Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Into the 21st Century

I admit it. Technological updates can have me baffled. "But it worked so well. Why do we have to change?" is something I know I've said to myself on occasion. Such is the case with lighting.

Did you know that 40 and 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs will no longer be made come January 1st? In fact, there haven't been any made since September and stores will be selling their remaining inventories without restocking them. 100 and 75-watt bulbs were phased out last year.

I knew this was coming but the last time I looked, compact fluorescent bulbs were $12.00 each. When you are on a tight budget, you'll go get a package of 4 60-watt bulbs for $3.50 before you'll pay that for one bulb. Never mind that the fluorescent will last 9 years, that's a lot of upfront money.

And then the light in the bathroom went out.

Knowing that the incandescent bulbs were to be phased out, I went to Ace Hardware to see about finally, finally taking the plunge into CFLs (compact fluorescent light). I set aside $20 for light bulbs, relying on a very long ago memory of buying one bulb for the light in the hallway. This light gets used, a lot, and we were replacing it sometimes twice a year. A standard lightbulb just wasn't doing the job so we invested in a compact fluorescent back when the idea was first proposed, that they could save a homeowner money because they lasted for years. Honestly, I don't remember when this bulb was replaced, it's been that long. The design of CFLs has improved substantially over this. They are much more compact. This bulb has been going strong for a very, very long time. The $12-15 we spent on it has been recouped a couple times over.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered a 5 pack of CFLs was $1.99, on sale to promote changing to these from incandescent. I read everything on the package. This will replace the 60-watt bulbs which were in the bathroom fixture. The quality of light won't change, just the amount of electricity used. I was concerned about heat generated since the bathroom lights are horizontal and not vertical as in the hall light. The salesman said they generate the same amount of heat as an incandescent bulb. Yes, the older ones were warmer, but technology has improved and these are much cooler. Plus, these are guaranteed for 9 years, 9 years, with average use. I would say my usage is average. That means I don't have to replace these light bulbs in the bathroom until 2022. Given the difficulty of removing the fixture to access the bulbs, I'll take that.

So, I have entered the 21st century. I looked about the basement when I was down there today to do laundry. Every socket has an incandescent in it. As they burn out, you can bet I will be replacing them with CFLs. Let there be light!

Beverage:  English Breakfast tea


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