Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sensible Political Decisions

I know, this is something that you rarely hear about - a politician making a decision that actually makes sense (other than the "sense" of them being re-elected, that is).

Australia is to implement a plan to phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2010. This will reduce our CO2 output by around 800,000 tonnes per year - a significant reduction. Of course, although we claim this to be a world first, a quick Google search comes up with these previous announcements:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/06/south_africa_to_1.php - South Africa To Phase Out Incandescent Bulbs (2006-06-06)

http://carbonsink.blogspot.com/2006/08/uk-to-ban-standby-devices-and.html - UK to ban standby devices and incandescent light bulbs (2006-08-20)

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/180048 - U.S. states want to phase out light bulbs (2007-02-09), admittedly this is talk, not action at this point, but promising all the same.

And then there's http://www.iea.org/Textbase/work/2007/cfl/agenda.pdf which is the agenda for the IEA/European Commission/CEN-Star-Trend-Analysis workshop on "Compact Fluorescent Lamp Quality and Strategies to Phase-out Incandescent Lamps" to be held on 26 February 2007 at the IEA, Paris, France.

So, whilst we're far from being the first country or state to announce plans to eliminate indandescent lighting and replace it with energy efficient lighting, at least we're on the right path!

We use only fluorescent lighting here at my house and office. I recently saw some nice compact fluorescent downlights that can be used to replace the older halogen downlights that used to be used, reducing the 50W lamps to 9W (or 11W) will reduce power consumption by around 75% - a significant saving.

The issue with fluorescent lamps is their general inability to be dimmed, however that is being overcome by companies such as GE, Tu-Wire, Lutron, Westinghouse and Philips by developing special dimmable ballasts that are used in compact and regular fluorescent lamps. See here for a list of some of the available dimmable compact fluorescent lamps available. This link has some more information on dimmable CF lamps.

Clipsal C-Bus can then dim fluorescent lamps just as it can dim regular incandescent and halogen lamps if these specialized products are used. Quark Automation (blatant plug time, here) designs, deploys and programs automated lighting, HVAC and audiovisual systems for residential and commercial properties and recommends energy efficient lighting.

As an added bonus, Lutron (and possibly other companies) also produce a dimmable compact fluorescent downlight using a special 32W lamp. An added bonus here is that (in Australia, at least) using CF downlights means that instead of the 150mm clearance between a halogen downlight and any insulation (a 300mm diameter clearance), these CF downlights require a mere 25mm (50mm diameter) of room before insulation can be used, meaning a greater cover of insulation in your ceiling space.


The Outspoken Wookie

1 comment:

David Mackie said...

Hmmm the HUGE Problem I am experiencing with these Flouros is we cannot find a single one that fits in our light fittings so now our house looks like the builder just finnished. Yep just the pattens this is not making my wife a happy camper as you can imagine, particularly given the effort and expense to find just the right ones as you can imagine.

Also not sure what they are coated with now but didn't flouros used to be a toxic hazard and could not be put in land fill in many Shires??