Sheer lumenacy: EU to replace watts with continental 'lumens'

Big Don

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Sheer lumenacy: EU to replace watts with continental 'lumens'

By Katie Davies
The Daily Mail EXCERPT:
Last updated at 10:44 PM on 23rd May 2009

Lightbulbs are to lose their wattage markings, thanks to new European Union rules.
It has decided to replace the energy measurement, named after 19th Century Scottish scientist James Watt, with wording revealing the power in 'lumens' - the amount of light a bulb gives out.
The change will be introduced from September next year.
The EU claims it will enable people to make more accurate choices in lighting - despite critics arguing it will cause widescale confusion.



Watts going on?: The EU will replace wattage markings with 'lumens'

When the changes take place bulbs will appear with the symbol Lm for Lumens instead of W for Watt. A 60W bulb, for example, will be given the label 800 Lm.

The type of bulb also affects the number of lumens per watt output, with normal bulbs creating 12-13 lumens per watt and halogen lightbulbs creating around 40 lumens per watt.
Many Britons have been infuriated after traditional 100W bulbs virtually disappeared from shops



The move followed a Government decision to sign up to EU regulations last year, stating that traditional bulbs should be replaced with greener, low-energy alternatives. An 11W new-style bulb, for example, is the equivalent of an old 60W bulb. after more than a century.
Ministers insisted the move would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by five million tons a year. But the new bulbs have been linked to health problems including skin rashes, migraine and epilepsy.
END EXCERPT
This is such a dumb idea, it had to come from government. We all know how bright a 40W, 60W or 100W bulb is, but, I'd be willing to bet few could tell you the equivilent lumens for each.
 

Carol

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And they are banning traditional incandescent bulbs? Eeeyyuww....

I'm all for saving energy but those compact florescents give me serious migraines.
 

Sukerkin

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Aye, daftness arises once again :(.

I know it can be argued that people will adapt to the new measuring system over time and that may be true ... but I still think in feet and inches, pounds and ounces rather than centimetres or kilograms and that's after how many decades :eek:?

Also, anecdotal tho' it may be, since we switched to lo-energy bulbs in our house, my migraines, that practically disappeared after I quit smoking, have come back with a vengeance.

EDIT: Ah, I see Carol has had the same problem.
 

Bob Hubbard

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I have 3 different CFB's. All have the same wattage, yet all have different -color- light, and all are different brightness. Doesn't matter what they put on there, it's all confusing.
 

Bob Hubbard

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CFB's come in different light color(measured in Kelvin or K). Standard incandescent tend to glow with a bright orange/yellow color (they aren't white).

Here's some info on that
http://www.askthebuilder.com/B101_Light_Bulb_Color_Temperature.shtml

I buy only sunlight bulbs, running at 6,500K. It's about the same as light at 1PM on a sunny cloudless day. Most folks buy the cheapies which are dim and run around 2,300K. Flicker is noticeable, and everything is redish. Aim for 5,500K for something closer to late morning or early evening light. (mea
 

Tez3

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Ah the Tory press at work again.

I've used continental bulbs for years, had them when I lived in Germany and I now buy them from France. Easier on the eyes for me and the family plus cheaper to run. They need only to be replaced after years not weeks or months. We've never used 100 watt bulbs.

Our government can quite easily say no to this so if you want to blame anyone blame them not the EU. It makes sense to the EU to make all bulbs the same as traders can then sell throughout the EU, the UK government doesn't have to accept this at all. After all EU workers have far better protection rights than UK workers simply because the government said 'oh no we are giving our workers these rights', EU countries also have more holidays for the same reason, pensioners have higher pensions, mothers to be more maternity benefits. so put the blame on the UK government not the EU.
 

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Looking at the amount of light a given light bulb produces makes a lot of sense to me, especially with the with the various choices available to the consumer nowadays. Making this a govt decree, on the other hand. seems silly to me.

One will still need to know the wattage regardless of the lumens.
 

Sukerkin

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As long as they label them with both measures, I suppose it won't matter that much.

After all, the lo-energy bulbs already come labelled with their power consumption figure as well as their equivalent 'wattage' in terms of output.


The information on 'light colour' that Bob posted reminded me that I had read about this problem with the energy saving designs before - I think that this was back in my museum curator days, when such technologies were still very much in their infancy, as I remember reading about difficulties with displays and negative effects on 'sensative' exhibit materials.

I shall look into it again, see what bulbs we use at home and find out if switching to a 'yellower' spectrum helps with my migraines.
 

Carol

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It hasn't with mine. I bought what was supposed to be a good quality sunlight floor lamp from a building supply and while it doesn't bother me as much as the CFBs, it still ends up triggering a migraine if I'm around it long enough. And because its a fluorescent bulb, it can't be dimmed...which is brutal when you do get a headache...lol. If you can, borrow one from a friend, or buy one from a store that has a good return policy just in case it doesn't suit you. ;)
 

Sukerkin

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Good advice, fair lady. We appear to be trapped on the horns of a dilema - pain for the environment (and our wallets) or pain for us :D.
 

Tez3

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Good advice, fair lady. We appear to be trapped on the horns of a dilema - pain for the environment (and our wallets) or pain for us :D.

I'm not so sure about the wallet bit as I have lightbulbs that have literally lasted years!
 

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I don't see the problem. Wattage is a measurement of power consumption, not light output. Labeling something a '100 watt bulb' might have made sense when virtually all light bulbs for the home were incandescent, but even then there were discernible differences in light output - you had to read the side to fine the lumens measurement.

Now that compact florescent lamps (CFL) are far more available, a wattage rating doesn't make much sense for light output.

Lumens measure light output. For those interested, Light temperature (measured in Kelvins) and CRI (color rendering index) is also available.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

You'll get used to it. Octane changed, people got used to it. Horsepower changed, people got used to it.

Lumens is a much more accurate way of describing how much light you get from a given lamp. Makes sense.
 

Sukerkin

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It's logical, certainly and makes a degree of engineering sense as it's a measure of brightness rather than power conusmption ... but that isn't the point that I for one was making.

I grew up thinking in Imperial measurements and despite the fact that we 'went metric' aeons ago, I can't think in those units. I always have to convert back to Imperial before I can visualise what I'm dealing with. Tell me something is 10 kilometers away and until I work out that that is just over 6 miles I have no mental map of how far that is.

It will be the same with the new 'ratings' on bulbs. They will give an equivalance table of 'old' watts to lumens and we'll just have to put up with converting lumens back into watts so as to understand how bright the bulb will be.

What that says about our (or my) own brightness I wouldn't care to speculate but changing a measure that everyone understands for no good reason, other than bureaucratic neatness, makes no sense to me.
 

Tez3

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When did 'horsepower' change then? We still use it.
 

Carol

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When did 'horsepower' change then? We still use it.


Which one do you use? 1 HP in the U.S. is 550 foot-pounds/sec but 1 metric horsepower is 75 kg-meters/sec. They're similar in value, but not exact.

Yes I am a geek. That's what happens when you go back to college at 40. :D
 

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And they are banning traditional incandescent bulbs? Eeeyyuww....

I'm all for saving energy but those compact florescents give me serious migraines.
Another fun side effect: When CFL's burn out, they can get extremely hot. One melted the switch in a lamp of mine.

Wonder how those LED lights work in comparison...
 
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Big Don

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Another fun side effect: When CFL's burn out, they can get extremely hot. One melted the switch in a lamp of mine.

Wonder how those LED lights work in comparison...
Oooh! A fire hazard?! That is fun...
 

Bob Hubbard

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Another fun side effect: When CFL's burn out, they can get extremely hot. One melted the switch in a lamp of mine.

Wonder how those LED lights work in comparison...
I melted 2 so far. Shattered 2 others. newer bulbs are really thin. Older ones have tougher glass it seems.
 

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I don't see the problem. Wattage is a measurement of power consumption, not light output. Labeling something a '100 watt bulb' might have made sense when virtually all light bulbs for the home were incandescent, but even then there were discernible differences in light output - you had to read the side to fine the lumens measurement.

Wattage does give you an idea of power consumption, however, which can be important when cutting down on $$$ for that electric bill.

I think using both is a stellar idea. I know it would have been nice to see a Lumen rating on the new Solar motion light I bought for the exterior of my home which uses a "Superbright" LED as opposed to a traditional Bulb... knowing how bright it would be before buying it and installing it would have been great.
 
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