Saturday, September 12, 2009

UK Pensioner Stockpiles 1,000 Banned Lightbulbs

UK Daily Mail -- A pensioner has defied an EU ban by hoarding more than 1,000 traditional light bulbs - enough to see her "into the grave." Valerie Hemsley-Flint, 62, has spent more than £500 ($835) of her pension money stockpiling the old-style 100-watt bulbs. From September 1, EU countries were banned from producing or importing incandescent bulbs and shops can sell only energy-efficient ones.

But Miss Hemsley-Flint said the light from them is not good enough for her to read by and the flickering sets off her epilepsy. So she has bought 1,100 old-style bulbs and is calling on the Government to scrap the ban.

24 Comments:

At 9/12/2009 9:40 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

Good for her!

 
At 9/12/2009 9:50 AM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

She's sitting on a government mandated gold mine!

 
At 9/12/2009 10:44 AM, Blogger threecollie said...

I wish we had done the same

 
At 9/12/2009 12:59 PM, Blogger OA said...

I wonder if she can sell those in a few years or would her trying to Ebay them be illegal as it is for retailers?

An outright ban is pretty ridiculous. Do they have a similar ban on plasma tv's in preference to LED tv's? Or a ban on CRT TVs and monitors in preference to LEDs?

 
At 9/12/2009 1:02 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Quite funny that she loves the traditional bulb so much. I have replaced most of my bulbs and have no desire to go back.

 
At 9/12/2009 1:09 PM, Blogger 1 said...

I completely understand ms. Hemsley-Flint's common sense reasoning for it...

I tried a couple of those CFLs last month and I pitched them after a week...

What a lame-a$$ed form of lighting!

How can anyone be suckered into using those idiotic bulbs?!?!

 
At 9/12/2009 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will she be able to use them in her cell in the Tower of London where some enviro-whacko will try to put her?

 
At 9/12/2009 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good alternative to the ban would be to put a tax on the bulbs so they cost as much as a cfl or the soon to be led. Then lets see what people think of them. Its clear from an economic point of view the CFL makes sense as it saves a lot of money. This provides a counter example to the rational market theory, a rational economic person would buy the cfl because it is a net saver of money.

 
At 9/12/2009 1:48 PM, Blogger OA said...

Steve said...
Quite funny that she loves the traditional bulb so much. I have replaced most of my bulbs and have no desire to go back.


Um, did you notice the part where it says the flickering sets off her epilepsy?

 
At 9/12/2009 2:49 PM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

Any time a government bans something, it makes it more valuable no matter what it is.

 
At 9/12/2009 3:14 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Its clear from an economic point of view the CFL makes sense as it saves a lot of money"...

Oh yeah!

Let's see, a sixty watt incandescent bulb cost me about 83 cents a piece...

They last about a year or so...

A CFL purchased locally runs from some $3+ to $5+ depending on where I get it...

I don't know how long they last because they're miserable when they're on...

Gee! How long does it take a CFL to light up to full potential as compared to the incandescent bulb?

Ever put a CFL into a three way fixture?

Ever tried a dimmer on a CFL?

How do you like those CFLs when you flip them on for less than a minute and then flip them off?

All the light fixtures take an incandescent bulb with no problem, CFLs are problematic...

Something about the flickering light of a CFL (and something I don't experience with regular fluorescent tubes lamps) gives me a headache...

Incandescent Bulbs Return to the Cutting Edge

Compare Incandescent light bulbs to CFLs

 
At 9/12/2009 3:40 PM, Blogger Michael said...

"This provides a counter example to the rational market theory, a rational economic person would buy the cfl because it is a net saver of money."

Are you basing this on the lower watt rating and the 10 year life to price? Have you ever read the label. There is a limit of 5 bulbs per circuit. If someone really wanted to go CFL green, they'd have to get a 300amp panel installed in their house and most of the house rewired. The residential electrical code is designed for CFLs.

Lets use rational market theory. Electrical fire risk + health risk + thousands for home modifications + $10 per bulb = save a few cents per month in electric charges, or a 50 cent bulb = spending a few extra cents per month in electric charges. The 50 cent bulb is the choice to go with.

The CFL issue is stupid since lighting makes up 6% of Americans electrical use. The government changed the day light savings dates was based on lighting. The net result was that people end up using more electricity.

 
At 9/12/2009 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer 1 the first question do you live in a warm or cold climate. If cold you can view the incandescent light as form of heating if warm you pay to move that light out.
Looking at energy use a CFL uses 1/4 the energy for a given unit of light. So for a 100 watt bulb at $.1 per kwh you get ten hours of use on the incandescent and on the equivalent 23 watt cfl 43 hours per kwh on the cfl. So on a 900 hour incandescent bulb you spend $9. on electricity and on the cfl $2.0.
So we have a clear economic incentive for spending up to $5 more on the cfl in just the life of the incandescent and given the 5 x or so lifetime of the cfl the result is even more clear.

There exist cfls in both traditional florescent color and daylight. The daylight is close to the old bulb, and you can buy a 3 way capable bulb as well as a dimable bulb, but you do have to check which bulb you buy.

So clearly not switching to cfl's is motivated by non-economic factors and goes to prove that the economic profession was all wrong about the rational market. (Also the whole economic troubles prove this)

 
At 9/12/2009 4:10 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Are you basing this on the lower watt rating and the 10 year life to price?"...

10 year life for a CFL?!?!

Locally in the St. Louis area I don't know one person who's gotten the light to last longer than an incandescent bulb...

I don't know if its the technology of the CFL or is it the 'dirty juice' (fluctuating current) that seems to run in many of the electrical lines here in St. Louis county...

So this comment by you: "So we have a clear economic incentive for spending up to $5 more on the cfl in just the life of the incandescent and given the 5 x or so lifetime of the cfl the result is even more clear" may indeed be factual where you live but around here, no so much...

I liked your description of, 'rational market theory' and that could make for some interesting stats...

Good stuff Michael!

What the heck! Both the incandescent and the CFL will probably be bypassed in the near future when LEDs get better technically...

 
At 9/12/2009 4:35 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Re: anon's comment @ 9/12/2009 3:49 PM: "Looking at energy use a CFL uses 1/4 the energy for a given unit of light. So for a 100 watt bulb at $.1 per kwh you get ten hours of use on the incandescent and on the equivalent 23 watt cfl 43 hours per kwh on the cfl. So on a 900 hour incandescent bulb you spend $9. on electricity and on the cfl $2.0."...

O.K. I don't know if what you've stated is factual or is what is said on the side of the container the CFL bulb comes in...

None the less anon for sake of argument I'm going to accept it as is, CFLs are cheaper to run than incandescent bulbs...

"So we have a clear economic incentive for spending up to $5 more on the cfl in just the life of the incandescent and given the 5 x or so lifetime of the cfl the result is even more clear"...

No, not really since the CFLs really don't seem to have anything like that sort of performance here...

Note my reply to Michael regarding the current...

"There exist cfls in both traditional florescent color and daylight"...

Maybe its just me anon but the CFLs 'almost' have those color bands being emitted or so it seems...

"you can buy a 3 way capable bulb as well as a dimable bulb"...

Yes and locally they were priced about a month and half ago at Home Depot at $9 and $12 respectively...

"So clearly not switching to cfl's is motivated by non-economic factors and goes to prove that the economic profession was all wrong about the rational market"...

Well again not quite anon and again only from my own experiences...

CFLs give me a headache...

I don't know whether its the flickering of the CFL or the lack of intensity of the CFL light...

The comfort level, the brightness, the full color saturation I get from using a clear incandescent bulb versus of CFL supposedly tuned to sunlight frequencies is quite dramatic, hence worth the extra cost that you describe...

BTW anon what does it cost to dispose or recycle CFLs?

Any ideas?

 
At 9/12/2009 4:48 PM, Blogger Craig said...

a rational economic person would buy the cfl because it is a net saver of money

Keep studying your economics, pal. Price is certainly important, but plenty of "rational economic persons" buy Cadillacs instead of Volts.

 
At 9/12/2009 5:20 PM, Blogger Michael said...

There has to be economics to pleasure. Elliot Spitzer went for the $1,000 hooker when a $300 hooker could have gotten the job done. I think the problem economists run in to is trying to define rational. Some people might buy CFLs to look "green". Other might buy incandescents because they like the color of the light on their walls. These are two subjective views. Views that override rationality. People aren't rational. If they were, Marx and Smith would have written the same book.

 
At 9/12/2009 5:28 PM, Blogger OA said...

There are definitely instances where it does not make econmic sense to install a CFL versus a standard bulb. In order to make up the initial cost difference, a certain amount of electricity has to be used. So places like closets, basements, or attics where the lights are rarely used, it's better to just buy cheap incandescents.

Or an oven. Are there even CFLs that you can put in there? I imagine they'd have to be specifically designed for the heat. Even if you could use regular CFL, who uses the oven light enough to ever make back the differential?

Any other lower usage places where the pay back gets toward 10 years start to not make sense as well. None of the straight comparisons take into account the opportunity cost of having money invested in the bulbs.

 
At 9/12/2009 9:16 PM, Anonymous Dr. Bob said...

I like her style... I can see her wearing a trenchcoat in a foggy dark back alley, stealthily meeting up with an unknown buyer and silently exchanging a 100W for 10 pounds.

I hate CFLs.

1) They NEVER last as long as they are supposed to.

2) Their color temperature makes everything look quite ghastly. Yes, some are better than others - so you can get ghastly and less ghastly, but not great.

3) They buzz and flicker.

4) They take too long to warm up - definitely do not use in stairways unless you leave them on all the time.

5) The colder the temperature, the worse they work.

6) The mercury gas and small amount of liquid mercury inside of them is extremely toxic. Funny how this has been downplayed by the government.

7) They are not inexpensive.

8) Most are not dimmable. Those that are dimmable are even more expensive.

9) I'm expecting the CFLs will be made obsolete within 5-10 years by newer technologies e.g. LEDs and new incandescent technologies.

10) My house has a lot of multiple bulb fixtures - meaning rather than one larger CFL, I have to buy 4 or 5 smaller CFLs. And frankly, CFLs look ugly in chandeliers and candelabras.

11) I too get headaches from them.

I targeted the most used lights in the house to get the CFLs, followed by replacing bulbs that are a pain in the backside to replace - like those where I have to get out a 24 foot extension ladder out to replace.

Lights that are rarely used or have to come on to full brightness quickly are staying with incandescents.

I'm experimenting with some CFLs for outside lighting - the issue there is their performance when the ambient temperature is -30 F.

Most of our outside lights have motion detectors so they pop on for a short duration - that on/off cycling does bad things to CFL durability.

One tip - when I install a CFL, I use a Sharpie to write the install date on the base of the bulb.

Like many things, price is not to sole determiner of personal preferences. Yes, I suppose if overall cost were the only factor, CFLs would be the best, but cost is not the sole factor.

 
At 9/12/2009 9:22 PM, Blogger john a. bailo said...

Just last week I posted an essay about "Bulbers". I linked to your post in the thread.

http://you-read-it-here-first.com/viewtopic.php?t=3908&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=&sid=4911bc78f836e605648df6fb4f15d5b6

"Are there Bulbers? Haven't you ever wondered if the rush to Compact Fluorescent bulbs, the curlicue shaped bulbs that are supposed to save you pennies a day on your electric bill and show up the Deniers by cooling the Earth, and increasing your heating bill by dollars a day was foisted on us by Greens working in tandem with the Lighting Elite to draw us in to purchasing ever more expensive and elaborate bulbs? "

 
At 9/12/2009 10:20 PM, Blogger Michael said...

What the "greens" don't realize is that the US is going to buy its, windmills, CFLs and solar panels from China, since the "greens" would never let these products be made in America. Lets call the "greens" by their true name, the pro poverty group.

 
At 9/14/2009 4:08 AM, Blogger randian said...

a rational economic person would buy the cfl because it is a net saver of money.

Only if by "rational" you exclude considerations of light quality and durability in occasional-use conditions.

 
At 9/15/2009 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the whole point of the theory of the rational economic person that Greenspan pushed says that economics is the only consideration. This little matter demonstrates if indeed it has not been demonstrated enough that the theory is wrong. Other items that economic factors influence purchases. So its in this micro economic world that we provide a counter example to the macro economic theory.

 
At 9/15/2009 12:52 AM, Blogger randian said...

So its in this micro economic world that we provide a counter example to the macro economic theory.

Since economics is about more than the study of money, you're wrong.

 

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