Friday, July 31, 2009

Lightbulbs

Very soon traditional light bulbs will be illegal and no longer sold in favor of the low energy lights. This is not exactly breaking news as this was under discussion in EU back in 2007, it is only now that by September 1:st it will start to become a reality. It is interesting how quiet it has been on the topic considering how big a change this is. It is only now in the last couple of weeks that the news magazines have started to bring it up.

I think the goal by reducing the energy consumption for lighting by up to 60 percent (supposed to be equivalent to save 30 million tons of CO2) in the EU is honorable. How EU intend us to reach this coal is another matter. In a traditional political fashion the easy way out is to make something illegal and in this case it is the traditional light bulbs.

This is supposed to (and will) make the sales of low energy lights grow and thus reduce the energy consumption for lighting.

What I find to be food for thought is this:
  • I don't buy the CO2 scam, we keep pouring out toxins into our waters and environments but worry about CO2? Yes we need to mind about our environment but is this really where to start? A politician started this and I think he has a very suiting last name, you know who he is.
  • How much more CO2 is produced by manufacturing low energy lights compared to the traditional ones?
  • Why does EU want us to use low energy lights that are containing mercury? Is that environment friendly?
  • The handling of broken low energy lights are to be treated as toxic waste, how much will this handling cost and how much pollution does that handling generate in terms of CO2 emissions?
  • When a low energy light that is warm breaks, it spreads toxic mercy gas into the room.
  • When a cold low energy light breaks it can leave small droplets of mercury that are more or less impossible to remove or find. You are supposed to wipe the surface and put the wipe into a jar, seal it and dispose of at a recycling plant for toxic waste indicating that there could be traces of toxic in the jar.
  • A low energy light takes time to become fully bright, while warming up they also use more electricity. Installing this type of lighting in short time appliances like bathrooms is far from ideal.
  • Low energy lights are about 3,5 times more expensive than traditional bulbs. They are supposed to last longer but that is not completely true. Some do, some don't.
  • Alternative LED low energy lights are even more expensive, and still needs development. How much has the EU encouraged this alternative during the last 2 years?
On the bright side (phun intended), if we can increase energy efficiency by saving up to 20% of the energy consumption in EU that is good of course. What I don't get is the forced recommendation to use toxic alternatives, It doesn't add up.

Reference articles
Traditional lightbulbs banned by EU - 10.11.2008
EU leaders to make Europe change lightbulbs - 09.03.2007
Merkel eyes 'very difficult' talks on energy liberalisation - 13.02.2007

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