Enlarger Bulbs - New EU regulations

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Rob Archer, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. Rob Archer

    Rob Archer Member

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    I hear today the the European Union plan to phase out normal electric filament bulbs within 2 years. I don't have a problem with that as far as domestic lights are concerned, but it could leave us with a problem for enlarger bulbs. 'Low-Energy' bulbs have a very long warm-up time (up to 5 minutes!) and I'm not sure about the colour spectrum. Short of stockpiling bulbs (I've already got 5!) what's the answer in the long term? Has anyone here used LE bulbs in an enlarger or for contact printing?

    Rob
     
  2. dsullivan

    dsullivan Member

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    If it's implemented in a similar way to the RoHS directive where it's possible to apply for exemptions to be granted on the grounds of "technical or scientific impracticability" there shouldn't be a problem. For tungsten bulbs I think enlarger bulbs would certainly meet those, there'll be a number of other fields where colour temperature and other factors may be important as well.

    Given that the political masters have only just pushed for this it's probably going to be the case of wait and see for now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2007
  3. Jack Lusted

    Jack Lusted Member

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    As less of us continue to use enlargers and less enlargers are made it follows that spares will also be more difficult to find. The phasing out of filament bulbs is going to be a part of this decline. Never mind - adapt and survive. People are experimenting with leds and my guess is that most enlargers could be used with these as a light source. Just means that we might have to take a hack saw and drill to our precious Dursts.
     
  4. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    How about writing to your MP and MEP and politely explain to them the need to keep tungsten bulbs available for photography/alt. processes. Writing to members of the Parliamentary Photography Group would also be a good idea as at least some of them will have a vested interest.
    I can recommend http://www.writetothem.com/ as an easy means of writing to your MP, and http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ is also a useful resource.
    Once I've read up on what has actually been agreed so far this is what I'll be doing.

    Crispin
     
  5. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Recently my father's 93 year old uncle asked him if he could repair his old 1960s two bar electric fire as one of the elements had failed. It used to be you could buy replacement elements in whatever length you required. We looked everywhere in our part of the world (the very modern and over developed south-east of England) with no luck, all the retailers said they were no longer made and it would be easier to buy a new modern heater, something Dad didn't want to do as his uncle was familiar and comfortable usng the old fire he'd always had.
    A month later we were at our cottage in Wales. Large parts of Wales are still very rural and people are not so interested in the latest gadget or technological fad, and if something still works, generally it will continue to be used. So we went into Lampeter where we knew there was a good electrical retailer. He had the elements required, but only one in the size Dad wanted and Dad wanted two. 'No problem', said the owner, 'we can order in another for Friday for you!'
    So don't panic about light bulbs, it's a big world and someone somewhere will still be making the bulb you require.
     
  6. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    Hello Andy,
    Absolutely. I'm not panicking. However I believe that it is better to ensure that any legislation is done properly and includes the necessary exemptions rather than have to rely on trying to source a bulb from some obscure overseas supplier. That involves ensuring those involved in making and passing the legislation are aware of the needs of photographers and artists.
    Why make things difficult for ourselves by doing nothing when for a little effort and no cost we can at least try to keep things in our favour ? This is not a criticism of your post, more a call to arms :D

    Cheers,

    Crispin
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh well.

    If worst comes to worst, I'm sure I could rig up some kind of shutter contraption inside the lamp housing on the Durst 138S. Or put the enlarger lens in a shutter.

    Then just leave the lamp to warm up, open the shutter to expose, and shut it at the end of exposure.

    Since a low-energy bulb produces less heat than an incandescent bulb with the same light output, it might even be better!
     
  8. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    The idea of banning electric filament light bulbs is totally ridiculous; the "energy saving" bulbs work fine for some applications, but are not appropriate for many others. Furthermore, it is not the business of the state or the European Union to dictate such matters... eco-fascism and self-justifying over legislating is not the solution.

    Tom.
     
  9. Jerzy

    Jerzy Member

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    EU oficials have to show they are doing something for their hefty salaries. Recently I wanted to buy European version of GPS and wondered why it is more expensive than identical US version. Manufacturer explained, we have to be loyal to our EU dealers, they have much higher costs and have to support thousands of EU bureaucrats. Eco dictatorship is another matter, takes its toll on both sides of the pond.
     
  10. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I use the "energy saving" bulbs, they are a good option with frequently left-on lighting, I just shouldn't be forced to use them for everything (e.g. in the Kitchen or enlarger when you want halogen lighting) . We might as well ban the consumption of beef (cow farts producing methane and leading to an increase in greenhouse gases)...

    education not regulation

    Tom.
     
  11. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Isn't Australia going for the same trend, too? I heard something in the news recently. Well, the idea of "eco-friendly" whatever seems nothing more than government subsidies at this point.
     
  12. Paul.

    Paul. Member

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    Mmmm tis very worrying but as they have been reforming the house of lords for 20 years are they going to do better on this?
    Just as with the road priceing petition I belive as crispinuk that it does no harm to give notice to the powers that be that we will not be railroaded.
    I feel the practicalities of this matter will hold little weight with our political masters, what may is the safety aspect, in industry flouresent lights can cause a strobing effect so that rotateing machinery can appear stationary, which is why lathes have a tungsten working light fitted. It will take one pensioner/child to fall down stairs and break a leg because the light was not bright enough when first switched on for the hugh and cry to be on in the tabloid press, that is where the exceptions and concesions will be won in my view.
    Regards Paul.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I think this will only cover domestic lighting. Specialist use of tungsten bulbs should be o.k.
    The main use of tungsten where nothing else will work as well would be theatre/concert lighting which I'm sure will be exempt as there is no real alternative.

    Steve.
     
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  15. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    That might cover the enlarger bulb, but there is also the issue of darkroom white lights. My darkroom is now the only room in my house to use old style light bulbs. I tried the energy savers and they just take so long to reach full power that judging prints on a reasonable time scale becomes next to impossible. I suppose it might be possible to develop the equivalent of a dark lantern so that the darkroom light remains on all the time and is opened and closed with some form of shutter, but it's a bit of a faff and tube lights are notoriously power hungry when switching on, despite being economical once they are running.

    David.
     
  16. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    What a useful bunch they are in the EU. While donkeys are still being lobbed out of belfreys I would bet you could stock up all you like on filament bulbs in Spain. Just as it is easy to buy plates piled high with baby fish, such as cod etc while other EU countries put fishermen out of work and make the mesh size big enough to ensure that only as yet undiscovered giants of the deep have a chance of being caught. I dont reckon it will be a problem (unlike teh dwindling manufactureres of photo paper and film!)
     
  17. chorleyjeff

    chorleyjeff Member

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    Are you sure about the "notoriously power hungry" comment. Any figures?
     
  18. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I don't have any figures but I was told a similar thing by an electrician: that it is cheaper to leave strip lighting on rather than continually switch it on and off*.


    *for example a kitchen light over the course of an average evening.
     
  19. haris

    haris Guest

    God save the Peoples Republic of China :smile:
     
  20. ben-s

    ben-s Member

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    IDK about startup, but tubes last much longer if left on. Repeated starting is quite bad for them.
    A prime example is illustrated by a couple of lights at work. We have two lights of the same type - one over the mixing desk, in a shuttered fitting, and one in the storeroom, in the same kind of fitting, but with the shutters removed.

    The one over the mixing desk is left on all the time, and the tube hasn't been replaced for years. The one in the storeroom gets powercycled several times a day, and fails quite regularly.
     
  21. GeorgesGiralt

    GeorgesGiralt Member

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    Hi !
    The main problem with fluorescent type bulbs is that they're not eco friendly at all !
    Maybe they consume less power when left on, but, starting a fluorescent tube involves putting current in the coil called the ballast and, as you may recall from your physics classes this has a price.
    And, last but not least, remember that all eco friendly bulbs are mercury vapor based. The mercury vapor produce a huge amount of ultra violet light which is converted to visible light by a fluorecent powder inside the tube. The mercury vapor is a nasty and toxic stuff we are unable to recycle as are the rare earth powders coated inside the tube. This will ensure backyard pollution for the next generation and an enormeous increase in mercury gas into the atmosphere... Eco friendly you said ?
     
  22. Paul.

    Paul. Member

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    As an apprentice electrician some 38 years ago I was taught that you could run a fluoresent tube for 15min. for what it cost to start it up. Also they last a lot longer if not cycled on off too often as has been alraedy said.
    Regards Paul.
     
  23. dsullivan

    dsullivan Member

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    A couple of points:

    • This hasn't been proposed by the "faceless bureaucrats in Brussels" as beloved of some newspapers, it was proposed by Angela Merkel and agreed by Tony Blair and other EU leaders.
    • Light bulb power consumption - Mythbusters actually had an episode that looks at this indicating the accepted truths are out by a magnitude in terms of turn-on power consumption (seconds rather than minutes).
    Back to your regular listening
     
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  24. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    If all the household lamps go fluorescent, the manufacturing of Tungsten filament lamps may cease as it would be economically unviable. Enlarger lamps piggy back of the economy of scale in regular household lamps.

    It could happen, Walmart is telling its suppliers they want 60% of lamp sales to be fluorescents in the next five years. You better believe Wal-Mart has more clout than Australia or the EU.

    We better get ready with LED lamps that give the same colour temperature.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2007
  25. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    The WalMart push is already evident here in the US. We have a small hardware store chain in upstate NY that, to meet the competitive threat, has recently dropped the prices on the 18 watt flourescents (i.e. 75 watt tungsten equivalent) dramatically. This is great for us as we refuse to shop in WalMart.

    For general household usage we switched over to the compact flourescents years ago (as replacements when the incandecents died). We did it primarily for energy conservation purposes. However, it had an ancillary positive benefit for our NYC condo. Built in the 1960's it only has 75 amp service and if you ran too many of the modern conveniences we were blowing fuses all the time. Switching the lamps and fixtures over to the low-watt bulbs reduced our overall demand such that we now rarely blow a fuse.

    It's saved us having to upgrade our service panel, which, when you consider NYC electrician's costs, buys a lot of CF bulbs!

    As to enlarger availability; I would imagine that "specialty incadescents" will be available for a long, long time. Just like film! :D
     
  26. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    I have already posted this in another thread, but the reply quoted below that I received from Philips shows that they at least are exiting the photographic incandescent market. AFAIK Philips are the only source of supply for European 230V incandescent enlarger lamps, although I assume there are other sources of supply for 120V lamps.

    "Unfortunately the rumours that you have heard are correct. During the past 12 months we have implementing the phased closure of our incandescent factory in Weert, Holland.
    Given the reduction in demand for these Photographic lamp types, we have taken the decision to stop the manufacture of this complete lamp family.
    Manufacture on this range actually stopped in mid-summer 2006. However lamp type P34, we do still actually have some stock still available. Once it has gone it will not be replaced."