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Radiohead Stage Collapse – Charges Laid On Live Nation, Optex Staging, and Domenic Cugliari

radiohead-stage-collapse

 

Last summer’s Radiohead stage collapse in Toronto that killed the drum tech, Scott Johnson, has culminated in some legal actions.  Four charges each have been laid in Ontario court against Live Nation Canada Inc., Live Nation Ontario Concerts GP Inc., Optex Staging and Services Inc. alleging they failed to ensure the stage structure was being built in a safe manner - and one charge on an engineer, Domenic Cugliari, for “endangering a worker as a result of negligence.”  This case goes to trial on June 27, so there will be more to report.

radiohead-stage-collapse-toronto

From the Billboard site – a prepared statement from Live Nation:

“We wholeheartedly disagree with the charges brought against us by the Ministry of Labour. We absolutely maintain that Live Nation and our employees did everything possible to ensure the safety of anyone who was on or near the stage involved in the tragic incident that led to the unfortunate death of Mr. Scott Johnson. We will vigorously defend ourselves and we are confident that through this process the facts will come to light and we will be exonerated. As we commence this year’s concert season with a new staging contractor, Live Nation will continue its strict peer review process with external engineers for rigging and staging. We will remain vigilant in these safety and security procedures because the wellbeing of our employees, fans and artists is of utmost importance.”

Here’s a list of the charges on the four parties mentioned:

radiohead-stage-collapse-charges-page-1 radiohead-stage-collapse-charges-page-2

radiohead-stage-collapse-charges-page-3

 

What do you think?  Leave a comment below – another tragedy past in our industry, and I know that from now on, the heads are gonna roll in our business.  Keep your stuff together, people.  Do a great job every time.

radiohead-stage-collapse

 

 

hi-stage-radiohead-truong-8col

Thanks to Star Phoenix, MSN News, CTV News, and Globe and Mail.

 

Indiana State Fair Collapse Report Blames Mid-America and IATSE?

Update 11:53am:  audio of the news conference releasing the IOSHA report that happened Wednesday, February 8, 2012.  heads up, it’s a direct link to the .WMA file the State released.

I’m a bit at odds with how to write this article because it is news, after all.

Governor Daniels and his people from the State departments tasked with finding out who to point the finger at with regards to the disaster in Indiana this summer at the Indiana State Fair finally put out their report.  Finally.  The report finds that Mid-America Sound and IATSE Local #30 for the issues.  Something I find confusing and disgusting is that:

  1. Governor Daniels has not acknowledged that the State has any blame;
  2. the PRODUCERS of this event haven’t had any blame placed on them, either.

Does anyone else find this disturbing?

Here are the blame documents and the safety violations with fines attached.  I downloaded the originals posted today.

  1. ISFC News Release
  2. IOSHA Inspections FACT SHEET
  3. Safety Order for the Indiana State Fair Commission
  4. Summary Sheet for the Indiana State Fair Commission
  5. Safety Order for IATSE Local #30
  6. Summary Sheet for IATSE Local #30
  7. Safety Order for Mid-America Sound
  8. Summary Sheet for Mid-America Sound

From a post at the Indy Star:

Lori A. Torres, Indiana Commissioner of Labor, said IOSHA’s role was not to determine what caused the stage rigging collapse but to look for workplace safety violations.

Torres said the State Fair Commission did not protect employees from hazards and had an inadequate plan for emergencies. Fair officials were slow to make appropriate decisions, Torres said.

IOHSA cited union riggers for failing to check soil conditions before securing guide wires. The construction was not “competent” by industry standards, the report said.
One stagehand, Nathan Byrd, was among those killed in the collapse. At least nine other union members were injured in the collapse.

The IOSHA investigation is only one of several investigations into the stage rigging collapse.

The State Fair Commission also hired Thornton Tomasetti, an engineering firm based in New York City, to investigate the rigging collapse.

Gov. Mitch Daniels later hired Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., to conduct a “comprehensive, independent analysis” of the fair’s preparedness and response to the disaster.

I feel it’s necessary to post the text from these summary sheets. See it listed below, it’s short. If you’re in the industry, look at this stuff. Once it becomes legal precedent, things are forever different. It’s our responsibility to watch how this unfolds in our industry.

Summary for Mid-America Sound:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET:  FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Mid-America Sound Corporation, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Knowing Violation 1:

  1. a)  Mid-America Sound did not develop and implement an Operations Management Planpertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  2. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not prepare proper layout drawings, engineering documentation, and Operations Management Plan for each use.
  3. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not develop a risk assessment plan and make workers aware of the hazards pertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  4. d)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not conduct periodic inspections by a qualified person, with appropriate documentation, on the structure constructed at the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand.
  5. e)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not keep records for each structural component pertaining to the 2011 structure.
    A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Knowing Violation 2:

a) Mid-America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not provide cross-bracing as recommended by the manufacturer.

  1. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into consideration the soil conditions at the location.
  2. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not designate a competent person.A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Knowing Violation 3:

  1. a)  Mid-America Sound did not have current engineering calculations, design notes, and test results for the structure constructed at the 2011 Hoosier Lottery grandstand.
  2. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not have adequate knowledge of the engineering documentation pertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  3. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into full consideration weights of all equipment including but not limited to follow-spot chair, temporary personnel occupancy and reactions from fall protection systems pertaining to the 2011 structure.A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Total penalties assessed: $63,000.

Abatement is required on all violations no later than 03/06/2012.

The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Knowing violation is $70,000.

Mid-America Sound Corporation was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

Summary for the Indiana State Fair:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET
FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Indiana State Fair Commission did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Serious Violation: The Indiana State Fair Commission did not conduct a life safety evaluation which included an assessment of all conditions and the related appropriate safety measures, of the Indiana State Fairgrounds concert venues, such as but not limited to the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand, for events being held at the 2011 Indiana State Fair.

Abatement is required no later than 03/06/2012. A $6,300 penalty has been assessed.

The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Serious violation is $7,000.

The State Fair Commission was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

Summary for IATSE Local #30:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET
FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Local 30 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees including Theatrical Payroll Services did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Serious Violation 1: IATSE’s head rigger, required to make determinations on the construction and guy wire attachment points and placement of anchors on the load bearing roof structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into consideration the soil conditions at the location.

A $3,500.00 penalty has been assessed.

Serious Violation 2: Employees working at the Indiana State Fair Grounds, erecting the load bearing roof at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand for the 2011 Indiana State Fair were not provided with fall protection from their employer for employees working 4 feet or more above ground level.

A $3,500 penalty has been assessed.

Serious Violation 3: The employer did not conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment of the work site to determine the personal protective equipment required when erecting the load bearing roof or any other jobs they perform at the Indiana State Fair grounds.

A $3,500 penalty has been assessed.

Non-Serious Violation 4: (SO #2) The employer did not maintain the OSHA 300 and did not have records of an OSHA 300A for the years 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

A $1,000 penalty has been assessed.

Total penalties assessed: $11,500.
Abatement is required on all violations no later than 03/06/2012.
The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Serious violation is $7,000.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees including Theatrical Payroll Services was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

What do you think?  Is this fair?  Is this sufficient for you?  Is this harsh?  Is this unjust?

Please post in the comments.  Share this with your groups.

In Case You Hadn’t Heard, ESTA and PLASA are Proposing A Merger

This is pretty huge news, everybody – if you’ve not heard about this yet, it’s time to hear about it now.

Two major organizations in the entertainment industry, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) and the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) are voting on a merger.  “Wait a second,” you might ask yourself – “what good would that do?”  Well, that’s what being a professional in the industry is all about – working on making our industry better one step at a time.  That also means making decisions about what happens in our industry, and now is the time for action.  If you’re a member of ESTA or PLASA, you’ll be getting a ballot soon – send it in!  On May 31, voting closes on the merger, and we’ll hear about the results in early June.

What are your thoughts on the merger of PLASA and ESTA?  Please comment below and share your views!

If you want to see the packet that was mailed around to members, the link is here (PDF link), and the ESTA website has additional information on the merger.  Below is a letter than was sent out a month or so ago regarding the merger:


Dear Members,

It has sometimes been said that many people spend more time ‘planning the wedding’ than they do ‘planning the marriage.’  We will tell you (with great conviction) that this is certainly not the case when it comes to the proposed merger between ESTA and PLASA. Ever since last fall when we announced that the ESTA Board of Directors and the PLASA Executive Committee had agreed in principle to merge our two associations, countless hours have been spent by the ESTA and PLASA teams, your elected representatives and numerous volunteers to provide you with specific information on several topics to prepare you to cast your vote in May, 2010.

The best business plans are straightforward documents that spell out the “who, what, where, why and how much” and that is precisely what we have tried to do for you. This package includes the following:
  • An Executive Summary that clearly identifies the key issues and provides a high level view of the rationale for this merger and how the merged association will operate. Most importantly, it provides you with information about how this merger will impact you as a member of ESTA;
  • Documents have been provided that offer specific details regarding the following:
    – Membership Structure
    – Governance Structure
    – Dues Structure
    – Code of Conduct
    – Technical Standards Program
It is very important to point out the following:
  • The current ESTA staff fully supports this merger and all of them will continue to provide you with member benefits and services;
  • The member benefits and services are in no way reduced by this merger. In point of fact, new benefits and services are planned and others will be enhanced;
  • ETCP will continue as a major program dedicated to fostering safety in the industry and will operate along a separate but parallel path to PLASA’s program to accommodate both legal and regional differences in certification standards;
  • The existing committee structure will continue and will enable PLASA in North America to continue to make good use of the valuable volunteer efforts that have long been the core of our association;
  • Protocol will continue to be offered as a quarterly journal and will become a part of the PLASA Publishing team;
  • The ESTA Foundation will continue to operate as a separate 501(c)3 educational and charitable foundation under its existing name. The merged association will continue to provide support for the Foundation and its programs including Behind the Scenes.
As we said, a tremendous amount of work has been done already (and will continue through the voting process). This merger has our complete support and also enjoys the unconditional support of the ESTA Board of Directors, the Technical Standards Committee, the ETCP Council, the ‘Has Been Society’ (ESTA’s Past Presidents), the ESTA Staff and program participants too numerous to mention.

Even with all of this support, the vote to approve this merger does face the challenge that a majority of all voting classifications (Dealer and Rental Company/Manufacturer and Distributor/PSO) must vote AND a majority of those voting must vote in favor of the plan. Andrew Carnegie once said that “you can’t push anyone up the ladder unless he is ready to climb himself.”

What can you expect in the next several weeks?
  • This package of information is being sent to you both electronically and by snail mail;
  • Your comments and questions are welcome between now and April 6th;
  • For those of you attending USITT there will be a special meeting on Wednesday, March 31st from 9-10:30am at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown in room Moten AB dedicated to a discussion of these materials;
  • In mid-April, you will receive a copy of the revised by-laws that would specifically govern PLASA in North America;
• By May 1st, you will receive your ballot regarding the proposed merger and by-law changes;
• Voting will end May 31st;
• The results of the vote will be announced in early June.

William Shakespeare said that “we know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

We have made substantial efforts to provide you with the information and tools that you need. We urge you to make comments and to ask questions if there is anything that you do not understand. Your active and enthusiastic participation in this process is urgently needed to shape the future of our association.

Sincerely,
Bill Groener
Lori Rubinstein

Happy Birthday, Heinrich Göbel!

Is that – no way – it’s Heinrich Göbel!  (Dude, who invited this guy?)  Happy Birthday, Heinrich!

He looks like the kind of guy who should be in movies with Emilio Estevez and Lou Diamond Phillips about the Old West.  This guy though, Heinrich Göbel (April 20, 1818 – December 4, 1893), is significant in the history of lighting, and maybe more specifically, lighting manufacturing.  You see, Heinrich here claimed to have invented the electric light bulb too, right along with Swan and Edison.  Of course, like others, Heinrich claimed that he was actually the one who invented the lamp for the first time.

The US Patent office kind of discounted everything that Heinrich said about the patent “violation” that he claimed, and at one point Heinrich even recreated the tools used to make his lamp.  Still, no one bought it.  Since the Patent courts don’t allow witnesses as proof of invention, Heinie’s stuff pretty much got tossed out.  From Wikipedia:

Judge Colt explained how he ruled based on probabilities:

“It is extremely improbable that Henry Göbel constructed a practical incandescent lamp in 1854. This is manifest from the history of the art for the past fifty years, the electrical laws which since that time have been discovered as applicable to the incandescent lamp, the imperfect means which then existed for obtaining a vacuum, the high degree of skill necessary in the construction of all its parts, and the crude instruments with which Göbel worked.”

Well, so much for that.  Unfortunately for Heinrich, he died about two months after all of that litigation took place.

Check out Heinrich Göbel’s lamp, and the US Patent below:

Crazy.  Happy Birthday though, Heinrich!

Thanks, Wikipedia and Technik Atlas!

Airport Scanners – Got Any Piercings, Folks? TSA’s Gonna See Them

There has been a lot of hubbub about the airport scanning technology after a wannabe terrorist tried to light his own underpants on fire to blow up a jet on Christmas Day of all days.  The argument basically goes like this:

“It’s an invasion of my privacy and my safety for you to see me naked so you can pretend that I’m a risk.”
“No it isn’t, we need to see you naked to see if you have dangerous things you’re trying to bring on planes.”

scanman
Image by ImYourWorstEnemy on Flickr

Hmm.  I really don’t have the desire to “shake everything I brought” in front of the TSA.  Is there not a better way to do this?  Just so you know, lots and lots of politicians are totally on board with this airport scanner thing – as a matter of fact, <sarcasm> trustworthy people with rigid beliefs </sarcasm> like Joe Lieberman, the Demublican senator from Connecticut.  Joe recently asked a question at an announcing hearing about the whole incident over Christmas Day and how we need to have better airport security:

“We were very lucky this time but we may not be so lucky next time, which is why our defenses must be strengthened. What we know about the Abdulmutallab case raises two big, urgent questions that we are holding this hearing to answer: Why aren’t airline passengers flying into the U.S. checked against the broadest terrorist database and why isn’t whole body scanning technology that can detect explosives in wider use?”

Looks like we’ll see them all over the place in no time.

This is a blog about light, so I want to write a few things at least about the technology that have nothing to do with anyone’s opinion.  Taken for face value, the technology is interesting.  It comes in two forms – “backscattering” x-ray (2 dimensional) and “millimeter wave” (3 dimensional) devices, using terrahertz radio frequency.  Interestingly enough, people have health concerns over both of these technologies, and everyone who dislikes the scanners says they don’t like the breach in their personal comfort.

As far as health issues go, the backscattering x-ray devices deliver a very minimal amount of radiation – according to an article by Julia Clayton of HowStuffWorks, backscattering scanners deliver “approximately 0.005 millirems of radiation [per scan per person]; American Science and Engineering Inc. reports 0.009 mrems.  According to U.S. regulatory agencies, “1 mrem per year is a negligible dose of radiation, and 25 mrem per year from a single source is the upper limit of safe radiation exposure”.  Think of it like this – backscattering x-ray are different than medical x-rays because they don’t primarily travel through you, they record the radiation that is reflected off of your body and foreign material on your body.  Backscatter scans are front and back – 2D.

Millimeter wave technology is also interesting with regards to health – the technology uses very, very high frequency radio waves (in the Terahertz range, or T-waves, per Wikipedia, and the scan travels around your body to create a sort of 3D image.  They also measure the waves coming back from your body, but they measure radio waves, not radiation.  The major health issue associated with the millimeter wave tech is on a DNA-level plane – the problem is that no one knows if the technology interacts with double-stranded DNA, which could cause bubbles in the strands, causing all kinds of epic fail.  Here’s a millimeter wave scan – notice the difference between it and the image above, and how the detail is different, less descriptive, but detailed in its own right:

mm-wave

I am not in the business of promoting any of these scanners, believe me – one company who sells the scanners, MilliVision, had an interesting video on their millimeter wave technology.  Check it out:

Something I found interesting came from an article at Wired – you’ve all seen this image below, right?

scanner-woman

This woman shape is actually Susan Hallowell, director of the Transportation Security Administration’s security laboratory.  After she stepped into the scanner and had this image taken, apparently she blushed and said “”It does basically make you look fat and naked, but you see all this stuff.”

For the record, this technology has been used for a long time – at least a decade – for screening South African diamond mine workers after their shifts for theft.  The shame is that the technology is actually pretty interesting, and it’s worth being developed somewhere.  I’m still just unsure that it needs to be developed while people I don’t know who for the most part treat me like I just committed a felony AND get to see me naked.

You know what I think, what do you think?  Is the body scanner too pervasive for you?  Take the poll!

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

scanner-man

Thanks Wired, Article World, Wikipedia, and Epic!

POLL: How Do JimOnLight.com Readers Feel About Healthcare Reform?

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I’ve been following healthcare reform in the United States for the last few months, and no matter what happens, it affects those of us in the lighting industry just like everyone else.  There are pros and cons both ways – many of my friends and colleagues in the industries that work freelance have self-insurance, which stands to take a hit also either way.

I am conducting a plain ol’ poll to find out how people feel about health care in the United States.  Do you think we need to reform the process, or should we leave it alone?  Please vote, no matter where you are!


Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Raytheon Set to Sell The First Pain Ray

A company called Raytheon (ever heard of a Phalanx gatling gun?) is about to start selling what they’re calling the Active Denial System, or ADS.  It is apparently a non-lethal energy ray that penetrates the skin about 1/64th of an inch causing excruciating temporary pain.  In case you’re wondering, yes – this is a functioning pain ray.  Raytheon has been marketing this system as a non lethal deterrent system, and it is a huge device that looks like it should be mounted on a truck or ship or something:

raytheon painray ADS

It’s being called the Silent Guardian.  There are two models of the ray system – a 30,000W version (effective up to 250 meters) and a 100,000W version (effective up to 750 meters).  Raytheon recently gave a presentation to NATO about anti-pirate measures and the Active-Denial System, and produced this PDF document – Raytheon has been studying this technology since before they unveiled a version of it in 2001.  Think about this for a moment:  a point focus microwave generator that produces an excruciating feeling when directed at someone from a minimum of 250 meters.  As far as protecting cargo and container ships, I think this is a pretty interesting non-lethal weapon.  Raytheon seems to be pointing this towards non-military applications too – like law enforcement and security.  No offense to either of these industries, but quite frankly I wonder what kinds of news stories I’ll be writing about when this thing hits the market.  I think it’s great that we might have a non-lethal weapon that could protect whatever needs protecting from actual threats, but why don’t you go search Google News for the words “police” and “taser.”

I hate to sound like a broken record, but if we can’t even trust people with taser guns, what makes this joystick-controlled hurt beam any different?  What about the possibility of this thing being used in “questioning” situations?

pain ray

I like hearing about things that deal with light and energy, and even though the realistic part of my brain tells me differently, I am going to hope for the best here.  Let’s hope that we don’t read about some overzealous agent using this on a detainee or some militant law enforcement group just unleashing this onto a group of demonstrators without need or license.

From the PDF presentation:

painray3

painray ADS

Thanks, Danger Room!

No Frosted Lamps in the EU Soon? Meet the Euro Condom!

In September the European Union will be implementing a ban on frosted incandescent lamps.  A ban – on frosted lamps.  I don’t really get this, do you?  The argument (well, not really an argument, it’s passed) is that clear lamps give off more lumens than frosted lamps.

Hold on, what? I’ll write a bit more about that soon, but in protest to this interesting ridiculous ban, artists are designing new and interesting ways to say go fornicate with yourself to the silly rule.  One of those ways is from Ingo Maurer, who has given the world the Euro Condom – a high temperature latex cover for clear incandescent lamps, which are going to still be legal:

eurocondom

Yeah, it’s a rubber for clear incandescent lamps.  An interesting commentary, yes?  I enjoy the statement, although I’d just rather have the frosted lamps back in service.  I mean, aren’t frosted lamps like one of the most purchased lamp types ever?

eurocondom_3

euro_condom_ingo

condom3

Thanks, DeZeen and Debate Europe!

The Whole World v. The Incandescent Lamp

We’ve been reading over the last year or so about the war on incandescent lamps – people preach hate for them but people buy them in droves.  Why is this?  A good reasoning is money, money, and money – To buy a 6-pack of regular incandescent lamps (not Reveals or energy efficient models) costs about as much as a stick of beef jerky at the gas station.  When you’re living month to month, week to week, or unfortunately day to day as many of our fellow Americans are doing, a six pack of light bulbs for $1.12 seems a lot more cost efficient when looking at a $4.00 compact fluorescent or even a $40.00 LED replacement.

Your next question should be something along the lines of “but you’ll save so much down the road if you buy something energy efficient!” and you’d be right – but when you’re staring down debt in the face and trying to fight to stay in your home, generic peanut butter sounds better than none at all, know what I mean?

But never mind all that – what about those of us designers who think that the incandescent lamp should be an available choice?  A lot of us feel that “banning” the incandescent lamp is a bit rash of a decision – including the IALD.  There is no good replacement product for them yet.  It’s a poor decision, in my very humble opinion – and the public still wants incandescent light.  Whether it’s cheaper, people prefer them over the cold and sometimes green light that CFLs bring into homes, or lighting designers want to have incandescent choices, incandescents are certainly popular.  But that’s like saying margarine is popular.

When the US Congress passed the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3221), and the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act (H.R. 2776), lots and lots of people wrote, and I’m paraphrasing here:

Oh, lordy lordy, the incandescent lamp is so dead it’s mummified!  Viva la 2012!

*Ahem*

Other folks realized that these new standards that just got passed virtually make it so that no current incandescent lamp on the market would meet the standard requirements.  Seems like an obvious concern, doesn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive or stupid with respect to this subject.  What we need is something that is way bright, gives us the color temperature we want, isn’t a zillion dollars per unit, and consumes as little electricity as possible.  What we have right now, in a feasible, sellable form, are incandescent lamps, which give off heat and consume lots of electricity; LED lamps, which have great color, output is improving, and consumption is ridiculously low with a long lamp life; and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) sources that can put off really terrible color, contain mercury, and are difficult to dispose of properly.  They also rock the consumption rate, but they have their problems.

Well, the bills passed by the Congress certainly put new standards to meet, that is no lie.  What this has done, as things always do when pushed to meet a deadline, is force companies to take the regular ol’ incandescent lamp and turn it into something that acts efficiently, people like, and is cost effective.  GE put out an improved version of the incandescent, the HEI – or High Efficieny Incandescent, which is lacking in title creativity but not good intentions.  Philips just put out an energy saving incandescent, the halogen Energy Saver line.  It’s 70 watts and emits the same amount of illumination as a 100 watt lamp.

Ok, that’s a start! However, at this new 70 watt efficiency, the CFL world is still consuming 75% less than it.

Scientists are starting to see growth in the really horrible (comparatively, of course) incandescent output of 15 lumens per watt – they’re up to twice that now.  There’s tough competition in the LED and CFL categories for consumption levels for incandescent lamps, but we’ve just started.  It is a real shame though that it took some competition to get a train of thought started on improving incandescent lamp efficiencies, isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on this subject?  Please post in the comments below!

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5

Interview with Howard Brandston at the NYT

A quick post – I just read an article from a few months ago with Howard Brandston at the New York Times about design, legislation, and defending the incandescent lamp.  Check it out.