PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE: 100 y.o. light bulb
Unlike the bulb, the first camera had a limited life of about 3 years. We are hoping this one will give the bulb a run for it’s money. This Cam image will continue to be updated every 30 seconds. So to enjoy the view of Fire Station Number 6 either hit your refresh button, or click the picture above!. (via Livermore’s Centennial Light Bulb Cam)
It all changed with the Phoebus Cartel. Now, a new opportunity with LEDs:
LED actually also flicker, but at a much higher frequency; so it is usually not perceptible.
As for the quality of light, it is actually not always better than CFL.
- Incandescent bulb has a Color Rendition Index of 100. Most CFL has CRI of around 85.
- LED bulb can vary a lot. Some may go up to 90. But most LED bulbs like Philips AmbientLED has CRI of 80.
- Old dimmers, think 1960s technology, worked by adding a resistive load in series with the circuit. You could often feel the dimmer dragging over the coils as you’d move it. Essentially it’s just a variable resistor inline with your lights. The problem with this is that you never save any power and the resistor gets very hot, especially when the lights are set to very dim. (The dimmer the setting, the higher the resistance in the switch.) Fast forward to today and you’ve got all sorts of fancy dimmers. These dimmers do save power when set to anything but full power. They do this by modifying the sine wave. They still deliver the full voltage but they chop the wave when it reaches 0V and hold it for a few milliseconds. This results in flickering in some CFLs as they really require a pure sine wave. Some dimmers even modify the wave when the switch is set at 100%. That’s why they don’t work even if it’s set to maximum.
I fear that the LED bulbs won’t last their “decades” just like many CFLs stopped working after 1-2 years for the same reason: planned obsolescence.