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Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Scientific American last month had a useful chart about light bulbs.  We now all know that those compact fluorescent (CFL) ones still cost a little more, but save a lot of money and energy in the long term.  In fact, the old incandescent ones (which get hot to the touch--explaining why this is inefficient, for the potential light is turned to wasted heat) will phase out in 2014.  Actually, it is a lot more complicated than that, for...not worth can read that article.  

So here is the useful comparison:

As a reminder to some of you, if your monitor cannot read the fine print, just click on the chart.

Let me create a new table for you:


CFL                              $0.22
Incandescent                 $0.49
Halogen                         $1.59
LED                               $2.25

The light emitting diode (LED) is clearly too expensive for home lighting.  But you have used it for decades, as your digital alarm clock, watch, stereo lights and portable electronics feature this form of light.  While expensive, in very tiny sizes, they are worth the extra lifetime.

Street lighting started began not long after Jesus Christ, with oil lamps in the time of the Greeks/Romans, then candles in colonial America, to natural gas, and electric arc lamps / incandescent light as early as the late 1800's.  Mercury vapor came in 1948, and these made Honolulu City Lights blue.  Unfortunately beginning around 1970, high pressure sodium took over and turned our cities orange.  This is why if you clicked on the Beamers' video, the lights were not blue because Honolulu was already converting to sodium vapor.   Why aren't CFL's used for this application?  The intensity is lacking.

Someday external inductor lamps could be used, for they last 100,000 hours.  They currently interfere with radio communication and are expensive.

To close, HAPPY VALENTINE, and good luck to Jeremy Lin and the Knicks in Toronto tonight.  Oh, he gets $800,000/year, which is not bad, but consider that the AVERAGE NBA player makes $5.15 million.

Economy section being constructed.

Tropical Cyclone swept through Madagascar today at 120 MPH with some devastation and loss of lives:


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