I don’t like the new light bulbs. There, I said it, and I feel better.
I know the new bulbs are supposed to be far more energy efficient, but I’m not convinced that will be the case. People like me don’t care for the new bulbs’ milky dimness, and I think many people will try to compensate by clustering lamps around, looking to make up through quantity what the bulbs lack in quality. If you are using many bulbs where before you were happy with the sharp light cast from one 100-watt bulb, are you really saving much energy?
And what about their costs? I’m confident the lack of 100-watt light is affecting my eyesight; reading a book for too long in the twilight glow of a 60-watt bulb gives me a headache. Could this be part of an elaborate governmental plan, borrowed from a cheap sci-fi thriller, to make Americans toss aside their books, turn on their TVs, and turn their brains into more malleable, disinterested mush?
Speaking of costs, we know that the new bulbs are more expensive — a lot more expensive. The next generation of energy-conserving bulbs, an LED bulb produced by Philips, will go to market costing $60. $60! It’s supposed to last 20 years, but does anyone really believe that — and if they did, would they pay $60 for one measly light bulb? If Americans are irked by $4-a-gallon gas, how are they going to react when buying one light bulb costs as much as a fill-up of a 15-gallon gas tank?
In America, production of 100-watt bulbs has ceased, production of 60-watt bulbs (which I think are too dim) is being phased out, and soon production of 40-watt incandescent bulbs will be banned. In short, our government is causing us to spend more and more for less and less light. It’s something to ponder while we enjoy the romance of candlelight.
What does this mean for our society and culture? I’m not sure, but I think it’s hard to move boldly into the future when you’re stumbling in the darkness.