. . . and then, the * lightbulb * came on!

For nigh unto 7 decades I’ve lived on this planet, and during that time I’ve been buying lightbulbs for half a century. Bulbs, in my day, were divided into two groups: warm white (yellowish) and cool white (bluish), with the occasional pale pink bulb in between. Piece of cake? No more!

Today I went to Home Depot and admitted that the last batch of curly fluorescent bulbs I bought (in 2006) turned out to be cold white, on the bluish/depressing side. What happened?

It turns out that what I need is a degree in Physics. Literally.

A kindly (older) man named Rick showed me the error of my ways. First off, he said, I needed to be online. Right. I’m standing in the middle of brick-and-mortar store. So he took me to a computer.

Next, he showed me a range of rainbow colors, from yellow to red to blue, and explained that the color I was looking for was in the 600 range.

Of what? I asked.

Nanometers, he said.

Of course: my name is Nancy, so nanometers it is.

BUT WAIT. I really also needed to know about Kelvins.

Isn’t that something to do with Absolute Zero? I cleverly asked.

Yes, he said, but that’s not relevant here.

(Of course not).

What is relevant is that the bulbs I want are in the 2700-3000 K range.

Oh, I said wisely.

It also turns out that the 60W bulb I want is 800 lumens (not to be confused with cumin); has a lifespan of 22.8 years (or 25,000 hours); uses 9.5 watts of energy; and has an estimated yearly energy cost of $1.14/year (based on 3 hours/day, 11 cents/kWh — depending on rates and usage). It also is “120v~/60Hz/79mA.” Of course.

Additionally, it has “brillo completo” — no, not Brillo — “instant full brightness,” whatever that means.

AND it contains NO toxic mercury, unlike those evil things I bought back in 2006, when they were the cat’s pajamas.

Furthermore, there is a 10-year warranty on the bulb; it consumes 84% less energy (than something else); and guarantees me $139 lifetime energy savings (apparently they know how long I’m going to live).

No wonder this single magic bulb costs [a mere!] $10.67 (+ $.95 tax).

By the time I was at the self-checkout machine (which refused to work), I was exhausted, but much closer to a B.S. in Physics.

It feels a bit odd to know that my lightbulbs will probably outlive me.

But at least I can leave everything to them in my will . . .


About Nancy

Nancy Hoffmann began studying Zen Buddhism in 1992 and has dedicated this site to meditating on what she sees and believes. She is not averse to sharing laughter as well.
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