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

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bright Aussie Summer with Andrea that produced "The Globe Collector"

A short documentary about one man’s all-consuming passion for light globes

My name is Andrea Distefano, I'm an Australian film producer.
I wanted to introduce you to a documentary film that may be of interest to you.
"The Globe Collector" takes us into the life of Andrew Pullen and his all-consuming passion for collecting light globes, he has well over 10,000 of them.
You can learn more about the film and watch the trailer at
I also encourage you to visit and 'Like' our Facebook page.
We'd really appreciate if you could spread the word.

Warm regards,

Suitably continuing with the "hoarding" theme, given the last post and the increasing hoarding in Europe and North America as previously covered here, with looming deadlines of Sep 1 and Sep 30 respectively:
Why not go Down Under for a bit?

Australia has not been covered much yet in the blog,
although the Australia rules as covered with links on http://ceolas.net/#li01inx shows the varying months and years for the phase outs, some more coming up in October 2012.
The new Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott (after pro-ban Malcolm Turnbull) seems more in tune with free market ideals. He also opposes some Climate Change policies like the rigorous Carbon Tax schemes, apparently including the recent Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Bill (GEMS), so a change of Government might offer some hope of at least allowing Halogens (of which restrictions applying from 1 Jan 2011).

That said, the short film here, originally made for a festival last Australian summer, is rather about people than politics. It simply looks at the life of a light bulb hoarder (do they call them globes down there?)... maybe there'll be some more around the world doing the same soon!

As the mentioned Facebook site expands..
the protagonist has Asperger's syndrome, a kind of autism, albeit not related to his hoarding as such (there is a specific obsessive-compulsive hoarding syndrome although that in turn seems more about keeping old junk... which we surely can't call those beautiful incandescents! ;-) )

Also quoting from the St Kilda festival blog:

Andrew Pullen collects light globes. He has well over 10,000 of them in one of the world’s largest private collections. This short documentary takes us into his incredible world; a world where a passion for electronics is all-consuming and a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome is nothing more than a label. This is the story of one man's lonely quest to protect a part of our technological history that is fast being forgotten.

Although the film was originally made for TropFest (2012's 'signature item' was light globe) it has a found a life of its own.
"I was quite attracted to the imagery of light globe collections," says DeRoche, of her original inspiration. But an image isn't enough to sustain audience interest, there needs to be an engaging subject -- she found that in Andrew Pullen.
With one of the world's largest light globe collections, Pullen has an all consuming passion for electronics, which fill his relatively secluded life in Tasmania. His solitude might stem from his Asperger's syndrome, but he describes it more as a label than anything else -- "They say it’s a disorder, I don’t like the term of ‘disorder’, it’s just another type of person, another type of personality" -- a sentiment that makes this documentary surprisingly moving.
Made on a shoestring budget with a five person crew and tight interstate shooting schedule, 'The Globe Collector' has come together in a neat package with an interesting idea and emotional tug -- no wonder, then, that it's playing Opening Night at The Palais Theatre which Paul Harris reminds DeRoche and Disefano is "full of light globes".

So what's next for the director and producer?
Distefano says producing features is what she's "aiming for", she found her time as an assistant on Australian musical 'Bran Nue Dae' inspirational and educational.
DeRoche also hopes to jump from directing short films to features.

The film has won numerous awards, not just in Australia, but also in North America and at the Sheffield DocFest in England....

A local Australian TV interview with the film makers:

Andrea Distefano is a film producer based in Melbourne. Andrea completed a Bachelor of Film and Television at Swinburne University where she produced the short film, ‘The Interminable Suffering of Mr Wu’, which won the Award for Best Graduate Film. In 2008, Andrea commenced work with Robyn Kershaw Productions as Associate Producer on the feature film Bran Nue Dae (2009, Dir: Rachel Perkins). She went on to work with Daybreak Films & Film Camp as post-production supervisor on the feature documentary ‘murundak – Songs of Freedom’ (2011, Dir: Rhys Graham, Natasha Gadd). In 2010, Andrea joined Daybreak Films as a Producer and has since produced a range of projects including a series of short documentaries for Foxtel Channel, STVDIO. She has also independently produced a number of music videos for artists including Angie Hart and The Audreys.


"Summer DeRoche is a Melbourne based Director with the ambitious aim to get paid for her craft (!)....
child of influential screenwriter Everett DeRoche (whose credits include Aussie classics 'Razorback' and 'Long Weekend'), grew up on film sets, harbouring ambitions to make films from an early age. She studied for her Bachelor of Film and TV at Swinburne University, where she met (film producer) Distefano. 'The Globe Collector' is their most successful collaboration to date -- already lining up international premieres.
Summer has worked and studied in the USA and has had numerous short films screened throughout Australia, including ‘The (Ex)terminator’, which was selected as one of the ten films in the 16th Finalist competition in Tropfest Australia 2011. As well as short films, she has written and directed a number of music videos and several widely screened cinema commercials.

Examples of her video work here,
website summerderoche.com, blog summerderoche.wordpress.com.

Short clip with director Summer


Looking up information on "Globe Collector" unsurprisingly turns up pretty diverse information.... A forum for sharing & learning about world terrestrial globes.... multi award winners of the Golden Globes for acting... and indeed another globe collector, in America, a little behind Andrew in "only" having 7000....Snow Globes!


Anonymous said...

Well they do say that Australian Summers can be pretty hot!

Any chance of seeing that documentary online?


Lighthouse said...

Hi Steve,
guess Steve J - thought you'd be asleep by now!

Doesn't seem to be available outside cinema showings like at festivals.
It's actually only 7 min long anyway.
Some details...

Jack - Luton said...

Good post. I hope they do well, and
Andrew too. Perhaps he can get a museum curator job or even start his own light bulb/globe museum!
Such lights seem to be rare in Australia too these days.
Sad to see they are as needlessly ban happy in that country as the rest of us.

From the research you link to elsewhere surplus coal is often burned at night anyway just to keep the power stations going. So the rate is cheaper, since noone uses it, and it doesnt matter what bulbs people use.
Think they mainly use coal too.
Cant believe politicians can be so stupid. OK,maybe I can!

Gluehbirne said...

Ironically, people with the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome suffer under fluorescent light.

Source: Spectrum Alliance - The Alliance for Light Sensitivity

Lighthouse said...

Thanks Peter (Gluehbirne)
Wonder why... I thought it might be from being sensitive generally, but looking it up
"often demonstrate enhanced perception of small changes in patterns such as arrangements of objects... may be unusually sensitive or insensitive to sound, light, and other stimuli"

brightgreen said...

I’m with you there Peter. Just require unused lights to be turned off in all office blocks, save enough power to threaten partial privatization, good stuff, reduce light polution and bird stike, energy and environment in one go. Thanks for posting wonderful thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hello Everybody
I thought I should make some comments about my own views on this topic so you can hear them "directly from the horse's mouth" to use the old metaphor.
My views are that incandescent lamps, although quite inefficient when juxtaposed against more contemporary fluorescent or solid state lightinHg technologies should continue to posses a place in our society albeit a more niche one.
They posses very high colour rendering indices, they are very convenient high power linear resistances and, form an aesthetic standpoint, have an ability to crate a "cozy" or intimate atmosphere that is lacking in almost all other electrical lighting technologies.
In the Australian Federal Government's lamp ban rules these is the "back door" caveat, which simply states, "Until replacement technology becomes available." So the purpose for which the lighting is intended must be precisely and quantitatively defined, something which is rather difficult in a court room when the purpose is a cozy romp with the "other half" under a reproduction squirrel cage tungsten lamp, a resurgence of a design first inspirated by Otto Feueliien in Siemens' lamp lab in Moabit, Berlin in 1905. We are now seeing a plethora of reproductions of this design of rather inefficient (c6 lm/W) uncoiled, vacuum filled filament lamp on the retail shelves here in Australia, albeit at a rather inflated price, mostly from Shanghai and Guangzhou, but some from Immense in Switzerland too.

So, despite the Government regulation it is the market, with its supply and demand which seems to be the ultimate regulator, least here in Australia.

Communiques with other collectors indicate a similar situation in North America where retrofit double-jacket low power, high voltage halogen lamps occupy more than 30% of domestic sockets although in the U.K. and Europe the line still seems to be a more hard line one similar to Australia's.

Any large technological change will take time to "find its footing" and this is also as true for solid state as it was for gasfilled tungsten incandescent one century ago. Just like then, where corporates such as GE had the foresight to fund the likes of Irving Langmuir and William Cooldige knowing it would pay off thousands of times over, you can bet the same is going on in the semiconductor lamps of the "big four", (G.E., Osram, Sylvania and Philips) today to achieve a lasting end for the next century.

P.S. Film visible here, for limited time only...


Andrew Pullen

Lighthouse said...

Thanks Andrew,
interesting and useful addition.

RE the link to the film, more exactly = SBS Video: The Globe Collector although seemingly only viewable in Australia.

One would have thought the new prime minister might act against this pointless limitation of personal choice, given the lack of energy saving relevance as covered on this blog, but does not seem to have been considered yet.

Yes, less efficient incandescent types are available also in the USA and EU, mainly as "rough service", used in mining, so unsurprising that Australia can't ban those!
Attempts being made to limit their availability might however also spread to you...
As for Halogen replacement types they are unfortunately progressively being banned under current regulation, I remember seeing similar under Australian law.

Major manufacturers like the ones you mention are of course happy to see that simple patent expired relatively unprofitable alternatives can't be made by anyone else, as also lobbied for.

As for solid state lighting development, that is always interesting and welcome, but the supposed advantages should not require banning the alternatives in order to be seen, and are in LED sheet rather than LED cloned bulb form anyway, in my view.
Audio incandescent - solid state replacement (vacuum tubes for transistors) was seen as advantageous of itself - as should be the case with lighting.

Anonymous said...

Currently I am researching lamp plant locations, both current and former. Recently two of G.E.'s plants, the Decor Lamp Plant in Park Avenue, Warren, Ohio and their North American H.I.D. plant in Ravenna, Ohio, have just closed.
The way it works is like this...
A new lamp is developed, let's say the Tri-Salt NaI, TlI, InI3 Metal Halide. Production starts at a "premier" plant near the lab where it was developed, or at least a lab-equipped plant in an affluent country. Initially the cost of the new lamps is very high, just like new models of flat panel T.V., so sales are quite slow. Promotion is aimed at architects, city planners and the like to incorporate the new lamps and luminares into their projects.
As time passes and the first batch of lamps reach End-Of-Life (E.O.L.) and sales shoot up as replacements are purchased, (although quite often electricians at the bequest of their municipal masters can modify luminares to use much cheaper alternatives, often with lower colour rendering indices and luminous fluxes so the expensive lamps only find use into their first or second re-lampings in affluent areas). When a newer, replacement technology is developed the older technology is "pushed" into a less salubrious part of the plant for apprentices to practice on, whilst the new technology takes "premier" position as the flagship model. These cycles repeat about every decade or so, often forcing whoelsale re-installation of whole projects every decade or two, often even before 20% of the original technology and installation lamps have reached E.O.L. if they were particularly well made.
By the third cycle, the old technology has been pushed out to a less important plant, often in another country where labor is cheaper and there is no lab or adequate quality control the lamp's components being made batchwise in the back streets and market stalls of third world counteies by slave labour. At this point the quality starts to degrade but few remember just how high the quality once was, because they never kept any samples initially, 30 years ago, so they have no reference point except for the feeling, "they just don't last like they used to!".
At this point the cost of ownership of an installation becomes so high the owner simply scraps it and gets the whole lot replaced with newer stuff and the whole cycle repeats.
General lighting in the home with incandescent, compact fluorescent or whatever technology is no different, just that the cycles are longer, 50-100 years or so. There is always some "up front excuse" to scrap the previous technology...

"The new tungsten lamp gives twice as much light as carbon filament at no extra cost".

"The new coiled filament gas filled lamp gives twice the light of old squirrel cage vacuum lamps".

(But what is not said is the downside, gas filled lamps can arc out and potentially explode of some idiot has put a nail in the lighting circuit fuse holder in the switchboard.)

"These new compact fluorescents use only one fifth the energy and last three times as long..."

"This new L.E.D. technology contains no nasty mercury or lead, like those old compact fluorescents."

Etc, Etc. Its been going on for over a century, even the transitions from kerosine to gas and gas to electricity in the 19th century were no different. Drop a kerosone lamp and burn down the saloon, better get gas then!

But these up-front justifications are trite when compared to the actual driving force behind it all...


Lighthouse said...

Thanks Andrew,
yes I agree that sounds rather like flat panel TV development replacing tube TV's etc as you say,
even down to older transitions from kerosene to gas and gas to electricity in the 19th century as you also say - interesting aspect about the cycle stages.

What I would tend to question is the government intervention
- as you say in earlier post, this corporate switchover attempt would likely be happening without government intervention, so makes that all the more questionable.

Pro-switch (and pro-ban) arguments would be that government intervention "speeds up a switch to better bulbs"
but "better" is not just about energy saving, it is also about actual usage advantages, and the overall energy savings are questionable anyway.

A manufacturer pushed switch to flat panel TV's from tube types, or from analogue gramophone vinyl discs to CD's (etc) did not necessitate standard based government bans on the older products, which may retain niche advantages (as audio tubes, vinyl records etc) without much electricity consumption

New products are more desirable than old ones
= No point banning the old ones

New products are not more desirable than old ones
= No point banning the old ones

There is much feedback on this blog on the lines of "just loving old lamps"
Wrong = all lighting has advantages, and new ones may certainly be better in some uses, but will therefore be bought as such, properly marketed.

The notion is that people will just buy "cheap" more energy using bulbs, vacuum cleaners etc
But many other products are marketed as "Expensive to buy but cheap in the long run", without the manufacturers lobbying for bans to get rid of cheap less profitable alternatives that others might also manufacture,
and as referenced the overall savings are questionable anyway
- and even if that was not so, described market stimulation and taxation/subsidy alternatives would still be more relevant to savings:
14 points, referenced,
How light bulb regulations are wrongly justified