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April 28, 2011


Bill Kimmel

When have decisions made by politicians ever made sense?

Anthony Stewart

The Philips Alto brand broad spectrum ECO series of 48" T8's uses only 1.6mg of amalgam with 2900 lumens with 32 watts or 89 lumens per watt, which is close to that of LEDs which are not broad spectrum but under lower power conditions can get to 125 lumens/ watt but in luminaires on the market now tend to be half that.

These T8 lights come by the box and in many color temperatures if you order custom. I prefer custom 4500'K but 5000'K is one of the standards. These are tri-phosphor broad spectrum and have a life of 30Khrs.

For toxic waste, Stats indicate "Every year, the United States generates approximately 230 million tons of "trash"--about 4.6 pounds per person per day" How much of that is toxic is likely to be much more than the mercury we worry about.

SHop around and look for the broad spectrum Lamps and build valences or use under cabinets and along the room corners with wall and ceiling wash.
LED spots work well for reading. I have a bay window with egg crating to hide the 40 watts of LEDs I installed and is adjustable using a universal laptop power supply and a simple dimmer circuit to regulate the voltage and brightness. It is significantly brighter than sunlight on max power and with minimal ceiling glare..
Oh by the way your computer and TV LCD screen is backlit with mercury CFL 2~3mm tubes or new ones with hundreds of LEDs. We pay a disposal fee up front on purchase in Canada here.
Hope that gives you some more insight.

William Ketel

My observation is that just because something "contains toxic materials" does not mean that there is enough of it there to do any damage. A level at the threshold of detection is often many decades below the level to do damage. The fault lies in ignorant people talking, when their only ability is that of being able to be heard.
The problem with CFLs is that an excessive number of them fail in a much shorter time than even poor quality incandescent lamps. Making this problem worse is the lack of traceability, since they are unmarked as to manufacturer and date of manufacture. Besides all that, they add much more to the alleged toxic waste problem because their size allows them to easily be discarded with regular trash. That is one of those "unintended consequences" that our lawmakers never anticipated.

Niall Mac Caughey

Some years ago I was the engineer for a radio station. We had a high hallway that was quite dark and was in use 24/7. It seemed like an ideal candidate for a Philips CFL bulb, at a time when CFLs were a fairly new & rather pricy phenomenon.

Knowing that the life of a flourescent is reduced by turning it on and off, I had high hopes for the lifespan of the CFL as the light would never be switched off. I didn't note the date it was fitted, but I thought it failed earlier than I would have expected, so when I changed it, I wrote the date on the cap.

It worked away for some months & died again. I checked the date and when I calaculated the number of hours, the figure almost exactly matched the claim on the box. Bulb number 3 installed, again dated and again it failed at almost exactly the stated life.

Maybe I'm suspicious by nature, but I called Philips & asked the obvious question. Of course everyone claimed ignorance, but they offered to check out the bulbs if I mailed them in. Inertia took over at that point and I didn't bother, but I still wondered...

Of course that was a long time ago (22 years)and the lamps have developed a great deal since then & lifespans are longer, but I still wonder sometimes.

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