12 February 2011

Lights out

After nearly 30 years on duty, the Copenhagen street lamp is going into retirement. The replacement lamp is a semi-transparent update of the classic, equipped for the nightmarish new energy saving lightbulbs, and as the transition is happening gradually leaving the old and the new side by side, the difference is apparent. As of last year the incandescent lightbulbs have been discontinued in Denmark, and the only alternative is the energy saving bulbs. I am all for environmental considerations, but this light is just creepy.

My problems with the new bulb, other than the fact that I am forced to use it (once my stash of incandescent light bulbs runs out), are not just how toxic they are. So toxic in fact that the official guidelines is to keep your distance when it's lit, and leave the room for thirty minutes if one should break, avoid vacuuming, remove it wearing rubber gloves and dispose of it as toxic waste. My biggest problem with this little sucker is the light itself, flickering, cold and white. Just to give you a comparison the rendition of colors by daylight is 100%, by incandescent lightbulbs 99%, and by energy saving bulbs 80%. Who needs reds anyway, right? For an indoor population in a country with such sparse daylight, this is pretty devastating news. Not for the ones who can't tell the difference, or don't consider it a problem (how can you not, I wonder?), but certainly for me and people who enjoy the full use of all their senses. 

Københavnerlampen / the Copenhagen Lamp

I will miss you.

Next gen.

On the bright side, the retired Copenhagen Lamp is still working its magic, by ways of recycling. Butik Stranden (The Beach Shop) is the shop of a group home for young people with psychological and social problems, and the careful restoration of the lamps taking them apart, cleaning, painting and reassembling them is all part of a nonprofit job training program. If you want a little part of Copenhagen history it is offered to you in five different colors for 1850 dkr, or for 2000 dkr you can even order a custom color.



Københavnerlampen, The Copenhagen Lamp, designed by the City Architect in the 1970s and put into production by Philips. A big boy measuring 47 cm in diameter and 33 cm tall. (image borrowed from Butik Stranden)

Links:
Butik Stranden, the shop. In Danish only, but you still get the picture.
The group home Stranden. In Danish only.

The shop:
Butik Stranden
Århusgade 20
2100 Copenhagen Ø

Opening hours:
wednesday, thursday and friday 11-18 (11am-6pm)
saturday 11-16 (11am-4pm)

11 comments:

  1. Synes det er en SKANDALE at man ikke kan få ordentligt lys mere! Det kan godt være at de er energibesparende, men hvem har lyst til at have kviksølv hængende over det hele og de skader det kommer til at foresage på danskernes mentale helbred, skal nok overraske de fleste.

    Det er et år siden de skiftede gadelamperne i vores gade og intet er mere uhyggeligt end at gå aftentur med sin hund i en kold, blå spotlight! HADER det! (og har skrevet det til kommunen og forklaret det..:) og nu er vi så småt begyndt at løbe tør for glødepærer herhjemme og jeg ved næsten ikke hvad jeg skal gøre!!! Bliver trist og sur af det lys de giver -og hvis man forsøger sig med en af dem der lover "varmt lys" så finder man ud af, at det blot betyder nærmest intet lys. Har fundet en overgangsmodel som hedder halogen klædt ud som glødepære og den er næsten til at holde ud..

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  2. Åh, du aner ikke hvor godt det er at høre at jeg ikke er ene om at synes det. Jeg har en gadelampe 2 meter fra mit soveværelsesvindue og jeg GRUER for den dag de skifter den ud. Kunne de ikke idetmindste have dækket toppen til, hvorfor skal vi absolut kunne se det grimme lys fra alle sider?

    Og jeg tror at du har ret i at man helt har overset kviksølvsfaktoren, og det er iøvrigt naivt at regne med at folk ulejliger sig med at smide dem ud på den besværlige måde. Det gør ikke engang miljøministeren.

    Mit pære-lager svinder, men jeg så at de stadig havde dem i butikkerne i Amsterdam, så der skal hamstres igennem næste gang (du siger bare til). Det er om at have reserver længe nok til at de finder et alternativ. Jeg kommer under ingen omstændigheder til at have de grimme sparepærer i mit hjem.

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  3. Sidst jeg var i Sverige hamstrede jeg glødepærer der. Tippet er hermed givet videre
    :-)

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  4. Det er noget rigtig skidt at vi skal til at gå over til elsparepærer...Det er mest det kolde lys, der går mig på. Jeg tror jeg vil forsøge mig med at male pærerne selv, når jeg løber tør for glødepærer. Har før prøvet det med Copic markere (på alm.pærer) og det virker. Finder man en nuance der er lys gullig vil man måske kunne snyde sig til en belysning, der minder om glødepæren. Dog skal man nok have handsker på (og maske + sikkerhedsbriller) når man foretager bemalningen af de giftige elsparepærer.

    Og klimaminister? Jeg må le! Det er ikke en titel jeg vil binde an med at benævne hende - hun var godt på vej til at få et giftskib til Danmark. Gift som var så farligt, at ingen andre lande ville tage imod det.
    Jeg er målløs. Skal man som klimaminister ikke forbedre miljøet, eller har jeg misforstået noget?

    Kh Drumstick

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  5. Det er helt klart kvaliteten af lyset der er synderen. Men jo mere jeg lærer om præcis hvor giftige de er, des mere er jeg overbevist om at de kommer til at gøre miljøet langt mere skade end gavn. Din idé med at male på pæren er da genial. Men jeg vil stadig kæmpe til det sidste for at skaffe de rigtige pærer.

    Jeg deler din ringeagt for vores "miljø minister", der ikke alene har fortjent sin titel som "Kemiske Karen", med planer om oversøiske gifttransporter, men som uden at ryste på hænderne var klar til at nedlægge et helt naturreservat for at sætte en vindmølle park op. En miljø fjendsk og helt igennem udemokratisk proces som hun heldigvis ikke har fået gennemført i den oprindelige udstrækning.

    Det bliver en glædens dag når vi får en miljø minister der rent faktisk bekymrer sig for miljøet.

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  6. Og Trine, det havde jeg slet ikke overvejet! Næste gang i Malmö bliver der hamstret igennem. :-)

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  7. I wouldn't mind having one of these lamps! What a terrible terrible thing they are doing! I hate the energy saving bulbs (and I didn't know they were toxic!). I heard about a small company (and now I think it is Danish) that made energy saving bulbs that give a soft light. I think I read it in a design magazine. Maybe a better alternative? Now that I have to move back to Paris in a few months :( I can send you incandescent bulbs whenever you're out of the old ones... I will try to find that link about these new bulbs.

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  8. Oh no, actually they are English, and the bulbs are nice, but I don't know if the light is soft...
    http://www.dezeen.com/2010/09/09/plumen-001-by-hulger/

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  9. Hi Carole, thank you for the link, that is a funny bulb. Not something that adapts to much you already have, but cool. I don't know if the quality of light is any better than the standard energy bulbs?

    The energy bulbs are made with mercury, and this is why you should be very careful around it. But all these things they ask are not realistic. I can't see entire families evacuating a room for 30 minutes because a bulb breaks, and I know for a fact that people don't give a damn about disposing of toxic waste properly. Recently a Danish newspaper even busted our minister of the environment, going through her garbage finding batteries and all kinds of violations. She is uncool and uncaring to the bone, that woman.

    The so called soft light bulbs give of a lot less light, but one guy here suggested painting the bulb. Another tipped us to Sweden, where the good stuff is still available, so I think we can work around it for a little while longer now. Except for the ugly blue street lights, sigh.

    Haha, this comment was almost like a small post. :D

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  10. The fluorescent light bulbs do indeed contain mercury. However, there are very good LED bulbs available which are expensive to buy but the good ones give the same kind of warm light as an incandescent bulb but use just 5 Watt and will last for 50.000 hours. They also have the same form and size as the old incandescent bulbs.

    The Dutch Postcodeloterij gave away 2 million of them and since I liked it so much, I replaced all my lightbulbs with them.

    http://www.pharox-led.com/us/

    Another Dutch product, just as the original Københavnerlampen :-)

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  11. Hi Frans, I will look into that one next time in Holland, but for as long as I possibly can I will go old school. Sooner or later I will be forced to find alternatives, and that Dutch one could be it. There needs to be another post with pictures of the nasty light, and an overview of alternatives later on, I think. :-)

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