You are not being honest in your appraisal.
Dimming bulbs filaments to the near "glow" point is a well known method
to save bulbs, and expensive halogens at that. I own a number of slide
dissolve units and they all use this method to keep from causing
filament stress, and its a GREAT IDEA. What you failed to mention is
that the amount of electricity required to keep the bulbs at just below
glow threshold is very low compared to the amount used to power than at
proper brightness, which is why almost no heat is generated.
Also, the operative words are "years ago". Here in little ol' Victoria,
a company has been making all sorts of sign and street lighting using
LEDs which work on solar recharging systems. They not only use
basically non-burn out lighting, but they don't even plug into an
electrical source. They gather solar during the day and use it during
the night. They can light bus shelters in the middle of nowhere,
outdoor street signs, etc, etc. In fact, Victoria is full of
So goes argument one.
Most televisions today do not require nor do they maintain any
substantial drain - more like a couple of watts trickle charge,
equivalent to not much more that an LED nightlight or so, which BTW,
costs about $1 a year in electrical usage, if that. Again, you are
right, when televisions used tubes or tube/solid state hybrids they did
this because the warmup time was long, the tubes and other discrete
components tended to drift as they warmed up, and with the hybrids, the
tubes took much longer to stabilized than did solid state parts to power
up, etc. Today, they use, minute charges (like under 4W) mainly to hold
information, like last volume setting, or color settings, or last
channel selected. It could be done with a rechargeable battery or
larger cap, and maybe some do now.
So goes argument two.
Hard core audiophiles have been proven to have tin ears, so personally,
I don't care what they think. All their talk of "warmth, and harmonics
has been found to be no more than turntable hiss and rumble and surface
noise, or flashbacks from bad acid trips (not that I'm knocking acid
trips, mind you, even bad ones.) But I'm not surprised they still use
tube amps with amplifier tubes big enough to heat a house and as costly
as well. I've got some great big fat cables with gold ends and Krypton
cores to sell you if you are interested ;-) The truth is, the only
valid reason for tube amps today is for guitarists who can't get enough
of amp overload howl.
Where was I... oh yes, so goes argument three
Argument four actually has some merit. In principal, you are correct,
birth to death environmental costs should be considered in use and
application. Buying a $2 hammer that you need to replace every 3 months
because the handle breaks or the head falls off is not only bad
environmentally, but poor economy when a $15 one will last a lifetime.
(Assuming of course, you use the hammer regularly).
However, your argument falls apart when it comes to spinning hard drives
and running computers 24 hours a day. The truth is, the longevity of
most parts has not be shown to increase that substantially (because
there are other consequences to solid state and motor devices which run
continually), and costs (even environmental ones) reduce with recycling
of materials, and continual reduction of raw materials required and
cleaner processes in manufacture. The truth is, most people with
computers, unlike myself, who keeps a system until it either dies or
truly becomes so obsolete that the schools won't even take it for free,
the VAST majority of people upgrade or discard their equipment long
before it fails. Running a 250-450 watt power supply powering a whole
computer system just to keep some hard drives alive an extra several
months is poor economy both environmentally and economically.
The vast majority of US electricity (I'm speaking close to 90%) is
produced from burning the poorest grades of coal, which not only produce
acid rain, but also burn so inefficiently that they create massive
amounts of CO2.
While each of your arguments have some merit when looked at in a
isolated manner, you have been less than forthright about what the
implications and impacts are. We are not speaking about the amount of
current required to power a sub-glow bulb to extend its life literally
5-10 times, or a television memory chip which barely has enough charge
going to it to be measurable, when we speak about running a computer
24/7. Also, making ANY reference to audiophiles is suspect, but even
more suspect is placing amplifier tubes in the same realm as solid state
electronics and motors. Incandescent bulbs and electronic tubes are
some of the very oldest technology still used (and I'd go as far as
saying nearly every audiophile still using a tube amp is probably
somewhat a Luddite.)
LED, LCD, Cold cathode fluorescent are all slowly eclipsing
incandescent because of those very limitations... filament stress, lost
of power to heat rather than light, etc. And sorry for the pun, but your
arguments also make a lot more heat than light, also. ;-)
Don Doucette wrote:
> Did you know you can make a light bulb last up to 5 times longer if you
> don't turn it off? Years ago I was put in charge of figuring out a way to
> keep bulbs in outdoor signs from dying so quickly as the company I was
> doing the work for was spending a fortune in bulbs and labor to replace
> them. The solution of course was to not turn off the signs but rather to
> dim them to the point where they were not visible during the day but yet
> still keep power to the bulbs reducing the shock of ON/OFF cycles.
> Most television sets these days never turn off any more, they just switch
> to standby, why? the manufacturer tells the consumer that the TV turns on
> quicker if it is not allowed to completely tun off but the real truth of
> the matter is that the shock of turning power on and off causes more damage
> to the electronics than leaving them powered thereby shortening the life
> span of the television .
> Hard-core audiophiles never turn off their audio electronics, why? they
> will tell you that the sound quality of a cold amp is harsh and thin when
> compared to the sound from amplifier that has been ON for 24 hours BUT the
> OTHER reason is that TUBES in high end amplifiers are ridiculously
> expensive look here http://store.yahoo.com/thetubestore/wesel30.html , a
> matched pair of Western Electric 300B tubes will set you back US$700, OUCH!
> If turning off an amplifier prolonged the life of this tube audiophiles
> would turn off their amps, believe me.
> SO the point of my discussion is that the power savings is a moot point
> when you consider the cost and environmental impact of manufacturing new
> products all the time, either you use a little more energy now keeping you
> computer turned on or when it fails prematurely from constant cycling
> (ON/OFF) you drive (gasoline) to the store(lights, heat, employee
> transportation, electricity to power the whole store) and buy a monitor
> which was manufactured (lights, heat, employee transportation, equipment in
> the manufacturing process such as assembly lines, reflow soldering
> stations, cardboard and Styrofoam for packaging (also manufactured)) and
> shipped to the store (more fuel used), all of which, in the grand scheme of
> things, negates any savings realized from turning your computer off.
> Just my $.02 worth.
> Don Doucette
>>It's cumulative. If every computer in the world used half the power it
>>now does, or less, the impact would be substantial. Do you keep the
>>monitor on as well (even if in power save mode?). It all adds to the
>>burden. More to the point, its unnecessary. You may have to go to
>>work, you may have to use your computer at home, but you don't have to
>>keep in on 24/7. You get little direct advantage from it, and it is
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