Sunday, July 15, 2007

I See the Light

... and heat.

It has been a recurring thought, whenever I see a lightbulb, that some inane special interest green group has seen fit to lobby the gubmint towards outlawing traditional tungsten light bulbs in favour of the so called energy efficient derivatives.

At first there was a question of tungsten being hard to recycle.


And finally the power savings gambit.

I can’t say anything about difficulty in recycling. I just don’t know.

Longevity is total bullshit. I used to install commercial lights when I was younger. These puppies would turn over 25000 hours easy, for a bulb that is half the cost of the energy-saver for twice the time rating!

Now the power savings issue: the evil 60-watt tungsten bulbs I use, and love, are mathematically more economical on power, believe it or not.

Ok, so I haven’t done all the calculations, nor am I inclined. I am a writer (presumably) not a mathematician, although I can explain what integrals are in layman’s terms.

My bulbs suck back some 60 watts of power and provide a goodly amount of illumination.

And I live in Canada.

So, about 6 to 7 months out of the year I need at least a little bit of heating too. Oddly enough, my light bulbs give off a pile of heat. This pile is used to keep me warm on those cooler evenings. The light is usually close-by so I don’t need to heat the whole room. How about that?

The energy saver bulb gives off light at 15 watts, which is ¼ power of the tungsten bulb, but then I have to fire up the room heater to compensate for the warmth I’m no longer getting from the bulb. The heat register will heat up the entire room, at over 1500 watts heat output.

Hmmm, the math on this just doesn’t tip in favour of the so-called energy-saver, does it?

At least my tungsten friend gives both warmth and light for my 60 watts.

Sceptics will say, but what about those times I don’t need the added heat? Summertime!

Well first we do have daylight savings time that compensates, and second, this being Canada more often than not the nights are cool enough to warrant the use of a little lighted heat.

OK, I’ll give the energy saver its due for those really hot nights. Fair is fair. But the other 300+ days?

Plus, when I’m exposed for too long to neon light, or halogen, or anything but tungsten really, I get physically ill. Go figure.

So if the law is passed that tungsten is going dodo-bird here, I’m stocking up on industrial long-lasting tungsten lights before they disappear.

I do have one question: I realize neon gas is inert, but where the hell does it go when it’s subtending bulb has expired and broken?


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