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What's with energy saving bulbs?

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posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 04:59 PM
reply to post by samerulesapply

Im no young pup either the only ones I ever saw when growing up were the tubes in fish tanks,plants grow great in fish tanks too.
My mother moans about these new bulbs all the time-"new fangled technology!"
Sorry it makes me groan.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 05:06 PM
reply to post by glen200376

Fair enough, it's not that I'm a technophobe or anything like that, far from it.

I'm really only trying to highlight the fact that the circuitry they contain might or could potentially be used to house other technologies we might not be aware of, the light they give off isn't really the issue for me, I don't want to fixate on that too much.

Bottom line is, pretty much every home that has artificiall light will have one of these things in them, my OP was never really about the light they give off, more about the potential or possibility that they could be more than simple light bulbs, still - I appreciate your input and the fact that you're being objective and giving a different perspective on this.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 07:10 PM
What? Two pages and no Light Bulb Conspiracy references? Gonna fix that nonsense:

Matter of fact, the world's longest continually lit light bulb, has been on for 110 years (minus just a few instances).

What does this have to do with the OP? Maybe the light bulb mentioned is the old carbon filament design. It was made before the planned obsolescence of light bulbs. While the newer style may use less energy, the older ones burn out quicker by design. If we had light bulbs that lasted a 100 years, what would our purchasing cost be compared to the energy cost we save with the new ones?

And what are you doing in the light of your newer, less energy using light bulbs? Why using many more other energy sucking devices devices not available before.

While I do not deny the new ones last longer and use less energy, we are a culture bent on increasing our energy consumption regardless of the pennies we save on light bulbs.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 07:56 PM
I've looked into the 'ballast' of CFL lamps just out of interest in the design of the inverter and there's nothing in there to be concerned about. Simple design using a rectifier for the DC supply to a transistor oscillator driving a tiny ferrite core transformer to produce the HV to 'strike' the tube, and nothing else. As for the idea of them containing any kind of data collecting/transmitting tech, the RF/IR noise these circuits produce precludes any such possibility ever happening.

One thing I found about the quoted long life of CFL lamps:
The electronics is in the base of the lamp and the life expectancy is based on the lamp being mounted upright (base at the bottom) so the heat from the tube rises away from the base. Trouble is that 99% of existing batten type lampholders (for incandescent lamps) are mounted the other way round so a CFL replacement will have the ballast above the tube and consequently cooked over time resulting in a dramatically shorter (than quoted) life. The common point of failure is the electrolytic capacitor used to filter the rectified mains voltage which gets dried out by the heat. The capacitors frequently explode when they break down with enough force to shatter the plastic case and even sometimes blow the tube(s) off which shatter if they land on a hard surface (I've had it happen here at least 1/2 a dozen times). Some manufacturers use better quality high temperature capacitors than others but they all suffer if the lamp is pointing down unless you're prepared to modify your lamp fittings so the ballast is not directly above the tube. An exception to that is the 'spiral' tube designs which puts most of the tubes in a position not directly under the ballast so the rising hot air mostly misses the ballast housing.

Another issue for many is the colour of some of these lamps and the ones that are the most disagreeable are marked 6400K (colour temperature) and these are the very cheap ones usually.

In short: Get a good recognized brand, 'spiral' type lamp of the 'warm white' colour temperature which may cost a little more but is well worth it in the long run. Or wait for LED plug-in replacements to be affordable which shouldn't be too far away (they're here now but still a little too expensive).

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 08:05 PM

Originally posted by samerulesapply
I noticed the other day that the bulb I put in my kitchen was flickering at a fixed frequency - the light was off, but at a rate of perhaps once every 2 or 3 seconds it would flash on,, for a tiny fraction of a second then go back out.

You need to check your neutral bonding out at the box, and the switch for that light.

Still, it kinda got me thinking, these energy saving bulbs are expensive, and I don't really know circuitry well enough to guage whether or not these are merely built-in ballasts/transformers, they could have anything in them.

It's a ballast. One of the cool side effects is that you can get really good low ESR high voltage electrolytics now, for cheap.

why are they so determined to eradicate the old style light bulbs, I find the energy saving type bulbs quite horrible, take a while to brighten up, the light they emit is quite me headaches, I don't like 'em!

Incandescent bulbs use about 8x the power of a CFL. Not that I like CFLs much either in terms of light quality.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any knowledge on these things, and if anyone with good knowledge of electronics has actually dis-assembled and studied the circuitry inside them?

Even if they're harmless ballast/transformet-type circuits, the potential for them to develop into something more sinister is very real...any thoughts?

Yes, me. I don't know, what are you envisioning here? What sinister thing does a PFC ballast circuit develop into?

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 08:07 PM

Originally posted by Hopechest

Well, that may not be true anymore if your house is lit with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Last month, researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook showed in a paper that tiny defects in the bulbs can let through UV light that can damage skin cells and lead to cancer.

Consider it a free source of vitamin D. It's the illuminati's gift to YOU.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 08:09 PM

Originally posted by samerulesapply
I agree LED's are a lot better, for sure. You can power a LED with a small voltage and don't necessarily need complext circuitry/ballasts to do so.

The light they give off is better, too. Good call.

Actually, you still have to have an IC to control LED bulbs. It's sort of tricky, especially in the higher power LEDs.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 11:16 PM

Originally posted by DeReK DaRkLy

Not to mention all the mercury that will leach into the ground when not properly disposed of.

If that gets into the groundwater in concentrated levels, we'll all be Mad Hatters!

edit on 14-2-2013 by DeReK DaRkLy because: appended

Yeah i got a buddy that works at Edison. He was telling me that if you dropped or crushed a box of those things that technically you should have a hazmat team dispose of it. It sounded a little far fetched to me but an entire city using them and throwing them away sounds like the next new Eco--tard trend will be the old lightbulbs because they don't have the mercury.
Just like the shopping bags. Plastic bags were the "green" recycleable eco-tard solution to the paper bags that were "destroying the rainforrest" (Ecovangelists believe that all paper products come from the amazon and that our air comes from there too) . Then it turned out plastic bags were killing mother gaya so paper was the good choice. And now it does not matter what bag you use as long as you pay for it.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 11:29 PM
reply to post by picratus

I stocked up on the old type bulbs, but no idea when they will finally be impossible to find - I dread that day. I have a chronic health condition and I am highly agitated by fluorescent lighting, it totally sets me on edge and makes me feel irritable and anxious - hate it. I moved into a new apartment where the electric company had come in and retrofitted the hall and bathroom lights with these expensive, energy saver bulbs with some two-prong connection that doesn't really screw in. I finally went and bought my own normal bulb light fixture for the bathroom I use personally and they were happy to install it for me (the apartment's maintenance dept). It stinks that they get to dictate what kind of lighting we have, mostly because of the health effects of the bulbs and the mercury dangers. I actually had one of these bulbs with some other items on one side of my bed and it had broken apart and was there for some time before I noticed it. I didn't know at the time about the mercury - why do people find out about such a hazardous thing that is being sold worldwide and highly recommended ONLY by word of mouth? Where are all the warnings that should be in bold, red letters on the box and elsewhere?

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 02:01 AM
reply to post by Mianeye

Ah , whats more Important , Saving Energy, or Saving your Precious Eyesight ? ........Ever try Reading a Book under those New Bulbs ? ........Geez.........

edit on 15-2-2013 by Zanti Misfit because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 02:27 AM
At one stage, the energy companies here were sending out people to your door offering to come into your house and fit these bulbs for free.

That's the main reason I don't trust them.

Why would a corporation cut it's own throat to do you a "favour" like this?

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 05:30 AM
reply to post by saintinwaiting

I have not tried these out as yet, but they do look like a good idea and as far as I know they don't have the mercury issue. Also the replacement 'bulb' part is small and won't take up much room to store.

Anyone else tried these? Are they a good alternative?

Halogen 3 part bulbs

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 06:36 AM
Do you realize that the coal burnt to make electricity releases mercury into the atmosphere and is one of the reasons fish are full of mercury? So using less electricity puts less mercury into the environment. Unless you break your bulbs and then, I don't know whether it's a wash or not. So the main message is to take care when handling your lightbulbs.

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 05:21 PM
reply to post by Bedlam

To be frank, I'm not really envisioning anything, I'm asking questions about them, that's all. Not making any bold claims, just thought it was worth discussing.

I've learned lot's on ATS, one of the most important lessons I've learned is that ATS is a great place to ask questions. Responses provided by yourself and Pilgrum have assuaged some doubts I had regarding these lights.

Particularly the response by Pilgrum, which gave some specific technical details about the circuitry...I'm not goilg to blindly accept that they're great just because I'm told they are. I just wanted some input from someone who has some knowledge of electronics.

So thanks, I appreciate the input and have learned a little something here.

My cousin has some amazing LED lights which he fitted in his attic and they're really good, I think I prefer them.

The flickering thing is really odd, the bulb I'm referring to has been taken out of the kitchen, I had to use it in my hallway due to the traditional 60w screw-in type bulb I had there dying on me and I haven't seen it flicker while off, but then I don't really see it from my bedroom or living room...but I'll keep an eye on it.

I appreciate the responses, though...not being paranoid or asserting anything, really...just think it's an interesting subject.
edit on 15-2-2013 by samerulesapply because: Corrections.

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 08:15 PM

Originally posted by samerulesapply

Particularly the response by Pilgrum, which gave some specific technical details about the circuitry...I'm not goilg to blindly accept that they're great just because I'm told they are. I just wanted some input from someone who has some knowledge of electronics.

So thanks, I appreciate the input and have learned a little something here.

I long ago quit doing detailed circuitry explanations and math on ATS, no one seemed to care and it took too much time.

If you like, we can do a tear-down on a typical circuit that's in there. But really understanding how it works takes math - it's a neat little switching power supply.

Likely your 'blinker' is doing so because there's a leak path to the bulb. You can get this if your house neutral is not properly bonded to earth ground at the box, which is why I said upthread you might want to check your box bonding. Big neutral-ground drifts cause oddball stuff all over the house, and it's not likely, but when I start finding weird stuff going on like this I tend to look there. The fact that it's not doing this in other sockets would tend to say it's not that.

It's much more possible the switch to that lamp has a leak and is not totally 'off' when it's off. In that case, a high resistance path will allow the input caps on the bulb to charge slowly to the point that they finally pass the input voltage lockout comparator window and start the bulb. Since it only has what's in the input caps to run from, it will blink once, discharge the caps and start again. We call this class of system a 'relaxation oscillator' which doesn't have anything to do with relaxing.

If you had an incandescent bulb plugged in, the leak need not be sufficient to cause a visible glow. Thus you might never notice it with an incandescent bulb which would get slightly warm but never light, but see it with a CFL which can store energy over several seconds and then try to start.
edit on 15-2-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 11:14 PM
reply to post by Bedlam

Awesome. My friend, I will happily read anything you care to take the time to type on the subject if you're willing to impart such wisdom, but I appreciate that it's time consuming and you ain't here to educate me. I don't know much but it's a field I developed an interest in through sheer curiosity.

I did some research and learned some basics...was like I reached a certain age and, I don't even know what electricity is or how it works. I love the net because you can learn anything, it's a privilege. I abused google for info and read what I could.

I learned simple concepts like ohms law just to try and get some kind of grip on how things work, but my math skills ain't so sharp so I stopped trying to run and though I should maybe learn to walk a bit better first, so put it on hold and started to re-learn some basic stuff I'd forgotten from my old school days, stuff I used to hate and found mundane and boring.

It's extremely fascinationg, though - as is the information supplied by yourself and a few other contributors to this thread...kinda went nowhere in the end but I still got something from it so I thank you for that.

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