The old joke, “How many (blonds, lawyers, etc.) does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” just got more complicated! The old flourescent tubes that used to illuminate millions of homes, and still light up many garages, workrooms and office buildings, bid their final adieu on Saturday. If you have one of these old fixtures in your home, you’ll need to know your options when the lights go out. T12 bulbs, engineered in the 30′s and used for over 50 years, are no longer being manufactured.
I don’t have that particular fixture in my house, but I still get overwhelmed walking down the lightbulb aisle of the hardware store. Our choices used to be 100, 75, or 60 watts, single wattage or 3-way, and maybe a few different shapes. Now the choices of CFL, halogen, halogen incandescent and LED are growing annually. Luckily, with increased choices come improvements in lighting quality and energy efficiencies.
There are even 3-way and dimmable CFL’s and LED’s now, and the lighting quality has improved by leaps and bounds over first-generation offerings.
I found some great primers on the changes in lighting technology, and you’ll want to take a look before you head out to pick up any replacement bulb. You’ll pay more at the register, but with bulbs that last 50,000 hours and use 75% LESS energy than the old incandescents, the savings will light up your smile! (pun intended) I think even Edison himself would approve.
Photo by Clean Wal-Mart on Flickr.