Have you laid in a nice stockpile of incandescent light bulbs, now that they're forbidden? How's that going? Around sundown one day last week, I stepped on the foot-switch for the nearest floor lamp. The bulb buzzed and lit up a dull pink. Off and on again: dead. Another 100-watt incandescent in the trash.
This has been happening a lot lately—at least twice, with that lamp, in the two and a half months since I bought it. It's hard to keep count because the other lamps and fixtures are blowing through bulbs too.
Compact fluorescents are hideous and they
and LEDs are going to gradually gaslight you, and anyone who steps up and starts talking about how grim blue novelty light is actually much closer to God's natural sunlight is an ahuman charlatan. But I was too lazy to actually start hoarding incandescent bulbs, beyond buying the quantity a less lazy person would keep around for spares. The housewares store put up signs urging people to get them while they could. Last time I was there, as it hunted up inventory from ever further afield, its 100-watt inventory had given way to an array of 90-watt bulbs.
Now, though, it seems just as well I didn't bother. Buying incandescent bulbs in the last year or two has been like buying General Motors cars at the end of the '70s: Nobody had any reason to make sure they weren't garbage. So they are garbage. I asked the guy in the lighting department about it and he said, well, the factories were cranking out a lot of bulbs by the end. Thus ends the incandescent era. What now?
[Illustration by Jim Cooke]