incandescent light bulb ban in ontario...

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incandescent light bulb ban in ontario...

Post by mr. poopyhead » Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:20 am

since SPCR is such a hotbed of environmental discussion, i thought i might put this one out there...

the province of ontario (canada) is banning the sale of incandescent light bulbs by 2012. read here:
http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/204855

bright idea? or meaningless political gesture?

personally, i think this is one of those things that sounds nice and is probably a good idea BUT not thought out very well and is really just a PR move to capitalize on this whole climate change craze. to me, it's just a political quick-fix. i mean, if the reasoning is that incandescents are inefficient, then why not ban ALL things inefficient? ban SUVs, ban pentium 4s, ban lousy PSUs, ban 100K sq ft houses that require 3 A/C units and a 100 lightbulbs to run. do we really need a nanny state?
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/fina ... 692b714002

i've read that all the capacitors and doohickies inside a CFL (compact flourescent light bulb) make their manufacture more polluting than incandescents. and they HAVE to be recycled properly to reap any kind of environmental benefit. anyways, those are just SOME of the points that i don't think people consider because CFLs sound like the answer to all our problems.

here's an extensive article on CFLs and incandescents... i think we have enough electrical engineering types around here to pick it apart if it's wrong anywhere. it sounds about right to me though.
http://sound.westhost.com/articles/incandescent.htm

proceed with discussion. i'm sure our aussie friends will already have plenty of ideas on this issue.
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Post by jaganath » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:10 am

To me, the hysterical tone of that site kind of destroys any illusions of impartiality. Sure, there are still problems to be resolved with recycling of CFLs etc, but then I don't see many people recycling incandescents either. You can argue that CFLs require more raw material inputs but because they last longer the embodied energy is amortised over a greater timescale than with incandescents. The power factor point is way overplayed, in EU PFC is obligatory on PSUs and I'm sure will be made so on CFLs if some kind of ban is mooted, the electronics for active PFC are cheap and easily implemented. As for CFLs causing cancer, that is way out there and not even close to proven, and even if it does turn out to have some kind of validity, the manufacturers can just use phosphors which produce more "natural" light gamut.

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Post by Trip » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:02 am

Why not just add a large tax to cover the costs of recycling and repairing the environment from the damage they cause? That's called a user fee.

The zoning regulations you mention sound like a good idea. Several years ago a Chemical company, Hoffman La Roche, moved to town and built a large plant. It built a large glass garden in the front that is exceedingly inefficient. I don't recall the numbers, but I do remember it being wasteful. The guy who runs it used to always curse how wasteful it is...

Anyway, the point is that buildings can be built to conserve energy. It might be a little more costly and might limit creativity, but it can be done.

Zoning is a local issue though. There's just no way a central government could do it.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:12 am

The ban incandescents movement seems premature to me.

And even if http://sound.westhost.com/articles/incandescent.htm gets a bit evangelical in places, I think most of his info looks pretty good. I've been running CFL lights in my home for several years and can attest that quite a few did not last anywhere near the length advertised or promised.

As for the PF -- this info was new to me, so naturally I just tried comparing a 75W incandescent to a 23W CFL. The former has a PF of 1.0; the latter, 0.6 after five minutes on (it might have improved .05 as it warmed up). It looks like a significant factor.

FYI, the 75W bulb measured 77W; the 23W CFL measured 21W -- and the CFL looks a bit brighter to my eyes.

jaganath is right in that no one recycles incandescents, but not recycling CFLs is significantly more harmful, at least at this point. I have not known what to do with the dead CFLs -- they are just sitting in a box. I need to find out if I can take them back to where I bought them at least. Vancouver city itself has no recycling option for CFLs, their phone hotline person just told me I could dump them in the garbage.
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Post by adam_mccullough » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:46 am

I stopped reading at the point where he completely misunderstands Hempel's Paradox. I'll never understand why people embarass themselves by trying to look clever when they obviously have no idea what they're talking about. Ho hum.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:40 am

adam_mccullough wrote:I stopped reading at the point where he completely misunderstands Hempel's Paradox. I'll never understand why people embarass themselves by trying to look clever when they obviously have no idea what they're talking about. Ho hum.
I don't know anything about Hempel's Paradox, but your reaction seems pretty close-minded. His not understanding Hempel's Paradox doesn't have anything to do with whether he has relevant things to say about the issue of banning incandescents in favor of CFLs. Obviously, I think he does.
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Re: incandescent light bulb ban in ontario...

Post by robokopp » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:17 am

mr. poopyhead wrote:
link to http://sound.westhost.com/articles/incandescent.htm

and,

"i'm sure our aussie friends will already have plenty of ideas on this issue".
Like you, I wish we had some sensible discussion down under. Recent weeks have seen the same positive spin propaganda in print & TV medium.

In contrast, one news segment had comment by a representative of the local re-cycling industry expressing concern that no legislation or infrastructure exists for the extraction of mercury before the items become landfill.

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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:27 pm

Stupid to say the least. Reason one, there are uses for incandescent lamps mainly because CFL's cannot replace them everywhere, for example my bed lamp (flexible type) uses incandescent, I cannot use CFL there because it sits very close to the wall and if I were to use CFL the protective cover wouldn't be large enough and potentially I could accidentally push the lamp and smash it into the wall shattering the bulb onto the carpet floor. Ouch. And of course there is the dimmer argument, CFLs don't work there. However, the biggest reason why the ban is a stupid idea is because if someone wanted incandescent lamp he would simply order it outside of Ontario. How hard is that?

Don't get me wrong, there are uses for CFLs, we use them in our bathroom which for some reason eats through the incandescents (must be something with the light switch). Regular bulbs go out like one every 3-4 months, at the same time we only had one CFL burn out, out of three total during one year that we are using them. However mandating any sort of ban like this is stupid. If you want to make people switch, then show people why it is more beneficial to run CFLs and they will switch themselves.

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Post by mr. poopyhead » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:54 pm

i'm not an expert on this issue. mostly, i'm just sick of politicians hastily passing laws that capitalize on the latest hysteria.

it's like when some kid got bitten by a pitbull and the ontario government's reaction was to immediately BAN the entire breed. as if there was no careful deliberation involved. knee-jerk reaction policies are not the answer...

although they seem to win the approval of most people.
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Post by nici » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:40 pm

People can be made scared of anything, and it's easy to have people accept laws that "protect" them when they are obviously in grave danger. Pitbulls, terrorism, climate change, whatever...

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:59 pm

You Ontario-ites aren't alone. The Peoples Socialist Republik of Kalifornia is right on top of the lightbulb issue, as they tend to be with all sorts of "feel good" legislation like the spanking ban.
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Post by qviri » Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:10 pm

Ontarians. Just a note.
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Post by jaganath » Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:28 pm

it's like when some kid got bitten by a pitbull and the ontario government's reaction was to immediately BAN the entire breed. as if there was no careful deliberation involved. knee-jerk reaction policies are not the answer...
Ontario is not the only place to have banned this specific breed of dog. Maybe not so knee-jerk...
The Peoples Socialist Republik of Kalifornia
They may be socialists but at least they give a damn about global warming, unlike the rest of America.
"feel good" legislation like the spanking ban.
Many countries in Europe have a spanking ban. No doubt the socialist evil has weakened our moral fibre. :lol: There is a strong and rational argument behind the prohibition of corporal punishment; whether you disagree with that argument is another matter entirely.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:19 pm

Hello,

Is the problem with CFL's that they contain mercury?

I think the largest source of mercury is burning coal, which is the largest source of electricity (in the USA, anyway) -- and so with incandescent bulbs, there would be 3.6X more mercury put into the atmosphere, than with CFL's.

We need to clean up the coal plants; or replace them -- and we need to deal with the mercury in the spent CFL's, too.
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Post by BrianE » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:51 am

MikeC wrote:I need to find out if I can take them back to where I bought them at least. Vancouver city itself has no recycling option for CFLs, their phone hotline person just told me I could dump them in the garbage.
Mike, please let us know if you find out what to do with these things.

I share your sentiments on the Ontario ban, and ALSO have many dead/unused CFLs lying around. Most are from when they were fairly new technology (wow, those sucked :lol: ), but some are disappointingly new.

They should set up a system using existing municipal facilities or maybe through Recycle-It depots and places like that. Heck they take worthless milk cartons (no $) why not these too? I bet it is because no one knows how to recycle them and there isn't any impetus to. I remember reading somewhere that certain types of "recyclables" are only processed by 1 or 2 places in the country because of the complex process involved. I don't know what is inside a CFL, but if they are just miniaturized versions of the office ceiling favourite, then they still have a ballast and the (pre-requisite) mercury in the tube. Seeing as how CFLs are becoming more and more common they should get moving on a recycling program fast. Maybe a deposit system like with drink containers?

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Post by haelduksf » Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:58 pm

Frankly, the term "quick fix" seems misleading, since there's very little "fixing" going on here. I think this has more to do with easing the strain on the power grid (which has been at or over capacity for the last 5 years) and scoring some cheap (no gov't money being spent) points. Take the percentage of power use that fluorescent lights consume, multiply that by the percentage of Ontario power that is "dirty", and the number you get is pretty small.

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Post by adam_mccullough » Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:15 pm

MikeC wrote:I don't know anything about Hempel's Paradox, but your reaction seems pretty close-minded. His not understanding Hempel's Paradox doesn't have anything to do with whether he has relevant things to say about the issue of banning incandescents in favor of CFLs. Obviously, I think he does.
I'd say it indicates a tendency to write without taking the time to understand the subject matter. True, Hempel's Paradox has nothing whatsoever to do with the CFL issue, but I don't see the point in reading a piece which begins by demonstrating a lack of research and understanding. At best, it could only leave me with a list of facts and arguments for which I'd have to go and find more reliable sources before seriously considering them, in which case I'd be better off just reading a more reliable piece in the first place! But then, I always was cautious about trusting what I read. I guess you can call that closed-minded if you like!

I do think there are serious issues with CFLs, along with many other recent trends and developments concerning energy generation and modern load devices. I work in the renewable energy industry, and although these technologies are going to be a crucial part of any sane approach to energy policy in the future, I'm aware of some serious problems that just aren't being addressed by grid operators and governments yet. There will need to be extensive and fundamental changes to the power infrastructure as renewable generation expands and new consumer device technologies change the load characteristics. However, policymakers are still acting as though all these developments can be treated as drop-in replacements for current technologies without creating new problems for transmission and distribution.

I have seen very little coherent debate or guidance covering the recycling issues around lamps, electric cells, electronics, used lubricants and any number of other types of waste. As a ISO 14001 accredited company, I know we have a pretty painful and expensive time disposing of such materials in a responsible way. Thankfully, that's not my job, but it does concern me. All my domestic lights are CFLs, and I have no idea what to do with them when they die. They'll probably wind up in the bottom drawer in my study beside the dead batteries. My local recycling centre will take lead-acid batteries, but not CFLs or NiCad and Lithium cells.

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Post by Natronomonas » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:09 pm

As I can think of legitimate uses for incandescents, but agree that in general, CFLs should be used, I'm more against, than for, the ban on incandescents that we in Australia are also soon to experience.
I'd rather see a 10% hike/tax or whatever in electricity prices to further expansion of more general energy efficiency programs and/or renewable generation than just targeting one small aspect of the whole area of energy use/production.

That way, if you want to keep using incandescents you can - you just know that the cheaper purchase price (say 50c) may not make up for the higher operating costs (or you can make up for it by using less power elsewhere). At the moment, with power so cheap, you're still probably ahead with incandescents in terms of TCO. (brown coal.... from our backyard into your atmosphere....)
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Post by jhhoffma » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:55 pm

Thinking of the future (it's all about the kids you know), I hereby request everyone's assistance in starting a ban on these horrible, toxic, non-biodegradable blights to humanity known as CFLs. We should all be using LED array lights, which everyone knows is the most power efficient light technology and lasts forever, so there's no need to recycle!!

Seriously, I like my CFLs, which are in the majority of light sockets in my house. There are only a few that I don't use CFLs for, and they are low-usage environments where bright light is needed immediately and cannot wait for a CFL to warm up--a breezeway or porch-light, for instance. These lights are usually on for a minute or less and then turned off. The light quality varies with brand, but overall I love mine.

The only real issue with CFLs is cost, particularly for 3-way bulbs. I have many torchiere lamps in my house and many can use a 3-way bulb, but since they can cost around $14 each and do not last very long for that price, I get by with standard CFLs, but I do wish someone could do more with them to bring price down and reliability up.
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Post by mr. poopyhead » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:54 am

well it's not just ontario anymore... please welcome the rest of canada to the bandwagon!

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/s ... hub=Canada
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Post by wussboy » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:40 am

Ralf Hutter wrote:"feel good" legislation like the spanking ban.
Am I the only one who cracked up at that? Spanking? Feel good?

Ahhhhh! It's wasted on you people.

:lol: :lol:
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:56 am

wussboy wrote:
Ralf Hutter wrote:"feel good" legislation like the spanking ban.
Am I the only one who cracked up at that? Spanking? Feel good?

Ahhhhh! It's wasted on you people.

:lol: :lol:
Well, at least you got it.....

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Post by aristide1 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:24 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:Hello, ....

We need to clean up the coal plants; or replace them -- and we need to deal with the mercury in the spent CFL's, too.
Fat chance of that happening. Texas alone is planning on building 10 more coal fired plants. Good luck if you live near or downstream of one of them.

I think we could save more electricity(count cooling costs) if we scrapped all the Intel Netburst P4's out there. Then place all those processors in the CEO's fanny.

We should also mandate AFPC, since that would lower the costs through economies of scale.
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Post by aristide1 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:49 am

They may be socialists but at least they give a damn about global warming, unlike the rest of America.
Other states you may enjoy:

States with impeachment resolutions.
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Post by Rusty075 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:26 pm

Somebody in Ontario isn't thinking this through very well. In northern climates like that incandescents may actually be more environmentally friendly than CF's, mainly because they are less efficient.

Here's my logic:

The stated reason why CF's are greener than incand's is that they waste less electricity in producing the same amount of light. But, that extra electricity isn't really "wasted"...its converted to heat. In northern climates you are much more likely to be heating your home than cooling it. That extra heat energy from the incand bulbs reduces the demand on heating sytems. And since electricity is much more likely to be produced from "green" sources such as hydro or wind than the sources of the energy used for heating is, which is likely to be NG, propane, or oil in Ontario, you are actually better off, environmentally speaking, using more electricity to heat your house.
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Post by mr. poopyhead » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:52 pm

Rusty075 wrote:Somebody in Ontario isn't thinking this through very well. In northern climates like that incandescents may actually be more environmentally friendly than CF's, mainly because they are less efficient.

Here's my logic:

The stated reason why CF's are greener than incand's is that they waste less electricity in producing the same amount of light. But, that extra electricity isn't really "wasted"...its converted to heat. In northern climates you are much more likely to be heating your home than cooling it. That extra heat energy from the incand bulbs reduces the demand on heating sytems. And since electricity is much more likely to be produced from "green" sources such as hydro or wind than the sources of the energy used for heating is, which is likely to be NG, propane, or oil in Ontario, you are actually better off, environmentally speaking, using more electricity to heat your house.
by that logic, canadians and americans in the northern states should all be running P4 EEs, X1950 XTXs and highly inefficient PSUs! :P

also, southern ontario gets pretty hot in the summer... 30+ degrees on a bad day (which is nothing compared to AZ, i'm assuming). so your heating plan kinda backfires in the summer. :P
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Post by qviri » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:22 pm

mr. poopyhead wrote:also, southern ontario gets pretty hot in the summer... 30+ degrees on a bad day (which is nothing compared to AZ, i'm assuming). so your heating plan kinda backfires in the summer. :P
You don't exactly need lights on in the middle of the day in July...
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Post by AZBrandon » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:25 pm

I like all of my CFL's. In fact the only lights I haven't converted to CFL are the floodlights for my kitchen. I ordered a few new bulbs from TopBulb today though including one I'd like to use as a test in my kitchen to see how I like it. 65 watts of blindingly bright CFL power!
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Post by aristide1 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:40 pm

Rusty075 wrote:Somebody in Ontario isn't thinking this through very well. In northern climates like that incandescents may actually be more environmentally friendly than CF's, mainly because they are less efficient.

Here's my logic:

The stated reason why CF's are greener than incand's is that they waste less electricity in producing the same amount of light. But, that extra electricity isn't really "wasted"...its converted to heat. In northern climates you are much more likely to be heating your home than cooling it. That extra heat energy from the incand bulbs reduces the demand on heating sytems. And since electricity is much more likely to be produced from "green" sources such as hydro or wind than the sources of the energy used for heating is, which is likely to be NG, propane, or oil in Ontario, you are actually better off, environmentally speaking, using more electricity to heat your house.
Is this why you don't fold anymore? :)

Seriously though adding 400 BTU to heat in the ceiling area won't change things all that much. In your favor Canadian electricity is dirt cheap compared to the US, but when you turn some device on or off it tends to go "Ay?".
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Post by aristide1 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:42 pm

Ralf Hutter wrote:You Ontario-ites aren't alone. The Peoples Socialist Republik of Kalifornia is right on top of the lightbulb issue, as they tend to be with all sorts of "feel good" legislation like the spanking ban.
At least your govenor has enough brains not to be seen or photographed with GWB anymore.

Seeing such pics years later is like recalling your last colonoscopy.

:shock:
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