Re: Re: Energy Efficiency/New Building Regulations
For all the hoohah over energy conservation through heat retention in recent times, almost zero effort or regulation has gone into the same regarding domestic lighting: it remains as much in the dark ages as it was in the 1950s. It has been often noted that CFLs will remain the cumbersome, ugly, and impractical units they always have been until such a time as their ballasts (electrical base) is incorporated into light fittings themselves, and yet absolutely nothing has happened on the ground regarding mandatory inclusion on suitable fittings. And if anything, the CFL bulb as a concept is now more redundant than it was ten years ago thanks to the fashion for discreet downlighters, sparkling halogen bulbs and streamlined miniature luminares – the idea of a clunky pendent with frilly all-concealing lampshade is almost dead and buried.
And yet go into any electrical retailer and all you will see is ranks of E-rated traditional incandescent bulbs designed for the further ranks of traditional baynot and screw-in lamps arranged alongside, and a handful of ridiculously over-priced CFLs, the only half-decently shaped ones of which cost the best part of a tenner – they can be bought much more cheaply, and with much greater choice, outside of Ireland. And the fashion for halogen lighting is little better in energy conservation – indeed the move from 20w to 50w downlighters in the space of a few years is truly extraordinary. Clearly the inital allure of cost-savings with halogen has very quickly worn off. The average scattering of say nine of these fittings in the average kitchen or living room amounts to a whopping 315w at 35w a piece, or 450w at 50w each, the latter now more common. This is a massive increase on perceived ‘inefficient’ incadescent bulbs where perhaps a 100w central pendant or fluorescent tube once was. The same with bathroom lighting, outdoor lighting, and many other uses. Similarly these fancy chromed multi-arm living room pedents with minature halogens can consume up to 200w a pop.
If anything, domestic lighting has been digging itself into an even bigger hole in recent years that will prove even harder to emerge from in coming years. The more an unsuitable infrastructure is put in place, the more difficult it is to adapt from. LED technologies meanwhile have barely registered on the domestic radar thus far, in spite of inroads in the commercial sector. Big improvements have to be made.
Very interesting article here on the energy consumption of household gadgets too. Even where they are more efficient than before, the sheer volume of them and amount of usage they receive simply wipes savings out.