Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

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Mike Shaw
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Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Mike Shaw » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:08 pm

On Saturday last, whilst in Maplins, I noticed they were selling a powered 6-way A/V Source Selector Box.

It caters for composite and s-video inputs from 4 sources (eg, VCR, non-firewire camcorder, DVD player and so on, and two Scart connection inputs.

It can be remote controlled.

This was exactly what I have been looking for - the power source is to help boost the signal and provide the 'powered' remote control. I wanted it for - Hi-8 vcr, VHS(C)/VCR, DVD player, non-firewire camcorders, memory Freeview box and TV inputs.

Brilliant. Worked like a dream. Until it went wrong - I was unable to switch it on without a lot of effort, remote control useless. Next day (Sunday) I thought I'd take it back as it seemed to have packed up working. Before I packed it up, I gave it one more try. It worked perfectly again.

So today, I tried again - perfect. Hooray. Whatever was wrong had 'cured' itself. Maybe too near other electical equipment?

Tonight, it failed again. This was stupid - what could it be - overheating? Too near other equipment? What happens at night that doesn't happen during the day?

You guessed it. We switch the lights on ... in my case, a desk top light ... with an energy lamp. I switched that off ... and it worked perfectly again!

The lamp intereferes with the infra red receiver in the unit- masks out all remote control signals, and even 'swamps' the sensing circuits so that it cannot be switched on manually either.

So, a word of warning - be careful if using energy saving lamps near infra red detection equipment!!

(Some of you may already know, I have a thing about remote controls ... if not, this says it all... http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=J31YnRXMU1Q )

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Mike Shaw » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:51 am

BTW, forgot to mention - in case anyone doesn't know the trick.

To check whether a Remote Controller is working, point it at a (switched on) camcorder, and press one of the remote's buttons whilst looking through the camcorder's viewfinder. If you see the sender 'light up', its working.

The camcorder viewfinder is sensitive to infra red lights - so they can be seen when on.

...its a quick way to check whether a remote's batteries need changing ... (well, quick if you have a camcorder handy)

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billyfromConsett
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by billyfromConsett » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:55 am

Good tip Mike - about a remote that is...

cheers Billy

Roy

Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Roy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:19 pm

Thanks for the info Mike, very enlightening about the energy saving lamps. I'm taking mine out of the computer room. Roy.
ROY IS royfromDurham on YouTube

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Mike Shaw » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:23 am

It seems to be one type of Energy saving lamp - in the desk lamp there's the sort that looks like a spiral tube - that's the one that causes trouble. The ceiling light is the sort that looks like three U tubes - and that doesn't seem to cause a problem.

To prove it is only the spiral type that causes the problem I changed the bulbs over between desk and ceiling lights: result - ceiling light on prevents the infra red sender from working, desk lamp on is OK.

So - definitely one type of bulb - the spiral type - causes the problem.

This makes me wonder - what is the difference between the two types of bulb? I thought it was just the shape. Apparently not!

Roy

Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Roy » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:32 am

Mike, thanks for throwing more light about the difference in the lamps. I am now putting back my lamp in the computer room. Roy :lol:

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:57 am

The Australian electronics magazine "Silicon Chip" has studied this problem. They found that some CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) designs give off infrared at a frequency of about 20-30kHz. That is very close to the frequency at which household remotes work.

Other reports do support the view that the spiral designs often give off stronger infrared than the others.

If your lamp fitting has any kind of infrared filter - usually heavy glass - that should reduce the effect. But note that with the U shaped lamps the strongest infrared emission is from the ends of the bulb ... so point them away from the telly or who knows what channel it may switch to !


Philips claims to have solved the problem with its lamps.

The best advice seems to be to experiment with different brands of CFL lamps. I would guess - and it is only a guess - that the dimmable kind which are controlled by infrared remotes should not give trouble.

Dave

tom hardwick
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by tom hardwick » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:57 am

These fluorescent 'energy-saving' lamps won't be around for long though as I'm thinking LED technology will quickly supersede them. LEDs use even less energy (almost zero heat) and can be designed to give all sorts of spread patterns.

Dimmable bulbs here:

http://www.energybulbs.co.uk/product...0gQgodRSc fmQ

tom.

Roy

Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Roy » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:57 am

Thanks Tom for energy lights web site. All energy saving bulbs seem to be very expensive, is it one more example of rip off Britain. Government to stop production of ordinary bulbs so the manufacturers take advantage of a captive market to hike up the price. Does anyone remember in the old days when we were told to save electricty and gas. The dutiful public did and what happened, the sale of gas and electric went down and so did the profits of the nationalised power companies. Answer for them, they increased the tarrifs so everyone who saved power had to spend more to use it. I think the same thing will happen if LED power saving lamps were used in a big way. ah well happy days. Roy

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:25 pm

As at the start of 2010 effective LED lamps to replace normal household ones are still around £40 - £50 each and like the cfl ones the claimed outputs never seem quite to match what our eyes see with normal incandescent bulbs. ("That's never the same as 60 watts!") The good news is that even at this price LEDs can be a bargain because their extremely long life and very low running cost mean you can save money over a period of several years.

The USA is changing in the next couple of years and will stop selling incandescent bulbs, which should mean LED lamps get cheaper. The colour of light they give off is better than it used to be.

In the meantime an electrical engineering friend of mine warns that different flouorescent lamps give off different levels of radio interference. The compact ones (cfls like the "pig's tail" or "three U bends" types) interefere in the medium and long wave range. Many four and five foot tubes interfere in the FM range. He reckons there just is not space within the compact lamps to add another filter. Perhaps the reasoning goes that modern households never use medium and long wave radio stations.

Dave

Alternative4u
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Alternative4u » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:47 pm

I wonder if anyone has thought as to why we were made to go over to these so called energy saving lamps? you even have been given them have you not by none other than the power companies of all people yes? well what if we have been made to look like fools again by doing as told? we have a 3 bedroom house, we have used these power save bulbs since we moved here in 2002. I have taken meter readings every Sunday every week, but 2 months ago I removed these so called saver lamps and put 60 watt normal bulbs in living room, bathroom, bedroom, and guess what? the week I used them my meter reads went from 58 units used down to 44, WOW what is going on here I thought.
Anyway it turns out that ONLY if you leave those energy bulbs on for a long time do they start to save you money, it's true, if you go to the loo and turn on and off the energy saver bulb in that 3 min you have used enough electric to power a normal lamp for 4 hours.
It turns out they use lots of power to get lit up, the gas has to power up at massive force, no honest it is true, we have yet again been ripped off.
You need to use normal bulbs in every room where you just need light for a short while, the funny new bulbs need to be in rooms you light up most of the night say 5pm till 11pm, leave them on, that's cheap, turn them off you are only helping power firms to get more profits.
David

Roy1
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by Roy1 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:20 pm

I said a long time ago on this forum that there would be a catch in it

col lamb
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Re: Beware the dreaded Energy Saving Lamps!!!

Post by col lamb » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:28 am

I have only just spotted this thread

I am in the trade and we generally advise that flourescents of all types are best used where they are not going to be switched on and off regulary, as a rough guide anything less than 10 minutes on and they can use considerably more than an old GLS, but soon you will not have a choice as GLS are being phased out.

We have just had a Rep in with LED road lights and they do give off quite a lot of light and save a lot of energy, but they do not currently pay for themselves as the cost is £400 against $60 for a Mercury vapour and only last 1000 hours more. Also had demo of GU LED's you could fry an egg under them.
Col Lamb
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