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Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

Posted April 11, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

To reduce energy consumption, and despite the chagrin of many consumers, countries around the world have severely limited or outright banned the manufacture and sale of conventional incandescent light bulbs because most of their energy consumption converts into heat, rather than light. The most common alternatives - compact fluorescents (CFLs) that contain mercury and can't dim, and still-expensive LEDs that have yet to achieve a satisfyingly natural incandescent color - have encountered considerable resistance. New discoveries suggest that perhaps the efforts to eliminate the technology will prove premature. These researchers at MIT have found a technique that will harvest much of the infrared light(heat) and convert it to visible light at higher efficiencies than CFLs or LEDs. Stay tuned.


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#1

Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

04/11/2016 8:46 AM

My understanding is that incandescent bulbs are not strictly banned, but that there is a mandated efficiency requirement that existing bulbs cannot meet. The question is whether these new bulbs can meet the efficiency requirement and be manufactured at a reasonable cost.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Independence_and_Security_Act_of_2007

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#2
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Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

04/11/2016 11:08 AM

As are understand it, incandescent bulbs can be labeled as heaters.

I know that we have used 100W to keep water pipes from freezing.

At the ship yard, we used industrial 200W light bulbs in our homemade oven to heat our meals.

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#3
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Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

04/11/2016 1:12 PM

If you live in a cold climate and heat with electricity, incandescent lamps are 100 percent efficient as long as you keep your shades closed so no light escapes.

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#4

Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

04/11/2016 3:47 PM

In the UK incandescent bulbs are still sold 'for industrial use'. You don't need any proof of the use before buying the bulbs.

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#6
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Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

04/12/2016 11:09 AM

Sounds like the UK has made the clear exception for farmers using 100W bulbs as 'chicken coop heaters,' and didn't mandate the siliyness of having to electroplate the inside of the bulb silver to prevent it's use as an 'inefficient light bulb.'

When my brother and I were moving into our new house, the 'bulb ban' was a 'looming on the horizon' issue, so I stocked up to insure we would have a supply to last us through the 'CFL or LED, but LED's are stupid expensive, even if they last as long as claimed' phase. Then we wend through the remodeling, and I realized that our plan of putting a ceiling fan and light in every room meant that, except for the basement and garage, all the building lights use candelabra base, not E26 base.

So my preparation worked, in a fashion. I now have one smallish shelf with what will probably be a lifetime supply of incandescent bulbs. I don't even use an incandescent bulb on the desk lamp I have for task lighting: a 'spotlight' style LED bulb works much better; more light on the task, less 'glare light' through the bulb shade and into my eyes.

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#5

Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

04/12/2016 7:07 AM

Well, as far as LED bulbs not being able to achieve that incandescent color, I have replaced all of the bulbs in my living room with LED, rather recently, and I can say that they have a very warm incandescent light. The only difference that I have noticed is, these supposedly 60W replacement LED bulbs are significantly brighter. It seems much more like I put 100W incandescent bulbs in. I 'm thinking of swapping them out for 40W equivalent. The problem is, they are more expensive than the 60W equivalent's already fairly expensive price. I'm not sure exactly why that is. Most likely because the 60W are better sellers and with economies of scale they end up a little cheaper. I can pick up a 3-pack of 60W equivalents at my local shopping club for $20. The 40W are all in single packs at $10 ea. Anyway, I have been picking up a few every time I go to the store. So, eventually I will replace all of the bulbs in the house. The only problem I have there is some of my fixtures require the candelabra based bulbs, which are harder to find and even more expensive, in LED.

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#8
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Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

09/03/2016 2:56 PM

I have been buying 60W LED's at my local big box for 2 bucks apiece.

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#9
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Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

09/06/2016 6:31 AM

It's amazing what a difference 5 months makes. I just purchased a 10 pack of 60W equiv LED bulbs for about $11. Gotta love economies of scale. At this rate , LED bulbs will be cheaper than incandescents soon ;-)

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#7

Re: Edison's Light Bulb Lives On

04/15/2016 2:57 AM

All electrical energy is finally converted in to heat energy, whether through motors, lights or any other electrical equipment.

This means the light output is also converted to heat. However, the incandescent bulb gives out less light output for the energy consumed and we need to use higher wattage bulbs. In cold countries, where you need to heat space and electrical heaters are used, it is perfect to use incandescent lights.

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