Edison bulbs banned in E.U., why not ban PCs too?
By bnitz on Oct 12, 2008
It looks like Ireland along with the rest of the European Union will soon ban the sale of most traditional incandescent light bulbs. I've been using Compact Florescent (CF) bulbs where possible since the early 1990s but I have mixed feelings about government's one-size-fits all energy micromanagement. I don't think the fact that my neighbor uses CFs to illuminate his garden gnomes, eves and driveway 24/7 makes him environmentally greener than the doctor, dentist, mechanic or person with visual difficulties (e.g. cataracts...) who chooses incandescents for applications where they excel.
Mini screw mount CF bulbs only became available in Ireland about 1 year ago. Most stores here still only carry the bayonet CF bulbs. I haven't yet found any dimmer capable CFs in Ireland. We did find 9 watt CF bulbs which fit in the 240V/40W GU10 halogen sockets but I find that a combination of 40W halogen and 1.6W LED bulbs is more effective for some applications because both halogens and LEDs focus the light better than CFs do (. The "soft focus" of CFs actually worked to their advantage in our kitchen where they eliminated harsh shadows thrown by the spotlight bulbs but they still work best when paired 2CFs for ambient light and one incandescent for directional task light (cooker, table and counter.)
The CFs also flicker more are bluer and take much longer to reach full brightness. The (very difficult to find) Edison screw CF bulbs which fit our bathroom fixture only operate in that cool, damp environment for a few weeks before burning out. Fortunately, Ireland's new light bulb law requires merchants to take back duds. The average lifespan of brand name CF bulbs seems nowhere near what it was in the 1990s.
I can almost understand why governments are trying to force us to use CFs. CFs are functionally equivalent to incandescent for MOST applications while using 1/5th to 1/3rd the wattage. But if we can overlook edge cases, why stop with light bulbs? Sun Rays are functionally equivalent to desktop PCs for MOST applications while using only 1/40th the electrical power. Replacing PCs with Sun Rays would saves between 8 and 13 times as much as moving from incandescents to CFs. So why not ban desktop PCs?