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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Always Look on the Bright Side

 






Imagine calling a fluorescent bulb Tru Dim ;-)
(it's dimmable, apparently, and full of fun components)



Following on from the post about renowned lighting designer Howard Brandston's Mondo article, he has also updated his website commentary, with a letter to Consumer Reports (that they did not publish)

Excerpts, my highlights:

The design of lighting is the creation of a system to light a space.
When you take the total energy used to light many typical spaces, including the lighting controls, the total connected load and energy consumed when using incandescent light sources the result is, in many cases, equal to or more efficient than the new sources you are touting.

Then you make a serious technical error when you state that lumens measures brightness.
Lumens are a measure of radiant energy in the visible spectrum – not brightness.
More lumens do not mean more brightness or visibility – nor that you will prefer the light illuminating the scene or object it is falling upon. What is critical in this case is the Spectral Power Distribution of the light source.
In this case, when evaluated by most viewers, the incandescent light bulb wins – most of the time. That does not mean there are not several applications where alternative light sources perform perfectly well and are preferred. But to ban the incandescent light bulb is a serious detriment to the design of good lighting for many applications. People will sort that out
by themselves without the help of legislation....

Sincerely,
Howard M. Brandston, FIES, Hon. FCIBSE & SLL, FIALD, LC.



Comment

As covered previously here, Lumens are replacing Watts as the new standard for buying light bulbs by (supposedly) brightness...

CFLs and LEDs have spiky emission spectra, so strong brightness in single pure light colors might confuse the measurements, compares to the smoother, broader, light color emissions as with incandescents.

There are a lot of reasons why CFLs and LEDs seem dimmer than their lab rated values...
more on CFL brightness here (http://ceolas.net/#li15rbx),
and some additional notes on LED brightness (http://ceolas.net/#li15ledax).
 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Howard Brandston's Mondo Article

 
A while back I had a resource news update, looking at the latest from the sites in the resource link list - it seems better just to highlight different ones, when I notice them.

I mentioned that Howard Brandston had an upcoming article in Mondo magazine.
This is now published:

MERCURY? Thermometers NO! Light bulbs YES!
A plea to the lighting design community from Howard Brandston.


On December 16th 2011, just days before a national ban on the incandescent was to take effect, the United States congress postponed the onset of a law that threatens to alter the very contours of our lives. Starting with a phase-out of the 100-watt bulb in 2012, the Energy Independence and Security Act, signed by George W. Bush in 2007, finishes off the 40-watt lamp by 2014. How do the legislators behind the Act intend to replace Thomas Edison’s time-tested invention? With the squiggly compact fluorescent, which has been touted as a panacea for an ailing planet, even as questions about its energy efficiency and environmental viability abound. The outcry in the U.S. against this proposed ban, however, has been vociferous—loud enough, it seems, to have put at least a momentary halt to legislation that is not dissimilar to bans that are in the process of being enacted all over the world.

In the years leading up to the planned implementation of the Act, American lighting manufacturing giants raced to replace the incandescent light bulb with the compact fluorescent to the tune of 400 million lamps sold each year, sacrificing quality and, ironically, the environment in exchange for what was widely heralded as affordability and energy efficiency—CFLs are said to use up to 75 percent less energy than conventional tungsten bulbs (the figures vary). Meanwhile, compact fluorescents have been flooding landfills around the world, frequently breaking along the way, releasing about 5 milligrams of mercury into the soil, water, and air with every shattered bulb.

A naturally occurring heavy metal, mercury is a potent neurotoxin that causes damage to the central nervous system, the endocrine system, the kidneys and other organs. Mercury poisoning can be fatal; exposure to mercury is especially dangerous for fetuses and children. Yet despite the imminent phase out of the incandescent bulb, the lion’s share of municipalities in the United States have failed to implement safe, accessible recycling solutions for the toxic compact fluorescent. Five years after the signing of the Act, cities and towns with curbside recycling services still do not have the facilities to deal with such bulbs, which must be taken to hazardous waste centers, many of which are open to the public a total of one day a month.

And what happens when one of these fragile glass corkscrews breaks within the safety of the home? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends evacuation of the site for the first 15 minutes after the breakage in order to avoid exposure to harmful mercury vapors. After an elaborate initial cleanup (instructions available on the internet are confounding in their contradictions), the room should be aired out, the EPA advises, with all HVAC systems turned off, for several hours. Theories as to the health risks posed by any remaining traces of mercury vary wildly depending on who is doing the talking. Consumers can, for the moment, breathe a huge sigh of relief. They have not yet lost the freedom to decide for themselves what kind of bulbs they are willing to risk bringing into their homes.

Now, at the 11th hour, Congress has postponed the bill—which was planned to go into effect on January 1—until September 2012, giving those in support of the incandescent nine more months to harness the momentum necessary to make their voices heard. Vigilance is key. This small victory must not be seen as a mere momentary roadblock to the boondoggle that has been looming over the U.S. lighting industry and how it is that we illuminate the commercial workplace, as well as the sanctity of our homes, for the past five years. Constituents around the world need to make their opposition to the ban known, in the face of the considerable lobbying power of lamp manufacturers, who, no doubt, will continue to put pressure on Congress, fervently politicking for their interests to be served.

The devastating paradox of the supposedly green solution to the global energy crisis proffered by the compact fluorescent is that the mercury contained within these bulbs is poised to invade our homes even as we are promised a reduction in mercury-laced carbon emissions—a reduction that is negligible at best. It is an energy saving that can easily be accomplished by legislation on any number of measures, including wind and solar power and alternative fuels, higher building standards, and HVAC and water heating systems, to name a few.

And what about other lighting alternatives? High-performance energy-efficient incandescents that meet proposed energy efficiency guidelines are in the works. Halogen lamps are everywhere. But unfortunately, the high-performance bulbs currently available or in the pipeline are no competition for the conventional tungsten lamp when it comes to cost. Which means that if a ban on the incandescent does go into effect, the only affordable option for the vast majority of homes will be the noxious compact fluorescent.

Action must be taken to ensure that the repeal is not simply a postponement. It is imperative that we succeed in averting the impending environmental crisis we are so very close to legislating into being. For if just one gram of mercury will pollute a 2-acre pond, imagine the havoc millions of compact fluorescents tossed into our garbage dumps threatens to wreak on the world at large, let alone the sanitation workers who come in constant direct contact with high volumes of these troublesome bulbs. Allowing so much mercury to invade our homes and workplaces, not to mention our already endangered forests and plains, our rivers and oceans, would be not just foolhardy but downright destructive.

And mercury is not the only problem when it comes to the compact fluorescent. Myriad questions remain regarding the negative impact of CFLs on our health and well-being. The flicker rate of the bulb has improved over time, but the jury is still out on CFLs as a trigger for migraines and, in some cases, epileptic seizures. The long-term effects of electro-magnetic fields and the gaps in the colour spectrum peculiar to CFLs have not yet been adequately studied. In addition, the ultra-violet radiation emitted by CFLs poses dangers to those with light-sensitive diseases such as lupus.

And the list of downsides continues: many existing light fixtures are incompatible with CFLs and will need to be replaced. The fact that the bulbs require a different kind of dimmer than those installed in most homes poses yet another challenge. CFLs boast a longevity equal to 3 to 25 (or 8 to 15, again, the figures vary) times that of the incandescent; but these claims are substantially undercut by the rapid reduction in lifespan that occurs when the lights are switched on and off with any sort of frequency. And then there is the CFL delay: when a compact fluorescent is switched on, it does not light up immediately, but takes up to three minutes to reach full intensity. Component parts fail frequently, due to compromises in quality in exchange for affordability. CFLs are manufactured in China, where there are little or no environmental controls, and safety in the workplace is all but nonexistent. Energy savings produced by the bulbs themselves are offset by the distance they must be shipped and the energy expended to manufacture their plastic packaging, which of course, is environmentally unsound. And despite the fact that the quality of light given off by CFLs has improved in recent years, it remains spectrally deficient, and vastly diminished in comparison with that of the incandescent. Not to mention the negative impact that the incandescent ban would have on the work of lighting designers and industry professionals in an era that is presently rife with restrictions.

But the implications of the elimination of the affordable incandescent go far beyond the blatant health risks posed by the compact fluorescent and its roll call of hindrances listed above. What’s most ominous about the incandescent ban proposed by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is not simply its enforced influx of the compact fluorescent into our homes and workplaces, but the fact that if it does indeed take effect, we will have lost our freedom to choose how we light our lives.

Human beings evolved with and in response to light—sunlight, moonlight, the incandescence of fire. Our physical mechanism, the neuroscience that makes us who we are, is exquisitely attuned to light’s qualities and rhythms. The light that envelops us steers our very existence. To impose limitations on how we choose to illuminate our world carries profound biological implications.

How did we get here? How is it that environmental institutions from the EPA to the Energy Federation to Greenpeace continue to advocate the use of the compact fluorescent despite the overwhelming evidence?
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy.”
—Ernest Benn, British publisher, born in 1875

Our recent predicament is a testament to the hefty lobbying power of a handful of manufacturing giants on Capitol Hill and a barrage of mostly meaningless statistical data. For when one takes a closer look at the bee’s nest of information spun in favour of the ban, one discovers that the “more than 330 million metric tons [of greenhouse gas emissions saved] over the next 30 years” posed in defence of the incandescent ban amounts to .013 percent of energy use over the next three decades. This is a figure that could easily be offset by any one of a number of measures. But the industries behind these measures wield a lobbying muscle that is at least as formidable as that of the lamp manufacturers, if not more so. The community of lighting professionals is only a few thousand strong. The incandescent, then, is an easy target—singled out in the scramble to make our lives more energy efficient, even when the statistics don’t support the argument.

It’s not too late to set the story straight. We have seen that speaking out can make a difference. We have been given a tremendous opportunity, thanks to the postponement of the ban, to spread the word. Now is the time to organise our resources and step up the good fight. We, as a community of lighting professionals, have a voice that can make itself heard: a clear, unified statement issued on behalf of the lighting community will have far-reaching implications. We must do everything we can to invite the general public to get involved, to urge consumers to contact their legislators and make their feelings known regarding this onerous, ill-thought bill—and others like it all over the world. Our freedom to choose the nature and quality of how we illuminate our lives lies in the balance.

Howard Brandston
www.concerninglight.com LightPain@aol.com

Howard Brandston
biography, commentary, business
As seen, a well known lighting designer with numerous projects, also a guest lecturer, visiting professor, and as noted the Congress choice of expert opinion on lighting issues.


Comment

Listen to what the renowned lighting designer says!

The most common political reply, as also happened to him in the Senate Hearings,
is the well-worn "But we are not banning incandescents... energy efficient types like halogens are still allowed".
Howard does point out the cost difference, there are also some light quality and other differences, and significantly they will be "phased out" too on both US and EU legislation specifications (indeed a ban on low-voltage halogens is in the works in the EU too, or should I say "standards that do not allow them to be made" 8-))

The today revised page The Deception behind Banning Light Bulbs,
a copy which follows underneath, complements the above:
I steer away from specific CFL-mercury criticism in that rundown, as that line of argument (however justified) detracts from the purpose there, to highlight how the ban in itself is wrong.

CFLs, like incandescents and other bulbs have their advantages too.
Provided the usage safety conditions are adhered too, there is no need to ban them either(!).

Energy efficiency regulations make no sense for any reason, including to save energy or emissions.
Coal plants were always the main target.
Yet the irony is that - even with supposed energy usage -
the same coal gets burned regardless of whether your light bulb is on or off! (more)

It's a funny world.  


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Final Vote Looms on South Carolina Bill

 
COMMITTEE REPORT

February 23, 2012

H. 3735
Introduced by Reps. Loftis, Chumley, Neilson, Hamilton, Sandifer, J.R. Smith, Whitmire, Thayer, Corbin, Clemmons, G.M. Smith, Hardwick, Hearn, Barfield, White and Viers

THE COMMITTEE ON LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
To whom was referred a Bill (H. 3735) to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Chapter 12 to Title 39 to enact the "South Carolina Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act" so as to provide, etc., respectfully REPORT:
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass:

W. GREG RYBERG for Committee.

Unreported even in the local media, was the favorable passing of the South Carolina H.3735 light bulb freedom bill in the Senate Labor Commerce and Industry Committee where it had been sitting since April 2011 (bill summary).
It now passes to the Senate chamber for a final vote.


As covered in the recent extensive post about the bill, it is perhaps the most interesting of the outstanding local state bills.

Firstly,
because the bill is far advanced, and since Republicans have a majority (27 of 46 seats) in the Senate it seems certain to go through to the Governor:
It easily passed 76-20 in the House that has a 76-48 balance to the Republicans - and it is a divisive issue in a year with sees (in November) elections to both House and Senate.

Secondly,
because SC has the bulb manufacturing, and it's a small independent outfit, less subject to major manufacturer and federal pressures.
The American Light Bulb Company in Mullins SC made the simple incandescents right up to 2012 and are "fired up" against the ban, as also covered in the previous post.


The question is what Governor Nikki Haley is likely to do.

At the time the bill was launched it was remarked in local media how silent her office was on the issue. Her campaign issues have nothing on energy or environment.

She is said to be a "staunch conservative republican", but the same is said of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who did not sign their bill, while of course another one, Rick Perry of Texas, did.



Updates on the 10 US state freedom light bulb bills (legislated Texas) can be seen on http://ceolas.net/#bills

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Philips, Osram, the UN and the World Bank:
How we will en.lighten the World in 2012

Extensively edited August 8


How manufacturers,
who of course themselves could voluntarily choose to stop making the cheap unprofitable incandescents they keep saying are "bad for the planet",
instead seek to invoke international cooperation in replacements and regulations, the real aim being to cut down any competition from local upstarts who might want to make the simple popular and locally more easily made incandescent bulbs


 
The United Nations (via UNEP) cooperation agreement with Philips and Osram, the en.lighten initiative which was agreed in 2009, is now set to "change the world" in 2012, having gradually built up funding to be able to launch a comprehensive worldwide lighting conversion programme.

The following looks at it with edited extracts from the Philips and Osram CEO presentation.



A  Global  Transition  to  Efficient  Lighting

 
by
Rudy Provoost, CEO of Philips Lighting
Martin Goetzeler, CEO of OSRAM
Darth Vader, CEO of Death Star
(there may or may not be an odd one out)


Private sector and the UN in partnership to en.lighten the world.

The UNEP en.lighten initiative was created as a partnership between UNEP, Philips Lighting and OSRAM, with support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) [more on GEF follows].
The initiative addresses the challenge of accelerating global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by developing a global strategy in support of the gradual phase-out of inefficient lighting.

• the development of a global policy strategy to gradually eliminate inefficient and obsolete lighting products;
• the promotion of high performance and efficient lighting technologies in developing and emerging nations;
• the substitution of traditional fuel-based lighting with efficient alternatives.

The en.lighten initiative has created global taskforces where international experts from developing, emerging and developed countries and sectors are working on a global approach to phase out inefficient incandescent lamps.


Market forces are not sufficient to achieve the rapid transformation needed in the lighting market to respond to the climate change challenge.
Instead, a multi-stakeholder global partnership is required to support countries as they embark upon efficient lighting transformation programmes.

As two of the biggest lighting manufacturers in the world,
we have chosen to focus our efforts on transforming the lighting market in partnership with UNEP through its en.lighten initiative.
With its unparalleled global network, UNEP can provide leadership by inspiring and enabling nations to prioritise efficient lighting and reap the benefits of lowered energy costs.

An "Efficient Lighting Toolkit" for governments worldwide will be available in early 2012.
It will provide "comprehensive guidance on how to transform their markets to efficient lighting".

They also invite partners to participate - lots of saving consultancy schemes are offered, with an invitation to contact the en.lighten secretariat.

A footer confirms that "The en.lighten initiative is a partnership supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), OSRAM AG, Philips Lighting and the National Lighting Test Centre, China (NLTC)".

The National Lighting Test Centre, China (NLTC),
has over the years "built professional relationships with its wide range of international and domestic clients, providing them with tailor-made solutions for either purchase from or entrance into the Chinese lighting market."

The Global Environment Facility (GEF),
is yet another funding facility bailing out manufacturers who can't sell (or can't be bothered to market and sell) their expensive wares on the open market...
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 182 member governments — in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector — to address global environmental issues.
Established in 1991, the GEF is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment
.
The author Jeffrey Sachs in his book CommonWealth describes the World Bank association with the GEF in making it the world's largest environmental fund facility.
As seen from the above link it also involves the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and many other financing institutions.

The extensive activities of UNEP and the GEF, in spreading the New Lighting Gospel around the world with Philips and Osram, is further covered on the Ceolas website (http://ceolas.net/#unep and onwards).



Comment

So, a big pay-off to Philips and Osram from the World Bank to offload otherwise unwanted expensive patented fluorescent or LED bulbs on developing countries.

Somewhat (though only somewhat) tongue-in-cheek one might ask, why not ban cheap well known generic penicillin too - allowing the offloading of expensive patented less well known drugs on Africans and others?


Light bulb manufacturers have a long and dark history in seeking to avoid fair competition on open free markets, beginning with the Phoebus Cartel in the 1920's, continuing up to the present day lobbying for bans on patent expired unprofitable generic regular bulbs, and indeed now this subsidised product dumping.

See http://ceolas.net/#li1ax onwards with article references, documentation, and copies of official communications.


Any doubting casual observer can of course just ask themselves:

Why welcome "being able" to stop the manufacture of incandescents?
If it's "so great" to stop making incandescents, and make other light bulbs instead:
Why don't the manufacturers just stop it themselves then?

After all, the major light bulb manufacturers have a history of getting together and setting their own product-limiting manufacturing standards.

The mentioned Phoebus Cartel was all about setting a common 1000 hour lifespan standard, so that the manufacturers could sell more profitable (shorter lasting) bulbs on the world market they carved up between themselves.

1000 hours is still the regular incandescent "benchmark" lifespan standard.

So manufacturers could again cooperate, openly or not, on standards that eliminate the incandescents.
But, of course, they would again want to to make sure that noone else makes those bulbs, that would lose them sales and profits...

With the Phoebus cartel, the times were easier, with more readily controlled markets, and a special "1000 hour life committee" as discovered by recent referenced research, effectively oversaw both membership compliance and the blocking of outside manufacturers to market access.

How wonderful therefore, when naive politicians step into the breach, this time handing the major manufacturers the markets on a plate, by banning anyone else from making the cheap but relatively unprofitable bulbs:
Stopping small local outfits who might not be able to get the bigger profits from the more complex and harder to manufacture bulbs, but can still do good business on simple if less profitable bulb varieties.
Thereby the green rebound irony, of prohibiting simple cheap safe locally made locally transported products!.


The American side in the development of the 2007 US EISA legislation, was not least illustrated in the previously posted review of the 2011 eBook "I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial" by Leahy and Brandston, the latter directly involved in consultation and hearings:
Notice in particular the described GE and NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) involvement in the 2007 legislation.

As for the European 2009 EU legislation, the EU Ban Story also covers the European Lamp Companies Federation (ELC) and their openly admitted lobbying activities.

ELC Board: Philips Lighting: Mr Jan Denneman (President) Osram GmbH: Mr Wolfgang Gregor (Vice President) GE: Mr Tony Everett (Treasurer).

"What are our objectives?"
[To provide consumers with good lighting they want to buy? No...]
"To promote efficient lighting practice for the benefit of the global environment, human comfort and the health and safety of consumers.
To monitor, advise and co-operate with legislative bodies in developing European Directives and Regulations of relevance to the European lamp industry.
To act as the key discussion partner for the European Union (EU)


Philips is the worlds largest lighting manufacturer.
Osram is the second largest.
Both are headquartered in Europe.

How they have participated not just in cartel market rigging,
but have also benefited from a direct involvement in the specifications set by the EU Commission Ecodesign division, is also covered via the above link.
EU specifications, unlike North American or Australian counterparts, also have direct CFL purchase inducements, such as the immediate 2009 ban of all non-clear incandescents (including halogens) on the basis that "people can buy the CFLs instead".

Scottish lighting designer Kevan Shaw is actively involved as a "stakeholder" in EU regulations. As he says, and which subsequently is being covered in the media, the EU is now likely to ban low voltage halogens too.
As it happens, Philips have just reported falling light bulb profits. So perhaps more "help" for them is on the way.


Overall,
as referenced here, these pushed lighting switchover measures are token energy saving policies that supposedly show how politicans, UN officials et alia are "doing something" for the planet, assertions which most journalists uncritically swallow and repeat.
 
Further reading: "The Unholy Alliance between Philips and the Greens" by a Dutch scientist and a Dutch research journalist.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

South Carolina Bill Update

 


Loretta Grice and Jessie Williams were among 14 employees producing more than 9,000 incandescent bulbs a day during 2011 at the American Light Bulb Manufacturing Co, Mullins SC.
It is, or was, one of two manufacturer of incandescent light bulbs in the United States, and local state legislators are pressing forward with a bill to maintain production of the bulbs to be phased out under federal law.
[Adapted from SC Now, see below]


As mentioned earlier, apart from the Missouri meeting there was also a South Carolina meeting today on the H.3735 bill (bill summary).

It was a sub-committee meeting, and a full Senate committee meeting is due to follow after being held over from last year, having awaited the result of the Congress deliberations on the federal ban, as well covered on this blog.

The South Carolina (SC) bill is perhaps the most interesting of the outstanding local state bills.
Firstly, because the bill is far advanced, passed in House 76-20, now in Senate where Republicans have a majority (27 of 46 seats), so if it passes committee would probably go through to the Governor for signing.
Secondly, because SC has the bulb manufacturing, and it's a small independent outfit, less subject to major manufacturer and federal pressures.
The American Light Bulb Co in Mullins SC made the simple incandescents right up to 2012 and are "fired up" against the ban, as also covered in a previous post on American incandescent light bulb manufacturing.


A lot of SC media covering it today Wednesday 15th February, as an Associated Press syndicate story, for example WBTV

While I have not confirmed the details, there is a certain irony of a special hearing sought by an environmental group seemingly waking up the Committee to perhaps go ahead and pass the slumbering bill!

SC senators consider 'light bulb freedom' bill

An environmental group wants South Carolina senators to reject a bill meant to trump federal energy standards for light bulbs.

The proposal passed by the House last year would allow South Carolina manufacturers to make and sell traditional incandescent bulbs only in the state. It's in response to a federal law requiring 100-watt bulbs to be more energy efficient.

Ryan Black of the Coastal Conservation League told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the bill circumvents federal efforts to promote innovation and save electricity. He says some new incandescent bulbs meet the efficiency standard.

Sen. Kevin Bryant says the government shouldn't tell residents what kind of light bulb they can buy.

No action was taken. Bryant's subcommittee advanced the bill last year. It is awaiting debate in full committee.



Naeem McFadden's May 2011 SC Now article, extracts

Mullins light bulb factory fired up about light law

The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act passed by members of the S.C. House of Representatives on April 14 not only takes a stand against a forced phasing-in of compact florescent bulbs, but also instills confidence in a Mullins manufacturer fighting to stay in business.

American Light Bulb Manufacturing Co. owner Ray Schlosser said the company is the only independent incandescent light bulb manufacturer in the state. He said the proposed state law will keep his business competitive.

“I think this is crucial and a very important step,” Schlosser said. “Not many are in the business of producing incandescent light bulbs and there have been several hundred jobs lost as a result.”


The bill passed by the S.C. House would allow American Light Bulb Manufacturing Co. to produce and sell within the state, stamping them “Made in South Carolina.” The Senate has yet to vote on the bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Sandifer.

Sandifer, a Seneca Republican, said states’ rights would prevail in the argument that the federal government only has the power to regulate commerce between states. The stance is in reference to the 10th amendment of the Constitution, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The bill states the General Assembly finds that if an item manufactured in the state without inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state and the item is offered for sale and sold only for use within the borders, the item is not in the stream of interstate commerce.

American Light Bulb Manufacturing Co. has been operating in Mullins for the past 10 years. With a staff of 14 people, the majority of the workers have vast experience working in an industry that has been in place for more than four decades.

The light bulb manufacturing industry took shape in the form of Marvel Lamp in 1963 followed by Supreme Lighting Co., which was later sold to SLI, Inc. in 1999. The plant later announced a shutdown in November 2000. More than 300 workers lost their jobs as a result.
“A federal ban on incandescent bulbs would be detrimental to the manufacturing business and result in more job losses”, Schlosser said.

Plant manager Carolyn Roberts said the facility experienced layoffs a year ago, but now business appears to be picking up.
“We have a large customer base and we usually produce up to 9,000 bulbs per day,” Roberts said. Workers also package and distribute the bulbs after several rounds of testing, she said.

Raw materials used to make bulbs include glass, brass for the base and tungsten wire. Workers assemble the bulbs operating machines that use multiple flame sources, fixating the filament on a glass stem, fusing it to the bulb. The air is later pumped out of the bulb and sealed by fire before inserted into a brass lamp base and then tested.

Schlosser said he is excited about being the lone manufacturer in the state. Eighty percent of all bulbs are imported from mainly from China, he said, and an American presence in the bulb-making industry should remain.

Schlosser said Sandifer’s bill will level the playing field by sustaining a company in the state despite a large number of imported light bulbs being distributed throughout the country.


Updates on the 10 US state freedom light bulb bills (legislated Texas) can be seen on http://ceolas.net/#bills


 

Missouri Bill Meeting Update

 
Update Wed 15th:
as seen from the committee site, Missouri (HB1146) bill consideration was postponed.

Coincidentally there was a South Carolina meeting today on their H.3735 bill, which has already passed the House and is now in the Senate. It was a sub-commitee meeting, and a full committee meeting will follow. More on this later.


#   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Monday 13th post:

Missouri bill is now up for House Small Business Committee meeting Wednesday 15th at noon, local time.

10 American local state freedom light bulb bills have now been launched (legislated Texas June 2011): Details and progress updates http://ceolas.net/#bills


#   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Previous post:


Just learned that Missouri local state Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger and Bart Korman have also, January 4, launched a bill 1146, that "Specifies that the intrastate manufacturing of certain incandescent lightbulbs is not subject to federal law or regulation".
The bill has on January 19 been referred to the House Small Business Committee.


Missouri also had an earlier bill (2468) in 2010 with Cynthia Davis as chief sponsor, that stalled.

 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Missouri Bill for Committee Meeting

 
Missouri bill is now up for House Small Business Committee meeting Wednesday 15th at noon, local time.

10 American local state freedom light bulb bills have now been launched (legislated Texas June 2011): Details and progress updates http://ceolas.net/#bills


#   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Previous post:


Just learned that Missouri local state Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger and Bart Korman have also, January 4, launched a bill 1146, that "Specifies that the intrastate manufacturing of certain incandescent lightbulbs is not subject to federal law or regulation".
The bill has on January 19 been referred to the House Small Business Committee.


Missouri also had an earlier bill (2468) in 2010 with Cynthia Davis as chief sponsor, that stalled.

 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let the Sunshine in!

 
A real "energy saving light" is the big bulb in the sky...

As already seen,
in the political quest to save energy and emissions, light bulb regulations are a token measure for politicians to show "they are doing something".... at least doing something for the lobbying light bulb manufacturers who clearly want to sell more profitable bulbs!
Society energy measures are presumably about society energy savings:
and the society energy savings, from official US Dept of Energy stats and surveys as well as from official EU data, are a fraction of 1% as referenced.
Certainly, there can be greater individual household light bulb savings from some frequently used bulbs, but again on overall household energy usage consideration, it's down to around 1% or less, as referenced above - and indeed, as well covered for both the USA and the EU on the Greenwashing Lamps blog mentioned here, Energy Stats section.

Of course, even the last drops of energy can still be saved, at least during daylight hours, by using....yes, daylight!


Halogenica's last blog post "Solar lighting solutions" (http://greenwashinglamps.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/solar-lighting/) is well worth a look in that regard.
As she says, "To focus on something other than the bulb issue for a bit, here are some great solar lighting solutions".

The Greenwashing Lamps blog has 4 examples:

1. Hybrid Solar Lighting
This is about fiberoptic lighting - remember all those fiberoptic lighting tubes as table decorations a while back - and just needs one 9V battery per week. A standard flourescent tube takes over when it begins to get dark

2. Solar Tubes
I am particularly intrigued by this one, bigger tubes leading light around the house...





3. Solar Bottle Bulbs
of which more below...

and
4. Solar Powered Light
with various examples, including how you can make solar powered garden lights work indoors.


Returning to the third one, bottled light, I had also come across this and meant to blog about it sometime.
That is, as the videos show, the idea of using big transparent (2liter) water filled plastic bottles inserted into corrugated iron roofs, to spread the light around below...
The video on the blog shows how







The 2011 Reuters report that I saw, goes into the background of how the lighting was developed...Phillipines "eco-entrepreneur" Illac Diaz is apparently behind it, at least in making it widely available - it seems to have originally been thought of in MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:





Transcript (as they wrote it):

In the slums of Manila, an innovative project is shedding light on the city's dim and dreary shanties. Plastic bottles jut from the roofs, bringing light to the dark dwellings below. The technology is as simple as it could be. Each bottle contains water and bleach. When placed snugly into a purpose-built hole in the roof, the home-made bulb refracts and spreads sunlight, illuminating the room beneath.

Eco-entrepreneur Illac Diaz is behind the project.
SOUNDBITE: ILAC DIAZ, ISANG LITRONG LIWANAG (A LITER OF LIGHT) PROJECT, SAYING (ENGLISH)
"What happens is, the light goes through the bottle, basically a window on the roof, and then goes inside the water. Unlike a hole which the light will travel in a straight line, the water will refract it to go vertical, horizontal, 360 degrees of 55 watts to 60 watts of clear light, almost 10 months of the year."

The initiative, known as "A liter of light", aims to bring sustainable energy practices to poor communities, an idea originally developed by students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The bottles are designed to emit clear light for about five years, as the bleach prevents algae from building up in the water.

For Erlinda Densing, a mother of eight, the technology has made a big difference to her small home.
SOUNDBITE: ERLINDA DENSING, RESIDENT OF PAYATAS COMMUNITY, SAYING (FILIPINO)
"'That's only water?!' my neighbours were asking. 'That's only water!' I said to them. Basically, the sun's rays are really bright. A lot of neighbours came and got curious. They were like, 'can we see? can we see?'. Maybe they also wanted to have lights installed. 'It's really bright,' I said."

The device can be built and installed in less than an hour. A sheet of corrugated iron serves as a support structure to hold the bottle in place, and prevent any leakage.
SOUNDBITE: ILAC DIAZ, ISANG LITRONG LIWANAG (A LITER OF LIGHT) PROJECT, SAYING (ENGLISH)
"Liter of Light, lights up the house, saves a lot, but at the same time improves the standard of living across the board, of the bottom 90 per cent of this country."

Working with low-income communities, local governments and private partners, the project has installed more than 10,000 bottle lights across Manila and the nearby province of Laguna. Rey del Mundo is a volunteer.
SOUNDBITE: REY DEL MUNDO, PROJECT VOLUNTEER AND ENERGY UNIT HEAD AT SCHNEIDER ELECTRONICS, SAYING (FILIPINO)
"This is very important. Because at present, we're too dependent on fuel that we don't produce. Although we have some local production, it's not sufficient for our needs. So if we strive to develop alternative sources of energy, which are the energy sources, this will help our country a lot."

For residents, it means less money spent on electricity to power lights during the daytime, and more money on food. While for Diaz and his volunteers it's quite simply a bright idea.

// Gemma Haines, Reuters //

... yes a bright idea, not just for tropical regions.
While perhaps otherwise impractical in ordinary light-controlled living conditions of developed countries, the idea (or similar) might be used in sheds, warehouses, prefab buildings and so on.
They seem to spread the light better than ordinary skylights, at least per unit roof area. In that way, and being more elegantly and purposefully made from scratch, they could even be better from a security point of view than larger transparent skylights.
Unfortunately, as with many simple solutions, it is probably not a "cool" solution even in the exemplified situations, that people in developed countries who are not determined eco-geeks would care to adopt!

 

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Squiggly



 
image  SFGate



It is interesting to compare the light bulb debate in Europe and the United States.

Some might say "What light bulb debate in Europe?", and indeed that is part of the problem.
There was never any real debate in European Society (I looked at several countries), and people did not really know about the ban until it occurred.
Then as now, European politicians and journalists just rehash what they themselves have been told, about the great energy savings and great benefit for the planet ("you do want to do something good for the earth, don't you?"), while allaying fears about lighting choice in that "lookalike incandescent halogens will still be allowed".

The fact that readily available documentation - including official EU documentation - shows not only overall energy savings to be marginal, with much better alternative savings from electricity generation through to consumption, but also that all the most popular frosted halogen replacements would be banned immediately, with the others to follow, was somehow ignored by all mainstream political parties and media.

Of course, that echoes much of what the American government and its supporters are saying.
But at least there is some sort of critical opposition.
Opposition both federally and from individual states.

Since the opposition is mainly from Republicans, one could say that the EU is "one Big Democrat alliance" from an American perspective.
However, my point is not just to praise Republican opposition as such, but also to go beyond light bulbs and see the more electric debating climate in the USA.
Sure, there are downsides too - the partisan divide means that no "self-respecting" Democrat will support a light bulb ban repeal even with overall environmental advantages or obvious better alternatives - simply because that would mean having to side with Republicans (and in fairness no doubt the opposite, on other issues).
But overall, better a heated debate, than no debate.

So in the USA special organisations and websites spring up to hit at "misinformation" - but somehow always misinformation from one side, rather than both.
On light bulbs it's often "Hey it's not a ban, just about making light bulbs more energy efficient".
 

I was made aware that Politifact were looking at another statement that's been doing the rounds, namely how "the mercury from one dumped CFL can contaminate 6,000 gallons of drinking water" (or similar).
Seemingly without official reference, it can of course look suspicious. So I checked on it....it comes from Stanford University research. The original research is said not to have "6,000 gallons" - but other figures that mean the same thing.
I did not locate the specific research - there is a lot on Google search of the stanford.edu site even looking for cfl, mercury, water and contaminate, together.
But it is backed by some large news organizations, and credible authors on them. As always, other things turned up too - even old articles are of interest, in showing what was known and what was promised...

Take MSNBC
(as quoted, MSNBC is owned by lamp manufacturer General Electric - so it is hardly biased against regulations)
A 2008 article by Alex Johnson, has the usual exaggerations about CFL energy savings and lifespan, but interestingly also with a statement by GE (remember this was just after the regulations were announced)....



General Electric Corp., the world’s largest maker of traditional bulbs, said that by 2010, it hoped to have on the market a new high-efficiency incandescent bulb that will be four times as efficient as today’s 125-year-old technology. It said that such bulbs would closely rival fluorescent bulbs for efficiency, with no mercury.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and NBC Universal, which is a division of General Electric.)
.... which of course did not happen (ban achieved, job done, bigger profits from expensive CFLs or LEDs assured).
However, the article had more to say, extracts:
One problem hasn’t gone away:
All CFLs contain mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain damage.
The amount is tiny — about 5 milligrams, or barely enough to cover the tip of a pen — but that is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels, extrapolated from Stanford University research on mercury.
Even the latest lamps promoted as “low-mercury” can contaminate more than 1,000 gallons of water beyond safe levels.

As long as the mercury is contained in the bulb, CFLs are perfectly safe. But eventually, any bulbs — even CFLs — break or burn out, and most consumers simply throw them out in the trash,
said Ellen Silbergeld, a professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University and editor of the journal Environmental Research.

This is an enormous amount of mercury that’s going to enter the waste stream at present with no preparation for it,” she said.

“I think there’s going to be hundreds of millions of [CFLs] in landfills all over the country,” said Leonard Worth, head of Fluorecycle Inc. of Ingleside, Ill., a certified facility.
Once in a landfill, bulbs are likely to shatter even if they’re packaged properly, said the Solid Waste Association of North America. From there, mercury can leach into soil and groundwater and its vapors can spread through the air, potentially exposing workers to toxic levels of the poison.

If the disposal problem is to be solved, speed would appear to be called for. Consumers bought more than 300 million CFLs last year, according to industry figures, but they may be simply trading one problem (low energy-efficiency) for another (hazardous materials by the millions of pounds going right into the earth).
“One lamp, so what? Ten lamps, so what? A million lamps, well that’s something,” said Worth of Fluorecycle.
“A hundred million lamps? Now, that’s a whole different ballgame.”

.... and not only are there are around 5 billion lighting points in American households (average 45 lights per household on Energy Star and EIA information, census estimate US households in 2010: 114,825,428), but LED lights also apparently have some toxic content and disposal issues (http://ceolas.net/#li20ledax)


The "1 CFL contaminates 6,000 gallons of water" is also corroborated from other sources in 2011.

For example Fox News - well known to usually favor Republican views, but an article by an outside contributor, Deirdre Imus, Founder and President of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center would not seem overly biased, and reiterates that and other issues with CFLs.


Again, a Minnesota Examiner article by Erin Haust also puts the issue in a more overall context, edited extracts:

Manufacturing CFL bulbs requires exceptional manual labor versus the machine-based production of typical bulbs. The bulbs are made in large part by hand which can be extremely expensive, thus manufacturers are turning to the cheap labor market overseas, namely China.
GE employees in Virginia learned this truth first-hand. More than 200 workers lost their jobs last fall when GE closed its doors...
American made CFLs would have cost about 50% more than those made in China, which currently manufactures more CFLs than any other country.
All 200 jobs once held in Virginia will be replaced by overseas workers.

The amount of mercury in a regular CFL bulb is less than 5 milligrams, about what it would take to cover the tip of a ball point pen. Though minuscule in size, mercury is a highly dangerous substance and just 5 milligrams can contaminate 6,000 gallons of drinking water to unsafe levels. Newer, more expensive, low-level mercury CFL's still have enough mercury in them to contaminate 1,000 gallons of water.

Record players, VCR's, cassette tapes, and countless other household items have come and gone, been invented and improved, without the "help" of regulation and laws mandating use...



Are fluorescent light bulbs so bad then?

All lighting types have advantages.
Fluorescent lighting, while having light quality issues, do have a whiter color temperature than regular incandescents, and fluorescent tubes are seen as advantageous in kitchens for example.
They save energy in their usage, albeit not as much as supposed, as covered in the
"deception behind banning bulbs" section.

However - again, like all lighting - they have their disadvantages.
CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) - and LEDs - have light quality issues due to their spiky emission spectra, which filters can smooth out but not entirely correct, while incandescents have smoother spectra.
But CFL issues, then, go beyond light quality issues and into questions regarding their health and environmental safety:
Not just related to mercury, but also to a fire risk (less predictable than from incandescent heat), radiation and light sensitivity issues, all as covered here.

On the "mercury scare",
there is a lot of counter-argumentation, mainly centered on 2 issues
"Hey, incandescent related coal power mercury emissions are worse!"
"Hey, tuna fish, thermometers, dental fillings (etc) are a lot more dangerous for their mercury content!"


As mentioned before, 2 wrongs obviously don't make a right.
If and where there is a problem - deal with the problem.
CFL mercury is a problem - regardless of the other dangers, and the "coal emission" argument does not hold up given the extent of mercury emission reduction that is taking place under US EPA mandates, and similarly in the EU after recent worldwide reduction agreement under UN auspices (which excepted CFLs, one might note).
The "incandescent related coal emissions are worse" argument never held anyway, for the many reasons linked below.

A complete rundown of the CFL mercury issue on http://ceolas.net/#li19x
[Breakage -- Recycling -- Dumping -- Mining -- Manufacturing -- Transport -- Power Plants]

CFL breakage and disposal guidelines are often enough quoted in media, as with the articles above.
EPA's guidelines regarding CFL breakage and disposal remain onerous, as can also be seen from their special document from last year.


"But we are not forcing anyone to use CFLs!"

This is another usual retort.
Certainly there are some exempted lamp categories (see regulation specifications).
However, the whole point of the regulations is to save energy, and exempted bulbs are all of course unusual bulbs - if certain categories have rising sales, the legislation ensures that they are banned too.
The availability of LEDs, and of incandescent replacements (like halogens), is also highlighted by ban proponents.
However, LEDs are not suitable for omnidirectional bright lighting, quite apart from their light quality and other differences to simple regular bulbs.
Halogens also have light quality differences, and cost much more for marginal savings, so are not popular with either politicians or consumers. Besides, they will also effectively be banned on the ever more stringent standards that apply - and are not usually mentioned - in both the USA and the EU.

One also has to be clear about the industrial politics behind the regulations. Manufacturers want to sell expensive profit-making bulbs (which never last as long as supposed, "planned obsolescence"). That is why they sought and welcomed the ban.
This is no conspiratorial conjecture, it is well documented on the website.
That is also why the idea of "incandescent development" does not wash, why pre-ban promised further incandescent development (as by Philips with eco-savers in Europe, and as seen above, by GE in USA) never materialised post-ban.
That is also why, in post-ban Europe, even existing halogens are hard to get, the big main store push being for people "to buy energy saving bulbs" (note the name: energy saving bulb, not the less nice sounding fluorescent bulb - and as if one would ask for "an energy wasting bulb please" buying a regular simple incandescent).


Sometimes the call goes out that "CFLs should be banned instead", given all their health and environment issues.

However, for all that is said here, the dangers are probably exaggerated, and EPA guidelines surely have an element of being overly cautious also for legal reasons.

All lighting has advantages.
The incandescent ban is not wrong just because there are issues with CFLs.
The incandescent ban is wrong in itself - just like a ban on CFLs would be, unless proven unsafe.

Light bulbs don't burn coal or release CO2 gas.
Power plants might.
Overall energy savings from a switchover are small, a fraction of 1% of overall energy use in the USA as in Europe, on official data, and with much more relevant energy efficiency savings in electricity generation, grid distribution, and alternative consumption, as described.

If there is a problem - deal with the problem.

 

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Choice of Chu's isn't Freedom to Choose

 



As stated by US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a man keen on getting American citizens to use the CFLs that his lab helped develop.


 
Continuing a theme, as posted previously...


Incandescent Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc Lamp
(the sequel? Why, the Temple of Gloom, of course)


image  Otitis"Light Bulb Hoarding means Water Boarding"






Getting a Light Sentence?


image  David Dees





The Charge of the Light Brigade


image  AdminGirl


 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We want to shed more heat than light!


There has been more activity around the "Heat Balls" of late, that is, the German attempt to circumvent the EU light bulb ban law by importing and selling the incandescent bulbs as heating devices - more on the background of it below. Most of their information is in German, but those who want can use for example Google site and text translation.

Recently, a large bulb shipment that had been declared illegal was released from impoundment at customs.
More about that seizure can be read in the English language Local.de article of about a year ago
In what was meant to be a humorous protest of the European Union’s phaseout of conventional bulbs, DTG Trading owner Siegfried Rotthäuser ordered 40,000 of them in November from China. He intended to skirt regulations by selling the 75- and 100-watt strength bulbs as a source of heat for what his website calls a “resistance art project.”

However, they can't sell those ones, as they are still subject to the court decision against them (as described before).
They are nevertheless selling some lower wattage bulbs - 60W clear type for 1.69 euro each including a 30 cent rain forest charity donation, plus postage charges.
[Not sure even that is entirely legal, as regular 60W bulbs are banned from 1 Sep 2011 (EU technical specs, scroll to end), and they do not appear to be a possibly exempted "rough service" types which may last longer, but are dimmer.]

They recently answered a customer enquiry this way:
"You can (at this time) order 60W crystal only, other types are banned by the local government. The expected life time was 2000h, but realistic is about 1500h."


As for the legal situation,
the EU Commission have further clarified their opinion on the matter.
Their basic position was made clear a year ago.
It's all in German and image-copied, so no online translation.
However it is the usual "Hey we all save the energy of Romania" carry on (the Romanians must be very happy by now!) so not really worth wasting time on anyway...

That said, as also reflected in the original court decision, one point related to the necessary labelling of the bulbs as being "unsuitable for lighting".
There is a kind of trap the EU is falling into, as they themselves have pronounced the lamps as unsuitable for lighting.
So the Heatball people sought clarification on this, and the EU Commission in a November 2011 letter (in German) says they are right, that the labelling would legalize the bulbs under EU legislation 244/2009 Article 3 paragraph 2.
As always there is a proviso, in that the Commission suspects that in their legal quest the Heatball people will still have to show that the bulbs will not likely be "misused" as lighting, and that the Heatball company's own (current) promotion language in selling the bulbs would likely be taken into account in that regard.

The Heatball "user info" is taking the above into regard, and again emphasizing the overall environmental benefit of the lamp. The latter is also taken as shown by referring to Dr Peter Kosack's Kaiserslautern University research (in German) comparing infra-red with conventional room heating, and the relative advantages of the former....from the research findings:
It was shown in the present study, that infrared radiation heating is a viable alternative to conventional heating systems.
With proper use of infrared radiation heating, there are advantages in energy consumption as well as in lowered CO2 emission and overall cost.
[as seen from other incandescent related heating studies, the CO2 reduction is particularly noteworthy when the electricity source is low in C02 emissions, eg nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and in turn displaces oil/gas/coal/turf/ home heating]

So, 28 January 2012, in the latest Heatball newsletter...
"The Higher Administrative Court in Münster will hopefully express an opinion in the near future, paving the way for the pending trial before the administrative court in Aachen."


A new cooperative:
They have also started cooperative for those who want to get lamps not meeting EU standards.
This is also "in the field of education on the topic of light and heat" and aims to get "more weight in the political debate" .



A continuing art-environmental protest:
So, rather than being a commercial activity, the founders, engineers Siegfried Rotthäuser and Rudolf Hannot continue to emphasize that in their view it is a sort of art-environmental protest against pointless EU laws. As they said last week:
"Heatball is a kind of art. It a satiric project against undue laws.
The project shows how to do something for the rainforest quite easily."
An early Reuters article by Michelle Martin, October 2010,
also points this out...
German "heatball" wheeze outwits EU light bulb ban

(Reuters) - A German entrepreneur is bypassing a European Union ban on light bulbs of more than 60 watts by marketing his own brand as mini heaters.

Siegfried Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law have come up with a legal way of importing and distributing 75 and 100 watt light bulbs -- by producing them in China, importing them as "small heating devices" and selling them as "heatballs."

To improve energy efficiency, the EU has banned the sale of bulbs of over 60 watts -- to the annoyance of the mechanical engineer from the western city of Essen.

Rotthaeuser studied EU legislation and realized that because the inefficient old bulbs produce more warmth than light -- he calculated heat makes up 95 percent of their output, and light just 5 percent -- they could be sold legally as heaters.

On their website (heatball.de/), the two engineers describe the heatballs as "action art" and as "resistance against legislation which is implemented without recourse to democratic and parliamentary processes."

Costing 1.69 euros each ($2.38), the heatballs are going down well -- the first batch of 4,000 sold out in three days.

Rotthaeuser has pledged to donate 30 cents of every heatball sold to saving the rainforest, which the 49-year-old sees as a better way of protecting the environment than investing in energy-saving lamps, which contain toxic mercury.
A German 2010 article has further background information.



They were also part of the Austrian film Bulb Fiction, highlighting some of the faulty arguments and industrial politics behind the EU ban (I have been meaning to do a separate post about the film).

Here are "all the lads" behind the two ventures...

Rudolf Hannot (Heatball), Christoph Mayr (Bulb Fiction), Siegfried Rotthäuser (Heatball),
and Moritz Gieselmann (Bulb Fiction)

More photos in this Austrian Film photographic archive, and video clip links etc.



# # #
Past blog posts about Heat balls are copied below for convenience
[Some of the above 2011 information was not made available earlier]
# # #

Update December 14 2011

As the USA ban is coming up, and continuing with a comparative look at how Europeans have thought up ways around the regulations, the attempt to sell 90% heat emitting products as "heat balls" was interesting and imaginative.

Needless to say, the legal heads were not amused...

They have for the last months been considering an appeal in a higher court and how to go about it.
Meanwhile, in September they tried to have the Heatballs sold in Switzerland (outside the EU) but in October this got a definite no from the Energy ministry official responsible for Energy Efficiency legislation.


# # # # # # # #

Update July 27 2011:

As expected, the decision yesterday (26th July) was that the "heat balls" can not be allowed, in also being a source of light as banned by specifications throughout the European Union
(the name "heat balls", also using English in Germany, was presumably to take away from the light "bulb" idea). More here.

The case was not altogether clear however: So-called "rough service lamps" as used in mines and other such locations are also incandescent lighting as banned in the EU specifications, and there are other exemptions as for small refrigerator lamps and the like.

The issue therefore turns around lighting used as GLS (general service lighting) in ordinary ceiling fittings etc.
So the prospect of, in practice, identical general service lighting being continued was obviously too much:
There might have been (= might be) more chance of success if the light bulbs had a specific screw-in fitting for a lamp with say a reflector in it to "beam the heat".
Of course, enterprising (and determined) people would then put such fittings also in other lamps, but that is another matter...


# # # # # # # #

June 28 original post

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)


Comment
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)


// end June 28 post
Regular update posts in this blog, search on "heat balls" //


Footnote:
"To shed more heat than light", for those who do not know, is an English expression meaning to stir up emotions (heat), cause controversy and confusion that makes an issue less clear...
"EU Commission": More politically correct "the European Commission", but I do not subscribe to their nomenclature (or much else that has to do with the EU, for that matter)

 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nebraska Bill Update

 
Nebraska legislature site or bills do not seem to be visible outside the USA,
without workarounds like proxy servers - thank you Vienna Peter for the information!
So without using proxies or google cache etc, those outside the country should not expect the below direct links to work (though I notified the webmaster).


The bill is a composite, including child welfare and other issues.
It was referred to the Judiciary Committee on launch January 19.
It seems the light bulb relevant portion was then referred to the Natural Resources Committee, and briefly discussed last Wednesday, as Senator Fulton's office communicated.
The bill will apparently be taken up more fully in a week or two and a decision made.

The light bulb portion is an interesting alternative to other bills.
It seeks simply to stop local implementation of federal regulations - rather than
the more involved pernmission for local manufacture and sale.
However, since it refers to the current federal oversight funding block (which as it stands finishes September 30), it would presumably have to be looked at again should funded federal oversight recommence.

The bill text is not helpful, with no direct reference to light bulbs.
The statement of intent for the judiciary committee does however (logically enough) show the intention.
Linked to downloaded pdf document, so viewable for all:

Introducer's Statement of Intent LB1164
Chairperson: Senator Brad Ashford
Committee: Judiciary


The following constitutes the reasons for this bill and the purposes which are sought to be accomplished thereby:
LB1164 amends the duties of the Attorney General to specifically prohibit the Attorney General from bringing an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6304. This federal statute provides attorneys general of individual states the option of bringing an action to restrain any person from distributing in commerce a general service incandescent lamp that does not comply with the applicable standard established under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

As the current Congress has delayed funding to the United States Department of Energy to ensure such inefficient light bulbs are no longer placed in the stream of commerce, state attorneys general are the sole remaining means of enforcement. LB1164 is intended to prohibit the potential for such enforcement in Nebraska.

Principal Introducer: Senator Tony Fulton



#     #     #     #     #     #     #     #

Previous blog post January 31

#     #     #     #     #     #     #     #


In the Nebraska state legislature, Senator Tony Fulton has launched bill LB1164, as I understand on January 19th (the legislature links have been repeatedly down, end January).
The legislature bill link is here, or try via the legislature home page.


As Kevin O' Hanlon of the local Lincoln Journal Star news site writes (extracts):

A state lawmaker wants to make sure Nebraska's attorney general doesn't get involved with enforcing a federal law aimed at making incandescent light bulbs more efficient and promoting the use of energy-efficient compact fluorescents.
Lincoln Sen. Tony Fulton introduced a bill (LB1164) Thursday that would preclude the attorney general from getting involved in enforcement of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which is allowed under the 2007 law.

Fulton said his training as an engineer makes him interested in the new light bulb technology, but the federal government is overreaching with the law. He takes particular umbrage with language that would allow state attorneys general to enforce it.
"This is about what government should be able to do," Fulton said. "We're saying no. I would like to have said, 'Thou shall not be sending light bulb police into our homes,' but I can't do that. We are state senators. That's a federal law."

As seen, after a lull, several states are now launching repeal ban bills.
I understand, from talking to ban-opposing Federal Congress members from different states,
that several of their states are also planning launches, awaiting the fall of 2012 for 2 reasons: The September expiry of the federal bulb ban oversight funding, and the following Congress and Presidential elections.

I will shortly deal with the 10 state bills as a whole,
the commonality and differences in the bill texts,
and their chances of success (beyond the legislated Texas bill) with respect to the 9th and 10th amendments and added inter-state commerce clause, in the US constitution.


Progress updates and official links to the 10 local state freedom bulb bills can be seen on the website, here: http://ceolas.net/#bills