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Thread: 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    50 Things that Made the Modern Economy

    Fascinating podcast put out by BBC World. I assume it's only going to run for, ahem, 50 episodes, but so far they've all been awesome.

    Just finished the episode about light bulbs. Who knew that back when burning wood was the only way to make artificial light it used to cost 500,000 times more per unit of light than it does now. It's so cheap today that most don't even think about the cost of it. It's remarkable to think that my mother was so adamant that we turn out the lights when we left a room. And this was after the invention of lightbulbs. Lighting was already historically cheap at that point, costing roughly $.015 in 2017 dollars for an hour of electricity with a 100 watt incandescant bulb. Today, thanks to CFLs and LEDs that are way more efficient and longer lasting, the cost is a fraction of what it was just 40 years ago when I was a kid.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    And LEDs have the additional bonus of years and years of useful life. I've got LEDs everywhere.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    And LEDs have the additional bonus of years and years of useful life. I've got LEDs everywhere.
    Yes, but... there is always a but. What amount of energy did it take to develop the LED's and now to manufacture and dispose of them?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Yes, but... there is always a but. What amount of energy did it take to develop the LED's and now to manufacture and dispose of them?
    An interesting question to which I don't have the answer. My guess, though, would be less than the amount of energy needed to manufacture ten equivalent brightness incandescent bulbs since leds supposedly last approximately ten times longer. And obviously much less than chopping enough wood down to make comparable amounts of light.

    And the alternative of spending fully 50% of my life in the dark is not especially appealing.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    My problem with LEDs is that many of them emit large amounts of RF energy because they are poorly designed and manufactured, and violate FCC standards. The result of this is considerable interference with large chunks of the usable radio spectrum, in particular two of the bands commonly used for public service communications - like my fire pager and two-way radio.

    I'm hoping this gets sorted soon. I'd love to be able to use the lights at home, but it's hit-or-miss whether any particular LED bulb or even batch of bulbs will be RFI-clean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    My problem with LEDs is that many of them emit large amounts of RF energy because they are poorly designed and manufactured, and violate FCC standards. The result of this is considerable interference with large chunks of the usable radio spectrum, in particular two of the bands commonly used for public service communications - like my fire pager and two-way radio.

    I'm hoping this gets sorted soon. I'd love to be able to use the lights at home, but it's hit-or-miss whether any particular LED bulb or even batch of bulbs will be RFI-clean.
    bae, how can you tell? Other than seeing if they interfere with things i mean.

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