100 Watts : my lightbulb goes up to 11

The subject of my column this week was light-bulbs.

If you didn’t catch it, you can read it here:

V11N31P04.pdf
Download this file

The ever increasing pressure to go green in every aspect of our lives is no more present then when you’re standing at a store display trying to pick out a light bulb.

I haven’t converted my lights over to the compact florescent, and I most likely won’t.  I agree that there is an energy savings but I don’t think it outweighs the numerous other problems these kind of bulbs produce.   There are numerous articles, too many to begin to include here, that point out the negative health effects (both physical and mental) from being subjected to flourescent lights, or god forbid one breaks and you now have to deal with toxic materials.  They shouldn’t be proposed as a solution to families with kids.

LED light-bulbs are in their way, but even more impressive were light-bulbs that incorporate speakers inside:
http://www.hammacher.com/Product/79931?cm_mmc=CJ-_-1414665-_-1492714_-Hammacher+Schlemmer+-+Redirect+Link

Who thought setting up a sound system could be as easy as changing a light bulb.  I’m sure there are several issues with acoustics and interference that will be a letdown for audio purists but I believe it is very encouraging to see the direction we are headed down with traditional socket bulb applications.

Another is a light-bulb with wifi built in:
http://www.fastcompany.com/1754241/every-lightbulb-hooked-to-your-home-wi-fi-this-will-happen-soon

So what to do with all those old incandescent bulbs once they have been abandoned you may ask?

Jeri Ellsworth had a bright idea with her latest creation she built for Maker Faire:

What a great way to express yourself, and in more colors than just green.

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5 thoughts on “100 Watts : my lightbulb goes up to 11

  1. The sitting Ontario government has just passed legistaltion that will restrict the sale of any item containing mercury with the exception of compact fluorescent bulbs.

    This decision, combined with a poor education programme about what can be sent to landfill, will ensure that more mercury will reach our ground water than has in the past.

  2. I wasn’t aware of the passing of such legislation, the exception is curious but I doubt that you can blame the availability and promotion of compact fluorescent bulbs squarely on the provincial government.

    There is a significant glut of information as to what can and can’t be thrown into landfill, check the packaging, even printing on the bulbs themselves, like batteries and kids toys there are several indicators that these items should not be thrown into landfil, but as we can appreciate that’s obviously not what happens in the majority case.

    I’m not even worried about mercury in the landfill, I refuse to have them in the house because if they break (and they will they are lighbulbs) then you have mercury in carpet or on the floor, not exactly safe, especially when there are little ones around.

    Instead of finger pointing at governments I think we need to do a better job of looking in the mirror as consumers and understand what it is exactly that we consume. Should governments allow rebates or promote products like these? no. But at the same time if there wasn’t a market for them they wouldn’t make them.

    I refuse to buy these kind of bulbs on several levels, I’m just upset that they are sold under a “green” banner which too many consumers are sheeple to realize that they are anything but, or the consequences of using them over safer alternatives.

    LED bulbs are the way to go, we need to get them on the store shelves soon and be done with these things.

  3. Mercury in landfill turns into mercury in the land and in the groundwater.  The point is that beyond having mercury on the floor and endangering your own kids, we will have have mercury in the water system endangering kids who might have parents who don’t support  your particular political affiliation.  Mercury is not okay for anyone.  Your provincial government has no amelioration plan.  No municipal government in Ontario has a plan.  The “significant” information is not being used by consumers.  Levels of mercury will continue to rise in your drinking water. And you’re not fussed?From: Posterous [mailto:

  4. Mercury in the landfill goes into the groundwater? Where exactly are you arriving at that conclusion? Landfills are sealed units. Besides our waste is trucked to Michigan, are you saying that mercury leaked from Michigan landfills enters into our groundwater? I’d like to see some statistics that support that.

    I fail to see where mercury from fluorescent bulbs will contribute to a noticeable rise of mercury in our drinking water. if you are concerned I encourage you to investigate our local water processing and distribution system.

    If you are really concerned about groundwater contamination here in Aurora it appears that mercury from lightbulbs is the least of our worries. Soil from the old tannery in town is no doubt contaminated with the byproducts and waste from that operation. Where did that soil go? Why can’t we tap into so many natural aquifers here in town without being hyper conscious of contaminated soil?

    If you believe significant information regarding CF bulbs is not being used by consumers what exactly do you suggest? I would suggest that consumers need to be more responsible. Education from a government is not going to net different results.

  5. Christopher….. Our waste no longer goes to Michigan. They closed that door. Our waste goes to southwestern Ontario outside the London-St. Thomas area.

    I agree, landfills are designed to be self-contained. There is no exposure to ground water, this is a myth perpetuated by the Berkenstock-wearing tree-huggers.

    Is the amount of mecury in a CF bulb even visable? I remember playing with broken thermometers as a kid – I am okay (except for the lack of hair and visable shakes).

    Fuimus

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