Sunday, 15 November 2015

Low energy bulbs are crap

Pictured above is the miserable corpse of a low energy, planet saving light bulb. We have a light fitting which takes three of them and in the past four years all three have failed. They failed after roughly two, three and four years so that works out at an average life of about three years for bulbs which are supposed to last ten. 

Soon, as well as light bulbs which don't work as advertised we'll have green electricity which doesn't work as advertised either. Maybe the bulbs will last longer without electricity, but I wouldn't bet on it. 


Sam Vega said...

About eight years ago our local Sainsbury's was literally giving them away to anyone who asked for one. This was probably a national thing, and you may well have seen it near you. At the time, I thought this was either a bit of marketing nonsense ("Look how caring and green we are...") or maybe an attempt by the manufacturers to get us all to change over prior to a massive price rise in the bulbs.

But it turns out that there is an altogether simpler reason why they were giving them away.

Edward Spalton said...

I heard Angela Merkel boasting that she had installed low energy bulbs.
I have to admit to the unchristian thought that the poor light might cause her to
trip over the corner of a rug.

A K Haart said...

Sam - our Sainsbury's was virtually giving them away too. About 14p each if I remember rightly. As you say, now we know why. We have LEDs in the kitchen which so far have lasted a whole year.

Edward - sometimes unchristian thoughts are appropriate. I have lots.

James Higham said...

Merkel will need to hide in a darkened room soon.

Thud said...

I kind of like them, you switch them on and the room actually seems to go darker, very clever.

A K Haart said...

James - a big one with lots of cupboards.

Thud - yes it is clever. I used to like them but now I'm fed up with their unreliability and low light output. Expensive too.

FrankC said...

I'm changing over to halogen lamps. Not as efficient as CFLs but a darn sight brighter.

Michael said...

Yup, same problem here!

As Thud says, it takes so long for them to start up, you might just as well keep them on all night, to save the energy of switching them back on...

And we had Sainsbury's handing them out like a man with no arms as well. You can still get proper light bulbs though, and I have two massive 150 watt bulbs lighting our shed. I left them on the other evening, and the effect of nearly a third of a KW electric fire didn't 'arf make the place very snug!

wiggiatlarge said...

The only reason these companies get away with their ridiculous claims about longevity for their bulbs is that I know of no one (including self) who has ever sent them back.

Halogen are no better 4000 hrs guaranteed it says on the box, pop at one week, LED bulbs never fail I'm told, yes they do and the light they give off makes the room look like a set from the Munsters, it has to be one of modern lifes great cons.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

CFL's are crap, you are absolutely right.

But LED bulbs are now available with most of the common fittings and in most of the common sizes, and they are great.

Still a lot more expensive than "real" bulbs of course (but that was the whole point), but they're robust and use negligible power, and the price is coming down all the time.

A K Haart said...

Frank - friends of ours have difficulty finding durable halogens. Many fail within a matter of months.

Michael - that's something we tend to forget - the winter heat we used to get from big incandescent bulbs.

Wiggia - our LED kitchen lights are good so far and the light is quite good too - not too blue. Maybe problems will emerge though. We seem to have quality control problems which the EU does not address.

WY - yes our LED kitchen lights are good. I may buy more but the price and quality issues put me off.

Derek said...

CFL's are rubbish on several fronts, and LED's, whilst much better in many ways, are also prone to faults - but then so were incandescent bulbs. I have read elsewhere (and I wish I could remember where) that incandescent bulbs were originally made so sturdy that they were in danger of bankrupting the manufacturers, who made sure of their liquidity by making them less sturdy - in-built obsolescence.

However, If it is allowed, readers would be advised to read the comprehensive and very extensive pages on all such bulbs here:

A K Haart said...

Derek - interesting comment about halogen downlights in your link.

"However, halogen downlights must be mentioned specifically, because they usually involve having holes in the ceiling. This has only recently been addressed, and the results are far from encouraging. Apart from the fire risk (50 in Melbourne alone in 2007 [The Age], there is often not only wasted heat, but a serious increase of heat loss due to convection through the hole in the ceiling."