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Light Colour Temperature and Bulb Ban

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The incandescent light bulb is a light producing source equipped with a metallic filament glowing when the electric current passes through it. An important attribute of the light produced is the colour of the light. To visualize better the light colour concept: a candle's light colour temperature is 1850degK and the Sun produces the light with the colour temperature of around 5500degK.

light colour temperature chart

Our sentiments towards the incandescent light bulb could be biologically generated. The superhormone melatonin necessary for the human to function, is secreted by the pineal gland in dark conditions only. The sunlight absorbed through the eyes, especially in the range of 460-480 nm of the wave length (light blue coloured), suppresses the melatonin production. It is considered that the light coloured 3500degK or less is relatively safe for melatonin production, and above 3500degK increasingly more of the melatonin production is suppressed.
The light produced by the incandescent light bulb has the colour temperature between 2700degK and 3500degK, and they are in the safe range. The Halogen and Xenon light bulbs are technically incandescent, but their light colour temperature is about 4100degK and it resides in the relatively unsafe range. The light colour temperature for the CFL and LED bulbs is adjustable during the production process. The CFL and LED bulbs with different light colour temperatures are available on the market, starting at 2700degK (yellowish), going all the way to 7000degK (bluish).

incandescent bulb 1incandescent bulb 2incandescent bulb 3incandescent bulb 4incandescent bulb 5

The Big Sin of the incandescent light bulb is its inefficiency. On average the incandescent light bulb converts only 2% of the supplied electrical energy into visible light. The rest of the energy is converted into heat. Unfortunately, for the incandescent light bulb, people figured out how to produce heat in safer and more efficient ways. Very few niche markets are left for heat producing electric incandescent light bulb.

Electric energy is an important commodity and the governments who intend to remain stable cannot treat electrical energy shortages with disregard. The first countries to ban the incandescent bulbs were Brazil and Venezuela in 2005. Australia followed in 2009. Several countries, including the EU, either banned or are in process of banning the good old incandescent bulb. Canada was scheduled for a 2012 ban, but the federal government preferred to follow the US in 2014. Peoples Republic of China plans to follow the ban in 2016. Up to date worldwide conditions of The Incandescent Bulb Ban are available at The Wikipedia.

incandescent bulb ban sign

As usual, there are some opponents of phasing out the outdated light source. It looks like a replay of the situation at the beginning of the 20th century, when users of the gas light and kerosene burning lamps tried to stop electric light development. There were no better lamp-wicks then, and there are no better incandescent bulbs now. The device called the incandescent light bulb approached the end of its useful life and is gracefully stepping down from the world stage.


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