A Not-So-Bright Idea


 Am I the only one who has noticed  this cruel coincidence?

 The legislation mandating those awful CFL light bulbs has gone into effect precisely at the moment that, in order to see anything, us middle-aged folks are relying on  a pair of 1.50+ polka dot readers from Walgreens…. worn of course, in combination with bright light!

 I no longer bother to examine my face in my bathroom mirror. I merely check to see that my head is attached, and my Crest Spin Brush Pro is in the correct orifice. I rely on my illuminated magnifying mirror for the application of everything from moisturizer right through to that final coat of mascara. This is the process known as “putting on my face” as my Mother used to call it.  Finally, I understand what she was referring to, as I am all but face-less when I look in the bathroom or entry hall mirror.

I really wish the CFL manufacturers would quit trying to convince me that their 14 -watt CFL bulb emits the same light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. It simply does not! My reading glasses and I are calling you out on your big fat lie.

I HATE these bulbs. Not only because they are NOT BRIGHT ENOUGH for my middle-aged vision, but also because of the aura they give a home. I admit I am a homebody. I am a nester. I like candles burning all the time. I want a fire on chilly days. I prefer lamps to overhead lights. I like all the things that give warmth to a home. The CFL bulbs provide all the decorating warmth of a gas station convenience store.

My walls all have color. Very carefully chosen color. CFL bulbs affect all my perfect paint picks. This is not a frivolous concern. Countless psychological studies have been done on the effects of color. How could the Interior Designers of America allow this to happen? Decorators all over the country choose paint colors for a room based on how they translate in natural light, throughout the day. CFL bulbs will change the look of paint on walls, as well as the entire aesthetic of a room.

I’m not sure the folks behind this legislation have fully considered the repercussions of screwing in one of these bulbs. I’m not getting political. I know there is all sorts of speculation as to how & why this legislation was pushed through. I understand the bulbs are expected to improve, but they just are not there yet.

Currently, I have my own version of an eternal flame burning in the family room. I put a CFL bulb in an accent lamp. It is the only CFL bulb in the house.  It gives off a hue reminiscent of a mosquito zapper. I am simultaneously providing a beacon during my sleepless mid-life nights, and thwarting any would-be burglars with an eerie Scully & Mulder glow.

I HATE this bulb, but I am stubborn. I refuse to turn it off…ever. This is a standoff. I have thrown down the gauntlet. I’m going to find out if this thing really lasts decades as the packaging claims.

Which leads me to a bigger question. Who needs a bulb that lasts 40 or 50 years? I am all for saving Mother Earth…however if I have to start reading in the dark, I’m not sure I’ll have any eyesight left to gaze at her beauty.


10 responses »

  1. Touche annie. my dad actually owns a company which does all of the retrofit lighting in older buildings turning them all onto these horrible lights! I despise them! We all look blue in the hue.


  2. So funny(sister)! At least they could have made these with an amber glow. How unfortunate that we will look better at McCombs than at home! XOXO


  3. I’m picturing a Cappuccino maker, a big sleeve of Styrofoam cups and a box of Slim Jims by your eternal flame as a homage to the gas station convenience store. Yes, get all the home decor bloggers on your bandwagon and let’s go to Washington!


  4. Nice! I also would love to hear about low flows!

    Karen, we only have to wait 50 years for the bulbs to burn out. Then mercury poisoning caused by improper disposal will lead to a disease called acrodynia (pink disease). Everything is cyclical……blue skin for a while then pink again! Let’s not ponder possible liver disease, which could actually make us yellow/orange, NOT a good tone for me at all! Mercury can also cause brain damage, in which case, buying a wardrobe/makeup will be hell–we won’t know from day to day if we will be a pretty shade of pink, yellow or blue?! Oh, darn lightbulbs!


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