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Author Topic: Coming ban on incandescent lamps  (Read 20360 times)

Offline adam2

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Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« on: November 22, 2007, 07:46:54 am »
The UK governmemt have stated that they will be banning incandescent lamps.
Does anyone know which ones?

Vehicle lamps?; flashlight bulbs?; infra-red heat lamps?;Christmas tree bulbs?;pilot lamps?; mains voltage halogen lamps?;12 volt halogen?;low voltage gls lamps?;

I suspect that the average politician does not even know that all the above are types of incandescent lamps.
Probably they will only ban GLS lamps, but does anyone know for certain?

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 02:44:43 pm »
I believe it only extends to those 1930s-design GLS for the time being, starting with the >100 watt ones if I remember rightly. The low wattage candle and pygmy types are safe for now, despite having the worst luminous efficiacy of the "GLS family" - inherently the higher wattages will burn a bit hotter hence put a bit more light out. I don`t believe halogen and other specialist types of filament lamp are being considered for now. Interestingly, Philips and Osram have recently released GLS-replacement lamps using slightly more efficient halogen capsules within the old familiar bulb shapes, suggesting halogen will still be around for a while yet.

The idea of the ban is to stop the general purpose use of the old, inefficient incandescents for lighting, in favour of more efficient and lower power sources. The low power decorative uses (chandeliers, etc) would be difficult at present to serve with alternative technologies, hence the low wattage bulbs aren`t subject to the ban just yet. Eventually as things like LED technology progresses (and it is almost there in efficiency now, just not in price or volume) the smaller incandescents will go too, but that is a way off yet.

I just hope they don`t ban *ownership* of GLS, else I`ll be in a *lot* of trouble. Rather a lot of`em here...

(though ironically I havn`t used filament lamps for general lighting for some time now - lit by LED, fluorescent and occasionally SOX)


 :|

Offline adam2

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Re: Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2007, 10:23:46 am »
Thanks for the info.
I wonder if the ban will extend to low voltage GLS lamps ? The market for these is very limited but they are near essiential for some purposes, especialy if operation from both AC and DC is required.

12 volt CFLs are now available, but DC only.
24 volt CFLs are also allegedly available, though I have never seen one
AFAIK CFLs are not available in 32 volt, 42 volt, 50 volt, or 70 volt.
110/120 volt CFLs are readily available but are marked as AC only, though they will in fact work on DC.

Perhaps I should stock up !

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2007, 12:04:23 pm »
I think low voltage lamps would be classified as specialist types - such as those needed for safety inspection lamps and central battery emergency lighting. Not likely to be subject to any ban for the time being, although as technology progresses, there will certainly be more efficient replacements available that will fit the purpose. Such as fluorescent fittings with low voltage electronic ballasts specially made for the required supply voltage. LED looks the most promising for small-bulb replacements in existing fittings, but those would likely end up being a compromise over a complete new fitting. Even integrated-ballast CFLs for general domestic use seem more of a stop-gap approach while something better comes along, they have several limitations and problems (dimming, size, reliability, etc) that improved technologies would probably be able to overcome.

What we really need are new, efficient light fittings designed around new, efficient light sources, rather than trying to adapt new technologies to fit in existing lights made around the old fashioned bulb. It will probably take a little time for all manufacturers and lighting designers to adjust to working with different light sources, but this upcoming Bulb Ban is not necessarily a bad thing and could produce some really interesting results. After all, we can`t carry on using outdated technology forever, at least not for general purpose usage.

But I wouldn`t worry about the more specialised uses for now. There are some applications where incandescent bulbs are the logical choice. Oven lights for example - I can`t see an LED or fluorescent light source withstanding those high temperatures.

 :-)

Offline debook

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Re: Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2008, 06:26:26 am »
As to CFL uptake, where is the publicity that these contain mercury and cannot be disposed off in normal garbage. If one breaks the mercury will be aerosolised, you are supposed to clear the room for 20 minutes and then wearing a breathing mask clean up the spill with a vacuum cleaner... err how many people will do that particularly if they have a house full of kids?

How many vacuum cleaners can safely clean up such minute particles of mercury... seems that the consequences of use are being ignored for convenience, or ignorance? What wil be the consequences of millions of CFLs being disposed in normal garbage?
Frank Andrews

Offline Straick

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Re: Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2009, 10:51:57 pm »
I've heard about this as well, but over in the United States. The problem that has been happening here is that if a CFL is burned base up, they can catch fire and, worse case scenario, burn down your house. I personally don't like the color they give off. The other problem is that, during the winter when that days are shorter and you're inside more, incandescent lamps act like a point heater, giving off a small amount of heat as well as light when they are burning. I hope they never ban incandescent lamps, especially when you consider that the LED lights give off a weird color and look strange to me, and that most places don't have the facilities in place for proper and safe disposal of the used CFL's. And, as was mentioned, they contain a lot of mercury. They actually contain more mercury than a 8 foot fluorescent tube contains. Sadly, the incandescent lamp as is currently used for general lighting is an endangered species.

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2009, 06:57:33 am »
I do not believe a compact fluorescent lamp contains more mercury than an 8 foot linear fluorescent tube. Indeed, the mercury content of a CFL is quite over-emphasised in the popular media for some reason, making them out to be akin to toxic waste in some circumstances. Older fluorescent tubes contained *far* more mercury than any made today and no-one seemed to mind. I have some pretty old linear lamps here and you can see little drops of liquid mercury inside. And those old tubes at end-of-life were generally disposed of in normal landfill waste, no recycling schemes back in the day. I know of an industrial place where they used to crush spent lamps on site, goodness knows how much mercury was released during that process.

Generally, the mercury content of a CFL is very low, and contained within a solid "amalgam" (similar to what dental fillings used to be made from) at one end, such that if one broke, it won`t throw liquid mercury everywhere. Only mercury *vapour* is harmful, and that condenses very quickly as it cools to room temperature. You certainly don`t need to break out the Hazmat gear to clear one up.

As for them catching fire, it is true that there have been several examples of this happening, but it is most likely due to poor quality lamps, being used in incorrect locations. Some CFLs are not designed to be used base-up, or in enclosed fixtures such as those recessed "can lights" that are so popular for some reason. Others are perfectly suitable for such applications, it is important to check the lamp packaging to ensure they will be alright.

Regarding colour, certainly many of the cheap ones put out a quite un-natural light, that sickly beige "warm white" is the easiest to find it seems, usually with quite a poor colour rendering index as well. There are a wide range of colours available though including some that rather accurately replicate daylight. Same with LEDs, there have been advances in LED technology over recent years producing far improved colour rendition over previous generations. Including some that are almost indistinguishable from incandescent light, if that`s your preference. It is an emerging technology and will take time to mature, but is very promising for the future.

Finally, on the heating issue, this really depends on where you live. If you have air conditioning, during the warm/hot months the heat produced by all those bulbs has to be extracted, using far more energy than you`ll save from the incidental heating in the winter time.


It`s just another step in the evolution of artificial lighting. From candles, to oil lamps, to gas lights, to carbon filament electric light, to tungsten, to fluorescent, to LED, to who knows where, with all sorts of other interesting things in between - arc lamps, mercury vapour, sodium, etc. Nothing to be afraid of in my opinion, indeed it`ll be interesting to see where it goes from here. And like many of those "outdated" technologies, the tungsten filament lamp isn`t likely to go away completely.

Offline jonathan cassiday

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Re: Coming ban on incandescent lamps
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 09:42:49 pm »
And as far as disposal, Home Depot here in the states now has a bin for recycling spent lamps ( right next to the disposal bin for rechgargable batteries) so that they can be recycled. Also Target sells a "kit" that has postage pre paid to recycle the lamps in a protective box.
yes this is Jonathan Cassiday how may i help you