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Light bulb ban threatens artworks, says curator

The Local · 26 Dec 2010, 12:52

Published: 26 Dec 2010 12:52 GMT+01:00

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Wulf Herzogenrath, curator of the Bremen gallery, said, "In every gallery there are artworks with beautiful light bulbs. They cannot simply be replaced." This form of lighting is part of the authentic effect of the work, he claimed.

The art historian told the DAPD news agency that in the Bremen Kunsthalle alone, two important works, 'Lichtraum' by Otto Piene and 'Videosynthesizer' by Nam Jun Paik, both incorporated light bulbs as essential elements. Herzogenrath said that many 1960s artists used everyday objects in their work.

But the curator was confident that the EU's phasing out of incandescent light bulbs would not threaten the illuminating oeuvre of Piene and Paik just yet. "We have a reserve that will last for my lifetime and that of my children," he said, brightening up, and he thought most other museums were equally well stocked.

The EU is phasing out the production and trade of conventional light bulbs and halogen lamps in favour of more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs. One-hundred-watt lamps have been unavailable since September 2009, while clear 75-watt bulbs disappeared in September 2010. By 2012, all 40 and 25-watt bulbs will also be switched off. Halogen lamps will be phased out by 2016.

The more enlightened German art and architecture scene has organized a petition calling for a repeal of the ban. Apart from Herzogenrath, signatories include such leading lights as Andreas Gursky, Georg Baselitz, Thomas Demand and Carsten Höller.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:37 December 26, 2010 by SockRayBlue
The US will be repealing the requirement that CFL's replace traditional light bulbs. Reason? The mercury in CFL's are more hazardous that normal light bulbs.

The CFL's are made in China. Why support them?
00:07 December 27, 2010 by rfwilson
This legislation is like shooting yourself in the foot!

What kind of moron legislates CFLs claiming that they are good for the environment, but which actually contain environmentally hazardous materials that require special and expensive disposal??

And why are LEDs looked upon so favourably? LEDs are much less efficient than CFLs, and their manufacture is environmentally hostile.

Just as bad, is that CFLs produce an ugly light, and typically do not last anywhere near as long as their 10,000 hour claimed life. When used in some applications that required constant switching on and off, they don't last much longer than ordinary tungsten lamps!

The light from LEDs is so bad that they make CFLs look good by comparison... they are missing large parts of the visible spectrum.

Brilliant.... just bloody brilliant!
08:29 December 27, 2010 by catjones
Tom Edison says, "I'm completely in the dark when it comes to CFLs and LEDs".
09:58 December 27, 2010 by tallady
catjones...good one
20:43 December 30, 2010 by tomjack
How many directors does it take to chance a light bulb A 100 Watt?
19:12 January 5, 2011 by Hyperkinetic
@SockRayBlue, @rfwilson: Where were you guys 50 years ago when business *EVERYWHERE* started using 4' T12 fluorescent lamps? BILLIONS if not TRILLIONS of them have been sent to landfills at the end of their useful life, and ALL of them have more mercury than CFLs! Either your priorities are out of wack, or you're shills for some industry or trade in competition with CFLs.

@rfwilson: Cree has LEDs that compete with the efficiency of CFLs, and with in the next five years LEDs will surpass CFLs in lumens/watt. They're almost there. CFLs come in a variety of phosphors that have spectra matching that of incandescent lamps. Ironic that you whine about the environment, but are unwilling to consume less energy using CFLs because their spectra offends your delicate sensibilities. Doing the right thing isn't all that hard.
15:15 February 24, 2011 by bes2362
The light bulb ban is pretty well described here - http://www.lampshoponline.com/news/4/The-Light-Bulb-Ban.html

It's not such a bad thing, the new tubes are smaller, last longer and are more efficient = less landfill, less wasted energy and less bulbs used!
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