benkuhn's Comments

Could someone please start a bright home lighting company?

Thanks, this comment is really useful!

It is generally accepted that you do not need to go to direct sunlight type lux levels indoors to get most of the benefits.... I am not an expert on the latest studies, but if you want to build an indoor experimental setup to get to the bottom of what you really like, my feeling is that installing more than 4000 lux, as a peak capacity in selected areas, would definitely be a waste of money and resources.

Do you have any pointers to where I might go to read the latest studies?

Could someone please start a bright home lighting company?
A typical 60W equivalent LED bulb draws 7.5W and is 90% efficient

Where are you getting this number? As far as I know, the most efficient LEDs today are around 50% efficient.

Could someone please start a bright home lighting company?

I've done a bit of research on this. I think something along these lines is practical. My biggest uncertainty is what a "usable form factor" is (in particular I don't know how much diffusion you'd need, or in what shape, with a very small emitter like this).

FWIW, the Yuji chips are insanely expensive per lumen and seem to be on the low end of efficiency (actually they seem like such a bad deal that I'm worried I'm missing something). The chip that came out on top in my spreadsheet was this Bridgelux chip which is about 1/10 as expensive per lumen and 2x as efficient (but has a larger light-emitting surface and a CRI of 90 instead of 95).

With a low-profile, silent fan and efficient (120+ lm/W) emitters, you shouldn't need that much of a heat sink to keep the fixtures below, say, 60° C.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually finished building my DIY lamp attempt, so this could all turn out to be wrong :)

Could someone please start a bright home lighting company?

I'm one of the friends mentioned. Here's some more anecdata, most importantly including what I think is the current easiest way to try a lumenator (requiring only one fixture instead of huge numbers of bulbs):

I don't have seasonal depression, but after spending a winter in a tropical country, it was extremely noticeable that it's harder for me to focus and I have less willpower when it's dark out (which now starts at 4:15). I bought an extremely bright light and put it right next to my desk, in my peripheral vision while I work. It was an immediate and very noticeable improvement; I estimate it buys me 30-120 minutes of focus per day, depending on how overcast it is.

You can see a before-and-after here, although my phone camera's dynamic range is not good enough to really capture the difference.

Everyone who has visited my house since I got the lightbulb has remarked on how nice it feels, which I was initially surprised by since the bulb is 5600k and not particularly high-CRI.

My current setup is honestly kinda crappy (but still amazing). I'm working on a much nicer DIY version, but in the mean time, here's the stuff I bought:

  • 250-watt corn bulb (~= 40 60w-equivalent bulbs; $100)
    • This bulb has a pretty loud fan (~50db at close range); if you don't like noise, you can buy two of the 120-watt version.
  • this E39 fixture ($15)
    • the clamp is too weak to hold the bulb, but you can jerry-rig a support by embedding the socket into the styrofoam packaging that the light comes in :P
    • Also if you use this you'll need to turn it off and on by unplugging as there is no switch on the fixture.
  • these E39 to E26 adapters ($10 for 4)
    • buy if you want to put in an overhead light or traditional lamp
    • note that the bulb does not fit well in many fixtures because it is very large and heavy

(Amazon links are affiliate so I can see whether they are useful to people)

Effective Altruism from XYZ perspective

Every time I pay for electricity for my computer rather than sending the money to a third world peasant is, according to EA, a failure to maximize utility.

I'm sad that people still think EAers endorse such a naive and short-time-horizon type of optimizing utility. It would obviously not optimize any reasonable utility function over a reasonable timeframe for you to stop paying for electricity for your computer.

More generally, I think most EAers have a much more sophisticated understanding of their values, and the psychology of optimizing them, than you give them credit for. As far as I know, nobody who identifies with EA routinely makes individual decisions between personal purchases and donating. Instead, most people allocate a "charity budget" periodically and make sure they feel ok about both the charity budget and the amount they spend on themselves. Very few people, if any, cut personal spending to the point where they have to worry about, e.g., electricity bills.

A Proposal for Defeating Moloch in the Prison Industrial Complex

Yes, I glossed over the possibility of prisons bribing judges to screw up the data set. That's because the extremely small influence of marginal data points and the cost of bribing judges would make such a strategy incredibly expensive.

A Proposal for Defeating Moloch in the Prison Industrial Complex

Yep. Concretely, if you take one year to decide that each negative reform has been negative, the 20-80 trade that the OP posts is a net positive to society if you expect the improvement to stay around for 4 years.

A Proposal for Defeating Moloch in the Prison Industrial Complex

To increase p'-p, prisons need to incarcerate prisoners which are less prone to recidivism than predicted. Given that past criminality is an excellent predictor of future criminality, this leads to a perverse incentive towards incarcerating those who were unfairly convicted (wrongly convicted innocents or over-convinced lesser offenders).

If past criminality is a predictor of future criminality, then it should be included in the state's predictive model of recidivism, which would fix the predictions. The actual perverse incentive here is for the prisons to reverse-engineer the predicted model, figure out where it's consistently wrong, and then lobby to incarcerate (relatively) more of those people. Given that (a) data science is not the core competency of prison operators; (b) prisons will make it obvious when they find vulnerabilities in the model; and (c) the model can be re-trained faster than the prison lobbying cycle, it doesn't seem like this perverse incentive is actually that bad.

LW survey: Effective Altruists and donations

Gwern has a point that it's pretty trivial to run this robustness check yourself if you're worried. I ran it. Changing the $1 to $100 reduces the coefficient of EA from about 1.8 to 1.0 (1.3 sigma), and moving to $1000 reduces it from 1.0 to 0.5 (about two sigma). The coefficient remains highly significant in all cases, and in fact becomes more significant with the higher constant in the log.

LW survey: Effective Altruists and donations

What do you mean by "dollar amounts become linear"? I haven't seen a random variable referred to as "linear" before (on its own, without reference to another variable as in "y is linear in x").

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