After another late night of playing music for the drinkers and dancers of the Dinwiddie Moose Lodge I find myself waking at first light with the urge to make something out of the day. The afore mentioned entertained will not likely see todays light before it is half gone, and I would like to take at least partial credit for inspiring their over indulgence, but my days of weekend hangovers are behind me by more than just a few harvests. So this fine Saturday morning I find myself at the hardware store to gather supplies for the next big project: fencing in the garden, properly this time (more on this project later). Then I remember that a couple of the outdoor floodlights are dead so I head over to the WALL OF BULBS. Holy crap. Since the execution of the incandescent light by the well intending savers of our planet, choosing a light source might require college courses and a large investment of time and money. Gazing at the wall of confusion I see CFL, halogen, LED, indoor, outdoor, indoor/outdoor, name brand, store brand, singles, three packs, cases, and on and on. Then I start to notice how many people are standing along the WALL looking for bulbs, and it strikes me as a lot of people for early Saturday morning. Are bulbs expiring at an accelerated rate? Has a wave of suicide hit the incandescent bulb communities? No, what is happening is a traffic jam caused by too many choices and sticker shock. Just a short time ago the choices were not only fewer, but simpler; bulb size (base and glass), wattage, color of light. And they were cheap! We bought them by the case, or four for a dollar, yes, a dollar. Now, I realize that sounds like geezer talk, “back in my day, 5 miles uphill in the snow etc.”, but I’m talking only a couple of years here. I had already replaced some of our floods with CFL’s and they really suck. Inside they work well enough but outside, especially when it’s cold, they’re useless. Our brains are programmed to think that when you throw the switch the world gets brighter, but when I turn on a cold CFL it seems like it gets darker. I do want to save energy however, so with florescent lights out and halogens being the energy hogs they are, I turn to the newest and most expensive option, the LED. I finally select a light and notice the man next to me has the same one in his hand. We have both been at the WALL for a long time, and I imagine the expression of uncertainty over his selection is mirrored on my own face. We have chosen a discounted brand, 75watt equivalent, outdoor LED flood light for $18.00. The package claims 16.44 years life expectancy at three hours daily burn time. At the rate we use our flood lights this bulb should out live me. He sees that I have the same bulb in hand. No words are spoken. We have our doubts.
I just tried one to see if I would like it, and I have to say so far so good. It was good and cold last night and the light was instant on and fully bright. As for life expectancy, I’ll let you know in 16.44 years.