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View Full Version : Happy Earth Day! Buy this $60 light bulb!


benbradley
04-23-2012, 04:48 AM
I just saw the Google Doodle (http://google.com - after today, just google google doodle to see it and the others) for Earth Day, clicked on it and got to this news story:
Earth Day: Would you buy a $60 energy-efficient light bulb?
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-earth-day-60-light-bulb-20120422,0,1292136.story

Light bulb manufacturer Philips is flipping the switch Sunday on its new super-duper energy-efficient LED light bulb; that's when the bulb will go on sale at various outlets, including Home Depot (http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/69504416?preview=true). The full retail price is $60, but consumers will be able to find online deals, rebates and subsidies that will cut the price by $10 or more, according (http://techland.time.com/2012/04/17/rebates-to-cut-price-of-60-led-bulb/) to the Associated Press.
Proponents of the new light bulb, which can reportedly last up to 10 years or more, say it will ultimately save consumers money because they won’t have to replace nearly as many light bulbs over time. The Washington Post (http://www.latimes.com/topic/arts-culture/mass-media/news-media/the-washington-post-ORCRP016752.topic) suggests (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/meet-the-l-prize-winner/2012/03/08/gIQAt0SB0R_graphic.html) that the savings could top $100 over the course of a decade.
...

And just when they're about to outlaw the old-fashioned Incandescent* light bulb. I'll buy a new light bulb when I can get a loan and make payments on it.


* Actually, as I understand the law, the incandescent is not specifically outlawed - future light bulbs sold, when the law finally takes place, are required to meet certain efficiency standards, and the old-fashioned incandescents don't meet that standard.

Alessandra Kelley
04-23-2012, 05:05 AM
I'd pay 50 cents a month for a light bulb I don't have to change.

Manuel Royal
04-23-2012, 05:36 AM
The incandescent bulb has had a good century and a half. About time to start using a better technology. They'll get cheaper, and gradually replace the old stuff. Like flat-panel tvs replacing CRTs.

Don
04-23-2012, 06:29 AM
The incandescent bulb has had a good century and a half. About time to start using a better technology. They'll get cheaper, and gradually replace the old stuff. Like flat-panel tvs replacing CRTs.
Yeah, all it took was a government edict forcing the CRTs off the market so that flat-panels could fill the resulting void.

:sarcasm

Plot Device
04-23-2012, 06:30 AM
There was an incandescent light bulb manufactured back in the late 1800's which had a life expectancy of over 100 years.

The manufacturer died and took the secret of his light bulb to the grave with him. But there remains one known lightbulb of his still in existence. It is a bulb hanging from the ceiling of the Livermore Firehouse, Livermore California. And after 111 years it still works. Eleven years ago, in 2001, the local Livermore community got together and had a 100 year birthday party there in the firehouse for the lightbulb.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/06/BA5M1HIJB1.DTL

Lightbulbs don't have to last a mere 1000 hours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D56nut_9e8s




::ETA::

Skip ahead to 3:30 and watch for three minutes as they show us the bulb in the firehouse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bxzU1HFC7Q&feature=related

The bulb was manufactured by the Shelby Electric Company in Shelby, Ohio. The filment inside the bulb was invented by Adolphe Chaillet.

http://www.centennialbulb.org/facts.htm


Vital Statistics: The improved incandescent lamp, invented by Adolphe A. Chaillet (http://www.centennialbulb.org/chaillet.htm), was made by the Shelby Electric Company (http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohscogs/shelbymuseum/ShelbyMuseum3.html). It is a handblown bulb with carbon filament. Wattage- Began at 60 watts, currently shines at 4 watts. Left burning continuously in firehouse as a nightlight over the fire trucks. For some research test results on another Shelby bulb at Annapolis follow this link (http://www.centennialbulb.org/annapolis-test.htm).

Recognition: Declared the oldest known working lightbulb by Guinness Book of World Records (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/Search/Details/Longest-burning-lightbulb/63240.htm). Ripley's Believe-It-or-Not (http://www.centennialbulb.org/newsppr2.htm) in 1972 researched it and declared it the oldest. Charles Kurault of the TV program "On the Road with Charles Kurault (http://www.centennialbulb.org/kuralt.htm)" visited the bulb in the 1970s and included it in his book as well. Declarations (http://www.centennialbulb.org/awards.htm) from the President of the U.S., Congress, Senate, State Senate and Assembly, and Shelby Ohio.In 2007 it was again recognized in Guiness (http://www.centennialbulb.org/guiness.htm), and Ripleys (http://www.centennialbulb.org/ripleys.htm) books.

Closest Competitors: The Second longest bulb was listed in the 1970 Guinness Book under the heading Most Durable says that "on 21 Sept 1908 a stagehand named Barry Burke at the Byers Opera House, Fort Worth, Texas screwed in a new light bulb and that it was still burning". The building was renamed the Palace Theatre, and the light was known as the Palace Bulb (http://www.centennialbulb.org/palace-trib.htm) ever since. It now resides in the Stockyards Museum, and will have been burning for 100 years Sept of 2008. A website is in the works.
The Third, a bulb in a New York City hardware store, Gasnick Supplies (http://urbablurb.blogspot.com/2007/05/who-is-jack-gasnick.html), had been working since 1912, but it is unknown if it still works today.
The Fourth is known as "the bulb (http://www.centennialbulb.org/mangum-trib.htm)" which like ours, burns in a firehouse in the town of Mangum, Oklahoma. It has been in operation since around 1926, has no special power conversions, and is turned on and off with normal use.
The Fifth was a bulb in a washroom at the Martin & Newby Electrical Shop (http://www.centennialbulb.org/martin-newby.htm) in Ipswich, England was dated from 1930 and burned out in January 2001.
For more info on these follow this link to Roadside America (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/set/lightbulbs.html), or Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_Light).

Future Plans: The City of Livermore and the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department intend to keep the bulb burning as long as it will. They have no plans at present what to do with the bulb if or when it does burn out. Ripley's has requested it for their museum.

Plot Device
04-23-2012, 06:41 AM
Here's a web site where you can watch the lightbulb glowing non-stop via a live real-time feed.

http://www.centennialbulb.org/

Bulbcam:

http://www.centennialbulb.org/photos.htm#anchor1234

Gotta love the humor in the caption under the bulbcam image:


The New Bulbcam is Working!!!

Unlike the bulb, the first camera had a limited life of about 3 years. We are hoping this one will give the bulb a run for it's money.

This Cam image will continue to be updated every 30 seconds. So to enjoy the view of Fire Station Number 6 either hit your refresh button, or click the picture above!.

Zoombie
04-23-2012, 06:43 AM
Kind of like how aluminum was first really figured out at some point during the 4th century, but the Roman Emperor put the guy who figured it out to death.

We'll figure it out.

Gregg
04-23-2012, 06:49 AM
When they outlaw kerosene lamps, I'll be in real trouble.

Manuel Royal
04-23-2012, 08:41 AM
Yeah, all it took was a government edict forcing the CRTs off the market so that flat-panels could fill the resulting void.

:sarcasm

No, that didn't happen. (Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell without something making it plain that you are, like a cartoon plackard. And it needs to be really big, like half a page, before I'll notice it.)

Not happening with light bulbs either. There's no government edict forcing incandescent bulbs off the market; but there are new efficiency standards. There are already incandescent bulbs on the market that meet those standards; so, obviously, the incandescent bulb is not being "forced off the market" by the evil government. But it does bring the matter of efficiency (and useful lifetime) into discussion, and giving a push to the change to better technology. (Those stupid compact fluorescent bulbs were always a transitional technology. LEDs will be a lot better.)

So the result of the government "edict" (which most people call regulations) is ... more efficient lighting. And maybe it would happen pretty much the same, in this case, without that specific new rule. But, the invisible hand of the market is guided by a stupid, diffuse brain; sometimes it takes decades for it to get around to something that a more intelligent entity, such as a government, could see needs doing. So sometimes the brain of government has to kick the invisible hand in the ass.

Such a kick wasn't necessary with tvs, because, for the consumer, there's a much more substantial difference between a big square heavy CRT and a flat panel tv. There's an immediately appreciable improvement in the ratio of picture size to weight (not to mention the other improvements).

(Of course there are also a lot of government regulations governing manufacture of tvs. Good thing, too, since industry sucks at self-regulating on things like safety.)

blacbird
04-23-2012, 08:55 AM
Here's a web site where you can watch the lightbulb glowing non-stop via a live real-time feed.

http://www.centennialbulb.org/

Bulbcam:

http://www.centennialbulb.org/photos.htm#anchor1234

Gotta love the humor in the caption under the bulbcam image:

Just reiterating this for emphasis. I heard about it a year or so ago, and checked the webcam. Purty dang cool.

The "rest of the story", as Paul Harvey used to say, is that no industrial manufacturer would be even remotely interested in producing such a thing, because there would be no profit in it. I think the incandescent lightbulb is the quintessential example of "planned obsolescence"; much better if the consumer needs to buy a dozen or two every few months.

caw

MaryMumsy
04-23-2012, 09:44 AM
I had heard of the light bulb in the fire station some years ago. The story I read then said it had only been turned off once, when they moved it to a new fire house.

I would pay $60 per bulb, if the quality of light was acceptable, to never have to change the two light bulbs in the fixture over my desk ever again. It is a large PITA. It takes two people, and one of them cannot be me because I'm too short.

MM

blacbird
04-23-2012, 10:17 AM
I would pay $60 per bulb, if the quality of light was acceptable, to never have to change the two light bulbs in the fixture over my desk ever again. It is a large PITA. It takes two people, and one of them cannot be me because I'm too short.

Why are you using a form of sandwich holder as a source of light? This is a technology with which I confess a lack of familiarity, especially if it's big enough to require two people to deal with it.

caw

MaryMumsy
04-23-2012, 12:07 PM
LOL, it's not a sandwich holder. It is a leaded glass pool table lamp that hangs from the ceiling on chains. There are two of those things you screw a lightbulb into. Each of those has a translucent but opaque 'globe' over it. The shades are attached with three screws each. Sounds strange, I know, but is actually quite attractive. And I like it a lot, except when the bulbs need changing.

Kind of like this, but without the scroll work:

http://www.lampsplus.com/products/medici-bronze-32-inch-wide-tiffany-style-island-chandelier__34099.html

MM

Plot Device
04-23-2012, 05:38 PM
The documentary film The Lightbulb Conspiracy very clearly documents the deliberate 1920's-and-onward effort to make lightbulbs flimsy and short-lived. But the lightbulb in the Livermore firehouse was a pre-1920's lightbulb which was manufactured before the secret agreement was struck to make lightbulbs short-lived.

Watch the full documentary here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bxzU1HFC7Q

And if you don't want to watch the whole thing, skip ahead to 5:50 and watch for three minutes as the details of the conspiracy are summarized. The men who concocted the conspiracy called their evil little project "Phoebus," after the god of light.

Plot Device
04-23-2012, 05:43 PM
Ultimately, I don't like these new-fangled corkscrew-looking light bulbs. For selfish reasons, I dislike them because I find that the quality of the light sucks. But more importantly I loathe them the materials used in their manufacture are exotic, energy-intensive, expensive to procure, and very dangerous to the envirnonment after we dispose of the things.

Incandescent bulbs are infinitely cheaper to produce and do not pose anywhere near the dangers to the environemnt that the corkscrew bulbs do. I say we go back to incandescent bulbs because, as they say, if it ain't broke, don't legislate it out of existence.

Don
04-23-2012, 05:57 PM
Ultimately, I don't like these new-fangled corkscrew-looking light bulbs. For selfish reasons, I dislike them because I find that the quality of the light sucks. But more importantly I loathe them the materials used in their manufacture are exotic, energy-intensive, expensive to procure, and very dangerous to the envirnonment after we dispose of the things.

Incandescent bulbs are infinitely cheaper to produce and do not pose anywhere near the dangers to the environemnt that the corkscrew bulbs do. I say we go back to incandescent bulbs because, as they say, if it ain't broke, don't legislate it out of existence.
We can't go back, it would bad for the environment Goldman Sachs (http://www.naturalnews.com/033550_green_light_bulbs_Treasury_Department.html) .
The reasoning behind a law that requires a phase-out of the current incandescent bulbs in favor of the new green bulbs - the latter are more efficient and better for the environment - might be a good idea the surface.

But when you find out the same government that is forcing us to begin paying $2-$3 each for light bulbs is not only involved financially with the deal, but is helping to fund the Chinese company that will be making the bulbs, the good intentions begin to lose their luster.

According to a recent published report, two U.S. corporations - banking monster Goldman Sachs and networking giant Cisco - have invested mightily in Chinese lighting maker NVC Lighting Holding Co. Ltd., a Cayman Islands-listed firm that was founded in 1998.
...
This entire effort to enrich China's dominant lighting firm, as well as the U.S. corporations "lucky enough" to have bought into the company just in time, is being funded by a financing vehicle known as the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). And the Treasury Department is a major contributor to the GEF.

Alpha Echo
04-23-2012, 06:10 PM
There was an incandescent light bulb manufactured back in the late 1800's which had a life expectancy of over 100 years.

The manufacturer died and took the secret of his light bulb to the grave with him. But there remains one known lightbulb of his still in existence. It is a bulb hanging from the ceiling of the Livermore Firehouse, Livermore California. And after 111 years it still works. Eleven years ago, in 2001, the local Livermore community got together and had a 100 year birthday party there in the firehouse for the lightbulb.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/06/BA5M1HIJB1.DTL

Lightbulbs don't have to last a mere 1000 hours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D56nut_9e8s


I never heard of that, and it is the coolest thing ever, and I'd totally pay $100 for one of those!

When they outlaw kerosene lamps, I'll be in real trouble.

Haha. This made me LOL.

As for $60 per light bulb? I'll tell you what - the number of times we replace our lights outside is ridiculous. I would totally pay $60 to replace each of those bulbs and never have to worry about them again. Well, within the next 10 years, but ideally, the market will have come back, we'll have sold our house and bought a plot of land and built our own house by then.

Probably not, but still.

Dommo
04-23-2012, 06:19 PM
If the price can come down to like 20 bucks a bulb, then I think they make sense for lights that are in constant, or regular use. Otherwise, for the attic, I don't plan on using anything other than a .50 cent cheap incandescent since I only go up there a few times a year.

MarkEsq
04-23-2012, 07:02 PM
Remember the joke, "How many lawyers (politicians/teachers) does it take to change a light bulb?"

New version:

"How many lawyers does it take to pay for a light bulb?"

Don
04-23-2012, 07:04 PM
Remember the joke, "How many lawyers (politicians/teachers) does it take to change a light bulb?"

New version:

"How many lawyers does it take to pay for a light bulb?"
Newer version:

"How many lobbyists does it take to make 300 million people pay for new light bulbs?"

Alpha Echo
04-23-2012, 07:12 PM
Remember the joke, "How many lawyers (politicians/teachers) does it take to change a light bulb?"

New version:

"How many lawyers does it take to pay for a light bulb?"

Newer version:

"How many lobbyists does it take to make 300 million people pay for new light bulbs?"

Sorry, Don...I like Mark's better. Yours is getting too complicated. :tongue

Roger J Carlson
04-23-2012, 09:42 PM
Traffic light bulbs have a lifespan of up to 16,000 hours and cost about $4. When you think of it, how often do you see traffic lights being changed?

Roger J Carlson
04-23-2012, 09:48 PM
Yeah, all it took was a government edict forcing the CRTs off the market so that flat-panels could fill the resulting void.I've always kind of wondered which part of the US Constitution gives the government authority to decide how efficient my lightbulbs should be. Next, I suppose they'll mandate new thermostats that don't go higher than 63F in winter or lower than 75 in summer.

rugcat
04-23-2012, 10:28 PM
I've always kind of wondered which part of the US Constitution gives the government authority to decide how efficient my lightbulbs should be. Next, I suppose they'll mandate new thermostats that don't go higher than 63F in winter or lower than 75 in summer.As you well know, the constitution does not enumerate what the government can do. It sets out what the government cannot do.

And I'm pretty sure lightbulbs were not mentioned by the founders.

Yorkist
04-23-2012, 11:34 PM
Ultimately, I don't like these new-fangled corkscrew-looking light bulbs. For selfish reasons, I dislike them because I find that the quality of the light sucks.

For my own "selfish reasons" personal narrative...

I have been gradually replacing all the ugly ceiling fans and builder's grade light fixtures in my house with beautiful chandeliers. (My husband is thrilled with this.) All require candelabra bulbs. I haven't even gotten to the bedrooms and bathrooms yet, and I don't have a very big house, but lemme count here, so far I've got... let's see... twenty-seven candelabra bulbs, anywhere from 15 to 60 watts, for five separate light fixtures. I'm estimating that once I spring for chandeliers for beds and baths, I'm looking at about 15 more.

One of the new-fangled energy efficient candelabra bulbs costs $6.

6 x 27 = $162; 6 x 42 = $252

Let's take that up to $60 now.

60 x 27 = $1620; 60 x 42 = $2520

That's like, almost the cost of a new air unit. How's this going to work when we buy and sell houses? We're going to have to depreciate our lightbulbs for home inspections.

Plus, the new candelabra bulbs look, well... pervy (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=candelabra+bulb&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=gVO&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8253204199701583156&sa=X&ei=ppWVT6qOM4uUtwet6aW2Cw&ved=0CJMBEPMCMAI). They don't give that beautiful candle vibe at all. NOT what I am going for in my home decor, guys.

I'm with the right on this one. The government can FOAD.

And I'm also installing dimmer switches to save electricity, so don't hate. Or do, I don't care. You can pry the incandescent candelabra bulbs out of my cold, dead hands.

Alpha Echo
04-24-2012, 12:06 AM
Plus, the new candelabra bulbs look, well... pervy (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=candelabra+bulb&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=gVO&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8253204199701583156&sa=X&ei=ppWVT6qOM4uUtwet6aW2Cw&ved=0CJMBEPMCMAI). They don't give that beautiful candle vibe at all. NOT what I am going for in my home decor, guys.

I'm with the right on this one. The government can FOAD.

And I'm also installing dimmer switches to save electricity, so don't hate. Or do, I don't care. You can pry the incandescent candelabra bulbs out of my cold, dead hands.

I'm with you. We have several very large chandeliers. I would not put those things in them ever!

Gregg
04-24-2012, 12:16 AM
I've always kind of wondered which part of the US Constitution gives the government authority to decide how efficient my lightbulbs should be. Next, I suppose they'll mandate new thermostats that don't go higher than 63F in winter or lower than 75 in summer.

QUIET!! Don't give them any ideas.;)

vsrenard
04-24-2012, 09:05 AM
The Livermore light bulb is cool--I've been to see it a few times when I lived there.

Alessandra Kelley
04-24-2012, 04:29 PM
What about Christmas lights?