OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Being a dick about Earth Hour

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    I can make my kitchen like a disco floor.

    If you're not putting the bulbs under glass in the floor, you're not doing it properly. Also, Lyndon, you can't use a pot as a disco ball, that's cheating.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I'm told one of the really pernicious things about the halogen downlights is that because they get hot you can't put proper insulation above them. Double fail!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    If you're not putting the bulbs under glass in the floor, you're not doing it properly.

    And here was me thinking we weren't going to renovate...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Keith - links no work (and I'd be quite keen to see them!)
    Cheers...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    links no work

    I find if you click the link that shows up in the error message, it works.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Really? Stink. Just go here and poke around:

    http://www.electricaldirectltd.co.nz/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Note, that was just the first place I found online that sold them in NZ. You might be able to get a better deal elsewhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Ah yep, thanks.
    Dimmable is a good sign. Given that the UK, Australia and China are actually of a base enough intelligence to have set energy standards for these things the types and range will only improve

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Francis Wevers,

    Great post - one of the best ever!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    I don't know if they've changed them now, but we bought a bunch of those ecobulb lights (bayonet fitting) and they simply would not fit into the sockets at our last house; the metal base was too short for the pins to engage. Didn't happen with other brands or with incandescent bulbs. We've kitted this house out with (another brand of) CFL's though and it does seem to make a difference to the power bill.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Bevan Shortridge,

    Keith said:

    While I'm being a dick about this, I should also address the people who are opposing Earth Hour by joining "Edison Hour", which encourages participants to "use as much power and energy as possible in order to celebrate the advancement of mankind."
    Please, learn some fucking science.

    DeepRed said:

    How about "Enron Hour"?

    Incandescent Rage?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Bevan Shortridge,

    Sorry. Missed the quotation marks. I meant:

    "Incandescent Rage".

    In case anyone thought I was referring to the posters themselves...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Dimmable is a good sign. Given that the UK, Australia and China are actually of a base enough intelligence to have set energy standards for these things the types and range will only improve

    Then there are the LED lights, which last almost forever, and use significantly less over their lifetime than a CFL. While they're expensive (~$50), they're are now are very rapidly decreasing in price, to the point where they're expected to be affordable within 5-10 years.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Okay, this will sound like a random question, and it is, but I'm far too lazy to do my own research and maybe someone here will enjoy answering the question.

    Does it use the same amount of power to charge a laptop battery as it does to run a laptop? Would it be more efficient to charge it overnight, then unplug it, and run it til the battery runs down or just leave it plugged in when I'm using it? Or is it pretty much the same?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart,

    Company called Interwaste offers a recycling service...

    Thanks for the pointer Gareth :)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • JohnS,

    Thanks, Rich, for confirming that use of a dimmer results in less power usage than running conventional bulbs full blast.

    Perhaps, then, the need to change to CFL (dimmer compatible) is less urgent than for non-dimmer controlled setups. Provided, of course, that one consistently uses a chosen lower light level (as we we do for TV watching and in the dining room). It's nice to have the convenience at the turn of a knob to find that dropped pin, or stitch.

    Greenlane, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    No probs Robert

    Question - I presume Signature Range bulbs etc are just OEMd out of China or similar? And that Energymad is actually making their own?

    Cause if there is affordable OEM dimmable CFLs I'm off to start a business =)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    Note that the dimmer needs to be one of the modern ones that chops the wave, not the old variable resistor ones for power savings.

    The energymad bulbs are made in China too (most CFLs are), the issues are the design specification, equipment and quality control at the factory and testing afterwards. Sorry to harp about the EC programme, but we had high specifications (life, brightness, startup time etc and then had samples randomly selected and then tested in independant accredited laboratories.

    I think Philiips have a dimmable CFL, at least I have seen them on the web a few years back.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Does it use the same amount of power to charge a laptop battery as it does to run a laptop? Would it be more efficient to charge it overnight, then unplug it, and run it til the battery runs down or just leave it plugged in when I'm using it? Or is it pretty much the same?

    When you charge and discharge the battery, some energy is lost as heat - batteries aren't 100% efficient. So it would be better to run it on the mains when you can.

    On the other hand, your laptop is likely set up to be more energy efficient when running on battery (eg turning off the backlight sooner, reducing disk access, adjusting CPU speed). You could twiddle with the power management settings to make it as frugal when on mains power as on battery, depending on your operating system.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Yes, batteries lose some energy.

    But you can save a bucketload with your laptop by turning the screen brightness down (like it should do when you run it off batteries). My IBM has that on the blue function key setting so it's easy to access and I play with it regularly to keep it visible but as dim as possible. Find that setting and use it! It's anything up to half the power used by your laptop.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W.,

    Have been slowly swapping to CFL bulbs. We have a variety of fitting styles and in some of them the curly ones just don't work.

    Over this computer have a halogen (ordinary light-bulb shape) as got headaches and blurred vision trying to use a CFL.

    Got better bulb longevity when left the CFL's on rather than on only when room in use which may negate some of power savings.

    Though much of the supposed power savings have been eroded by increases in power charges (they have to get their profits back).

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 189 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I have CFL bulbs throughout the house (7), except for a stickon LED in my bedroom, and a halogen desklight (I need really bright focusable life for work.) I find the DFLs last longer that the incandesants, but not as long as claimed life...which isnt a wonder: we have frequent brownouts & powercuts. so I am pathetically grateful when something lasts as long as a year.

    As a kind of OT query - anybody have any experience with anti SAD lights? 3 of us i te whanau are prone to this disorder.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Islander - I've never seen real SAD lights, but my partner just runs two outdoor halogen 1kW lights on a stand if it's mid-winter or it's been grey for too many days running. He looked into getting the real deal, but it wasn't affordable. I'm not sure if he has SAD per se, but the change in his attitude/behaviour if he remembers to turn them on for a bit during that time of year is *amazing*. Of course, they're energy hogs and double as a heater because they emit so much waste heat (fine in winter, at least) but they do the job.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Thanks Lucy!I'll go investigate the halogens-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I'm aware of that -

    I'd suspect you are talking about Flourescent lighting affecting suffererizerers of epilepsy which does happen. Electricity is 50 cycles per second (60 USA). That's the hmmmmmmmm sound. Older style flouro worked on lower frequency and the new is higher. The new doesn't seem to effect us epileptics (as much at least or not at all)It is certainly recognizable if I walk into that enviroment because I go all funny. My brain does whatever it feels like but I don't consider it bad cos, the things you learn eh?Frequency is important with neurological pathways and electricity is an outside factor. innit :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

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