Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Evidently deciding to turn a blind eye to the legion of householders who have filled their homes with banks of dichroic downlighters, their gardens with further effect lighting and their hot-tubs with yet further effect lighting, the British government is seeking to outlaw the sale of everyday lightbulbs to we Brits. As of the end of 2008, it will become virtually impossible to buy a non-eco lightbulb from any supermarket or DIY store.
A good idea you might think. Except that in many cases, aside from the 5 x extra cost-per-bulb, consumers still have to make a choice between 'long-life' or 'low-energy' in many cases, and the manufacturer's built-in obsolescence factor to keep us all buying bulbs and commestibles (of all kinds) has not been phased out!
Did I mention that eco-bulbs can end up using MORE energy than ordinary bulbs if not turned on and off with less frequency than Edison bulbs? This is due to the fact they take so much power to power up, aka the annoying process of their light growing from very dim to still-not-as-bright-as-a-proper-bulb when you switch them on. Hence if householders don't change their habits as well, eco-bulbs are useless! And now eco-bulbs have been linked to health problems for those with photo-sensitivity, skin diseases and epileptic problems. Which begs the question, will 'daylight' bulbs for the depressed also be banned so soon after their invention, or will the depressed have to obtain their 'daylight' bulbs on doctor's prescription?
Aesthetically, although they are getting better, eco-bulbs also give off the most awful harsh light making everyone's skin appear yellowy-grey, a bit like the old fluorescent tubes used to. Not exactly what you'd wish to find in theatres, restaurants or even your own living room! And working in a historic building environment as I do, I cringe to see great big ugly eco-bulbs jammed into a beautiful bronze chandelier, built for delicate flame-effect candle bulbs.
Lighting industry, you'll have to do better than this to convert me!
Meantime I'll be stocking up on proper bulbs to last the rest of my life and doing that funky eco thing I do, which also aids my electricity bill, ie turning them off when not using them!