Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Planned Obsolescence and the end of tungsten bulbs

Planned Obsolescence is a terrible thing not only from a consumer's point of view but also it's terrible for the environment. I have an uncle who worked for Osram and he always felt uneasy about the practice (that was very common in the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs) of pumping a transient high current through the bulbs as they came off the production line to ensure they failed after an average of 1000 hours. Without that final conditioning (sic!) a tungsten filament bulb will last tens of thousands of hours. In fact some companies sold those bulbs for many times the price in industrial quantities to users for whom sending a person down the sewer (for example) to replace a bulb hugely outweighed the price of the lamp.
I'm glad the compact fluorescent has put pay to the tungsten lamp, and hopefully LEDs will be the next evolution - they consume a tiny fraction of the current for the same light output.
Let's hear it for the rainforests!

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