The Great American Light Bulb Debate!!11!!
My husband has gone back to school for his Engineering degree. He is pursuing both Electrical and Environmental Engineering. He is a little dismayed-but not surprised- by Texas for being so stubborn about keeping an obsolete light bulb around and there justifications for it.
This is an article about some Australian Engineers that he e-mailed me and their journey in the light bulb industry that I thought was interesting.
Aussie light bulbs slash power bills … and step ladder usage
Chief designer of Brightgreen, David O’Driscoll says his company and its philosophy was formulated after four years working as contract designers for major companies.
“We were continually being told to design things that would break in about two years. We’d tell them that we could make them last for much longer than that, but the sales department kept telling us to ‘Make it break’.”
O’Driscoll, for whom the enduring quality of the Hill’s Hoist is something of a touchstone, describes the experience as “highly dispiriting.”
Hel says that the philosophy of planned obsolescence, which started with the father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy, in the US in the 1930s, has reached a pinnacle with the lighting industry. “We’ve been able to make long-lasting light bulbs for years now, but the manufacturers think it’s bad for business.”
And although Brightgreen uses Macs running Windows under Parallel for their design work, he says Apple is a master of the technique.
“Apple has given us the ultimate: downloadable obsolescence. They release a new operating system that’s designed for more powerful hardware a few months before they come up with a new model. People download the update, and suddenly the old phones slow down to the point that users can’t wait to replace them.
Melbourne-based Brightgreen’s novel approach to industrial design – in a world of planned obsolescence, they actually make things last as long as they possibly can – could slash global power consumption, cut greenhouse gases, and make the company a lot of money.
They’ve designed a range of LED down lights and replacement bulbs that use one fifth of the electricity to produce the same light output - until now, a major failing of LED lights. They fit into any 50-watt halogen assembly and work with any dimmer.
The rated life of a halogen bulb is 2000 hours, or 12 months at six hours a day, according to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Brightgreen’s are rated for 70,000 hours, or 30 years of six-hour days.They have a five-year replacement guarantee.
Hopefully the price for LEDs wll soon go down.