Always Look on the Bright Side!

The following is from the Freedom Light Bulb blog
As regards Howard Brandston, he is a well known lighting designer with numerous projects including lighting the statue of Liberty, also a guest lecturer, visiting professor, and the Congress choice of expert opinion on lighting issues – a lone voice against the light bulb ban in Senate hearings!
His biography, online commentary, and business.


Imagine calling a fluorescent bulb Tru Dim 😉
(it’s dimmable, apparently, and full of fun components)


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Following on from the post about renowned lighting designer Howard Brandston’s Mondo article, he has also updated his website commentary, with a letter to Consumer Reports (that they did not publish)
Excerpts, my highlights:

The design of lighting is the creation of a system to light a space.
When you take the total energy used to light many typical spaces, including the lighting controls, the total connected load and energy consumed when using incandescent light sources the result is, in many cases, equal to or more efficient than the new sources you are touting.

Then you make a serious technical error when you state that lumens measures brightness.
Lumens are a measure of radiant energy in the visible spectrum – not brightness.
More lumens do not mean more brightness or visibility – nor that you will prefer the light illuminating the scene or object it is falling upon. What is critical in this case is the Spectral Power Distribution of the light source.
In this case, when evaluated by most viewers, the incandescent light bulb wins – most of the time. That does not mean there are not several applications where alternative light sources perform perfectly well and are preferred. But to ban the incandescent light bulb is a serious detriment to the design of good lighting for many applications. People will sort that out by themselves without the help of legislation….

Howard M. Brandston, FIES, Hon. FCIBSE & SLL, FIALD, LC.



As covered previously here, Lumens are replacing Watts as the new standard for buying light bulbs by (supposedly) brightness…

CFLs and LEDs have spiky emission spectra, so strong brightness in single pure light colors might confuse the measurements, compares to the smoother, broader, light color emissions as with incandescents.

There are a lot of reasons why CFLs and LEDs seem dimmer than their lab rated values…
more on CFL brightness here (,
and some additional notes on LED brightness (



1 Comment

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One response to “Always Look on the Bright Side!

  1. Nativegrl77

    I think i liked your post and then copied it to twitter! Thank you for acknowledging my “efforts’ of citizen action. I feel like and as we all now know PresObama had no cooperation from blue dogs or Republicans then the Teapublicans took office created chaos not solutions. So, the real problem for me is Congress, working maybe 190days out of 365 and a whole lot of folks misusing the act of filibustering to take down the first African American President – tough to get America back on track when a Political Party says NO to legislation that passed without effort in the past …


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