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Spooky Light Bulb Mystery!

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User ID: 280175
United States
01/12/2008 11:11 AM
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Spooky Light Bulb Mystery!
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Baffled: Justin Walden with the offending light bulb
A MAN made a spooky discovery when his energy saving efforts caused a 'ghostly' TV mystery.

When a conventional 60-watt light bulb blew, eco-conscious Justin Walden replaced it with a new energy-saving model from Tesco.

The Curry's employee, who lives in a shared house in Hurst Street, has them elsewhere in his house and was certain it was a safe and cost-effective measure.

That was until late last Friday when Mr Walden was watching television in his bedroom.

Mr Walden, 33, said: "It was quite late at night so I had my volume on quite a low level.

"All of a sudden, the volume turned itself right up to maximum. I was worried it was going to wake my housemates up so I grabbed the control to try and turn it down but I couldn't.

In the end, I had to unplug the set. It was really, really spooky."

When the same thing happened early the next morning, he decided to contact a family friend who had worked with electronics for over 40 years.

He said: "I couldn't believe it when the first question he asked me was 'have you recently replaced a light bulb with an energy-saving one?' "Apparently it's a known problem that the light bulbs can interfere with the settings on a television.

"It was so strange though, like having a ghost."

When we contacted the Tesco customer services department, a spokesman had not heard of the problem.

A spokesman from the Philips lighting technical support believed the problem was very rare, claiming that it affected as few as "one in about a million lamps".

But Alan Tucker, a technician from G Electronics, in Bicester, backed up Mr Walden's theory.

Mr Tucker said: "It's highly possible. TV remotes work by emitting infra-red light to the television set.

"It's completely possible that an energy-saving light bulb, which also emits infra-red light, could be working at a similar frequency to remote controls and intercepting them."

Energy-saving light bulbs, which are due to completely replace their incandescent counterparts by 2011 in line with Government guidelines, have hit the headlines recently for a variety of health issues.

The British Association of Dermatologists has issued a warning that the bulbs could worsen skin problems and the Migraine Action Association has warned that they could also trigger painful headaches.

Since Mr Walden replaced his energy-efficient bulb with an ordinary version, he has experienced no further problems.

He said: "The 'ghost' disappeared as soon as I took the old bulb out. I will not be using them again.

"It could have broken my set. If it is doing that much to my TV, what on earth can it be doing to me?"

If you have suffered similar spooky goings-on because of low-energy light bulbs, email amanda.williams@nqo.com
.A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.

C. S. Lewis
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 354489
United Kingdom
01/13/2008 07:20 AM
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Re: Spooky Light Bulb Mystery!
I found these energy saving bulbs interfere a lot with the 'volume' settings, or when changing channels using the '+' or '-' buttons.. it makes the sound go louder. Sometimes when pressing the volume buttons, it changes channels, or even switches between different A/V inputs. A common problem really.