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Power Hardware Technology

Toshiba Ends Incandescent Bulb Production After 120 Years 430

Posted by Soulskill
from the bright-ideas dept.
angry tapir writes "Toshiba has stopped production of mass-market incandescent light bulbs, putting an end to a 120-year manufacturing history of the products. The company, which is one of Japan's largest makers of lighting products, had planned to halt production next year but brought up the date by a year. It will now focus on more energy efficient products, including LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which contain a handful of white LEDs and draw a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs."
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Toshiba Ends Incandescent Bulb Production After 120 Years

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  • so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eexaa (1252378) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:40AM (#31507600) Homepage

    ....and thanks for all the friendly warm light.

  • Efficiency (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wh1pp3t (1286918) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:46AM (#31507662)

    It will now focus on more energy efficient products, including LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which contain a handful of white LEDs and draw a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs.

    That use much more power and materials to manufacture than incandescent bulbs.

    I just love corporations using global stewardship to cover up apparent profit motives.
    /sarcasm

  • by Drethon (1445051) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:57AM (#31507830)
    And that way their remaining stock wont be used to produce extra mercury from coal burning power plants!
  • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:19AM (#31508074) Homepage

    How about this: the color of the light emitted by CFLs and LEDs is ugly, and sometimes even hard on the eyes (especially with LEDs).

    For me, this is reason enough to stick with incandescent bulbs for the places I spend most of my time.

    If you consider my above statements to be "crap" then you shouldn't have skipped class on the day they talked about the light spectrum. The spectrum emitted unquestionably differs between lighting technologies.

  • Re:Efficiency (Score:2, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:30AM (#31508258)

    That use much more power and materials to manufacture than incandescent bulbs.

    Numbers and links to the respective studies, please.

  • Re:so long... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:40AM (#31508402)

    Now that most of the European Union has effectively outlawed incadescents and replaced them with CFLs, has the EU power demand dropped?

    Nope.

    They aren't outlawing existing incandescents, and I don't know about you, but in my house the (few remaining) incandescent bulbs didn't all suddenly die when the supposed ruling on sales of lighting changed. Did you consider that perhaps it might take a little bit of time for this to have an effect?

  • Re:so long... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:44AM (#31508466)
    I agree that those are the best fluorescent lights, but they're still not good. A part of the problem is that there are huge bands of wavelengths where they don't emit light. A real filament emitting 2700K blackbody radiation will include every wavelength and make light that's far less tiring to work in. In my fixtures with multiple bulbs, I always include at least one incandescent bulb to fill in all those colors of light that fluorescents just don't make.
  • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ircmaxell (1117387) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:46AM (#31508498) Homepage
    There's more to light than just color temperature... There's also emitted frequencies. So while an incandescent typically emits light evenly across the visible range, a typical CFL emits light in a more grained spectrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp#Spectrum_of_light [wikipedia.org]). So to emit the same "color temperature" and luminosity (brightness of overall effect), a CFL will need to emit more light in certain frequency ranges to compensate for the missing frequencies. And since the human eye doesn't perceive all frequencies equally (We're typically MUCH more sensitive to green than red or blue) it can lead to the light not "feeling" right. The net combination of the colors looks the same, but they are processed differently in the eye which leads to a real, measurable difference. A CFL can never be identical to an incandescent. It's a matter of the physics behind it. Sure, they can "approximate" the light output, but the difference will always be there (and hence why some colors are less discernible under a CFL than under an incandescent)... In situations where color is very important (Artists, designers, etc) an incandescent bulb will be far better than a CFL. In situations (like every day life) where it isn't important to get colors exactly right, then it doesn't matter. But the point is that there is a difference...
  • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:58AM (#31508666) Homepage

    I have Philips bulbs. I timed my 60watt-equivalent (13 watt actual) and it took 4 minutes to reach full brightness. And no it wasn't just a bad set, because identical bulbs I bought a year later still exhibited the same behavior.

    Maybe you should have tried a different brand then? I have CFLs in almost every fixture in the house. The only ones that take more than 1s to reach max brightness are a recessed light and my 200W-equivalent porch light.

    Some of these lights were rather cheap, too. :)

    I was not aware Philips make crap products?

    Every company has at least the occasional piece of crap in their product line. Phillips has a good reputation, but that plus you holding a crappy Phillips CFL in your hand does not prove all CFLs are crap.

    cleanness (not reactive power)

    Huh? Is this your way of slipping in Power Factor as a reason CFLs are bad? Well at least you aren't still claiming it means CFLs don't save any energy. LOL.

    Shouldn't our priorities be focused on more energy-expensive things like heating/cooling? If all new home standards were increased to "PassivHaus" standards, which bring heat/cooling to almost nothing, we'd save HUGE amount of energy.

    Yes indeed! We need to push energy efficiency from all angles and insulation is a huge one. It is being pushed, too, but hey I agree it should be a bigger priority than it is.

    After fifteen years of testing CFLs, I've concluded they are inferior.

    Why do I get the impression you concluded that long before fifteen years had passed, and at best kept up the "experiment" in the form of buying a new CFL every year or two just to stave off people that you should try em, not all of em take forever to get bright, etc.

    I mean, fifteen years and you haven't found a single CFL that performs well? It took me all of two trips to Home Depot to accomplish this. They exist. Your inability to find any after fifteen years is, um, shall we say, in conflict with the idea of this being a neutral unbiased experiment that you were conducting.

  • Re:so long... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:00AM (#31508694)

    no, the argument about mercury hasn't been "destroyed every time", break one CFL bulb in your home and you will be exposed to more mercury than in ten years of breathing the air 25 miles from a coal fired plant. What a crock of marketing spew.

    It doesn't help doing research if you can't reason and believe a load of bull from those with an agenda.

  • Re:so long... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:15AM (#31508906) Homepage

    And now for the entirely predictable posts claiming low power lighting causes cancer, are crap, and cause global warming...

    As well as the equally predictable slew of posts filled with handwaving and smokescreens declaring that anyone who doesn't rush out and buy a cartload of CFL's is mentally and morally deficient, and that any problems they have with the bulbs are figments of their imagination. After all, if you most be intelligent and perceptive to see the Emperor's new clothes.
     

    The first argument goes the mercury in CFLs is going to kill us. This argument comes up and is destroyed every time. It will suffice to say there is little mercury, isn't that dangerous and burning coal puts out a lot more.

    It suffices to say "there is a little mercury" only to someone with an agenda or who is bad at math. "A little mercury" multiplied by " (eventually) millions of bulbs in service" equals "a lot of mercury potentially entering the environment". That coal produces more is irrelevant.

  • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:25AM (#31509048)

    I can't imagine anyone using them to light a well-decorated interior or do anything else, really. Switching to an incandescent is like a breath of fresh air, even my wife can notice after adapting to those horrible, horrible phosphor emissions. Human eyes are adapted to looking at black body radiators.

    Yet architects and decorators have been utilizing fluorescent lights for decades in commercial and industrial settings.

    I personally find incandescents to be far, far too yellow. Give me a 'bright white' CFL any day.

  • Re:so long... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thannine (576719) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:27AM (#31509074)
    Yeah, well, where I live we have the heating on 9 months a year. And for the 3 months we don't use heating, the need for lighting is minimal. And no, it's not saving energy, but it's not wasting it either. And it still takes a lot less poisonous materials to produce.
  • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kmac06 (608921) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:32AM (#31509138)
    How about this? In a free country, don't tell me what kind of lightbulb I can buy.
  • Re:so long... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:39AM (#31509248)

    The amount of mercury in a typical CFL is around 4mg (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_mercury [energystar.gov])... Based on the MSDS http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/M1599.htm [jtbaker.com] [jtbaker.com], that amount is WELL above the airborne exposure limits (40 times the OSHA upper limit).

    How were you planning to get all that mercury to go airborne? Do you normally fry light-bulbs on your stove?

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Steve Max (1235710) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @01:12PM (#31510978) Journal

    There are absorption lines in sunlight. Photons whose energy matches an excitation level for atoms (or molecules) in the heliosphere are absorbed. This is very easy to see with a light spectrum analyzer, or in a Fraunhofer-style experiment. In a Fraunhofer difraction test you'll see something like this [wikipedia.org] for sunlight, for example; a continuous spectrum wouldn't have black lines.

    Sunlight is almost continuous, with some absorption lines. CFLs have a really low continuous emission, and huge emission lines. That is the difference: absorption lines vs emission lines.

  • Re:so long... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @01:58PM (#31512004)

    Maybe you should have tried a different brand then?

    I've tried nvision, philips, ge, and bright effects and they've all taken 30+ seconds to reach full brightness. What brand/model do you believe reaches full brightness in 1 second?

    I mean, fifteen years and you haven't found a single CFL that performs well? It took me all of two trips to Home Depot to accomplish this. They exist. Your inability to find any after fifteen years is, um, shall we say, in conflict with the idea of this being a neutral unbiased experiment that you were conducting.

    Or perhaps you should consider that you may lack the capability to detect the change in brightness as well as he does. Wetware varies, and some people see far greater differences in luminosity in the same way that some people see more colors. And how some people see no flicker starting at 20hz, while other see flicker all the way up to 90hz or higher.

    I'd be more inclined to say that since you so readily found good CFLs that your perception is just very weak in these areas. You may want to have your vision tested, so you'll know to stop judging other by your limitations.

  • Re:so long... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kestasjk (933987) * on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:37PM (#31518814) Homepage
    Personally I prefer candles or kerosene lighting, I don't go for all this electricity bullshit.
    You see light is a part of the electro-magnetic spectrum and therefore the candela SI unit of light-- [... incoming wall of text about my stupid choice of lighting]

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