Enlarger Bulbs - New EU regulations
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?
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 dsullivan; 03-10-2007 at 01:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: an exemptions? My grammar are good
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.
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.
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.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
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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
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!
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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.
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.
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