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CONTRIBUTION · 20th June 2011
Ron Lentjes
Here in Australia we have the standard incandescent light bulbs, banned.

Here is more of an, 'after all that', this is the end result of a short story.

Forget all the usual crap.

All of our hotels, motels, many restaurants, shopping centres, train platforms have basically become whiter and brighter.

Many use either a shiny container of 2 CFLs or industrial strength square of halogen.

Many have no covers. Many point to your eyes. Some hotels have replaced incandescent on wall with a vertically mounted fluorescent and unshielded tubes of fluorescents along the drapes (touching them).

Very uncomfortable to shop and travel.

I like the white-yellowish of incandescent lights. It is very calming and romantic light. It is very inviting and easy-going light.

But now all around Australia it is mostly white and as you walk under groups of CFLs they are so bright they get into your eyes directly. You have to look away. Also all the bright halogens on some streets are burning bright and not covered such that as you walk by again you get hit with direct light.

And everything is white! And many street lights are white! When driving, it is not as good for detailing the road (yellow lights make the road more lit and less glare from the light itself). Also in rain, the white lights seem to light up the rain and not the road; very dangerous in my opinion.

Basically it has changed the mood of Australia from warm to cold and uninviting. I live here so I should know.

I now find I stay at home more often because I don't want to go to McDonalds because it is too bright and CFLd and fluorescent. I don't like to go to restaurants, and coffee places that do the same. I don't like travelling around Australia because I have to go to (mostly now only) harsh white CFL'd hotels and motels. I now bring my own clip lamps with incandescent lights.

Also, they are replacing the old fluorescents with whiter and brighter ones on train station and added shiny containers of 2 powerful CFLs. I can't sit under one of them, so I try to sit between two but the shiney containers make it just as bad. Now you get ugly light from both CFL groups (total 4 CFLs). So I have to stand away and not sit down where there are only these CFLs on a platform.

Not only that, but you can't dim these CFLs (they say some available - but I can't find them anywhere). I don't think a home should use CFLs at all. After a long day of harsh lighting at a workplace, you used to be able to come home to relaxing incandescents that can be dimmed. But no more. Now we most come home to aggressive CFLs that can't be dimmed.

Note: I am all for saving environment. But I am also for saving human environment and human health (safe, calm, dimmable incandescent lighting).

Look if you are concerned about coal burning then address the issue at the source. The INCANDESCENT does not emit any UV or any gases or contain or emit mercury and it doesn’t emit CO2! It's the coal burning power plant! If you connect INCANDESCENT to solar or wind, it does nothing and is way safer than CFL mercury containers!

And don't forget. Don't get too close to CFL and don't read under them! See all the articles and even Canada's warning about getting too close; and now the German report about the UV interacting with the CFL material producing poisons (new). Duh, UV and plastics don't mix; or rather, they mix up a brew well.

As for LED; I love red, green, blue, yellow ones. I hate so-called 'white-ugly-crap' ones. I don't like pure white even if it were truly pure white.

LED is fantastic for displays but not for ambient (room lighting).

It's not all about Watts and Efficiency (unless you have no soul, of course).

Look, only incandescent is acceptable to me (fire place light, candle light, kerosene light, incandescent light, sun light - all light from burning object).

Fluorescent (and in also eerie LED light):
- ugly
- eerie
- uninviting
- stressful
- aggressive (esp fluorescent)
- unhealthy
- unnatural
- unfriendly

Incandescent:
- warm
- inviting
- calm
- safe
- romantic
- acceptable
- comfortable

What they don't consider is all the other factors mostly human factors.

And this ban is mostly about trying to sell a product! Think about. 2003 study: Americans kept going back to Incandescents after CFL trials. So what’s the best marketing thing to do: Ban the competition! So that's what they lobbied for: ban the winning incandescent! And you thought it was all about the environment...

STOP THE BAN OF INCANDESCENTS!

STOP BURNING SO MUCH COAL!

MORE SOLAR, MORE WIND POWER.

Trust me Canada. Keep your incandescents. Don't let the EU dictate your future.
But please do concentrate on planting more trees, use solar power and wind power.
I am all for saving environment, but not supporting VESTED INTERESTS. Mmm Philips or Osram come to mind?

Ron Lentjes states he was born in Calgary, Alberta and now lives in Australia.

END NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:

Oscar Ceron, a Power Smart Residential Lighting Program Manager for BC Hydro addressed the health risks with mercury in CFLs as a long-standing myth.

“We certainly acknowledge the there is mercury in CFLs – it’s necessary to operate the actual product,” he said. “But when you put it in perspective with other products that you use in your day-to-day lives, like your watch battery, will contain five times as much mercury as a CFL; a thermometer that you have inside your home is the equivalent to about 100 to 400 times the amount of mercury that you have in a CFL.”

Ceron went on to say that by putting CFLs into perspective, even in the highly unlikely case of breakage, there is no real health issue or risk with CFL bulbs.


We have to wonder about the source of his information. First, when was the last time you broke your watch battery. In fact, has anyone ever heard of a broken watch battery?

Next, your home furnace thermometer: Most homes only have one and again almost never are these exposed or broken. But more than this even exposed raw mercury in not the danger. The danger is the vapourized mercury which is ingested or breathed in. This is what is released when a CFL is broken. But of course, as Ceron states breaking a light bulb is "highly unlikely".

This misinformation should be accompanied by a criminal charge of public endangerment!
See the light.
Comment by Terry on 24th June 2011
I'm finding that the CFLs are not actually lasting much longer and if a person is to factor in how many bulbs every home and ever business has and the amount that will end up in the landfill, the amount of mercury getting into our groundwater is unacceptable ! At least for now, DO NOT let them take away our option, with mandatory CFLs ! Insist on incandescents as an option for now.