Eco-energetic lighting

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Eco-energetic lighting

Postby semicolo » December 18th, 2012, 1:31 pm

I was thinking about led/twist bulbs the other day and here are my thoughts on the subject.
The heat produced by lighting devices is just lost power, or is it? I mean when heating is on in the house (middle of autumn until middle of spring where I live), does it really matter that these old fashioned light bulbs produce heat? After all my electric heaters are driven by thermostats and so If some heat is produced by the light bulbs, it's not wasted but just helps warming the house.
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Re: Eco-energetic lighting

Postby k-ww » December 18th, 2012, 1:37 pm

For inside bulbs, perhaps, unless you have a heatpump, in which case, the heating wattage is better used there and multiplied by the heat pump effiency.

For outside bulbs, you are just heating the outside air & making money for your electric company.
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Re: Eco-energetic lighting

Postby UAirLtd » December 18th, 2012, 3:42 pm

it's true, I have 200W (4x50W) of halogen lighting in my room, and combined with my computer's waste power output (I'd estimate about 200W average), I don't need to turn on the heating in my room for most of the winter, my room stays nice and toasty while the rest of the house is frosty. I've noted this effect for some years now, and I consider it somewhat of a convenient bonus because in the summer I don't need to turn on the lights as often due to the longer daylight hours.

I'm not necessary saving energy like this, but I use it as an excuse to not swap out my halogen spotlights for energy saving bulbs.

So you're totally right, people who switch to energy-saving light bulbs have slightly higher heating costs in the winter as a result. But benefits are marginal given the heating is a vastly greater proportion of energy usage than lighting, particularly if you remember to turn lights out when not using them.
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Re: Eco-energetic lighting

Postby semicolo » December 18th, 2012, 9:57 pm

Yes, I'd say conservative usage probably yields better savings than just swapping the bulbs.
I had to battle with my step mother to have her turn off unused lights, looks like the "It costs more to turn it on and off than leave it on" myth is popular here in Canada and she said it was her grand father who was an electrician who told her that.

My point is, if the extra energy consumed by bulbs is not really wasted in winter, it should be taken into account when comparing light bulbs.
But even by cutting electricity consumption by 2, incandescent bulbs still cost more on the long run, so I'll keep my twists or upgrade to led when they finally get cheaper.
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Re: Eco-energetic lighting

Postby st2000 » December 18th, 2012, 10:49 pm

You can argue about efficient bulbs, but I'm betting that most everyone wast more energy in heat exiting the house. I'm not talking about open doors. Rather I'm talking about not using high efficiency house heaters, or water heaters. And not using cloths washers which are designed to recycle soapy hot water for multiple washes. I had a 30 year old furnace I could burn my hand on if I touched the exhaust pipe. Now I have a high efficiency furnace. The exhaust temperature is so low you could comfortably warm your hands at the discharge point. But do breath some fresh air from time to time :)! This would be an interesting exercise to confirm or repute. Anyone up to the challenge?

As for Eco-lighing, what about light tubes?:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_tube
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Re: Eco-energetic lighting

Postby UAirLtd » December 18th, 2012, 11:57 pm

I had to battle with my step mother to have her turn off unused lights, looks like the "It costs more to turn it on and off than leave it on" myth is popular here in Canada and she said it was her grand father who was an electrician who told her that.


I can empathise with that, people seem to hold onto the myth, regardless of how much science and engineering you explain it with. But, I've figured out the better way of convincing someone is to not dismiss it as a myth, but explain to them that this used to be true for old florescent tubes which took several minutes to warm up; and that this was not needed since modern light bubls: incandescents, compact florescents, halogens, and LEDs, start up pretty much instantly. Actually it might still hold true for modern florescent tubes, but because of better technology, the only time when it's beneficial to leave it on is if you intend to leave the room for only a few seconds.

Turns out people respond very positively when you tell them the things they know are out of date; I've seen people I've told the above to go about gleefully correcting other people in an "I know something you don't" kind of way.

On a side note: totally agree with st2000: if I have some spare money, or am feeling particularly energy-conscious, the first things I'd do would be to install an air-source heat pump (better utilization of energy), insulate the external doors better (reduce losses), and possibly install some solar-thermal water heating (free energy!).
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