Bulb Fiction: This Film Does Not Throw Light

I rarely come so thoughtfully from a cinema film as this afternoon.The documentation “Bulb Fiction”takes the prohibition of the incandescent bulb as an occasion to discuss critically with its successor, the energy saving lamp.

On 17 February 2009, the European Union decided to end the incandescent lamp and at the same time switch to more efficient sparlamps.Therefore from 1 September 2012 onwards, no incandescent lamps will be commercially available.Instead, we find – as currently the cheapest alternative – energy saving lamps on the shelves.The EU has made the decision against the background of reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

Now that I’ve seen the film, I wonder how environmentally friendly and energy-saving the so-called compact fluorescent lamps are.For the maker of the film, Christoph Mayr, does not make them appear in any good light.

Mercury damages health and the environment

Energy saving lamps contain mercury.I know that mercury is poisonous.That energy saving lamps therefore represent a serious danger to our health and the environment, the film makes me aware.If an energy saving lamp, which was in operation, breaks down mercury – not visible to us.Anyone who breathes it must expect nerve and organ damage.If I can believe the film, there is a limit (5 milligrams per lamp) for the proportion of mercury.The measurement methods, however, are inaccurate and are not monitored by an authority.

According to a study commissioned by the EU, only about every fifth energy saving lamp is being properly disposed of.The bulk of the land is landfilled and there is a risk that our drinking water and soil will be contaminated.According to the filmmaker, there is currently no repository for energy saving lamps – just as for nuclear waste.So far, they are stored underground.I find these facts unsettling.

Higher energy consumption in production, but more economical in consumption

Since 2010 the term”energy saving lamp”has been reserved for lamps which are at least 75 percent more economical than an incandescent lamp.Here the film wants to have revealed another contradiction.The production of an energy saving lamp consumes about twelve times as much energy as an incandescent lamp.Instead of one, there are 12 megajoule primary energy.This is shown by a study by the European Commission in 2008.

A fact remains completely in the film but completely outside: energy saving lamps are more efficient and consume the same power significantly less electricity than incandescent lamps.According to a publication by the DPG (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft), over 90 percent of the environmental pollution caused by lamps during their use is caused.Thus, the overall energy balance falls clearly in favor of the energy saving lamp.I myself counted in the spring and was surprised how high the cost savings can be if I converted my household completely to energy saving lamps.Read more in my blog post “Lampentausch – Lohnt sich das?”.

My conclusion:One-sided consideration

The arguments of the film against the energy saving lamp weigh heavily.For me the consideration is one-sided.All experts who come to the talk are, in my estimation, professing opponents of the energy saving lamp.And why does the director leave room for common alternatives such as LEDs in his film?Still, they are very expensive to purchase.As the developments progress, prices will fall to an acceptable level.I am convinced of that.Lamp manufacturers are already arguing today that the purchase is profitable in view of its long service life.

The energy saving lamp is certainly not the wisdom final conclusion.In my opinion, the search for alternatives to save CO2 and energy, but sense.We as consumers should pay attention to proper use and correct disposal: energy saving lamps are included in the hazardous waste.In addition, each one can check the available alternatives – besides the energy saving lamps are currently the halogen lamps or also the mentioned LEDs.

This infographics gives you a quick overview of the right light source:

If you are interested in a more detailed comparison, perhaps this link is helpful for you. According to palmyrachic, on the website, glow, energy saving lamp as well as LED light bulb with their advantages and disadvantages are described in more detail.

How do you see that?Do you know the movie?How are the arguments for or against the energy saving lamp for you?Write to me!