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BC3 bulbs - yet another mandatory inconvenience


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Old 03-01-2011, 18:05
That Bloke
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I've been in a new build property for a couple of years now and just had my first bulb die on me. I was fully prepared for this because I've got a fair stock of CFL bulbs from various sources as I've been using them for years.

However, I was a bit surprised to find that the bulb wouldn't fit. A little more investigation revealed that the socket isn't a standard 2 pin bayonet but a new style of 3 pin bayonet called BC3. The bulbs for this style cost around 10 and are MUCH harder to find.

Apparently the builders now have to put in a certain number of sockets that can ONLY take CFL bulbs, so we have a variety of these new styles that can only take proprietary bulbs costing far more than they should

I sometimes wonder what the heck goes through the minds (if anything) of the people who write these regulations. Don't they realise that making peoples lives more difficult for absolutely no reason is hardly the way to encourage behaviour changes? We tend to be a bloody minded lot in the UK and I'm seriously considering using a 3 bar electric fire for all my lighting needs just to prove a point! (OK, I'm not really... but it IS annoying to have to change the light fitting as well as the bulb!)
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Old 03-01-2011, 18:09
Richard_T
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Apparently the builders now have to put in a certain number of sockets that can ONLY take CFL bulbs, so we have a variety of these new styles that can only take proprietary bulbs costing far more than they should
if your able to, change the socket, and use standard bulbs.
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Old 03-01-2011, 18:29
That Bloke
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if your able to, change the socket, and use standard bulbs.
Yep, that's what I'm going to do (well, standard CFLs). It's just very annoying that for no reason whatsoever a simple task has been made that little bit more difficult and far more time consuming than it needed to be.
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Old 03-01-2011, 18:34
paulyoung666
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makes you wonder who is getting a backhander for this , changing the light fitting is easy enough but how many people will know / care to do it , and you aint going to make me believe that a BC3 CFL is more expensive to make than a normal BC or E fitting CFL
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:02
Stewie_C
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The fittings you refer to were put in at the time incandecent lamps were still availailable to ensure that newbuilds complied with building regs with regard to low energy lamps. If the builder fitted standard fittings there was no way to enforce building regulations. Punters would put in a low energy lamp for show when the building inspector came round, and put a proper lamp in the moment he left. As you can now only buy low energy lamps for 60 and 100w, electricians fit standard BC lamp fittings nowadays as the newbuild will by default comply. The odd thing was that I work for a contractor with contracts with the local council. At the time, building regs would insist we fitted them to comply, and someone in the same office would instruct us to go and change them for normal fittings every time a lamp blew as the cost of the BC3 lamps was too expensive. Go figure!

The lamps you refer to are difficult to obtain, and certainly more pricey. It may pay you to get someone competent to change the fittings back to normal ones and fit standard low energy lamps.
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:05
555
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I sometimes wonder what the heck goes through the minds (if anything) of the people who write these regulations
Their game of golf with the CEO of Osram or GE?
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:08
Stewie_C
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Their game of golf with the CEO of Osram or GE?
See above - it was due to enforcing building regs whilst incandescent lamps were still on the shelves, but it's all changed now. Back to proper fittings.
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:09
555
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See above - it was due to enforcing building regs whilst incandescent lamps were still on the shelves, but it's all changed now. Back to proper fittings.
Good stuff
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:11
fleet
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So its probably more costly to the environment to have 2 different fittings, than just using ordinary bulbs!
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:15
Stewie_C
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The environmental reasoning behind BC3 was that if people had a choice, most would opt for conventional lamps as opposed to the low energy ones. It was felt that a different fitting would force people to adopt what was seen as more environmentally freindly lamps. Now all you can get (pretty much) is the eco lamps there is no need for the weird fittings.
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:15
That Bloke
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See above - it was due to enforcing building regs whilst incandescent lamps were still on the shelves, but it's all changed now. Back to proper fittings.
Great, nice to know that they've only pissed off a certain number of people. I can actually understand the logic of the people writing the regulations, but all it really does is prove that they are thick and have no understanding of human nature. Or economics. Or electrical safety now there will be houses full of lights which have been rewired by people who only know what they are doing based on web based instructions.

Thank god they're probably unemployed now (or more likely working for electrical component manufacturers)
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