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Not enough light for deaf people from 2011?

lightbulb.jpgThere's currently an article on BBCi around low energy light bulbs and skin reactions.

What caught my eye was this:

The government is planning to prevent the sale of conventional bulbs by 2011 to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Okay, so how exactly are deaf people going to fare under this? Have you ever tried to lipread someone under low energy light, and sustain this? I know I can't. Sure, logic states that sign language is more eco sound, but we run into issues around usage.

I first used low energy bulbs in 1993, when I lived in a Community House, which was very big on sustainable living. In other words, I shared a house with eco-nuts well before their time. However, since the house was all hearing - apart from me - there was communication issues. I could not interact on low energy bulbs. Consequently, the house changed all its light bulbs and this was a compromise that people were prepared to make because they got it communication wasn't happening. Nevermind communication, I was left with a constant headache.

I tried low energy bulbs again about 4 years ago, and the same issues arose. My low energy bulb usage is now confined to the hall, or other spaces where I know communication is minimal. Within the main rooms, it has to be brighter lights.

Don't get me wrong, I fully support and understand green initiatives, without a planet there won't be an opportunity to communicate at all. However, have deaf people been consulted on this proposal, especially to comply with the Disability Equality Duty? What about the Equality 2025 agenda?

So what will deaf people do come 2011? Right now, it looks like we will be forced to use low energy bulbs.

Some questions:
- have these bulbs become brighter?
- are there any plans to address brightness to accommodate certain people?
- will there be any exceptions to shopping, e.g. those with low vision or Ushers, who need spaces lit up?
- will we be forced to buy a lifetime's stock of conventional light bulbs, or import these from another country? This is not an option I want to take, but the green agenda needs to also think about inclusiveness.

This goes beyond a home space, and into public spaces too. Lighting does effect how I follow an interpreter, or even communicate via other means out there.

If anyone knows of any particularly bright bulbs, or means to address this issue, please use the comment box.

Comments (13)

We recently replaced the low energy bulb in our bedroom and we were shocked at how bright the new one was. We had used the old one for 6 years or more and it must have faded gradually over the years - slowly enough so that we never noticed it dimming.

If our new bulb is anything to go by then I don't think anyone will have a problem lipreading - if anything, your problem will be how to shield your eyes and simultaneously reaching for the sunblock.

@ Steve - do you remember what brand / wattage it was?

What a mess. This reeks of communism.

Deaf blind with good central visions still need very well lights today and would demand a bit more from 2010 if it happens. At nice and fancy restaurants today, the light environment is little dim or little dark which is TOO DARK for deaf blind. Please think about that for deaf blind. Thank you

I have been using CFLs (compact flourscent light) for over 10 years now. Technology has advanced so fast lately. The latest CFLs do not look anything like that photo you have shown. That light bulb is very old style. New CFLs now come in different sizes and shapes, and even different brightnesses, range from 25 to 250

They use very very little power. They are same as the long tubes you see in big stores or in police stations.

Only careful warning - do not throw away those CFLs. Take them to special centers for recycling those CFLs because they have a little bit of mercury inside. I saved mine until enough then take them to special recycling center.

I am looking forward to even newer generation - LED!! Light-Emitting Diodes. Use 80 percent or more less power than CFLs. More brighter but very cool to touch.

In Cuba only CFLs are available. old incandescent bulbs are banned.

As someone with a house mostly full of energy saving lightbulbs, I must say I have never had any problems lipreading with them, and nor did you seem to when you visited recently! *grin* I think they've improved since 1993 ;o)

And yeh, they do take a minute to warm up, but are fine when they're fully glowing. Want me to go and look at the wattages for you?!

@ Jen, noone lipreads in your house. :)

I was skeptical about the light that low-energy bulbs put put, mostly because of an ill-fated attempt by my father to replace incandescent bulbs with low-energy counterparts more than 10 years ago.

However, last year I spent a few months in Brazil, where pretty much everyone in my community used CFLs. The nice thing is that there you have a huge choice of different wattages and colors at your disposal, and the store will even let you try out different bulbs in their sockets before you purchase one. I concur with other commenters - CFLs have improved markedly, and the ones that emit a more yellow light are actually quite nice. If you can, try out different makes and models before you buy.

I am concerned about the trace amounts of mercury that CFLs contain, though. I hope that by 2011 LEDs will have improved to the point that the entire issue will become moot.

There is this thing called Sun. Go outside and have a nice chat.

@ Paotie - There is this thing called the UK. What happens when it gets dark at 3pm?

There was a long long debate about low enegry bulbs on Slashdot sometime last year...very interesting.

To sum it up...if you get cheap low energy bulbs, then you are not going to get great quality, "off-colour" light (off colour as in...I think too white light, the sun's light is more yellow, so it being harsh and uncomfortable)

In my living rooms, I've bought Philips "globe style" light bulbs, that give out the equilivient of 120W (they are very very bright but they help offset seasonal disorder thingy by giving more light (a common cause in winter is poor quality lighting indoors)) and are quite "yellow" lighting so that they feel natural.

I actually prefer them over normal lightbulbs. In the landing, we have cheap low enegry lighting - equilivent of 60W output, pack of 3's for £2.50 from IKEA - harsh lighting, very very white, and not that bright, but for a landing, it's fine. So for rooms that I spend more time in, I'll splash out on the more expensive "natural light" enegry saving bulbs, and cheap bulbs elsewhere.

Every bulbs in the house apart from 4 bulbs are all enegry saving (fridge, cooker hob and book shelves light (2))

It's a 11 Watt General Electric. Yes, I went and checked - just for you! x

@ Steve - thanks! :)

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