If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Heat Ball" Decision Looming in Germany

  // Also a July Update on this
(added: A lot of later updates in this blog, search on "heat balls".
At time of this edit, last update February 2012) //

Siegfried Rotthäuser and friends in Germany have imaginatively tried to get round the European ban on regular simple incandescent bulbs by marketing them as "Heat Balls" (more).
This is a sop to the frequent ban defence relating to the fact that incandescent light bulbs give out over 90% of their electrical energy they use as heat (nevertheless being much easier to manufacture, when great brightness is required, compared to CFLs or, even more so, compared to LEDs).

The case has gone to the courts for decision, expected 26 July 2011, see announcement (pdf, in German)

Interesting legal argumentation might be expected in court...
a heat ball or rather "heat bulb" market idea to be followed in the USA and elsewhere?

As for light bulb heat "waste", it is often conveniently forgotten that CFLs and LEDs also convert most of their energy use to heat, although the heat is internalized more - in the case of CFLs leading to a recognized fire risk.
More on incandescent light bulb heat, and it's possible benefit here (http://ceolas.net/#li6x)


Anonymous said...

In the US many traffic lights have been replaced with LED equipment. This has created a new issue in Northern climates. Where old traffic lights emitted enough heat to melt snow and ice, the new ones do not. This has necessitated heaters to be installed in these assemblies. The combined energy usage is now equal to what it was before....

Peter T said...

yes I had heard about that - though not that they also put in heating which as you say then somehow defeats the whole exercise...

Not totally different from replacing domestic incandescents and having to turn up the heating to compensate for the "heat wasting" incandescents:
Sure, they're often located near the ceiling but give off infra-red type heat (heating bodies rather than air) and since all room heat rises and gradually descends again,
the disadvantage is not as marked as supposed, quite aside from the use of side-lamps etc.

The incandescent heat issue is covered in some depth - and with plenty of referenced research data - on http://ceolas.net/#li6x for those interested.

Might add, since it always comes up, that any use of incandescents in warm situations and with air-conditioning cooling etc is of course voluntary, and might be preferred anyway for light quality and other reasons, as also covered on the website.