Sylvania makes $100K light bulb contribution to Obama Energy Dept. to fight light bulb repeal efforts

How do you spell c-r-o-n-y c-a-p-i-t-a-l-i-s-m?

Greenwire reports,

As controversial light efficiency standards go into effect this month, the Interior Department is turning on new light-emitting diodes on the National Mall thanks to companies that want to showcase their effectiveness.

Light bulb manufacturer Osram Sylvania donated 174 LEDs — worth more than $100,000 — to illuminate the Mall from 3rd Street to 15th Street. Interior and the Department of Energy estimate that the switch from high-intensity discharge and compact fluorescent lighting will cut the lights’ energy usage as much as 65 percent…

The company has donated retrofit kits that allowed the LEDs to be installed in the Mall’s historic bronze street lamps. Pepco overhead line crews installed the bulbs for free. The National Park Service won’t have to replace them until they reach 50,000 hours — or, if on for 12 hours every day, more than 11 years. The old bulbs required replacing every few years — and probably did not die all at once, meaning they required staggered replacement.

The switch comes as the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 goes into effect, requiring traditional incandescents to use about 28 percent less electricity. Manufacturers had to bring 100-watt bulbs into compliance as of Jan. 1, and 75-watt, 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs will have to meet the standards over the next couple of years.

Tea party conservatives have railed against the standards, which they contend limit consumers’ choices. House Republicans were able to slip in a rider in last year’s omnibus that prohibits the Energy Department from enforcing the standards, but the provision did not stop the standards from going into effect.

9 thoughts on “Sylvania makes $100K light bulb contribution to Obama Energy Dept. to fight light bulb repeal efforts”

  1. Sorcery or not,
    the regulations are a little “dim”, in what they are intended to achieve.
    That is, they are in the first place based on Brightness – not Energy Usage
    That is why bright 75 W bulbs are banned 2012, but dim 75W bulbs in 2013.
    (1490-2600 lumens in 2012 = max 72W 1050-1489 lumens in 2013 = max 53W )

    Or, put it another way, dim regular 100W bulbs are STILL allowed in 2012, if they are less than 1490 lumens bright,
    not just of theoretical interest, as that is what many long life 100W incandescent bulbs are, since brightness and lifespan are trade-offs.

  2. Eric,

    I consult in Iowa, so I know exactly what you’re talking about. However, the article deals specifically with streetlighting, and LED streetlights are a disaster too. By 50,000 hours they’re down to around 40% output, which isn’t enough light to safely drive by, but unless you measure them you cannot tell by just “looking”. And they’ll continue to come on for years after they’re below safe minimums. We schedule HPS and HID for replacement at a minimum of 60%, some utilities are more conservative (Aggressive?) and use 67%.

  3. Richard,
    It’s even worse than that. Here in the US Midwest, heat-emitting traffic lights are imperative in snowy conditions. Without the heat from incandescent light, the lights accumulate snow on their lenses, sometimes to the point where the red, amber and green are not visible.

  4. Two points I’d like to make here. In answer to chute_me – GE had developed a 100W equivalent bulb which did in fact beat the -28% standard. However, after dumping many millions of dollars into the research, they discovered that compact fluorescent lamps were so much more profitable that they helped push the standard to a point that they have never brought the new style incandescent to market.

    Second, for those unfamiliar with the upside down world of LED streetlights, they really don’t make it to 50,000 hours while maintaining the same light levels at which we traditionally replace HPS or HID lamps in these applications. For any of my customers, I tell them that the first thing they need to buy when they install LED lamps is a light meter, so they can take measurements of the actual light levels from their existing bulbs at or near replacement, and the new LED ones when installed. Then, when the LEDs drop below the light level at which they would replace an incandescent, they need to replace the LEDs. Typically that’s nowhere near 50,000 hours. Given that an HPS or HID lamp is in the $5 to $10 range and runs for about 15,000 hours to replacement, and an LED is $300 to $500 and runs to about $30,000 hours to replacement, this is an even bigger scam than it looks.

  5. Its possible to make a 100 watt light brighter, by legislating they must invent a brighter scientist. As legislators can do this, morons like legislators cannot be legislated to be brighter by scientists unfortunately.
    But googling revealed this bright light on the horizon! The brighter scientists have been invented!
    : The New York Times reports that Deposition Sciences, (A branch of Sylvania) a producer of optical thin-film coatings, has developed an enhanced silver coating that it says provides superior reflector performance and increased lumen output. In a traditional incandescent bulb, only a small portion of the energy used is converted into light. The rest is emitted as heat. In the new bulb design, the Deposition Sciences coating is applied to a gas-filled capsule that surrounds the bulb’s filament. The coating reflects heat back to the filament, where a portion of it is transformed into additional light.
    No doubt they will cost (much) more!

  6. So, please explain, how does a manufacturer bring a 100-watt bulb into compliance with a mandate to use 28% less electricity? What is this sorcery? (In other words, what moron wrote this story?)

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