Anyone moved to LED Lighting?

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On 12/31/2009 3:07 AM snipped-for-privacy@dog.com spake thus:

Of course he knows this; that's implicit in his arguments. He's not stupid.
What he's saying, which I agree with, is that the use of CFLs, primarily for *residential* lighting (not commercial, which as you point out has already been using fluorescents for many decades) will result in a massive upsurge in the amount of mercury in transit out there, some of which will escape into the environment. This is the 900-pound gorilla of CFL usage which isn't getting nearly as much attention as it should, and makes the claims that Don K. and others have made about how much CFLs will result in *reduced* mercury emissions dubious at best.
--
You were wrong, and I'm man enough to admit it.

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On Thu, 31 Dec 2009 10:35:49 -0800, David Nebenzahl

Even if residential use of CFL's gets to 100%, the amount of mercury involved that gets into the environment will still be dwarfed by the mercury from coal fired power plant emmisions, or what comes from conventional florescent tubes.
It's more like an organ grinder's monkey than a gorilla.
Oh, and unlike conventional florescent tubes, you can take CFL's to any Home Depot for free environmentally safe recycling of the mercury. The much greater amounts of mercury in conventional tubes still goes to the landfill, and all the mercury from burning coal goes into the atmosphere and then settles everywhere, getting in the groundwater and the oceans, where it accumulates in fish for your convenience.
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On 12/31/2009 3:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Mercury is a natural element, and has been in the environment forever, no?
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wrote:

Your point, as it relates to this discussion?
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On 12/31/2009 7:24 PM, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

"Some 55% of mercury emissions are au natureloceans, volcanoes, and forest firesand another 42% are man-made outside of America. U.S. power plants produce just 1% of global mercury emissions. Even if the world got rid of every power plant, fish would still ingest naturally occurring mercury."
The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2004
www.mercuryanswers.org
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wrote:

Boy are you a sucker.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

I find Don's arguments entirely reasonable. Our power comes from a few national grids. Reduction of power on a TVA hydro plant allows TVA to sell power elsewhere.
And I have no problem getting both CFLs and linear tubes recycled.
--
bud--



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TVA has 11 hydroelectric dams and 59 coal fired units.
http://www.tva.gov/cleanairfacts/coal_plants.pdf http://www.tva.gov/cleanairfacts/overview.pdf
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wrote:

stupid.
Thank you. I explained it to him in excruciating detail anyway, for it seems not so implicit to him. I think he missed my earlier magnum opus on CFLs. I even gave him a mnemonic so that he could spell flu-ores-cent properly in the future.

I spent a good portion of my life in a SCIF helping build computer models that tried to predict a number of important statistics based on various nuclear attack scenarios. Once you become involved in something that looks at every fort, factory, armory, hospital, police station, jail, power plant, water plant, chemical storage plant, bridge, tunnel, etc, etc, in the country, you begin to appreciate the complexity and arbitrary nature of such models.
You can't build something like that without making assumptions and invariably, many of them turn out to be well-reasoned, but dead wrong. A lot of corrections to the model came after examining serious disasters that in some ways simulated nuclear attacks. Hurricanes always broke the model. So did earthquakes. It's humbling. And it's why I get verbose when people claim things about similarly complex subjects with such unwavering certainty. I've been down that road before and it's "a maze of twisty little passages, all different." It takes more than magic words or wishful thinking to get real answers.
In the "CFLs will save enough money to do X,Y and Z" argument the number of variables is astounding. Part of the problem, I am discovering, is that people believe the power grid is some sort of giant battery. They don't understand the concept of base loads, peak loads, spinning reserves and grid management. They believe, quite logically, if you save 50 watts switching from TILs (Tungsten Incandescent Lighting) to CFLs on your home bill, that represents *exactly* 50 watts' worth reduction in carbon/mercury emissions. At least that's how I understand some of the claims about CFLs. I don't blame people for thinking that way. I thought of it that way myself until I started researching it.
I think the most important concept lacking in the discussion is the "stair-step" function of power generation. Generators aren't capable of responding quickly to demand. They have basically three modes: off, idling and running. At best, CFLs are causing *some* plants to idle, at worst, all that happens is that everyone's lights glow a little brighter and there may be fewer summer brownouts. Dramatic savings? Maybe. Dramatic risks? Certainly. No one doubts mercury is a neurotoxin. No one with a brain unaffected by mercury or some other neural "nuking" agent, that is.
I'm sure you know that big, 200 ton coal plant turbines don't start and stop on a dime. These beasties form the backbone of base load power generation. The base load is power that gets generated to meet carefully projected needs no matter what the actual load. If it isn't used, it isn't saved. It's either shunted to some other part of the grid, entailing transmission losses, or the plant operators boost the overall voltage in the system, or, in grid failures, shunt it to huge resistor banks. At night the voltage at my house peaks at 122VAC but in the summer, during the day, it can drop to 110VAC and even lower. I know because my UPSs beep when it does. They're beeping more than ever before.
Usually, those type of adjustments are enough to balance the grid, but when it's not enough, generators are added or dropped. The electric company usually brings small diesel or gas generators on line when more power is needed. Sometimes they bring on old, nasty coal plants that have been exempted from the Clean Air Act because they are only occasionally used. How do you know what's being saved where unless you know these important details.?

There's no such thing as a Usenet apology. No one is ever wrong on Usenet. They're merely misunderstood or misquoted. Or, as I heard someone complain to a reporter once about a published quote: "That's what I said but it's NOT what I meant!" It's the same reason why astonishingly more than half of people surveyed believe they are better than average drivers. (-;
-- Bobby G.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

How about we make CFL's RELIABLE so we don't send nearly as many of them in the landfill? CFL's are the LEAST reliable lighting in my house. And it ain't the part with the mercury that's failing. 8000 hours my a$$. But there is a warranty. Just figure out the vendor...find your proof of purchase...mail it in to the warranty center with $4.50 return postage and they'll send you a brand new 99-cent light. Disposal problem solved...
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In my experience, the 99 cent or $1 ones in single-packs account for a lot of CFL problems, while being unreturnable - also in my experience, disproportionately lacking UL "listing" for "self ballasted lamp", the "FCC ID" usually required of line-voltage-powered self-ballasted lamp having electronic ballast, or even usually the FTC-required statement of light output in lumens (and in my experience falling short significantly in the few cases they do). Along with in my experience above-average rates of DOA, early failure, spectacular early failure, and notable malfunctions.
These problems in my experience are from CFLs of "dollar store brands", not so much a problem of ones with "Energy Star" logo or of "Big 3 brands" (GE, Sylvania, Philips).
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Maybe while you are doing spelling corrections for salty you could correct your own spelling.
Everybody else knows how to spell "affect". Very few sentences ever start with "and" People might not find you credible for trying to side track a discussion by ad hominem attack.
Asbestos was identified in the Egytian Pharoah era to cause lung disease death to the knitters of the shiny silver Pharoah's coats. Our leaders were filmed promoting the products to third world countris in the early 2000-5 years. My widowed S-I-L leads an anti-asbestos group.
wrote in message
<stuff snipped>

And I even know how to spell the word correctly, too. It starts, ironically, like the disease "Flu" - that's the mnemonic I use. Flu -ores -cent. Three separate words in one. Aren't you glad you asked so nicely? (-: You got smarter. You wouldn't want to present yourself as knowledgeable in a subject you can't spell. People might not find you credible.
Like the generations before us with asbestos, we latched onto a technology without realizing it was a health hazard. We didn't comprehend the all the ways it would ***effect*** the world.
<long winded OCD snipped>
-- Bobby G.
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I thought you were bad. It that a nautical term?
LOL
What a friggin' blowhard.
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<SNIP from here>
At this point, it apears to me that most people who died horrible deaths from asbestos inhaled visible clouds of the stuff, such as by being shipyard workers, insulation deplyment workers, etc. or housewives thereof doing laundry of clothes outright dusty with asbestos.
I hear the word "mesothelioma" mostly in radio ads by lawyers.
Need I say more here?
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Now tell us how reducing the load doesn't reduce energy usage and doesn't reduce pollution of any type, nuclear, coal, petroleum, hydro-electric or other. TOU load is not the only factor here.
Your smokestack scrubber argument doesn't wash. OPG in Ontario has been using scrubbers for decades and they are all about to be removed. I suspect the scubbers are not that effective and too expensive to implement.
LED lamps are too expensive and too dim-witted, yet. Expensive equate to too much production polution outweighing any lifetime benefits. The cost of our health insurance on increase spectacle coverage and accidents from people falling down stairwells will outweigh any savings alone...LOL
Let's face it: the general populace doesn't care about the "greenwashing" part of the formula, only their pocketbooks and the capitolistist economic system in place that hasn't made it feasible, yet.
Many other good points, noted.
5) Does this alleged tradeoff work when you substitute LEDs for tungsten bulbs?
Yes. LEDs provide the same alleged reduction in emissions, and they do it WITHOUT adding mercury to hundreds of thousands of homes in billions of light bulbs. If anyone really cares about the environment, they won't poison it further by using mercury-laced CFL bulbs instead of LEDs.
6) Are CFL bulb makers serious about recycling used bulbs?
Hell no. We have deposit laws for mostly inert glass soda bottles but NOT environmentally hazardous CFL bulbs. Studies estimate that perhaps as few as 10% of all CFL bulbs get recycled.
7) Do people get suckered by quick fixes and miracle cures?
Absolutely. Take a look at the dietary supplement industry. Study after study shows that supplements can actually be quite harmful but folks buy and ingest them by the billion-dollar load. As for quick cures, Congress bought into the TARP, didn't it? Adding mercury to reduce mercury doesn't pass the common sense "sniff" test. And it shouldn't, it's a devil's bargain, one of many we're foisting on the next generation.
8) What happens when power plant smokestacks all get proper scrubbing equipment?
The alleged tradeoff falls flat on its face, leaving us with a gigantic mercury-laced CFL distribution network and nothing to counterbalance it.
The problem with CFLs is that the deeper one delves into this diabolical bargain, the worse things look. The savings are weak to begin with, and they're offset by the potential damage mercury poisoning can do. Sadly, we've shown time and time again that short term gains are considered way ahead of any long term costs. Look at Congress if you doubt that assertion. (-:
The right way to control emissions is by controlling the emitters. Pollutants need to be trapped at the smokestack that creates them, not on the shelves of Wal-Mart through a complex, poorly understood "tradeoff." Like a skilled magician, Big Power has managed to use misdirection to great advantage. Instead of clamoring for them to reduce the poison in their emissions, we've bought into a complex scheme to reduce pollutants by adding them to commonplace consumables.
<political agenda snipped> -- Bobby G.
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See my other posts. Power generation is a stair-step function, not a smooth, linear process. Power generated has to be used in real time, either by shunting it to other power companies, raising the system voltage or shunting it into resistor banks. Each is a "lossy" process that doesn't result in a smooth, linear reduction in emissions as demand changes.

suspect
Do you have a citation for that? I have not heard of OPG abandoning scrubbers. I do know that power plant operators dislike them for a number of reasons, least of which is the bite it takes out of profits to buy them. I'm old enough to remember Detroit howling that forcing them to put catalytic converters on cars would make them unaffordable. What a load of crap. I wouldn't base my opinion about the worth of all scrubbers based on a single utility's experiences with "decades" old technology.

too
our
You're not a native English speaker are you, Josepi? I suspect it's why people give you a lot of trouble about your posts. I commend you for being able to write as well as you do in a second language, if my hunch is correct. I recently bought a set of Philips LED "stumblelights" with motion detectors to provide enough light to reach every where in the house without having to turn the main lights on. They are almost exactly the same color temperature as warm CFL's and TILs, and they are quite bright enough to light the path without "stumbling." No increase in eyeglass or health insurance required.
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/IRD-16/MOTION-ACTIVATED-LED-LIGHTING-SYSTEM-2-PC-/1.html

Well, they *will* care when it's too late. It would have been a lot better to just stop using asbestos as soon as we had a clue it was such a potent carcinogen. But we didn't and we're STILL paying enormous costs to clean it all up. Same with putting lead in gasoline. Boy, what a dimwit idea THAT was and it went on for a long, long time. Yet people act as if it's impossible that lamps containing mercury isn't a similarly dull idea.

Gee, thanks! (-:
-- Bobby G.
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I was willing to provide some cites and continue with the converstaion until you raise the ad hominem attacks.
Troll harder....think!

See my other posts. Power generation is a stair-step function, not a smooth, linear process. Power generated has to be used in real time, either by shunting it to other power companies, raising the system voltage or shunting it into resistor banks. Each is a "lossy" process that doesn't result in a smooth, linear reduction in emissions as demand changes.

suspect
Do you have a citation for that? I have not heard of OPG abandoning scrubbers. I do know that power plant operators dislike them for a number of reasons, least of which is the bite it takes out of profits to buy them. I'm old enough to remember Detroit howling that forcing them to put catalytic converters on cars would make them unaffordable. What a load of crap. I wouldn't base my opinion about the worth of all scrubbers based on a single utility's experiences with "decades" old technology.

too
our
You're not a native English speaker are you, Josepi? I suspect it's why people give you a lot of trouble about your posts. I commend you for being able to write as well as you do in a second language, if my hunch is correct. I recently bought a set of Philips LED "stumblelights" with motion detectors to provide enough light to reach every where in the house without having to turn the main lights on. They are almost exactly the same color temperature as warm CFL's and TILs, and they are quite bright enough to light the path without "stumbling." No increase in eyeglass or health insurance required.
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/IRD-16/MOTION-ACTIVATED-LED-LIGHTING-SYSTEM-2-PC-/1.html

Well, they *will* care when it's too late. It would have been a lot better to just stop using asbestos as soon as we had a clue it was such a potent carcinogen. But we didn't and we're STILL paying enormous costs to clean it all up. Same with putting lead in gasoline. Boy, what a dimwit idea THAT was and it went on for a long, long time. Yet people act as if it's impossible that lamps containing mercury isn't a similarly dull idea.

Gee, thanks! (-:
-- Bobby G.
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They generate the power used, plus the small amount of generator losses.
Torque required to turn the generators is proportional to real portion of the amps taken from the generators, plus the bit required to overcome generator losses. Fuel consumption varies accordingly.

The torque required to turn the generators varies with the true watts taken from them (and dissipated in them - much smaller).

Yes - once LED bulbs as good as CFL bulbs are available for where CFLs are used.

Puh-leaze - how much mercury do CFLs add to homes?

Until I can get LED bulbs for my needs, I am reducing emissions including mercury by using CFL.

They would be reducing net mercury contribution to the environment if none of them were recycled.
Those who want to help with increasing that 10% by recycling their dead CFLs:
www.lamprecycle.org
Home Depot also accepts deasd CFLs for proper disposal.
<SNIP from here>
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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<stuff snipped>

Do you think that widespread adoption of CFLs will:
a) help LED development and pricing
b) hurt LED development and pricing or
c) have no effect?
My econ prof would assure me it's b), especially if utilities underwrite the initial cost of CFLs and not LEDs. This is really just about cost, because LEDs have really hit mainstream but most people don't know it. Many people bought one a year or two ago, it was bad, they didn't look again.
I learned a valuable lesson from Bob Bass when I was grousing on line about how I couldn't see LCD monitors from an angle. He said "You haven't seen the newest ones" and darn it he was right. In the two years since I had bought my monitor, amazing advances had occurred in LCD displays. The speed, the angle of view, the contrast and brightness were incredibly improved over my then "top of the line" display.
The same is true for LEDs. I was astounded at the light quality of Philips' recent offering. So now it comes down to cost and denial. People don't like admitting to themselves that they may have made a mistake. They don't like to consider that they might embrace a poisonous technology over a more eco-friendly one simply over cost. So they minimize the potential damage to their peace-of-mind by several ways. First, they maximize the potential benefit of the choice they've made. Second, they attack, often without mercy, anyone who dares question their self-image as a socially conscientious person. Third, they minimize any harm their choice might entail. It's called "cognitive dissonance." You know that mercury in bulbs is bad, but you want to believe you're still helping, thus you play up what suits your argument and discard what doesn't.
http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/dissonance.htm
"The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs but you're not helping. Why is that?"
(I thought you might need a quick pop movie quiz to 'lighten' the mood.)

it
One home or all of them? When you take a commodity like a light bulb, add mercury, send 10, 20 or 100 bulbs out to a million homes, it adds up. Ironically, Don, that's wonderfully simple indication that you're a victim of cognitive dissonance. You apparently believe that "little things add up" when it comes to reducing harmful emissions but discount that very same theory when it's regarding the extent or implications of new vectors of mercury pollution.

Well, it's clear from the passion of your argument that you *believe* that you are reducing emissions. And who wouldn't want to help the environment and not hurt it? To what extent your belief is *true* is the subject for less passion and more detailed modeling. I would be more than happy to help you analyze any of the studies making extravagant claims for CFL emission savings for their soundness. I did work like that for close to 20 years with much larger models. I suspect that anyone with a good sense of detail knows how complex a model it would take to prove substantial savings and how the "unintended consequence" costs in the future could easily outweigh any benefit in the here and now.

NOT
few
This fascinates me. You state that as if we should just believe you. No details. Just fiat. It also makes the completely erroneous assumption that this is the proper way to clean up mercury, and not by making coal plants recapture it. Present some numbers or a study and we'll work through them and I'll can guarantee you I'll find assumptions that are probably not valid.
The biggest fallacy in the CFLs save their weight in mercury is that it's somehow impossible to scrub mercury at the stack so we're stuck with this stupid tradeoff. There's that pesky cognitive dissonance again. What happens when we finally stop believing this very "credit default swap-ish" sounding mercury tradeoff nonsense and clean up the coal fired stacks? The answer is simple. CFL's will then be the number one source of mercury pollution in the environment. Brain squirming yet?
In order for you to believe you're really helping, you have to believe it's impossible to clean up mercury at the source. You virtually have to believe that to enter into a dubious "swap" agreement, swapping the alleged huge savings in emissions by adding teeny bits of mercury to every corner of the country, even those places running on hydroelectric. It's only a teensy bit, right? The problem is that each teensy bit in 3 billion bulbs adds up. But a number that large is really outside the realm of most people's experience so they just discount it.

Study after study shows that hardly 10% of fluorescent bulbs are recycled. Having places where people can drive (using energy probably not factored into the model!) their dead bulbs to is no guarantee that anyone but the most green will actually recycle them. It's also no proof against some minimum wage earner at Home Depot dumping them in a trash bin when the boss isn't looking. But there's that cognitive dissonance. You know how bad the American recycling rate is and where a lot of that mercury will end up. People will care when they can't eat fresh trout, and we're closer to that moment than you seem to believe.
We were stupid for buying into the idea of credit default swaps and we paid dearly. They were the product of some of the smartest economists in the world who believed they could eliminate risk from financial transactions. But boy, weren't all those MIT eggheads all wet! We're repeating history with this even harder to believe "adding mercury to subtract mercury" canard. Who benefits? Power plant owners, because they don't have to buy pollution control equipment as long as they've convinced people they can solve the mercury pollution with a mercury swap and that somehow this the right way to control emission, instead of at the stack where the actually occur. It's sad that it doesn't take much to fool people anymore.
I challenge you to *really* work through the numbers with me. I can tell you're a guy that doesn't like to make mistakes. That's good. You'll need that brainpower to figure out that in the great scheme of things, CFLs could quite easily end up doing more harm than good. And that's even if their only crime was to slow the development and commercial acceptance of LEDs. How could CFLs hinder LEDs? Well, if you've already stocked up on CFLs you're not likely to want to buy LEDs until you've used them all up. That lowers the demand for LEDs which in turn inhibits LED makers from reaching large economies of scale and much lower prices.
-- Bobby G.
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