feel – and it’s not hard to see what people mean about looking like corpses.  The fluorescent lighting does have a tendency to make people look pretty crappy.  I’m a lighting designer, so light quality is something that gets a lot of attention in our home.  However, we do use a lot of CFLs in our home, too – the cost savings do add up.  We use a compact fluorescent anywhere that is what we consider a “medium-use space” – the laundry room, the back porch, the front porch, the garage, and in lamps that get turned on infrequently – like the one in the room with our television and video games.  However, I use incandescents in the kitchen and in the dining room.  The kitchen gets a lot of use, but the dining room does not.  I just like to make the food I prepare look good.  Could I do this with a CFL, or a few CFLs?  Sure.  But I have some incandescents I like for their color temperature, light output, and quality, and they are four of very few incandescents still in the house.

Now to be fair, there are “cool white” and “warm white” CFLs.  As a a matter of fact, most CFLs have both the lumens and the color temperature stamped on the package somewhere, in most cases.  There are certainly some cheapos that are in packaging with as little info as possible, and these are usually pretty crappy quality CFLs.  It’s also a fact that a large portion of the population could give a damn about what any of those numbers on the box mean – as long as it screws in, turns on, and doesn’t burn out this month, they’re happy.  Buying the right color temperature for the right application and feel is a principle that is not lost on those of us who know light and its idiosyncrasies.  However, this is lost on most people.  Buying cold CFLs and putting them in the living room might just make your whole family look like dead people.  It’s not a terribly difficult to understand concept – incandescents (generally) are warm, towards the amber end of the color spectrum – like a face flushed from the first Scotch of the evening.  Compact fluorescents generally sit on the blue end of the spectrum, high color temperature, and seem to take the blood out of a person’s face.

The interesting aspect of the aesthetic argument is that tests have been done that suggest that people on average cannot tell the difference with modern CFLs and incandescents unless they see the actual lamp.

Looking at cost, CFLs range between about $1.75 and $5 each – and incandescent sources (except maybe the Reveal lamp) being around 25 cents at the cheapest and a dollar at the most.  Operating costs are just as dramatic of a difference, with an average of 70% savings over incandescents.  It’s hard for people to see this long term, but look at some numbers:

comparison

0102-biz-websubbulb

There are efforts to ban the incandescent lamp all over the world.  I realize this is just to force the population to exhibit a little energy savings, but I personally hate the thought of not having incandescent sources at my disposal as a lighting designer.  I am all for energy savings and being good to Mother Earth.  However, there are certain applications where we just don’t have a comparable quality source.  This is a fact.  Companies are working on it, so we’ll see how that goes.

Manufacturing quality of CFLs is like anything else manufactured – there are some superior brands and types and some very, very bad brands and types.  Some have a lot of mercury, some have little mercury.  There are also a lot – a lot – of Energy Star rated CFLs that actually do not meet the standards.  A lot of CFLs failed 2008 standards – there are more than 3,000 CFLs that meet the 2003 Energy Star standards, but 1,100 of these lamps fail the 2008 standard.  It might also be noteworthy that the Department of Energy has given a grace period until July 1, 2009 for those companies whose products failed the 2008 standards to sell about 100 million lamps that haven’t sold because of the economy.  It might also be due to the poor quality of some of them, too.  But that’s just a guess.  A company called the Environmental Working Group has published this ridiculously long list of FAIL lamps.  The report from EWG lists CFLs that are stamped with the Energy Star logo, but failed 2008 standards.  How do you like that?  167 brands, give or take, failed.

I’d check out that list.  You’ll be surprised who is on it.

Now on the other side, there are CFLs who have a low mercury content and a high longevity.  Treehugger posted a “cream of the crop” list of CFLs:

  • Earthmate’s Mini-size bulbs-13, 15, 20 and 25 Watt
  • Litetronic’s Neolite-10, 15, 20, 23 Watt
  • Sylvania Micro-Mini-13, 20 and 23 Watt
  • Sylvania DURA-ONE-reflector bulbs
  • Feit EcoBulb
  • MaxLite
  • Philips with Alto lamp technology

Energy Star has a standard equivalent wattage chart:

energystar_cfl_lightoutput_equival_chart

One of the big contentions of CFL haters is the mercury issue.  Mercury is a poison.  Mercury poisoning doesn’t sound like anything I want to take part in at all, nor do I want anyone else to have it.  I’ve read stories about a woman breaking a CFL in her home and acquiring a $2000 clean up bill.  Why that happened, I do not know – but clean up experts say that hazard removal services aren’t required for breaking a lamp in your house.  I wouldn’t be freebasing the broken lamp or sucking on the broken tube, but you probably don’t need five guys in full hazmat gear trapsing through your house, either.

There are some guidelines for cleaning up a broken CFL.  You should take a few precautions, you know, to be safe.  Most of these are common sense:

  1. get children and your newborn baby out of the immediate area of the broken lamp.
  2. air out the room for 5-10 minutes, if possible.
  3. put on some gloves and a mask to clean up the broken lamp.
  4. put the pieces in a glass jar of plastic container, and seal it all up.
  5. wipe up the floor and clean your hands and such.
  6. recycle, don’t throw away, the busted CFL.

Seems pretty painless, maybe inonvenient.  It is a pain to dispose of CFLs, but don’t toss them in the garbage.  Take a few moments, find the recycling program for CFLs near you, and take them there.  If you don’t have time to take them there, seal them up in the garage or other out-of-the-way place and wait until you can.

Nothing is without its negative aspects.  Take tiramisu for example.  Delicious, but it makes my ass big.

Thanks to the EWG, Treehugger, EcoGeek, and NYT!

Philips – The Master LED Series

Philips Lighting has produced a series of replacement LED sources for residential and commercial use; their Master LED line provides replacement options for incandescent lamps wherever you use incandescent lamps.  The line of Master LED lamps consists of a A-type, an accent, and a spot lamp.

e27

The E27 lamp is Philips’ 7W LED replacement for a 40W incandescent – 45,000 average life hours, no mercury, and comes in cool and warm white.

gu10

The GU10 is the 7W LED replacement for the 35W 230V halogen dichroic lamps and the 9W compact fluorescent reflector lamps.  Philips also claims 45,000 life hours on this lamp, as well as a 25° and 40° beam angle in cool and warm white.

nr63

Last on the list is the 7W LED replacement for 40W incandescent spot lamps and 9W CFL spots.  You guessed it, 45,000 life hours on this lamp, 25° and 40° beam angles in cool and warm white.

Philips also provided a bunch of data on the lamps:

image_table_popup7001

Check out the original press release here.

Banning the Incandescent Lamp – IALD’s Position

Incandescent lamps (you know, light bulbs?) are in the crosshairs of the Banning Wizard across the world.  I really made that sound worse that the principle of it actually might be; of course being a lighting designer I like the quality of the incandescent sources, and I know what the trade-offs are, and I respect them.

The International Association of Lighting Designers – the IALD – has a taken a position on this.  I’ve listed their key points below, but please visit their website on the topic, here.

IALD’s position:

  • There is presently no lighting technology that can replace certain types and uses of incandescent lamps. There are still drawbacks such as poor color, bad dimming performance, and high cost, that make replacement technologies ineffective replacements for incandescent in some applications. A grace period is needed to allow the development of light sources that can replace incandescent in all applications.
  • Energy-efficient replacement light sources must be adapted to suit the existing electrical infrastructure. Those with simple and clear-cut applications must be made available as soon as proven, but there will be cases in which an efficient source is not ready for a particular use. When products cannot achieve appropriate goals, continuance of incandescent technology specific to those situations should be permitted.
  • The complete environmental impact and life-cycle carbon footprint of each replacement technology must be understood. Incandescent lamps should not be banned until their replacements are proven to be an overall environmental improvement.
  • Replacement lamps must be cost-effective. Because replacement light sources are often more expensive than incandescent sources, conversion cost is a concern. Subsidies may be needed to help low-income consumers.
  • Phasing-out of inefficient light sources is one step in reducing lighting energy use. The most efficient electric light source is the one that is turned off. Effective use of daylight and aggressive use of lighting control technologies will be needed to significantly reduce lighting energy use.
  • The IALD supports all efforts to reduce electric lighting’s negative environmental impacts through careful design, daylighting integration, lighting controls and more efficient sources. We urge consideration of the full ramifications of proposed regulations, and possibly the continued use of some unique types of incandescent lamps until truly better alternatives are available. Through our design choices and expertise, IALD Lighting Designers have an opportunity and an obligation to make a great contribution to energy use reduction and global CO2 goals. We are fully prepared to offer our technical and design expertise to help reduce the negative environmental impact of lighting while producing quality lighting solutions for effective working and living.

How do you feel about incandescent lamps?  Please post your opinions in the comments!