|Re: calculator longevity [o.t.]|
Message #16 Posted by Nicholas Winterer on 10 Oct 2011, 4:03 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Garth Wilson
Not to mention they have a completely different spectral distribution from regular incandescent bulbs. Where incandescents emit light over the entire visible spectrum (they approximate the famous planck distribution), CFLs emit only a few discrete frequencies of light, designed to trick our eyes into seeing white light. You can verify this by looking through a pair of those cardboard diffraction grating glasses for kids. Instead of rainbows, you see several narrow bands.
The problem with CFLs is that the frequency response of the cones in our eyes varies among humans. CFLs look white on average, but I imagine they could be pretty annoying for those on the edges of the bell curve. The 3500 K CFLs don't look that bad to me, but I can't stand the higher color temperature ones (they look too blue). I've talked to others who prefer the 4100 K or 5500 K CFLs and think the 3500 K look too orange.
The other problem with CFLs is color renditioning. Some objects will look really weird under a CFL. While a CFL may look white while looking straight at it or watching it reflect off a white object, it can give colored objects a weird tinge. Many pigments respond to a narrow range of wavelengths, and if the CFL does not emit that wavelength then the color of the object will appear different than it would under sunlight. In fact, some objects which would appear identical in color under sunlight could appear to be different colors under a CFL.
The regulation of light bulbs is insane considering that residential lighting (where most incandescents are used) accounts for less than 1% of the energy usage in the US. Still, our regulators will pat themselves on the back for making the world a safer place and we will be forced to buy overpriced, ugly light bulbs from a cartelized light bulb industry (who will constantly lobby for additional regulation to further restrict competition).