Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A light rant

I have been looking at light fittings a lot recently, and something that first struck me as odd when low energy bulbs first came on the market now seems to have developed into full blown lunacy, and it makes me very cross. 

Back in the good old days of incandescent bulbs, lampshades and light fittings were rated at 40, 60 or 100 watts, depending on how heatproof/flammable they were. This is because those old fashioned bulbs, as well as producing light, also produced a lot of heat. That's why they were so energy-inefficient.

Energy saving bulbs, from the twists of fluorescent tube to the latest LEDs, save energy by producing more light for less wattage, and in turn considerably less heat. An 11 watt energy saving bulb supposedly gives as much light as a 60 watt incandescent bulb, and much less heat. And LEDs produce hardly any heat at all. 

So why oh why oh why do lampshades now say things like 'Max. 60 watt incandescent/11 watt fluorescent/5 (or whatever) watt LED'?  Surely the whole limit thing was always about the heat the bulb produced - which was indeed a safety concern - but they've created these equivalancies as it if was the light that was potentially dangerous.

The upshot of all this of course is that the recommendations on the lampshades are meaningless and there is no proper or useful guidance on what wattage of low energy bulbs is actually suitable or even safe.

So, in short, why oh why oh why?

1 comment:

  1. You are quite right, Sarah. The only meaningful wattage maximum is that given for incandescent bulbs. We know that we can, therefore, install as powerful a compact fluorescent or LED as we like with little risk of even getting close to potentially dangerous levels of heat.

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