Simon’s Backup Weblog

Oz Sense

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 19, 2007

The Australian Federal Government is planning to phase out the incandescent light bulb.

The Federal Government estimates replacing the old bulbs with compact fluorescents in homes could cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 800,000 tonnes a year in 2008-12. Australia’s emissions in 2004 totalled 564.7 million tonnes.

Now if our own government would do something similar.

It was interesting to note on a recent visit just how much Ikea was pushing compact fluorescents in its lighting department. And the prices weren’t too bad…

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25 Responses to 'Oz Sense'

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  1. griffen said,

    I am 100% opposed to this.

    They’re planning to do it in California, too. If they do this I will go crazy. The hum of fluorescent light bulbs is a major contributor to my migraine headaches and anxiety problems.

    I need incandescents to light the house at night, period. This is a not-well-thought-out proposal.

  2. sbisson said,

    CFLs are really only a stop gap. While they don’t hum anywhere near as much as a fluorescent tube, the real future is in the shape of OLED lights. No hum, lower power than CFLs, and a much wider spectrum.

  3. quercus said,

    If you can hear compact fluorescents humming, then you must be a bat. They’re not the same thing at all as the old magnetic ballast long-tube fluorescents. Those were the hummers, not the modern ballasts.

    BTW, if you’re shopping in the UK, get your fluorescent bulbs from Lidl rather than Ikea. Their Osrams are cheap, good colour, high output and the best fast switch-on times of any CFL I’ve seen.

  4. dsgood said,

    In the US, Aldi carries compact fluorescents. If they do in the UK also, they’re probably cheaper than at Ikea.

  5. elimloth said,

    Compact flourescents use little inverters that ‘hum’ at 50KHz-80KHz. Not even a dog can hear that. Any CFL that hums audibly is defective; take it back.

  6. del_c said,

    And in the US, Lidl’s stores are called Aldi.

  7. micheinnz said,

    We’ve got CFLs all through our house. They don’t flicker or hum that we’ve noticed (and malfunctioning fluorescents give me migraines too).

  8. ajshepherd said,

    Is this the end of light bulb jokes? I mean, “How many Australians does it take to change a compact fluorescent?” just doesn’t sound right!

  9. quercus said,

    Aldi and Lidl are different chains, although I think they’re owned by brothers (or some equally weird linkage). I wasn’t aware either had made it outside Europe.

  10. ccomley said,

    Why does it need the government to do this? The low energy bulbs (both fluorescents and LED) – it only takes the house holder to go buy them. I’ve long since replaced all our incandescent bulbs throughout the house excepting those which are on dimmers.

    The government are at fault over a hell of a lot but you can’t blame them for everything. 🙂

  11. ccomley said,

    Not wider spectrum so much as under better control. Since these are in effect ultra-violet LEDs which stimulate phosphors, and the technology of phosphors is nothing new…

  12. ccomley said,

    So the entire planet should burn coz *you* have an issue? I ratehr think not. It’s not as though anyone’s going to ban the use of incandescents. Though eventually there will, I hope, be no source of them. Have you tried LEDs? Candels?

  13. natalief said,

    replacing the old bulbs with compact fluorescents in homes could cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 800,000 tonnes a year

    …but multiply the munbers of migraine sufferers (and intensity of their suffering) by about 10 – maybe more.

    I cannot use fluorescent lighting without suffering a migraine and yes, going to shopping centres or even Tesco for longer than 30 minutes or so either brings on a migraine or exacerbates my MS.

  14. natalief said,


  15. natalief said,

    I am not a bat and I can hear them hum as well as see an LCD monitor strobe. I have multiple sclerosis. Yes, my brain and eyes are broken. I am not the only one and policies like this make our lives more of a hell than they already are.

  16. natalief said,

    They are not the only people. So so many of us should suffer to make you all feel better about yourselves?

  17. natalief said,

    So I am not even a dog but I can ‘hear’/feel them. It is hard to describe. It is not the ears as such – more my whole body veibrates in sync. Ah whatever – you guys will never beleive us. I have multiple sclerosis and so a different brain chemistry and immune system chemistry to you – me body behaves and senses differently to yours. Where ‘my’ = ‘many people with MS and similar differences’ and ‘your’ = ‘people who do not have to contend on a day to day basis with these differences’.

  18. natalief said,

    I am sorry Simon. While I do see you and Mary as dear friends, I am going to have to take your LJ off my Default View friends group because I find reading the comments on your posts so distressing. This is not your fault and I do not mean to blame you in any way. I will miss reading you.

  19. natalief said,

    I completely agree that such should be a person’s choice and not defined by legislation so that those of us with a medical reason to not conform to this ‘policy’ will not be disadvantaged by said policy.

  20. sbisson said,

    Sorry to hear that – but you do what you have to do.

    I’m pretty sure that this is a one off – I really didn’t think that the post would cause so much upset.

    Sorry from me.

  21. griffen said,

    Thanks so much for the condescending reply. I’m not pursuing this with you.

  22. natalief said,

    Hear hear.

  23. natalief said,

    *hug* and sorry from me that I have differing but still strong opinions and experiences from so many of your other LJ ‘friends’. I think you may be right about it being a one- or one of a few- off(s), (I remember something about jokingly commenting about a spoiler issue that I wrongly perceived and getting flamed by someone). Maybe I am just to oversensitive right now. Anyway, I am sorry to have caused a flamewar on your LJ whilst trying to open people’s eyes to other experiences and facts. I do notice that nobody has decided to reply to me though, thus far…

    *hugs* sorry again for causing a ‘scene’ here. I will now slink back off to my little room with incandescent, full spectrum lighting.

  24. mcglk said,

    I just want to point out that while the normal human range of hearing does top out at 15–25 kHz, people with asthma can hear into much higher ranges—sometimes topping out at 40 (or so) kHz. Sound through bone conduction has been heard at frequencies of up to 100 kHz.The upper ranges of hearing tends to be extremely variable depending on age and other physiological factors. For myself, I can hear sounds nearly an octave higher than my coworker, which means that when he turns on a piece of equipment near his radio, he doesn’t notice, while my fillings start bouncing around in my mouth. He’s only a couple of years older than I am, but he’s mercifully unperturbed by what sounds like death-metal mosquitos on methamphetimines to me. I can also plainly hear those mosquito tones used in malls or as ringtones.As far as CFL bulbs, they tend to start “squeaking” (to my ears) as they age, particularly when warming up. I had one that eventually started doing this horrible frequency sweep when I turned it on, after only a few months of use. I had to leave the room for a good fifteen minutes after I turned the light on, or I’d wind up with a blistering headache.I suppose my point is, dismissing someone’s anecdotal experience entirely because they don’t happen to fall within the established medians isn’t exactly fair or sensible.

  25. elimloth said,

    I have heard CFLs go through that frequency sweep, but it happens at the end of their useful life; that is, by the time that starts happening, the bulbs lights are well below their original light output rating. I’ve had OSRAMs, IKEA/Feit, Sylvania, and Light of America CFLs. The Feit and OSRAMs lasted over 10 years while the LOA CFLs died or turned weird only after a few months. Only a few LOAs lasted more than a year. So, yes, the lights have differing quality, and any light that exhibits audible artifacts really need to be returned for it is defective. I guess that means if someone claims to be bothered by *any* CFL then they have to live without them. I think phasing out incandescent’s is a very good thing, and as Simon mentioned, CFLs are transitional, heading most likely to full spectrum LEDs.

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