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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Cartoon incandescent idea bulbs to be banned by the EU"

German Kojote Magazin satirical article about the ban-happy EU seeking to forbid images of the terrible incandescent light bulbs.
The bottom of the page says "this is pure fiction"... perhaps by way of saying that this is not beyond belief of European Commission activity!

With thanks to the German Facebook site  Wir holen uns die Glühbirne zurück.

Translated via Google with some corrections to make it more understandable...

EU will Glühbirnen in Comic-Sprechblasen verbieten
"The EU wants to ban cartoon 'idea' incandescent bulbs"

Under the current ban on sales of incandescent bulbs since September, the European Commission wants to ban the display of bulbs in comic bubbles. This was announced on Wednesday in Brussels.

Cartoonists usually use the image of a flashing light bulb, if they want to highlight a bright idea. This will however soon be over from the EU intention: "After all, manufacture and sale of all incandescent bulbs is forbidden," said a spokesman. "Cartoon heroes would make very poor role models, if their thoughts should cointinue to be illustrated with the outlawed objects." The ban is to apply from January 2013 for all EU-printed or sold comics. "The private ownership of older issues will, however, remain unpunished, if an antiquarian interest can be demonstrated," the spokesman said.

To replace the light bulb icon, the EU has developed the symbol of an energy-saving lamp according to Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC. They have also (helpfully) created a template which cartoonists can download from the EU website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Light Bulbs Stamped Engraved and Tattooed!

Update Oct 27: Edit error left out the bottom part of the content

Returning to the ongoing series of memorial/tribute type posts on the blog,
there are other ways of commemorating light bulb images...

To begin with, already posted last year, repeated for completeness:
Satire from the German blog Otitis Media di Monaco (also see the light bulb condom post), with a look at his stamp collection in a GDR or for that matter EUSSR or a Soviet EUnion mode...

GDR CFL stamp series

Contrary to popular belief, the state-planned socialist economy of communist Eastern Germany is not dead; instead, the EU in Brussels is issuing electric policies and spreading propaganda lies that are strangely reminiscent of the days of Nicolaie Ceausescu and Enver Hodscha [Hoxha].

No wonder that the old East German stamps just got an upgrade!

Beautiful european mercury poison mushroom of the novel compact fluorescent kind.
Experts may recognize the bulb design, it’s “made in Eastern Germany”.

Here, ever optimistic East German youths are shown celebrating 55 years of Socialist East Germany just a few years ago – and the proud new sign of centralist European planning and energy micromanagement bureaucracy: the compact fluorescent bulb!

Last, but not least, catch a glimpse of the beauty of Communist single party rule that inspired the well known con(servation) artist Andris Piebalgs, better known as the EU’s Energy Commissioner, to paint such a heroic eurocratic light bulb change brigadier…

Candle power... better than some modern alternatives? ;-)
From Helmut Höge's Taz.de article....

Edison remembered... old unsurprising and new surprising sources...

British Maritime Energy... hardly sunk by powering the humble incandescent!!

... while in future remembering the CFL by burying it ? ;-)

The Zazzle.com site has creative options...

including on metal....

...and how about on skin for real permanence? ;-)
A memorial type tattoo..."Mom I love you as much as I love incandescent light bulbs"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Edison Tech Center:
All About Incandescent Lamps!

Having recently covered the Edison Menlo Park Museum Light Bulb Memorial
("You Buy its little Brother for a Dime"), a natural follow on is a look at the Edison Tech Center in Schenectady, New York...

The Edison Tech Center is a unique multi-department, dynamic, hands-on workshop that turns the technological revolution into an experience and transforms the historic giants of technology into "virtual" teachers and motivators. Our facility provides access to samples of technology spanning over 130 years. Participants of all ages can see how things work, and learn about the engineering pioneers who helped improve our world.

From an extensive website system, taking lighting alone, a menu page leads on to separate sites for all sorts of lighting, their development, how they work, and their advantages and disadvantages:
incandescents, arc lamps, fluorescents, LEDs and more...

In turn then, a good presentation of íncandescent lighting through the ages, with photographs, videos, documents...

Bamboo is good for pandas... and light bulbs!

Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison independently hit success by making a bulb that would last a reasonable number of hours.
Swan used carbonized paper to create his early filaments.
Edison first used carbonized sewing thread as a filament, he managed to get it inside a vacuum. This made his first practical lightbulb. He used carbonized sewing threads until 1880. Then he used paper bristol board. (Carbonized paper) This move increased lamp life to 600 hours.

Bamboo brings great improvements:
1883: As the story goes Edison was using a fan on a hot day, he unwound fine bamboo on a fold-out oriental fan. He carbonized it and tested it as a filament. He send assistants to Japan to find the type of bamboo that was used in that fan. They found it and imported the filaments.

The first bamboo filaments had a square shape because they were cut from larger pieces using a certain process. He electroplated the bamboo directly to the lead in wires to avoid the high cost of platinum clamps. Later he used carbon paste to adhere the bamboo to the lead in wires.

Edison continued to use bamboo filaments until the creation of General Electric in 1892...

Halogen incandescents have their own site...

The halogen lamp has a tungsten filament similar to the standard incandescent lamp, however the lamp is much smaller for the same wattage, and contains a halogen gas in the bulb. The halogen is important in that is stops the blackening and slows the thinning of the tungsten filament. This lengthens the life of the bulb and allows the tungsten to safely reach higher temperatures (therefore makes more light). The bulb must be able to stand higher temperatures so fused quartz is often used instead of normal silica glass.

Not forgetting flashbulbs...

The traditional flashbulb is another type of incandescent lightbulb. Early flash bulbs used a aluminum, zirconium, or magnesium filament or aluminum foil. Current was passed through the material and it glowed. The melting and boiling point of aluminum, magnesium or zirconium is so low that the lamp would vaporize the metal, which further intensified the brightness. Early lamps would last one flash and had to be replaced. Early flashbulbs often had an Edison type screw in thread like a regular lightbulb. Later lamps could last a few flashes. Later on disposable flash bulb arrays were developed to allow many flashes without switching bulbs.

Modern flashbulbs found on most cameras are no longer incandescent bulbs. They are tiny xenon arc tubes. An electric arc is formed through xenon gas. These have the great advantage of being reusable. They have the disadvantage of being a shorter duration than incandescent flash bulbs. This means they have to be more precisely timed.

Finishing with a threatening but perhaps also hopeful note...

The future of incandescent lamps:
The Incandescent lamp has been in the average household for more than 120 years. In the last decade a major initiative to develop more (energy) efficient lightbulbs has replaced much of the world's bulbs with compact fluorescents.
There has been significant resistance to bans on the incandescent bulb...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Howard Brandston Appeal Letter

Letter from Howard Brandston 1 October 2012 to New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Reproduced by kind permission of the author.

Howard Brandston, as seen from previous posts and the resource links section of the blog, is an internationally highly regarded and experienced lighting designer.
He has as seen been directly involved in Congress US light bulb regulation discussion, as via his participation in several Senate hearings, including the last one on the topic in 2011.

Amidst passionate political debate, let’s not lose sight of the looming incandescent light bulb ban, a grave concern affecting every American’s health, well-being and freedom of choice, regardless of one’s party preference.
This ban is not the result of technological advancements, but instead is the careful orchestration of profit-seeking lamp manufacturers and uninformed ‘Green’ advocates.

The purported benefit of the bulb ban is energy savings – better for us, better for our environment. Nothing is farther from the truth: the incandescent ban is the best big business marketing scheme ever devised.

The truth is dating back to the 1980s when lamp manufacturers introduced residential Compact Flourescent Lamps (CFLs), consumers never really accepted them as demonstrated by poor sales and low corporate revenue. Quality of light; health, safety and environmental issues; shorter than reported life expectancy; poor fit with existing fixtures outline some CFL problems.

The truth is instead of responding to these important consumer issues, lamp manufacturers protected their CFL investment and used the influence and the dollars of their lighting lobbies to pressure the government to ban the competition -- the all-pervasive incandescent light bulb. Their accompanying marketing strategy was brilliant: join the global warming bandwagon.

The truth is lamp manufacturer and government propaganda and misinformation worked. In 2014, the incandescent light bulb will be relegated to the dustbin of history unless consumers really pressure legislators to repeal the ban.

Consumer pressure is working elsewhere around the world. Lighting designers, scientists, and everyday citizens are publicizing the consequences they have endured caused by the mandated ban. The truth is consequences far outweigh benefits. In the US, the amount of money the lobbies have lavished on politicians has sustained the planned ban to date. Only a groundswell of consumer revolt will restore common sense and protect our freedom to live our lives in safety.

Howard M. Brandston, FIES, Hon. FCIBSE & FSLL, FIALD

Howard Brandston is an internationally recognized expert on lighting for more than 50 years most well known for lighting the Statue of Liberty.

For more on Howard's writing on light bulb regulation issues,
see http://concerninglight.com/commentary.html

Monday, October 15, 2012

"You Buy its little Brother for a Dime":
The Original Edison Light Bulb Memorial

Continuing on the ongoing "memorial" theme, as per recent posts, how about the memorial to the man himself: the incandescent bulb also being known as the Edison bulb at least in America.

1941 Corning Glass on its in involvement in the Edison Memorial Bulb
"You buy its little Brother for a Dime"
Posting large image to allow text to be read...can also be clicked on for larger version in separate window.

source  amazon

.... having been announced in the local press, February 1938

The Edison Memorial Tower that displays this giant bulb is in the Menlo Park Museum of what is now Edison, New Jersey.
Formerly known as the Raritan Township, after the name change proposal came a vote on November 2, 1954, which was close but the name change to Edison Township was selected by a small majority....

More on the Menlo Park Museum website:

Thomas Edison was an unknown young inventor when he moved his experimental facilities to the tiny village of Menlo Park, New Jersey, in 1876. Then, in a six-year burst of astonishing creativity, he patented approximately 400 inventions, and he revolutionized the process of invention itself. Known around the world as the Wizard of Menlo Park, Edison made himself and Menlo Park famous, and to this day, both names are synonymous with the spirit of invention.

More than any other inventor in history, Thomas Edison is responsible for the technologies that make modern life modern. By the time of his death in 1931, he held 1,093 patents covering the creation or refinements of devices in telegraphy and telephony, electric power generation and lighting, sound recording, motion pictures, storage batteries, and mining and cement technology.

However, his most important invention was one that couldn't be patented: the process of modern invention itself. By applying the principles of mass production to the 19th-century model of the solitary inventor, Edison created a process in which skilled scientists, machinists, designers, and others collaborated at a single facility to research, develop, and manufacture new technologies.

On the memorial tower, with the light bulb... extracts from a website page
(images here from the site unless stated)

Two memorial tablets and two towers have been erected since 1925, the second of which is the iconic Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower, built in 1937. Topped by an enormous light bulb, the Art Deco Tower has quite literally been a beacon for the community for decades, and every year on the Sunday afternoon before Edison’s birthday, on February 11, members of Menlo Park’s volunteer fire department lay a wreath at its base.

(Designers) Massena and duPont chose the Art Deco style for the Tower shaft, which tapers upward to the monumental replica of Edison's first practical incandescent bulb. The effect is to focus attention upward to the light at the top, as well as enhance the sense of height and monumentality. A brochure, published in 1938, the year of completion and dedication of the Tower, contains the following description:

In designing and selecting materials to be used in the construction of the Tower, great care was taken to use masses and lines which should be as effective in sunlight as at night in the rays of the floodlights. The effect retains the monumental bulb as the main feature of the Tower. A group of eight buttresses rising from the ground to the bulb emphasizes its dominant importance and catch the beams from the floodlights concealed at the top of the dark columns.

A further comment, as from the Ledhut.co.uk blog post Dec 2011, slightly edited:

The largest light bulb in the world can be found atop the Thomas Edison Memorial Tower in Edison, USA. Built in 1937, the light bulb weighs a staggering eight tons
The tower and the Menlo Park Museum were dedicated to Edison on February 11th 1938, the date which would have been the inventor’s 91st birthday. The tower is on the site of Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, where he and his staff developed the version of the light bulb for which he became famous.
The Thomas Edison Memorial Tower rises a whopping 301’9” and is topped by the 25’1” monumental bulb which is constructed from Pyrex segments.

The light is as seen illuminated at night.
The town of Edison wish to renovate the building, raising the tower to a height exceeding 400’! The project will cost a whopping 25 million dollars! The plan is to also add more historical objects to the museum and to add a visitor centre to the complex.

The park's website menloparkmuseum.org is rather poorly updated, but it seems most if not all changes have been done...

seems some others are on the way, with a different idea of how to restore and rejuvenate the tower ;-)

mark paciga via  atlantic wire

Friday, October 12, 2012

Banning Light Bulbs an Irrelevant Climate Change Measure: German Parliament Report

Energiesparlampen stoppen nicht den Klimawandel
(Energy saving light bulbs can not stop climate change)

From the German Die Welt newspaper
22 September 2012


Der Kampf gegen Klimaerwärmung und Umweltverschmutzung lässt sich allein durch effizientere Technologie nicht gewinnen. Das ist, vereinfacht gesagt, das Ergebnis des Berichts, den die Arbeitsgruppe drei der Bundestags-Enquetekommission Wachstum, Wohlstand, Lebensqualität am Montag vorstellt und der der "Welt" vorliegt.

Auf mehr als 200 Seiten erklären die Autoren, warum Wirtschaftswachstum und Umweltverbrauch derzeit eben nicht voneinander entkoppelt sind. Diese Erkenntnis ist politisch durchaus brisant: Grüner Konsum – ob durch Energiesparlampen, Hybridautos oder die Energiewende – löst unsere Probleme nicht.

Google translated article, the introduction, clarified translation:

The fight against global warming and environmental pollution can not be won by more efficient technology alone. This is, to put it simply, the result of the report that working group three of the parliamentary commission on economic growth, prosperity, and quality of life presented on Monday also to Die Welt.

Over more than 200 pages, the authors explain why current economic growth and environmental consumption are not just unrelated, but how. The findings are politically explosive throughout: Green consumption - whether by energy-saving bulbs, hybrid cars or the Energiewende energy turning point - does not solve our problems.
(ed- "die Energiewende", Germany's recent decision to abandon nuclear power and go for more wind and solar development along with more stringent energy saving measures, a play on "Die Wende", "turnaround" word, used for the fall of the Berlin Wall 1989, more)

The research report particularly refers to report findings of a "Jevon's paradox" effect whereby energy saving lamps cheaper to use are therefore simply used more, negating supposed savings.
This is nothing new, though of course continually ignored by most politicians.
As Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute has noted, already in 1987 the town of Traer, Iowa handed out 18,000 free fluorescent bulbs to its residents in a demonstration project aimed at reducing power consumption. Residential electricity use actually rose by 8 percent, because people used more lights and kept them on longer, once they realized their lighting was cheaper (more).

However, this is just one of many reasons why the supposed energy or CO2 savings aren't there, as extensively laid out and referenced in the "How Bans are Wrongly Justified" energy/emission section.

In summary, whatever one's opinion on global warming and any man made CO2 contribution, light bulbs of course don't burn coal or release CO2 anyway
- if there is a problem, deal with the problem.
There are as seen much more relevant savings measures from electricity generation through grid distribution (including new "smart grid" systems) through alternative consumption saving measures.

Society savings are as officially referenced (EU Commission, US Dept of Energy data) a fraction of 1% of EU/US energy use - even before the also rferenced greater life cycle (manufacturing, transport, recycling) energy use of the more complex replacement lighting alternatives.

Power plant off-peak night time electricity production, when greatest incandescent lighting use occurs, is about using below capacity power plant use and even the burning of surplus coal (coal plants being slow expensive and difficult to turn up and down from higher daytime demand levels) - making bulb use irrelevant anyway.
Meanwhile, peaktime electricity use from additional quicker firing gas or hydro turbines involve lower CO2 emissions than coal anyway... and coal CO2 emissions can in themselves be lowered in various ways.
Again, the CO2 reductions they themselves plan in electricity production, are completely ignored by ban-happy politicians extrapolating old figures forwards to give suitably large savings figures for eager uncritical journalists to swallow.

There are even specific reasons why CO2 may rise rather than fall from banning incandescents, as the several referenced research institutes point out, when incandescent heat derived from "clean" electricity sources is replaced by fossil fuel burning room heating sources.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

EU MEP Questions to European Commission

As seen in the last post, Kevan Shaw linked to Belgian researcher Rik Gheysens' website, specifically to Rik's comprehensive listing of questions raised by European Union MEPs about the incandescent ban and replacement lighting, and the Commission answers.

Rik's website as seen also covers overall regulatory developments in the EU, US and elsewhere with a focus on CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) issues, in particular mercury toxicity.

Some question examples - the answers are also linked on the page, but unsurprisingly are rather evasive and non-committal.

"Question mark CFL" ...source unknown

European MEP Questions: Extracts

"The European Union has set itself the target of cutting its overall energy consumption by 20 % by the year 2020.
One of the means of achieving this was to be the replacement of conventional light bulbs by energy-saving bulbs.
The conclusion of a study by American scientists publicised in the British magazine The Economist is, however, that in the longer term energy-saving bulbs will not cut energy consumption, but may on the contrary increase it. This thus confirms the so-called Jevons paradox: that innovations that produce energy savings result in the long run in higher energy use.

Is the Commission aware of the study referred to?
What view does it take of its findings and what conclusions does it draw for the EU's current energy efficiency strategy involving a ban on the use of conventional light bulbs?
Does the Commission admit the possibility that the ban on conventional light bulbs and their replacement by energy-saving bulbs will not lead to a reduction in energy consumption in the EU?
Are longitudinal or cross-sectional data already available to indicate whether the ban on conventional light bulbs is leading to a cut in energy in energy consumption in the EU?
If so, what conclusions can be drawn from these data?

[Ironically the rebound greater energy use was also recently cited by the American Examiner paper... in the town of Traer, Iowa some years ago 18,000 free fluorescent bulbs were handed out to its residents in a demonstration project aimed at reducing power consumption. Residential electricity use actually rose by 8 percent, because people used more lights and kept them on longer, once they realized their lighting was cheaper....]

Another Question:

"The regulations on ecodesign — Regulations (EC) No 244/2009 and No 245/2009 — provide for the progressive phasing out of incandescent light bulbs in favour of other products between 2009 and the end of 2012.
Could the Commission provide the studies on which it based these legislative proposals? Could it also say if they are available to the public and, if so, where they can be obtained?

A number of citizens have expressed justifiable concerns with regard to the wisdom of phasing out incandescent light bulbs, notably the following:

Has the Commission taken account of the entire amount of energy consumed in producing and recycling new-generation light bulb?
What is the environmental impact of these light bulbs, which contain highly toxic heavy metals, and how are faulty and spent bulbs to be salvaged?
What are the dangers of dumping bulbs without taking precautions? How can it be ensured that they are really being salvaged and reprocessed?
The white light given off by these new-generation light bulbs is supposedly less healthy than the yellow light of incandescent bulbs; has there been a study comparing the impact of these new bubs with that of previous generations?
New-generation bulbs reportedly give off far stronger electromagnetic emissions than incandescent bulbs. Is the Commission aware of this? If so could it explain why it has chosen to ignore these arguments?

Is there a document available to the public giving, in layman’s terms, their benefit-risk profile and references of studies carried out, with details of their authors, their professions and the organisations to which they belong?

When a decision of this magnitude is taken, is it not reasonable to disclose the facts and studies on which it was based and, more importantly, is it not also reasonable to provide a summary, updated each year, of the benefits sought and the results actually achieved?"

Another Question:

"The Commission said that ‘mercury-free alternatives without any known health impacts, such as improved incandescent bulbs’ were already available today.
What are these ‘improved incandescent bulbs’?
Why does the Commission not take the initiative of promoting these ‘improved incandescent bulbs’, thus putting an end to the risk of mercury contamination by energy-saving lightbulbs?

[Note: The EU Commission love to talk about the halogen type etc "improved" incandescent "alternatives", when in fact they and all other current incandescent replacements for domestic general use will be banned by 2016, which they know full well]

And so on...
many deal with CFL mercury/radiation/disposal issues - some other points, extracts:

"Traditional and halogen light bulbs will gradually be withdrawn from the market.
The withdrawal of these light bulbs from the market has met with criticism and indignation from many consumers...."

"Has the Commission given any consideration to the fact that, with greater use of renewable energy, the consumption of energy by standard light bulbs will not be a serious problem?....."

"Does the European Commission regard the ban as consistent with the subsidiarity principle? Why?..."

"Is the European Commission aware of findings concerning erroneous claims by manufacturers as to the actual savings achieved through the use of energy-saving light bulbs, the low level of illumination they offer, which diminishes even further with use, and their sensitivity to frequent switching on and off?"

"What view does the European Commission take of studies which claim that people living in rooms fitted with energy-saving light bulbs heat those rooms to a temperature two to three degrees higher than they would do otherwise, and is it aware of the volume of additional CO2 emissions which this phenomenon may generate?..."

"Various research projects by the Finnish University of Technology show that in practice all the energy used by incandescent lamps contributes to the heating of the home. Heat produced by incandescent lamps has to be replaced with heating and if the heating uses fossil fuels, the carbon footprint increases. The lower the wattage of the lamp used to replace an incandescent lamp, the greater the need for additional heating. Research shows that if heating uses oil, replacing lamps increases oil consumption.
Similarly, if electricity is used for heating, just as much electricity is used after lamps have been changed as before, because electrical radiators use more. In the case of combined heat and power, the decisive factor is how the electricity and heat are produced. In urban areas in Finland, they often come from the same power station. Changing lamps reduces electricity but increases heat [consumption]. This being so, it is the type of heating that determines the carbon footprint...."

"On 15 May the Austrian news agency APA indirectly quoted a statement by Commissioner Meglena Kuneva on the abolition of conventional light bulbs: ‘Nevertheless, Ms Kuneva presented her viewpoint on the emotional debate being conducted in this country on the replacement of conventional light bulbs by energy-saving light bulbs. To sum up, the politician asked for patience to be shown, as the discussion process was far from over.’
What does Commissioner Kuneva mean by this statement against the background of the timescale for the ‘phasing out’ of conventional light bulbs from trade (cf. Commission Regulation (EC) No 244/2009)?...."

"Just as the ban on 60 watt light bulbs came into force on 1 September 2011, lighting manufacturer Osram also increased its prices for energy-saving light bulbs.
The reason given for the huge price increase was a price rise in rare earth metals, which are required as a raw material...."

A long question comprehensively dealing with the savings issue:

"Since the world's consumption of energy for all lighting needs totals less than two per cent of all energy consumption, why is the Commission attaching so much importance to the introduction of CFL bulbs?
Why is the EU demanding that Britain throw away a lighting technology which is tried-and-tested, safe and silent, and delivers what is needed: good light at full strength at the flick of a switch?
Why are Britons being told (not asked) to replace it with an alternative which is clumsier, more expensive, does not work as well, makes some people ill and could do more environmental harm than good?

Does the Commission not know that one of the side benefits of the present range of bulbs is the heat they generate (as much as 95 %), which reduces the need for other forms of heating?
That heat will be lost by switching to CFL bulbs. It will have to be made up by the increased use of central heating, for example, or electric fires. That in turn will place a higher demand for energy on power stations.

Is the Commission aware that even the British Government admits that the total hoped-for saving would be equivalent to the output of a single small coal-fired power station?

Indeed, does the Commission understand that, assuming it matters, the carbon footprint of CFL bulbs is higher because they contain complex chemicals and electronics which ordinary bulbs do not?
They generate more carbon in the manufacturing process and disposal at the end of their working life is more environmentally and industrially expensive... "

"Can the Commission say precisely how these (savings) figures are calculated?
What percentage of homes in the EU could actually make savings of EUR 1 000 or more by introducing energy efficiency measures?
What is the figure for Germany? What are the figures for the other Member States?
By contrast, how many households are able to make annual savings of less than EUR 500?
How many households could only make savings of less than EUR 200?"

LEDs get a look in, in several questions regarding their rare earth mineral usage, as with CFLs contravening supposed EU environmental policies, also:

"90% of LEDs work according to a process which combines a blue diode with yellow phosphorus to obtain white light. However, this blue light is dangerous for the retina: the various pigments present in its cells can lead to a reaction, causing lesions produced by oxidative stress.

According to the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, these new lights could be particularly damaging for children, light-sensitive people — including those suffering from certain eye and skin diseases — and exposed professionals (lighting engineers, dentists, etc.).

What measures does the Commission intend to take in order to protect European consumers more effectively from this risk?

Furthermore, it would seem essential to inform them better on this issue. What initiatives does the Commission intend to take in this field?"

source  Mackinac


Saturday, October 6, 2012

The EU Beginning to Waver on Light Bulb Regulations?

Lighting designer Kevan Shaw (who runs the Save the Bulb blog) knows more than most about the goings-on in Brussels:
He is a recognised stakeholder, regularly consulted over regulations, and has been a participant in relevant meetings for several years.
If anyone can stick a finger in the air and see what way the wind is blowing, it's someone like him.

Interesting therefore his last post, which almost answers his own previous one, that called for the EU to take note of the irregularities and lack of savings evidence from hitherto implemented regulations (and which was also covered here, see "SaveTheBulb on The Incandescent Light Bulb Ban").

His last post then from October 2, slight editing
(photo, also from blog post: Storm Clouds Above Wind Farm; Margarie Card, Pikes Peak Camera Club)

Political Storm Clouds

It seems that there is a growing political backlash against the EU lamp ban legislation.
We noticed that the forthcoming reflector lamp and associated items that was due to be implemented in September 2013 has failed to be published and a recent question to the EU was answered with a holding reply saying that there would be further information in the middle of October.

A fellow traveller, Rik Gheysens has posted a comprehensive listing of questions raised by MEPs of all parties and across Europe about the ban in the impacts along with links to the replies. This make interesting if somewhat sad reading as most of the answers just do not provide any real information, in fact the stamp of bureaucracy is very clear in the language and tone.

We can hope that DG Energy is now beginning to get the message that this rule making is both unpopular and infective in achieving the aims of energy saving.
While I doubt that they have the appetite to rescind the ban we can hope that they will not try and push further and get rid of Halogen energy savers in the review of non directional lamps next year, we may also hope that they do not implement the reflector lamps ban as it is currently drafted, I guess we may know more in a couple of weeks.

Kevan Shaw
October 2, 2012

The point about continuing to allow halogen lamp replacements,
otherwise due to be banned by 2016 on the Class "B" requirement is a good one
(EU rules: http://ceolas.net/#li01inx)

No doubt there are always egos involved in backing down, but a good compromise is surely to allow the similar halogen lighting, including the frosted varieties, banned at the outset for no good energy saving reason.
[Rather, it was simply to force EU citizens to buy fluorescent lighting when clear transparent lighting was not seen as of essence... though the regulators put it conversely, that they showed magnanimity in allowing clear lighting a little longer..."ye pays yer money and ye take yer choice" on what to believe].