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5:06pm on Saturday, 14th November, 2009:

Dimly Aware


My wife has recently been overcome by a zeal to reduce our energy bills. It's nothing to do with saving the planet, it's to do with saving our money. Needless to say, if you want to save money you somehow always have to spend money to do so, and so it was that today I went out and bought a bunch of energy-saving lightbulbs. They have an 8-year lifespan, which means that next year some new version will come out that saves even more energy but we'll be stuck with these older versions for another 7 years before we can buy the hot new replacements.

I put them up in the living room, anyway. Our set-up is that we have 6 wall-mounted lights in pairs and 6 ceiling-mounted lights in triples. The wall ones are on most by far, so those are the ones I replaced; I figured that since we'd paid for the old bulbs, we may as well keep them and use them in the ceiling until we finally run out. Either that, or 20 years from now I'll eBay them. All these bulbs are the same format: 40W candle (although the new ones are 8W rather than 40W).

They're quite good, too, except that they take a couple of seconds to warm up. We had one of them in before as a test, which was bad enough, but now all 6 of them start off dim it's a little alarming. You switch the light on, and instead of getting an instantly bright and blinding light, you get this low glow which gradually builds up to the bright and blinding levels we want.

Oh well, I'm sure we'll get used to it soon enough. I already like the 115W-equivalent 20W bulb in my office, even if its stark whiteness does make me feel as if I'm waiting to see a doctor.

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).