Re: Re: Energy Efficiency/New Building Regulations

Home Forums Ireland Energy Efficiency/New Building Regulations Re: Re: Energy Efficiency/New Building Regulations


I think that the case for energy efficient lighting is a bit more subtle than many think.

The law of conservation of energy means that energy doesn’t just “disappear”; in the case of incandescent bulbs, the “lost” energy is emitted as heat. Therefore for indoor lighting in colder climates (such as ours), it is only during the summer that the energy is wasted. At other times, believe it or not the energy “wasted” on the bulbs is “saved” from your heating bill.

Given the high cost of construction and disposal of CFL lighting, I’m not at all convinced that replacing simple cheap relatively clean dimmer-friendly devices like incandescent bulbs with compact CFLs yields an environmental dividend under these circumstances. Remember fluorescents contain nasty stuff like mercury and require a support electronics and don’t take kindly to being switched on and off regularly.

The case for low energy alternatives for outdoor applications and generally in warmer climates is clear.

LED is great but current manufacturing techniques make them impractical for domestic applications although there are promising developments in this area.

I think it’s a bit early to think of banning incandescent bulbs outright.

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