# Re: CFL Observations

• posted on February 7, 2008, 4:54 pm

It can and does take your eyes that long to fully adjust. It's always easier to see things when you a _looking_ for them.
http://www.noao.edu/outreach/nop/nophigh/eye.html
OT: I don't know if you own a telescope, but living where you do you, you should have excellent seeing conditions for viewing all kinds of interesting things in the night sky. People travel many miles to have the viewing conditions you probably have in your backyard. You can buy a very powerful scope for super cheap now days.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 7, 2008, 5:55 pm

The info below about th espeakers is intersting, tho' I'm not seeing how it related to light bulbs... What the light-bulb thing si about, is how much power one bulb draws in comparison to another.
I know you hat Wiki, but it's usu reliable for strict sci/tech data, and I don';t remember all tha tmuch of my physics (took it back in 1979 after all...) so I had to check that I had it right.
ANyhoo, a watt = one joule of energy per second, and a joule is 1kg X (meters squared / seconds squared)
ALso, a watt is The work required to move an electric charge of one coulomb through an electrical potential difference of one volt. and coulomb is the amount of electric charge transported by a current of 1 ampere in 1 second.
I think, re: the speakers, that you're dealing with *output*, IOW, not the power, but how the components use/translate that power. It's sort fo like those advertisements that sued to say "this vacuum cleaner has a whopping 15 amps of power!" Well, all that means, is that the motor uses more energy than necessary, AND it says nothing about the ariflow ("suction") actually generated by that motor.
SO, the point isn't about watts, it's about how a particular device uses that power to perform a task, and how efficiently it does so.
Light generation by incandescents versus fluorescents is very differnt. In a nutshell, filament lights use the resistence effect - the filament material resists the flow of electrons, which start to build up; light is created as the electrons in the filanment material are "excited" as the electrons flowing into he filament collide with the material's atoms and cause thos eelectrons to move into a higher orbital shell/state and then fall back into their preferred one - as they fall back, they release, as photons, the energy that had caused them to "jump". THe nature of the material is such that the photons are in the visible light range. THe thing is that it takes a lot fo energy to get all of that startd up, and keep it going.
A fluorescent uses an electron flow to excite the atoms in mercury vapor - the energy is released in the ultraviolet range, and this ultraviolet light excites the coating (phosphor) on the inside of the bulb. It's just the nature of the materials that they require less energy to excite the electrons.
As to why digital speakers don't "make your ears bleed", I really don't know anything about speakers other than that some sound good and some sound crappy ;) , but just off the top of my head, what I'd *guess* is that the Analogue signal flows consistently to the pressure-wave-crating membranes thorughout the range, whereas digital signals are provided in "packets" so to speak - but again, that's only a guess, I'd have to check. THe point is that I don't think it has anything to do with the differences between CFLs and incandescents...

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 7, 2008, 10:47 pm

Oh! (duuuuh...)

I can't get wround the definition of "watt"; I think they were using, and still use, the term simplistically. What they *should* talk about is not the amount of raw power that the things can take, but rather, something that expresses the sound-generaton range and the fidelity of sound reproduction.
THat's part of what makes it difficult to select items.
In a way, tho', it'd be like saying "this compouter is better that that one because this one uses 650 watts of power and that one "only" uses 500" - when what is *relevant* are things like RAM, peripherals (fewer peripherasl require less power) and whether those peripherals are useful (example, do you really need a dial-up modem if you're going to have cable internet?), and the overall functionality of the thing.
With light bulbs, they have to have some way of describing how much power you'll use without getting into the "X-cents-per-hour" figure, because the cost of electircity varies.
THe mroe important number is the *lumens* - that's a measure of actual light output. Typically, teh CFL "equivalents" aren't *exactly* equivalent, with the incnadescents typicall (not saying always, just typically) putting out more lumens.

Er, ah, well... =:-o No, seriously, it's true that the output (both lumens, and spectral qualities) are different, and also true that a point-source light behaves differntly in a given envrinoment than does a diffuse-source light.
But watts are watts. Watts are jsut an expression of how much power/current/electron-pressure is required for an item to do something.
For bulbs, it'd prob be more accurate to talk about "watts per lumen". But that starts getting too technical for the vast majority of potential buyers.
Mainly, it takes fewer electrons flowing through the CFL to make it ddo what it does, than it takes for an incandescent putting out roughly the same lumens to do what it does.
What you're observing is a differnce in the mechanism of photon production, the spectral range that is the result of the mechanism, and the diffetrence between apoint-source light and a diffuse light-emitting source/surface. But it isn't a differnce in the watts - watts are an expression of electrical work, which is about electron flow and electrons banging into atoms, colliding into them, releasing some of their kinetic energy that's then transmitted to the those atoms' electrons, forcing them to pop up into a higher quantum state (a.k.a. orbital or probability orbital), which they them release as photons when they return to their preferred state.
Watts is watts. THer aren't "differnt watts". I'm not trying to sound snide, just trying to say that your obervations are correct but the idea of "different watts' is not. What differs is how the watts are used.
OK, here's sort of an analogy. Consider a mill run by a water wheel, and another mill which is run by electricity cgenerated by a dam. In both cases, the *water* is the same, and the principle is the same: water is channel to flow through a narrow gap, which concentrates its kinetic energy, which is then used to spin a wheel.
In the water-wheel-run mill, the water itself powers teh millwheel, whereas in the second mill, that ware spins a generator (IIRC, magnets ona wheel, basically, btu check me because I'm not positive) and the ersulting electricity is used to power the millwheel.
The water is the same, just as the watts/electron flow is the same, regardless of the mechanism. What changes is that mechanism.
Does that help...?

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 10, 2008, 12:10 am

Oh...! OK - you can tell I'm not much of an audiophile. A couple weeks ago, I got a pair of Bose speakers (literally, a pair - not all of the stuff wiht a bass unit and tweeter units and so on), but before that, last speakers I bought came with a SOny mini-stereo, and that was purchased in 1998 I think. Have a *really* old pair of Bose speakers hooked into a portabel CD player in the kitchen - they weight about 8 lbs apeace but, at he time, were called "desktop" speakers <L!> But they still sound good to me. Still have yet another pr of large analogue Boses, not hooked into anythihg yet, they have nice wood cabinetry (mahogany IIRC), so for now, I use them as small end tables.
And that is the totality of my experience with speakers...

THat's why I ended up with Bose speakers - each time I got them, the stor had them hooked up so people coudl hear them, and I liked the sound. THe "tell", for me, is the Oboe. If the oboe sounds like it ought to, with those pure "pear-shaped" tones, the speakers are good.

Holy cow, that is a whopping amount of stuff <L!>

Actually, I can understand why - that'd be almost indistinguishable from live performances.

Yikes.
Well, and I just tend to be kind of, er, "precision-oriented" sometimes <AHEM...>
But it deos make sense that someone with a sensitive and practiced ear *would* har a difference, because analogue and digital handle the power (wattage) differntly. THis is getting far a field for me as well, so I'llqualify and say *IIRC*, so IIRC, Digital deals with 'packets' whereas Analogue (or is it analog? 10 yrs in Canada gave me a bit of spelling- confusion) deals with a constant flow, a continuum.
IOW, again IIRC, with analog(ue), if you have a recording of a string player (violin, steel guitar, etc.) doing a "slide", or heck, even doing vibrato ("finger wiggle"), analoge communicates teh entire range of the sound/notes from start to finish without any breaks. OTOH, digital will divvy it op into miniscule "packets". Supposedly, "peole can't hear" that it's broken up into packets, but as with most things, that's juat a matter of averages - IOW, maybe the *average* person can't hear the difference, esp. depending upon what the person is listening to (with soem stuff, it doesn't matter).
But, with you being an audiophile and obviously having a sensitive ear so to speak, it makes perfect sense that you will har a differnce in the quality of the sound. There are people all over who erfuse to switch their music over to digital media and digital ssytems for precisely that reason.
FOr you, the sound is like what color is for me. I often have people tell me, "those two things are the exact same color", while to me, the difference is not only there, but *glaringly* there.
So, when sellers talk about "watts", they really aren't speaking accurately, just conveniently.

"It's liek astove..." Provate joke, one tome, someone was tryign to teach me to play Bridge, adn started in with that - which is right where I lost any and all interest ;)

THe intangeable part is that you *are* hearing something different when you compare analog, to digital, the reason being the differnce between a continuous sound, versus one divvied up into tiny packets. THe only point is that the people who go on about "watts" are not being accurate.
Oh, oh, here is an analogy that migh thelp, since you are a visual artist/draftsperson - consider a line. You want to draw a line sowing th efootprint of a half-wall with a certain arc.
If you draw it with your pencil, the line is continuous. It is, in a sense, "analog".
If, OTOH, you draw it on a computer, it's *not* continuous, it's got little "jaggies", small pixillations. It is, in a sense,"digital".
*Most* people won't notice the difference, if the screen and the program are high-resolution and use anti-aliasing - but, if you look more closely, or if you're unusually visual, they are there and can be quite annoying.
Consider watts to be the nature of an arcing line - starts at A, ends at B, and has a given set of geometrical characteristics. THe characteristics of the line (as with watts, i.e. power being put through the system) are given. What is different is the hand-using-energy-with- pencil to draw continuous line ("analog") -versus- the "computer converting energy (watts) into 1's and 0's and, via the software, projcting a series of pixels onto a screen that approximate the line ("digital").
Is that more clear...? You *are* right, in that there is a difference, but it's not that the nature of electrical power (watts) is different, it's that the two system use that power in very different ways, and the people selling or "reviewing" systems use the term "watts" in a way that is not really accurate and therefore confusing (and, let's get to the *real* crux, convinces people that "it's all the same, it's just as good", so tha tthey will BUY the stuff).
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 12, 2008, 3:58 pm

THere is also prob something on Wikipedia and otehr sources that is more accurate, but that's the gist of it.

I don't remember that at all; I've tended to get the best thing I could afford (esp. on sale, or second-hand if need be), but the extent of my knowledge is "I got some Bose speakers and liked them" ;)

I think everything is now set up to handle digital input and output. THat's one reason I don't want to discard my old Bose floor speakers - they weren't expensive and I have no idea what the model is, but they sounded pretty good - I keep thinking of trying ot set them up.
Meanwhile, for digital, I still like the Bose speakers that I do have - got the pair I'd described just this past Winter for the computer. They're basically bottom of the Bose line, but they're still better than most of the dreck that passes for being computer speakers.

\$500/pr in the 70's/80's? Er, nope - that's not something that would have registered on my 'radar'.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 7, 2008, 5:56 pm

Oh yeah, I just found this bit about bulbs, HTH: http://www.howstuffworks.com/question236.htm
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 7, 2008, 6:58 pm

I forgot to mention that when I laungched into my "howlight bulbs" dissertation...
Actualyl, fluorescents usually need time to "warm up". SO yup, ther eis, in fact, foten a delay between the time you turn them on, and the time when tehy reach their maximum brightness. THere is a typ of CFL that is labelled as "instant on", I tried on and it does not seem to have a lag time (or at least, not one that I noticed).
Andotehr thing is that it also takes a while for the phosphor to completely calm back down, so the bulbs also glow a bit for a while after you turn the lights off.

Not really, it might be because the whole bulb is th elight source, as opposed to a small filament - IOW, the actual light source is larger. That will soften shadows.

Yup. It makes sense given the nature and size of each light source i.e. small filament ("point source") versus comparatively large surface area (diffused source).

True, but usually not noticed by people. The CFLs do have a lag time. I notice this a lot where i have banks of CFLs; the master bathroom. It has those ultra-cheesycheapo junk bank lights, came with clear (i.e., blinding!) 60-watt incandescents, so I put in globe-shaped CFLs. ANyhoo, the point is that there are twelve of the things, so the lag time is very noticeable.

Didn't Don say he was opening a sky-watchers bed'n'breafast? You can sleep in the yard and eat all the bark you can stomach <G!!> ;)
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 7, 2008, 10:21 pm

Where else? Either Lowe's or Home Depot. Shoot, if you can't find 'em there, I'll mail you a couple.
Or, you might be able to order them online.
There are also tiny light-bulb-shaped ones the fit into really small lamps etc., and "micro" spirals (tho' I tend to prefer the look of the other shapes). ALso candelabra shapes, but the bases are kind fo ugly so they don't look so great if ther are no shades, bowls, or other parts that hide the base.
As I've mentioned, I like them because they last long (esp. important if it's an area I have to climb a ladder to reach) but more important, they won't burn my brid if he takes off and flops down on top of one of them (the Conure is cute as heck but not very smart; the budgie - part ENglish Budgie and part Regular - was *much* smarter).

I can imagine. That was the nice thing about the yard in Massachusetts, backed onto woods so the one summer, we got a family taht would come into the yard. If they did damage, it wasn't significant to bother over. We had great grass, so maybe they grazed? I never really saw them doing that - tho', as you noted, they prob see us long before we see them ;)

Maple Syrup!
Dunno about deciduous trees, but pines (and IIRC other conifers) have very high levels of vitamin C in the spngey/moist bark that is just underneath the dry hard bark, also in the shoots. THe taste is just a bit rough. But maybe the Maples also have a lot of nutrients, as well as sugar? I prob should check.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 9, 2008, 11:33 pm

Again, it might be a matter of the local market - if you can't find them, give me a shout.

Bare bulbs, yeah, we have the ultra-super-cheapo-cheese versions, with six bulbs in wach (there are two fo the suckers in the master bath). THey had clear 60 watt incandescents in the things- which are that cheapo shiny "crome" finish - man, that was *harsh*. I almost went to 40- watt-"equivalent" CFLs... But he globe ones are oK. The base is still larger than a globe incandescent, and i'm not too wild about that when I look at them. Maybe I'll paint them silver. I also put smaller (40 wat eq) globes into the ceiling fans.

I should look nito that - right now, I use an old space heater in the Winter. OTOH, since Winter is just about over here already, it';s not like it's a big deal ;)

THat *does* sound good. THre are also heated towel racks, but IIRC, they're more expensive.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on February 12, 2008, 5:41 am

If it's any of the variants I'm picturing, the base will pretty much be obscured by the glass part, so that shouldn't be a big deal. You can get a variety of sizes tho' typical "watt equivalents" (ugh, that watt thing again ;) ) that would fit into what I think you've got would be 7 or 13 ("40 watt equivalent" or "60 watt equivalnet").

They give me a headache. I find them intolerable butthat's prob due to my astigmatism.
[snip]

Nah, I have to pay taxes if I buy it through a Texas store <LOL!> Seriously, tho', sounds interesting.
Of course, I had the air conditioning on yesterday and today...