My Light Bulb Moment

You can change the colour of this one - nice, but it costs £10.99

WHEN did it get that you needed a degree in physics to buy a light bulb? Time was I wandered into the supermarket, picked up a pack of four lightbulbs for £4.99 and walked out again.

All I had to decide was how bright I wanted them to be, from 40W (for dim light so that the dearly beloved and I could look at each other and pretend, erroneously, we weren't bad looking) up to 100W when I wanted to read a book without squinting.

I appreciate, before you tell me, that low energy bulbs are better for the environment. I'm not complaining about the principle but about the sheer magnitude of choice and how confusing the labelling is.

By the way, we're not supposed to use the word "bulb" at all – the industry calls them "lamps", bulbs being what you till in your garden.

Anyway, one lamp these days can cost up to £15.99. Then there are halogen bulbs, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, fluorescent tubes, tungsten lamps, spiral energy saver, bayonet cap, edison screw cap, halogen capsules etc etc etc.

And don't think you can equate the wattage in the old bulbs with wattage in the present ones. You may need the equivalent of the old 100W but in present terms that is so bright it could light up a football match at night.

The other week I bought two 10W bulbs for around £5. They worked fine as long as you didn't mind bumping into the furniture and stepping on the cat.

Then the only incandescent thing in my house was me - with rage. 

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  1. Yeah, the last time I had to buy bulbs (and I'm going to call them that), I couldn't figure out which would be bright enough and if they would work in my three-way lamp. I had to go back and redo a couple times. Of course, that was about five years ago, and they haven't burned out since, so...

  2. So we can't call bulbs because flowers come from bulbs but we can call them lamps but we can't use the new "lamps" without using another type of lamp to put them in. Not going happen in my life. I, too, hate shopping for light bulbs! The only good thing to say about them is they last a long time.