When I first moved in with Junglemonkey I was surprised at how frequently I had to change lightbulbs. It seemed as though at least once a month and frequently more often than that there’d be a burned-out lamp that needed replacing. Living on my own, I’d go for maybe a year before having to replace a light bulb. Part of this difference, of course, is that a family of four turns lights off and on more times per day than a single person; maybe not four times as many, but still more. Another difference is that a three bedroom house has more light fixtures than a one bedroom apartment. Even so, it seems my family burns out bulbs more frequently than we did when I was a kid, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lightbulb actually work as long as the packaging claims it will, before or after I became a family man.
Now there’s this big push to move everyone to using compact fluorescent bulbs. In San Francisco, the main lighting in a given room may not be incandescent! But what the heck is this in aid of? The bulbs do not last any longer than the incandescents they replace, and they’re more expensive to purchase. They’re toxic (the fluorescent tube has mercury in it) and can’t be thrown away. The light is nasty. So what if they use a little less electricity? My new fridge, water heater, furnace, washer, and dryer – these all use way more energy than my lightbulbs.
Frankly, I’d rather use candles and oil lamps.