Fluorescents and migraines??

| On 9 Jan 2008 05:52:14 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote: |
|> |>| Does the spectrum cause migranies and "skin eruptions"? I thought
|>| migraines were flicker rate which should be a non-issue with CFLs. |> |>I see CFLs that flicker. Probably very cheap ones. But they exist. |> |>BTW, I bought an LED flashlight the other day that has a white spectrum |>that does not bother me like other LEDs and all fluorescents and metal |>halides do. And it's a rather bright and well built one. LEDs are now |>looking more like they could be my future efficient lighting method. | | Line-powered LEDs can also flicker if the DC link is not | properly filtered.
No doubt. Maybe one day the lighting industry will figure out how to properly smooth out the DC? Hint: it can be done without those big capacitors that power supplies of days gone by had. One idea that comes to mind is to chop the current with a pulse width varied to compensate for the lower frequency component(s) of the ripple.
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On 12 Jan 2008 08:10:07 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

They already know, but it costs more money than most consumers want to pay.

I large number of circuits that have high input power factor, low energy storage requirements and low DC ripple have been published and/or patented. However, all cost money and all dissipate energy.
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|>No doubt. Maybe one day the lighting industry will figure out how to |>properly smooth out the DC? | | They already know, but it costs more money than most | consumers want to pay. | |>Hint: it can be done without those big |>capacitors that power supplies of days gone by had. One idea that |>comes to mind is to chop the current with a pulse width varied to |>compensate for the lower frequency component(s) of the ripple. | | I large number of circuits that have high input power | factor, low energy storage requirements and low DC ripple | have been published and/or patented. However, all cost | money and all dissipate energy.
So just how much are we talking about to make a CFL that does not flicker? I'm looking for two pricings. One considering that non-flicker CFLs might be made mandatory and therefore would be forced to have economoy of scale and thus a lower price, and one considering that flicker CFLs remain the popular item and non-flicker CFLs remain high at least in part due to the lack of economoy of scale. I want to use these figures during the coming election to argue that our Congresspeople should dump the law they just put in and start over with a better one (but I don't know just yet what that should be). My dissatisfaction over the current one is, however, a typical example of the junk we get from Congress. There are no standards for forcing the market to have decent CFL devices. Of course for myself, I would want not only the non-flicker devices, but also ones that have a reasonably continuous spectrum (merely balancing 2 or 3 color peaks to get an average white of the desired color temperature is not good enough).
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

CFL's are a good idea but should not be legislated since they are "not ready for prime time".
The CFL's on the market are largly incompatible with dimmers and electronic switches (motion detectors and timers). Basically they are not a drop in replacement for incandescent. Also the failure rate is outrageous in my experience. They tend to overheat and the electronics either shut down or simply melt. I have no doubt some fires will result from these products.
There is also a potential RF interference problem from the electronic ballast that should not be ignored. As these proliferate, so could interference to radio spectrum.
Furthermore they are another hazardous waste disposal problem. Until there is a way to dispose of them safely, they should not be forced on the market.
I have about a dozen of them in my house with four failures in two years, so I am speaking from experience.
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There are indeed performance standards for CFLs -- from Energy Star. Life, light output, color, RFI, etc. are included. See the required numbers and test procedures at:: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/product_specs/program_reqs/cfls_prog_req.pdf
But flicker is not on the list and I agree that it should be. Flicker is a lighting quality factor. Not everyone is bothered by it; but those who are tend to be bothered a lot and so they end up not liking or using efficient lamps which, of course, means less energy savings. As Vic points out, flicker can easily be minimized or eliminated. The additional cost is modest.
In my view, Energy Star CFLs, because they are already positioned as consumer products that are intended to provide quality lighting, should include flicker criteria. Flicker criteria should also be part of the new Energy Star LED system requirements and I've discussed the subject with Energy Star several times now.
While it isn't surprising that there are still complaints about short lamp life --- for all lamps, not just CFLs, there's little reason to complain about or tolerate it. If Energy Star CFLs are involved, manufacturers have to provide an 800 number on the carton and respond to complaints. I've had half a dozen on test in my own house for almost 5 years now. They are on several hours daily with no failures so far.
Terry McGowan
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wrote:
[snip]

I fully agree! The flicker data was obtained with the goal of persuading Energy Star that a flicker spec was necessary because CFLs with electronic ballasts _could_ flicker; something that too many people think is impossible.
BTW - the Energy Star LED spec seems to have a (perhaps unintended) flicker spec - probably because LEDs can be run in pulse mode.

Same here. Most of my CFLs have long life and I have never had a failure that overheated the lamp or ballast.
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Vic Roberts
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| Same here. Most of my CFLs have long life and I have never | had a failure that overheated the lamp or ballast.
I have 5 CFLs so far. All are outdoors. So far no failures. But in the winter in the cold, they are very dim until they warm up. That is yet another issue they need to get fixed. Given that it is a mercury vapor issue, I suspect the fix will be to switch to LEDs. But I'll still make the complaint to the government.
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There are special types for outdoor use so perhaps they already have. We have one over our back door step and it seems to work fine. It also has a built in light sensor so it only comes on when it gets dark.
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Stuart Winsor

From is valid but subject to change without notice if it gets spammed.
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I do consider it normal for CFLs used outdoors in wintry conditions to:
A) If rated for such conditions, to take a few or several minutes to warm up. (In locations where it gets "really cold", it helps and may sometimes be necessary to enclose the CFL in some sort of housing to help accumulate heat - and allow at least several minutes for good warmup.) (In locations with temperature extremes in both directions, such as USA's "northern Great Plains" and nearby areas including adjacent areas of Canada, one may want to have outdoor fixtures with outdoor-rated CFLs having a housing that is seasonally removable so as to assist warmup only during colder times of the year.)
B) If not suitable for such conditions and if lacking an outer housing to hold in some accumulated heat, to only partially warm up and not get well-warmed-up until the weather improves.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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alt.engineering.electrical, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com says...

Oh, that's great. You want people to go back to removable screens/storms too? There is enough crap to do around a house to get ready for winter every year without futzing with damned light fixtures. Not to mention that often outdoor lighting is only needed for a few minutes (otherwise MV or Na lights seem a better choice).

Yeah, "you don't need no steenkin' light when there are fifteen hours of darkness". Just think of how great it'll be when you have fifteen hours of daylight. Great plan to save electricity.
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Keith

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If I was going to avoid CFL for outdoor lighting, I would use metal halide or LED. Mercury and sodium have lousy color rendering, especially sodium - makes many colored objects appear darker than "proper", so there is "less illumination".
Another factor in outdoor lighting is that human vision is often (probably usually) mesopic when outdoor lighting is needed. Scotopic/photopic ratios ("s/p ratios") have some significance here.
If I had trouble with CFLs for outdoor lighting, I would either go for metal halide (probably at 39 watts), or go for an LED solution. Tens of watts worth of LEDs that achieve good fluorescent-like overall luminous efficacy is still pretty expensive.
Meanwhile, for outdoor lighting with CFLs, I like higher color temperatures to get higher s/p ratio.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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The are problems with the mesopic notion. One is that there is no way to tell when the eye is mesopic or how far into the mesopic it has gone. Plus the eye/brain combination is clever enough not to adapt the whole eye --- just portions of it. That makes the idea very hard to apply from a lighting standpoint. What happens, for example, as your eye roams around at night and sees a lighted pathway at very low luminance and then moves to view a bright luminaire. If the eye, or part of it, was mesopic, it instantly changes.
I can see how a stroll in an open meadow in moonlight with no electric lighting nearby can allow adaptation to mesopic or scotopic vision; but I don't see how that can happen in any setting with a continuous stream of bright and dark areas in your visual field such as a motorist would experience while driving a traffic-filled lighted street with headlights on.
My view at this point is that the higher blue content of so-called high s/p ratio lighting simply excites the rods in the eye to give you the impression of more brightness (or glare) without actually improving vision which primarily uses the retinal cones. The work that the Lighting Research Center (and others) are doing to set up a system of mesopic photometry is helping to answer those questions.
Terry McGowan
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alt.engineering.electrical, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com says...

I'm the opposite I really don't care much about color on outdoor lighting but won't use CFL, mainly because the color of every one I've seen simply sucks. Outdoor it's all about cost.

Whatever. I just want light.

There are more important things in this world than efficiency.

I wouldn't use CFLs at all and particularly for outdoor lighting. They take forever to come up to full brightness, even at reasonable temperatures. In the winter, for get it.
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SNIP

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SNIP

SNIP
I have used CFLs for outdoor lantern fixtures for the last 10 years, in a moderately cold climate. 10F min. and I'm on only my third set of lamps.
(Earlier poster was boasting of experience with a dozen lamps. One of my clients had 900 CFL retrofits for 5 years. That's expericence!)
They are on a timer so 30 sec to warm up is a non-event. Color is 85CRI 3000K but is slightly different than the neighbors incandescent and MH.
If it's all about cost CFL is the only way to go!
RickR
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In article <31b1df70-0980-4b76-be85- snipped-for-privacy@q77g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>, alt.engineering.electrical, snipped-for-privacy@luminousviews.com says...

Try them at -20F. No thanks.

I save even more electricity than using CFLs. I only light an area where someone is. 30sec (don't believe it) warm-up is unacceptable.

No, if it's all about cost leave the damned light off. There are things in this life more important than a few cents.
-- Keith
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Just released -
http://streetlightingresearch.org/programs/nlpip/publicationResults.asp?type=1
NLPIP - Specifiers report Title: CFL Residential Downlights Date: 2008 Author(s): Conan O'Rourke, Chris Gribbin, Patricia Rizzo Number of Pages: 32
From the New York Times Article -
Any Other Bright Ideas?
By JULIE SCELFO Published: January 10, 2008 WHEN Lloyd Levine, a California assemblyman, proposed last year that his state become the first in the country to ban energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs, his position was met with outrage.
Manufacturers balked at the idea of outlawing an entire technology. Libertarians objected to the idea of government dictating what kind of bulbs people could use in their homes. Even some environmentalists who supported switching to more efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs expressed reservations about requiring consumers to adopt products containing mercury, with no provisions for safe disposal.
But perhaps the most ardent dissenters were those who feared compact fluorescents would turn their home into a place with all the charm and warmth of a gas station restroom.
The uproar was such that the bill never made it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk. Meanwhile, with concern about global warming growing, other states took up the issue (and California eventually adopted new standards), moving legislators on the Senate and House energy committees to take up the lighting issue on the national level last spring.
After more than eight months of intense deliberations between Congress and bulb manufacturers, environmental groups and other parties, a law that requires light bulbs to become more energy efficient became part of the energy bill that President Bush signed into law on Dec. 19.
Over a three-year period beginning in 2012, all new bulbs will have to use 25 percent to 30 percent less energy for the same light output as today's typical incandescent bulbs. Given that the vast majority of bulbs now on the market that meet those standards are compact fluorescents, which use 70 percent less energy and last 6 to 10 times longer than incandescents, Americans may have little choice but to accept them as part of the future.
For every eager adopter, though, there are plenty of holdouts. "I want to use fluorescents," said Kath Brandon, a health care recruiter in Denver. "I try to live as green as possible. I telecommute, I recycle, I try to group all my errands together so I don't have to needlessly burn extra gas."
But in her experience, compact fluorescents make her house look "dark, cloudy and cavelike." The bulbs do not emit a "warm, comforting, inviting feeling," she said. "Your home is your sanctuary," she said. "It's where you live and recharge, and it nurtures you."
The people who design and sell lighting have not been as quick as legislators and environmentalists to embrace compact fluorescents, judging by the dearth of fixtures designed for compact fluorescents in showrooms.
"Designers hate them, and I hate them, too," said Mitchell Steinberg, the founder of Lee's Studio, a Manhattan shop that specializes in designer light fixtures. "The beauty of a light bulb is that it gives a warmth. It goes back to fire. I believe people have an innate feeling for fire. We like the setting sun. We like warm color. And these bulbs, although they're getting better, they're still not nearly as nice as a regular incandescent bulb."
To many people, giving up incandescent lighting means relinquishing some intangible, beloved quality associated with home in favor of a ghastly institutional glow. And the sheer number of choices (not only of compact fluorescent bulbs but of incandescent bulbs that claim to be energy efficient, halogens and alternatives like light-emitting diodes and induction lights), along with the weird shapes of compact fluorescents and the confusing packaging information that generally comes with them, has done little to encourage exploration.
For all the efforts of Wal-Mart to generate sales of compact fluorescents since late 2006, the bulbs still account for less than 20 percent of bulb sales.
In an attempt to determine whether energy-efficient lighting is as awful as Mr. Steinberg and others believe it to be, or whether some energy-efficient bulbs might cast an appealing light on a bedside table or a living room wall, the House & Home section asked several manufacturers to provide samples of their products. The bulbs had to work in a screw-in base and be appropriate for indoor use, and manufacturers were asked to choose models they believed were closest in light and color to traditional incandescents.
Once the bulbs were collected -- 21, including 14 compact fluorescents -- a panel of staff members at The Times was asked to judge the quality of the lights. Identical ceramic table lamps with plain white shades were placed at the ends of a long table, one with a traditional 60- watt incandescent bulb for comparison.
THE first compact fluorescent tested, an n:vision Soft White manufactured by TCP for Home Depot, evoked a collective groan. Although some liked its brightness and whiteness and the way its outer shell hid the coil and made it look more like a traditional incandescent bulb, others dismissed it as harsh, comparing it to hospital lighting.
Sylvania's Bright White Designers Choice was even less popular. Panelists decried the color as sickly and gluelike As other compact fluorescents were tried, the complaints grew louder. G.E.'s Energy Smart Daylight 15-watt bulb looked "icky frigid blue." Sylvania's Micro-Mini evoked a rainy day. One tester said the MiniBulb from MaxLite "makes me queasy."
The judges were fascinated by the way the complexion of the editor who was changing the bulbs shifted, from tan and fit to rosy to pallid to alabaster. After seeing his face under Greenlite's 13-watt Mini, a writer barked, "Dermabrasion, right away!"
The slight buzzing emitted by many of the compact fluorescents, including G.E. Energy Smart bulbs, Sylvania's Designers Choice, and TCP's Spring Light/Soft White, irritated panelists, as did the time it took for some bulbs to light and the flickering that sometimes ensued once they did.
There were a few particularly interesting products, like the futuristic-looking eBulb from American Lighting Industry (951-328-8184), which uses induction technology, an old form of lighting sometimes used in places that are hard to reach, like tunnel ceilings. The $50 bulb uses 80 percent less power than incandescents, its maker said, and is expected to last 50,000 hours, or five times longer than many compact fluorescents, largely because of its round magnet, which helps it recycle electricity. Panelists described its color as "channeling Jules Verne" and said its light looked "O.K. for a tattoo parlor."
Some judges were enthusiastic about a dimmable compact fluorescent, the G.E. Energy Smart Dimmable, given that such bulbs have, until recently, been hard to find. But rather than moving smoothly from dark to light, as incandescents and halogens do, it functioned more like a bulb with three settings: high, low and off.
Another object of excitement was the Pharox bulb (upscalelighting.com) from Lemnis Lighting, which uses a light-emitting diode, or L.E.D. This technology, which works by illuminating a semiconductor chip, is more efficient than compact fluorescent lighting. But because L.E.D.'s emit directional rather than diffuse light, they are typically implanted in flat surfaces like walls or light panels.
Lemnis is one of a few companies that have managed to apply the technology to a screw-in bulb, but the panel complained about how green its color looked, particularly against the skin. (A photographer, echoing criticisms from others, thought the bulb cast a glow that gave a person nearby an "embalmed look.")
Not all the bulbs were met with negativity. Panelists favored the light cast by halogen bulbs (including the Daylight Plus and the BT15 from Sylvania, and G.E.'s Edison 60), which last twice as long as incandescents, requiring less energy for the production and distribution of replacements, and are therefore more efficient.
One halogen model, the Philips Halogena, was not only pleasing to the eye -- "nice, soft, golden light" one panelist said -- but efficient enough to meet the criteria of the new energy bill. Panelists also admired Sylvania's eLogic incandescent bulb (describing it as "creamy, "cozy for reading" and "nice, even, warm light"), the lone incandescent to be included because it lasts 50 percent longer, measures 30 percent smaller and uses 5 percent less energy than a standard incandescent.
Although most of the compact fluorescents were deemed unacceptable by the panel, there were several that were found to be not only acceptable but attractive. The n:vision TCP Home Soft White, for example, was deemed "a warm pleasant light." The TCP Spring Light/Soft White was "almost warmer than incandescent," one person said. And the MaxLite SpiraMax was generally liked, considered "pretty good" and "clean."
IN the course of testing one of the compact fluorescents, the white fabric lampshade was replaced with an opaque cardboard one. Instantly, the color of the light on the wall, the look of surrounding objects and the sharpness of their shadows were dramatically altered, in ways both pleasant and not.
It was a reminder, as one panelist said, that a bulb's light may be "no more important than how it's cast around the room" -- or, as another put it, that "you have to look at all the variables: it's not a one-bulb-fits-all situation."
Indeed, the right way to think about lighting, according to designers and other lighting professionals, is to go beyond the quest for a bulb that uses the least energy and to make sure you are applying the right technology.
"Lighting doesn't mean anything if you don't put the light where you need it," said Paul W. Eusterbrock, president and owner of the American branch of Holtktter, a high-design German lighting company. Warm-toned compact fluorescents may work fine for lighting a whole room, for example, but fluorescent light does not project the same way that halogen light does, so for reading, a single adjustable halogen light could be both the best and the most energy-efficient choice.
Tom Dixon, the British furniture and lighting designer, and an advocate for compact fluorescents, agreed that context is all- important, and that the ways light is cast and fixtures are arranged need to be thought through. Deployed properly, he said, energy- efficient lights can make for a beautiful interior. "What you do in the modern world is mix light qualities anyway," he said. "You can use C.F.L.'s for overall lighting, and then pick out a couple of objects with halogen spots, and do an L.E.D. wash on the wall."
He believes the main problem with compact fluorescents is simply a distaste for change. "I'm sure there were the same arguments when gas lighting replaced candles," he said. "The light's quality is very different, and it's going to take people some time to adjust to that."
The adjustment may not be as hard as some fear. Manufacturers, who are continuing to pursue better light quality for compact fluorescents and light-emitting diodes, are also racing to develop incandescents and halogens that will meet the new national standards. One day soon there may be a much wider range of energy-efficient bulbs to choose from.
Meanwhile, another European designer, Richard Sapper, may be a useful test case for Mr. Dixon's theory of adaptability. An older man -- 75 to Mr. Dixon's 48 -- he describes himself as something of a lighting traditionalist, even if he did pioneer the home halogen lamp with his 1972 Tizio, and design an elegant L.E.D. fixture, the Halley, 33 years later.
He has definite ideas about light in general -- for example that "northern light on a day without sun is the only kind that renders color naturally" -- and about fluorescent light in particular: "Another problem, besides its color," he said, "is that it's always diffuse, whereas incandescent light is coming from a point. And coming from a point it has somehow the quality of sun."
So it's perhaps surprising that at his home in Milan, apart from a few halogens on the living room ceiling and several of his own fixtures scattered about the house, all the bulbs have long since been replaced with compact fluorescents. "My wife is very aware of environmental problems," he explained, and "she doesn't give me a choice."
He wasn't enthusiastic at first. Even now, he said, "I prefer traditional incandescent light. But you get used to it."
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alt.engineering.electrical, snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net says...

The same energy has to be stored.
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wrote:

Not if you can suck it out of the power line at low line voltage levels and boost the voltage up for the DC link.
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| wrote: |
wrote:
|>> |
|>> |> |>> |>| Does the spectrum cause migranies and "skin eruptions"? I thought |>> |>| migraines were flicker rate which should be a non-issue with CFLs. |>> |> |>> |>I see CFLs that flicker. Probably very cheap ones. But they exist. |>> |> |>> |>BTW, I bought an LED flashlight the other day that has a white spectrum |>> |>that does not bother me like other LEDs and all fluorescents and metal |>> |>halides do. And it's a rather bright and well built one. LEDs are now |>> |>looking more like they could be my future efficient lighting method. |>> | |>> | Line-powered LEDs can also flicker if the DC link is not |>> | properly filtered. |>> |>> No doubt. Maybe one day the lighting industry will figure out how to |>> properly smooth out the DC? Hint: it can be done without those big |>> capacitors that power supplies of days gone by had. One idea that |>> comes to mind is to chop the current with a pulse width varied to |>> compensate for the lower frequency component(s) of the ripple. |> |>The same energy has to be stored. | | Not if you can suck it out of the power line at low line | voltage levels and boost the voltage up for the DC link.
Or just chop it wide at the lower voltage part of the cycle and chop it narrow at the higher voltage part of the cycle. Then at the peak, chop it all the way out for a while and move the flicker from 120 Hz to 240 Hz.
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