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 . . .