View Poll Results: Is the Light Bulb Doomed?

Voters
17. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, it is destined for near-oblivion.

    5 29.41%
  • No, it will rule for the forseeable future.

    11 64.71%
  • What's a light bulb?

    1 5.88%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 33

Thread: Is the Light Bulb Doomed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,851

    Is the Light Bulb Doomed?

    I recently bought a ceiling light fixture for my laundry room.
    It has no light bulbs.

    Upon reflection, this makes some sense.
    LED lighting manufacturers routinely tout life expectancy in decades.
    Yet, "the bulb" is far from an ideal design for an LED source because of the difficulty in extracting heat from the electronics, especially in enclosed fixtures.
    Integrating everything into the fixture gives the designer more flexibility in finding a way to remove the heat, potentially increasing longevity.

    On the downside, instead of making one fixture and allowing the end-user to choose a bulb, this fixture has to be made in at least four models (two brightness choices, and two color temperature choices).
    So, there are increased manufacturing and inventory costs. Also, the "bulb" cost is included in the fixture cost, making it appear more expensive.

    What do you think, is the light bulb going the way of the slide rule?
    Last edited by Extravoice; 2015-Nov-10 at 01:51 PM.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,144
    I have one reservation. What is the solution to the electronics issue?

    I freely admit that LEDs can last a long time if kept cool enough. However, what about the power supplies running them? Should they be replaceable? Should we have one high quality 12VDC(or whatever voltage works best) power supply connected to the breaker panel so that we can get rid of the potentially unreliable supplies in these fixtures?

    The good thing about the bulb is mass production. Just come up with your own bulb and have it produced. You're now in the lighting market. The higher up front cost of LED fixtures will turn some(many?) people away. After spending, say, $60 on a fixture which breaks down in 2 years, some customers will not be pleased.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,939
    I picked an answer for your poll, but I think the question is too vague.

    Do you mean the incandescent light bulb is doomed? Yes, for most applications, but it will be a long time before they are gone completely.

    Do you mean a light bulb shaped object - bulb shaped, screw-in connection, photons come out of it when you put the local supply of electricity (generally 120V in the US) through it? No, I think they will be around a very long time. There are two many structures and too many lamps which are designed to use screw-in bulbs in fixtures. They may be mostly LEDS or CFLs or some other technology in the future, but that design will be around a long time.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    2,328
    Swift makes an excellent point, the "bulb" design can change but it must have a "screw-in" bottom to "fit" billions of lamps and other similar fixtures. I'll always use 60w incandescents but only for heating my well pump enclosure on sub freezing temp days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,851
    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    I'll always use 60w incandescents but only for heating my well pump enclosure on sub freezing temp days.
    Actually, the proper device for that application would be the heat ball
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    The Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    9,954
    I think it will go the way of the slide rule but not as quickly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Posts
    10,220
    Correct terminology is lamp, but the bulb shape will survive as Swift says. Because there are so many luminaries that accept them. I think new houses and vehicles will rapidly convert to led with ever better colour control and special effects, theatricals are already converting. And display screens get larger to fill whole walls. I think halogens and plain filaments will rapidly disappear.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mytho-poetic dreams.
    Posts
    11,944
    Remember when those curly-Q light bulbs were all the rage? I'm still seeing the good old-fashioned type (our home).

    I think light bulbs will last.

    If for any reason, they're cute if secured upside down and painted with faces. - joking
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,851
    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Correct terminology is lamp,
    You may be correct; my old movie projector had a lamp rather than a bulb.
    That said, If I asked someone to go into the other room and get me a lamp, they would probably return with the whole fixture, not just the thing that screws-in and glows.

    I tend to agree with Chuck. I think we will see fewer and fewer new fixtures with lamps/bulbs that are replaceable. However, the sheer number of legacy devices will ensure that they won't disappear anytime soon.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    39,923
    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Correct terminology is lamp,
    I've never heard "lamp" used to refer to only the bulb before.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    3,841
    Actually, old boot, other designs than the Edison screw-in exist?
    In the UK a 'bayonet' style fitting was universal until some years ago, with lugs on the side of the base, spring loaded contacts, and your pressed and turned to insert the bulb.
    Now, we have those, ediscrews, lugs on the bottom of the base thnat you press and and turn in and small bulbs, now LEDs, that have the wires inside that supported the element extended out and bent into a loop that you just push into the fitting.
    That's times the number of sizes and wattages available and I have a whole crate of unused bulbs in the cellar that I will probably never use, as LEDS are now becoming available, and not only lasting a vefy long time but approaching theoretical efficiency in converting electricity into light in a way that white hot wire could never do. So a LOT cheaper to run, although cheap enough to justify their cost is another matter
    The latest I've found replace those little bulbs and are shaped like a lipstick- no 'bulb' they! And I write this by the light of an LED bulb that although globular is half white plastic and half clear, containing a weird reflector/refractor that makes it a projector bulb, like the old half silvered ones.
    LEDs are also near universal in cars today, except for headlights, as the manufacturers can install a dozen where one bulb was, in intriguing patterns like eyebrows, of which one might fail - I've seen them dark - but all the others go on, so increased safety.

    Nah, bulbs are for the birds.
    John

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,939
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Originally Posted by profloater
    Correct terminology is lamp,
    I've never heard "lamp" used to refer to only the bulb before.
    I have and I knew that was the terminology used in the "biz", but I suspected, as Extravoice points out, that most people would think I was referring to the table top device in which the "lamp" is screwed in (and I don't know what that "lamp" is called in the business).

    I'm not sure why I know this, but my head is full of useless information.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,486
    Ah yes, I can still picture my dear sweet mother slaving over a hot Easy Bake Oven to provide my fresh-baked afterschool cookie. She's gone now but I still have the oven, although I'm afraid that when the old element....ummm....bulb....ummm....lamp burns out, and incandescents are no longer available, I'll be eating warm cookie dough.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Easy-Bake.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	103.6 KB 
ID:	21104
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    15,709
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I've never heard "lamp" used to refer to only the bulb before.
    I have. In multiple languages.

    Anyway, what I worry about most is how I'm supposed to explain lightbulb jokes to my grandkids. That's to say in 200 years or so.
    ____________
    "Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa
    "Your right to hold an opinion is not being contested. Your expectation that it be taken seriously is." -- Jason Thompson
    "This is really very simple, but unfortunately it's very complicated." -- publius

    Moderator comments in this color | Get moderator attention using the lower left icon:
    Recommended reading: Forum Rules * Forum FAQs * Conspiracy Theory Advice * Alternate Theory Advocates Advice

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    3,841
    "Ediscrew"! I meant 'Ediswan', which I think was the name for the company formed in the UK by the merger of the businesses of Edison and Joseph Swan, when Edison realised that Swann had just as much 'prior publication' as he did on incandescent lights, couldn't sue him out of business and bought out his rival.
    John

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    2,328
    Originally Posted by Spacedude
    I'll always use 60w incandescents but only for heating my well pump enclosure on sub freezing temp days.

    Actually, the proper device for that application would be the heat ball
    According to the site it sounds like the same thing with a different name. I stocked up on 60 watters that should last a lifetime....what's left of mine anyways

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,939
    Hi, my name is Swift, administrator of CQ. Once, vast herds of light bulbs swept across the shelves of hardware stores across our land. Today, only a few are left. Please help, before this noble symbol of 19th century technology is gone forever. For only $9.95 a day, less than a cup of grande mocha frappuccino latte half caf half soy, you can help save them.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    39,923
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Hi, my name is Swift, administrator of CQ. Once, vast herds of light bulbs swept across the shelves of hardware stores across our land. Today, only a few are left. Please help, before this noble symbol of 19th century technology is gone forever. For only $9.95 a day, less than a cup of grande mocha frappuccino latte half caf half soy, you can help save them.

    Nuke The Bulbs
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Posts
    10,220
    Here is a tip or even two tips for saving the light bulb. Search for types that have a really interesting filament shape. Some are the larger wattages like 200 Watts and some are called lighthouse lamps. I used to buy them from an importer of Russian lamps, they look really old. Next make a supply for your nice bulb at about 80% of its rated voltage. This can be a transformer. The lamps will have a nice yellow colour and give out most energy as heat, usually a waste but who cares this is conservation of bulbs not energy. The light quality is more like candlelight and the filament will last a very long time. Obviously you use the lamp bare in order to appreciate its shape and light output, preferably on one of those twisted fabric covered cords. Many people are ignorant, you can tell them it is from the eighteenth century and they may believe you, try the seventeenth century if you are bold and have the right ambience, such as a seventeenth century room with Grinling Gibbons fireplace or a handy castle. This opportunity may not last for ever, they really are going out of production like their posh cousins the transmission valves (tubes) which are relics of a soon to be lost manufacturing skill.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    16,952
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I picked an answer for your poll, but I think the question is too vague.

    Do you mean the incandescent light bulb is doomed? Yes, for most applications, but it will be a long time before they are gone completely.

    Do you mean a light bulb shaped object - bulb shaped, screw-in connection, photons come out of it when you put the local supply of electricity (generally 120V in the US) through it? No, I think they will be around a very long time. There are two many structures and too many lamps which are designed to use screw-in bulbs in fixtures. They may be mostly LEDS or CFLs or some other technology in the future, but that design will be around a long time.
    Agreed. I'm not really sure why CFLs ("curly" bulbs) or LED bulbs wouldn't be considered "lightbulbs" if they have the shape and the base. Maybe I'm just a young (what's the opposite of fogey?) punk (?), but I think of incandescents, CFLs, and LED bulbs as three designs that all fall under the larger umbrella name of "lightbulb".

    And I also think CFLs are cute, too. They look like soft-serve!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,939
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Agreed. I'm not really sure why CFLs ("curly" bulbs) or LED bulbs wouldn't be considered "lightbulbs" if they have the shape and the base. Maybe I'm just a young (what's the opposite of fogey?) punk (?), but I think of incandescents, CFLs, and LED bulbs as three designs that all fall under the larger umbrella name of "lightbulb".
    That's how I think of you Kai, a young "punk". But I agree, they are all light bulbs. That's how Loew's and Home Depot classify them, they're all in the same aisle.

    And I also think CFLs are cute, too. They look like soft-serve!
    And they come in flavors other than vanilla now. Just don't eat them.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,851
    The definition of the lightbulb that I was intending in the original post would include CFLs and replaceable LEDs.
    The bulb-less fixture I was referring to has LEDs, but no user replaceable parts. If it stops making light, you throw the whole thing away.

    I have other fixtures with CFLs and LEDs, but they use "bulbs" that I can replace.
    CFLs haven't been reliable enough to integrate into the fixture. LEDs claim to be sufficiently reliable, but time will tell.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    6,220
    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    The definition of the lightbulb that I was intending in the original post would include CFLs and replaceable LEDs.
    The bulb-less fixture I was referring to has LEDs, but no user replaceable parts. If it stops making light, you throw the whole thing away.
    It seems like you could do this reasonably with a lamp that you plug in. But I'd imagine you would not want to do this for a permanent light fixture wired into the house. It would be a huge hassle to replace the whole chandelier because some of the lights aren't working anymore.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    289
    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Some are the larger wattages like 200 Watts and some are called lighthouse lamps.
    I have a 500 Watt incandescent lamp at the shop run off of a variac so as to lessen the stress on the filament on startup. I keep it dim and the customers love it. They are commercially available up to 1500 Watts. This was told to me by the guy who runs our local Civic Center. He said he has a bank of 20 up among the HID lamps. He said the incandescents are the only lights that will dim to a nice yellow for candlelight dinners. The base for them is much larger than a standard incandescent screw type. These are about twice the diameter and are called "Mogul" size.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3,344
    I still use these
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	efficiency_light_bulb-165x300.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	7.5 KB 
ID:	21114

    Are these considered light bulbs? If so, they are still quite popular.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    16,952
    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    I still use these
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	efficiency_light_bulb-165x300.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	7.5 KB 
ID:	21114

    Are these considered light bulbs? If so, they are still quite popular.
    Yes, that is a Compact Fluorescent, or CFL, bulb, the kind I described as "shaped like soft-serve" above.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,851
    Yes, CFL are bulbs IMHO.,.and I dislike them for several reasons.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12,154

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,851
    I can see one serious flaw with a fixture that has no replaceable bulbs...
    You're stuck with the default brightness, unless you want to install a dimmer switch.

    With bulbs, you could swap a 75W for a 60W(or their CFL/LED equivalents) as long as you don't exceed the power rating of the fixture.

    I ran into this situation after repainting a bathroom. The old bulb was just too bright, given the new paint color.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    17,813
    I take advantage of CFL's to put in 75 or even 100W equivalent bulbs in fixtures rated for only 60. At my age, more light is a very good thing.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •