Well, that’s the scandium market fucked then

Or at least part of it:

The sale of halogen bulbs which are used in millions of homes could be banned as early as next year as part of the EU’s energy-saving drive.

This EU shit’s getting personal now…..

41 thoughts on “Well, that’s the scandium market fucked then”

  1. So we threw out our incandescent bulbs and hoped that’d get the EU off our backs. But it didn’t. They came back for yet more.

    Why am I reminded of the ‘Minimum Wage’ debacle?

  2. Well if you want incandescents all you have to do is come to Germany and go to any respectable large DIY store. They have a whole aisle full of incandescents, up to and including 100W. All for “industrial use”, of course.

    As for the spots – I am pretty impressed by where the LEDs are now. And they are almost there in lumens per watt to make them cost-effective against CFLs. Can’t wait for the first “100 Watt” LED.

  3. Why do they care?

    Led lights are clearly the future (all my house is on them, cheaper to run than CFLs, instant on, 10,000 hour bulb life).

    The era of halogens will end perfectly naturally as LEDs continue to get better and cheaper – why on earth legislate to make it happen very sightly faster?

  4. You may have noticed that I’ve been doing an awful lot of freelance writing recently. In anticipation….

  5. They know, and they know I know, that the total saving for lighting is trivial compared to heat and power and transport.

    They’re only doing it to rub my nose in the knowledge that I am a denialist Gaia murderer.

  6. bloke (not) in spain

    Bearing in mind more than half the EU’s population are in areas where it’s necessary to heat homes, during non-daylight hours, for more than half of the year. And all of Europe requires home heating for part of the year. And the argument is that halogens inefficiently produce heat whilst supplying light. And that energy budgets are for all energy requirements, not just light.
    The total energy saving is going to be seriously, seriously trivial

  7. Banning halogen looks like reinforcing failure. They’ve promoted a poor, dead end technology (no one likes the way they work, potential future problems with mercury pollution), but instead of admitting it or even quietly dropping them, they start banning alternatives.

    I agree with the prole, having refused to use the compact fluorescent crap I’ve now switched to LEDs (to save money, not for environmental tosh), they’re nearly as good as incandescent and getting better. How long before they’re banned too?

  8. LEDs are the future. Of course this ban is ridiculous, but it is part of the modern style of government of needing to be seen to be doing things.

    As somebody who installed countless thousands of these though, I’m glad to see the back of them. Ghastly crap. Many people installed them because they believed they are “energy saving”- replacing one 100W lamp with 12 of 50W halogens. Plus the transformer losses. They were like a plague in the 1990s, the ebola of lighting technology.

    I’ve got a total of just 16W of LEDs in my kitchen now. Which is awesome. If the scandium market was dependent on dichroic halogen lamps, it was fucked anyway.

  9. LEDs won’t get banned because they are approaching efficiency limits imposed by the laws of physics. Even the EU can’t legislate beyond 200 lumen per watt, that really is as good as it is ever going to get. Unless you want pure green light.

    @Richard, I know I am weird but I do actually like the CFLs, and don’t have the problems everyone moans about. But I buy expensive branded ones. Currently have them almost everywhere. I use incandescents where the light is turned on and off a lot and never on for more than a few minutes, since experience shows that CFLs don’t like that. I have one LED which I bought several years ago just to try it out. About to refurbish the kitchen, and wondering whether to get LED spots, or stick with halogens and hope for even more efficient LEDs in a couple of years.

  10. Has anyone costed the energy used in creating one of these CFL bulbs and compared it with the energy saved during the *actual* life of the bulbs (which is very different from the theoretical life). £15 per bulb requires an awful lot of energy saving to justify it.

  11. We’ve got two CFLs that we’ve had for donkeys, doing two duties where the quality of light, and slow warm-up, don’t matter. Otherwise we slowly deplete our stock of incandescents. Considering moving to LED for one of the the kitchen spotlights as an experiment.

  12. I have to say I’m not that impressed by LED’s either. They still have an uneven spectrum, because ‘white’ LED’s are really blue (with plenty of ultraviolet) with a layer of phosphor to produce more in the visible range. The bright ones do not have the claimed lifetime, either, if the ones I bought last year are indicative – they have now both failed.

    I detest the EU meddling. If a product works better, lasts longer and/or costs less, then people will buy it without additional persuasion. The original ban on incandescents was intended to steer us all towards the dreadful CFL’s, but happily we were rescued by halogen bulbs which do work better and last longer, and don’t cost too much more (or contain throwaway electronics with poorly controlled RF output). The eurocrats have clearly taken exception to our failure to do their bidding and are stepping up the pressure, but I wonder if they know how many halogens are used in ceilings or for display lighting? An unsung benefit, at least in this part of the world, is the extra radiant heat, especially from reflector bulbs.

    The development of high-power LED’s may even have peaked, as it is hampered by ‘droop’, which reduces efficiency as power increases. More here:
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/optoelectronics/the-leds-dark-secret

  13. As one who is occasionally involved with stage lighting, I might add that although LED lights are often used to introduce a bit of colour, the heavy lifting is still done by halogen bulbs and nothing else will give you the intensity, spectrum or control.

  14. “This EU shit’s getting personal now…”

    It is, isn’t it? Not content with limiting the power of hoovers, hair dryers and kettles, none of which is used for more than about 10 minutes a day, they have stepped over a line now. Nigel Farage must be hugging himself!

  15. As Andrew K says, Lidl (and Aldi) have ‘rough use’ 100W and 60W incandescent bulbs on the shelves all the time.

  16. bloke (not) in spain

    Why would power be a limiting factor on LED domestic lighting. You’re not looking for a point source. You’re looking for overall lumen emission.
    If it’s anything like other semiconductor production, manufacturing the actual junction, in bulk’s very cheap. It’s the encapsulation costs The article says it’s power, not heat’s the stumbling block. Just encapsulate enough discrete junctions in parallel to produce what’s required. Spread the load. You’ve the surface area of the old tungsten lamp format to work with. They don’t all have to be in the same plane. That’s not how we use light, anyway.

  17. Ian,

    Firstly, I actually have loads of sunlight here.

    More importantly, the problem with flourescents is the flickering — it may be consciously imperceptible to humans, but it certainly affects migraines. But a large number of lights obviously don’t flicker in sync with each other. From my desk, I can see a couple of hundred light installations, each of which contains at least two tubes. They also all have those multiple mirror things, which offset flickering for obvious physical reasons, and which were specifically designed for flourescent lights specifically to make them more comforable for people who have to work under them for hours every day.

    This is not remotely the same as putting CFLs into fittings that were designed to take old incandescent bulbs in a typical living room with maybe four lamps in it. Obviously.

  18. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Bloke in Germany: I have several 1600lm LEDs (100W incandescent equivalent) and they work wonderfully. It’s a clean, bright, white light (the colour spectrum is 5700K on most of them which is pretty much exactly that of sunlight). It remains to be seen what their lifespan is, but I’ve had some less luminous LED bulbs for quite some time now and they’re holding up great.

    The problem with a ukase like this is that although there will have been input from technical people as part of the process, the innumerate politicians and bureaucrats cannot disambiguate genuine science/engineering concerns from axe-grinding by the usual suspects (greenies and lightbulb manufacturers). So they, at best, hedge by adopting a Solomonic solution and count themselves wise. It bears remembering that the Judgement of Solomon, had it been carried out in its original form, would have resulted in a bisected infant.

  19. bloke (not) in spain

    “Nigel Farage must be hugging himself!”

    I’ve someone I correspond with is active in UKIP. Wrote to me from Margate.
    Things he’s got the hots for?
    Banks – we need proper regulation to control the banks.
    Corporations – we need proper regulation to protect the consumer.
    House building?
    Small business?
    Environment?
    Immigration?
    You guessed it.
    Bunch of f**k**g national socialists. You’re up to six national socialist parties now. Any more hopefuls in the wings?

  20. Doubltess people 100 years ago were moaning about electric tungsten filament lamps not being anything like as good as candles. You can still buy candles.

  21. But a large number of lights obviously don’t flicker in sync with each other.

    They do if they’re on the same phase, otherwise the ones on different phases will be 120 degrees out of phase with one another. A “mirror thing” isn’t going to affect “flicker” at all, unless you’re reflecting the light off a mirror so far away that the speed of light is significant; having changed tens of thousands of tubes in offices, I haven’t seen one that big. Even in a bank. Neither will a diffuser.

    Anyway, 50Hz, all of them. In sync.

  22. @ Bloke in Costa Rica
    If you actually look at 1 Kings 3:27-8 you will learn that Solomon’s judgement was to give the child to the woman who would rather surrender her child to the other rather than have her baby cut in two.
    You seem to be referring to his cross-examination of the witnesses to determine the truth.

  23. Most of Solomon’s “wisdom” is as dodgy as buggery. His use of foreigners as slave labour to build palaces and harems for his concubines is rather comical too.

  24. Bloke in Costa Rica

    john77, I know. I was using it in its conventional sense of agreeing on a position halfway between two poles, which sounds very fair-minded and reasonable but rather falls down when one of the poles is fuckwitted.

  25. “Most of Solomon’s “wisdom” is as dodgy as buggery.” Just as well he didn’t exist, then. But I still think the “Judgement” story is very fine. Somerset Maugham would have been proud of it.

  26. I have converted a whole load of our lighting, first to CFL’s 8 watt instead of 40 watt for the candle wall lights. So by saving 288 watts, this on lights on all of the time in the evening. Savings of an estimated 390 kWh a year, plus they lasted about 5 years (being a pedant I write the date on the body in pencil when I fit them). Now the majority are LED, 4 watts each. Many of the CFL’s still had life in them but they take to long to get going and the light colour is poor. The LED’s are great, I have put the date on those as well to see if they do last over 25,000 hours. This final change really was for cosmetic reasons rather than energy saving as they really do cost quite a bit, but I got a load cheap when our Homebase closed at Christmas. LED’s have their place at last in the home, but are no good for industry. If you have high bays to light up go for Induction lighting. 1 off 150 watt induction lamp will easily replace 1 off 400 watt sodium.

  27. I bought half a dozen 100W incandescent bulbs this afternoon, 98p each. Just brazenly walked into s shop and bought them.

  28. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I thought I was the only one who wrote the date of installation on ‘long life’ bulbs. We shall see if my LEDs last till 2045.

    Fluorescent tubes in parallel banks in luminaires are still a very good solution for area lighting. If you want a given illuminance that does not vary by much over a wide area then thin axisymmetric emitters spaced at some distance apart work extremely well. You can space tubes at a surprisingly large pitch and still get very even lighting (e.g. <1% variation). It's all in one of the Feynman physics lectures in vol. 1.

  29. @ BiCR
    Flourescent tubes have worked fine for years. We’ve got them in *our* kitchen now because when I moved into *my* flat a little over 40 years ago I noticed that the flourescent tubes wre much more efficient.
    Sorry I missed out on the Feyman Physics lectures – I left school in 1963 before they were published

  30. [I can’t find the “at” key for some reason] b(n)is

    Well the banks do obviously need some regulating. A shame that the key regulation (dictated interest rates) failed because of no-recession-on-my-watch Greenspan and the golfer’s only club is now ineffective. At the very least we need to retain a functional payment system without the taxpayer being on the hook when the shit next hits the fan. So perhaps the vanilla banks should go some form of full reserve or at least heavily discount their retail loans as assets (I know, that’s a damascean conversion on my part, but just an ill-formed idea at the moment).

    Of course that would mean they had to charge for current accounts again, rather than cross-subsidise from the profits from lending. All a question of which price is worth paying. Charges for retail banking as an “insurance premium”, or multi-trillion global bailouts because millions of householders got lent too much and a few masters of the universe found some of the money stuck to their paws.

    Something for another thread. How best to stop the banks (and sovereigns, let’s be honest) making idiots of us again.

  31. So Much for Subtlety

    Jim – “Lidl (and Aldi) have ‘rough use’ 100W and 60W incandescent bulbs on the shelves all the time.”

    For when 50 Shades of Grey is just not enough!

    Ian B – “Most of Solomon’s “wisdom” is as dodgy as buggery. His use of foreigners as slave labour to build palaces and harems for his concubines is rather comical too.”

    Better than dragooning the locals. I recommend that little Communist sh!t Stefan Heym’s The King David Report for an alternative view of the Biblical tale.

  32. @BICR – “he innumerate politicians and bureaucrats cannot disambiguate genuine science/engineering concerns from axe-grinding by the usual suspects (greenies and lightbulb manufacturers).” –

    oh but they can, they are the masters at it, masters of the bullshit and masters of spotting bullshit – those in power are the highest of the bullshitters, they bullshit better and are better at spotting it. Which only makes it more depressing that they acquiesce to bullshit and bullshitters.

    “cant spot it” nahhh – they’re the best at it. No one can spot vested interest at 10,000 paces in the dark better than a politician.

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