Our house has become a laboratory of sorts the past several months. We are testing bulbs that are being offered on the market to replace GOIBs (good old incandescent bulbs) once those handy, inexpensive and useful items are withdrawn from the market by order of Congress.
One-hundred-watt GOIBs will be withdrawn from the market in January. GOIBs of less wattage will be withdrawn later.
One may ask why GOIBs are being phased out, especially when there is some question whether the average member of Congress actually knows what a light bulb is and how to change one. The answer is, to save energy. Incandescent bulbs apparently only convert about 5 percent of the electricity that goes through them into light. The rest of the electricity becomes heat. If you don’t believe that, just do as I did the other day and try to unscrew a bulb that was still hot. Ouch.
We have been trying out fluorescent bulbs that one can screw into a fixture made for GOIBs. Fluorescents are supposed to last longer and burn cooler, but we aren’t sold on either claim. In fact, a lot of the fluorescents we bought burned out before the incandescents did. And, they aren’t cheap. And they look funny. They look like pigtails and they stick up above the lamps, and sometimes don’t fit. You can buy them starting at about $3.50 each. Compare that to less than $1 each for GOIBs.
Stores also are selling LED light bulbs (LED stands for light-emitting diodes), which also have their problems. They sometimes don’t fit in lamps, and sometimes don’t focus the light properly. They are priced in the $8 to $18 range. However, they are said to last 20 years, although nobody has actually watched one burn for 20 years. If I am sitting around watching a light bulb 20 years from now, you’d better have me locked up.