Russell Cooker posted today about fluorescent and incandescent lights. It’s an interesting reading for those of you who are interested in energy saving for environment and money (the two things can easily go along).
His notes about the need to remove excessive heat from incandescent lights might not be as obvious as it seems for many people, but it’s actually an important part of the whole package. I for one started spending extra money for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs, like Cooker called them) when I was sure I couldn’t put air conditioning at my house, and during summer even just turning on a light made me sweat.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid I never tried a low pressure sodium lamp, so I don’t even know what they look like. I should look them up on Wikipedia, but I haven’t had time to do that yet, and I doubt it’s going to be my next “paradigm shift” in lamps. As he said, fluorescent tubes aren’t always an option.. they don’t even look that good, and they can be a bitch to deal with as their starters an fry quite easily if the voltage is not properly regulated… and where I live, even if the nominal voltage should be 220V, it’s usually about 200V – sometimes, still having lights on, I have the UPSes moving to battery, even the line-interactive ones! – so just having three of those is hard enough.
I wrote before the night I was hospitalised, by the way, that I would be considering LED lamps, and so I do have LED lights in my bathroom on the mirror, rather than fluorescent (making too much light to be useful) or incandescent (wasting too much power). Maybe they are less efficient as a whole, but rather than using a more-efficient CFL using five times the power needed by two LED lamps to make more light than needed, I find this useful.
Similarly, I’ve been wondering about my bedroom. I already have a LED-powered desklamp; the new furniture that my sister got me gives way less shadow than before, as I don’t have a bridge-like wardrobe anymore, so I removed one of the three CFL I used to use. Still the amount of light is huge. When I want to read something before going to sleep, two CFLs are already too much, but I can’t reduce the lamps too much or I wouldn’t be able to have enough light to clean the room, or find the proper clothes to wear for a night.
So my idea at the moment is to get one ceiling light with four lamp sockets, and two switch lines (thus two switches). On a pair of sockets I would put the two CFLs, on the other two, two LED lamps. Having two switches I could easily choose between high light (for cleaning and choosing clothes), and lower light for reading (and no light for sleeping). Unfortunately I can’t really make decision on placement of lights here, as the house is quite old, and breaking the ceiling to change the lights position wouldn’t be feasible – especially after painting the room anew last september – but if I’ll ever get an house of my own, I would certainly prefer having a lot of smaller lights around, so that I could use the right light as needed, rather than a “catch all” light.