The Light Bulb
When did life become so complicated?
Rick threw on some clothes and yelled as he opened the door, “Hon, I’m going to the hardware store to get a light bulb for the living room!”
His wife called back, “Okay. Be sure to get the right kind. They’re all a different color now.”
“Different color?” he thought. “What in the world is that woman talking about? They’re all white. Only the outside porch has yellow bulbs.”
When he got to the hardware store, Rick made a beeline to the light bulb aisle. That’s all he was in there for so he could just get in and out.
A full aisle was dedicated to lighting. There were indoor and outdoor bulbs, LED and incandescent, long-lasting and inexpensive, chandelier and overhead fan lights, tubular and squiggly, and then he saw the curly-cue bulbs.
The government in its infinite wisdom had determined that regular incandescent light bulbs were using too much electricity, so it mandated a new LED bulb to restrict the use of incandescent bulbs, that is, until the lawsuits and complaints started pouring in. The LEDs were four times the cost of the incandescents, but manufacturers claimed they lasted ten times as long.
Rick needed an overhead fan bulb, but was it the twisted tubular or a chandelier fan bulb? To him it didn’t matter, but it might to his wife.
Then he saw what his wife had warned him about: color and warmth.
Were those chandelier bulbs Cool White, Daylight White, Soft White, or somewhere in between? Everything was in thousands of Kelvins, whatever that was. Fahrenheit and Celsius he had learned in school, but Kelvin? Who was Kelvin and why did he show up at a time like this? Could he help him make a decision? Doubtful.
As he looked further down the shelf, he saw the small, medium, and large base sizes and realized he hadn’t a clue what size the base was for the chandelier fan bulb. He could get the warmth color correct, but if he got the base wrong, it wouldn’t fit.
He was trying to recall changing the last bulb - did it have a tiny base or was it a regular or medium base? No clue.
On the other hand, he could get the base right, but if the colors didn’t match, the room would give off an unbalanced vibe. It’d be well-lit, but uneasy, and yet another reason he might get sent back to the store.
Why was it so difficult nowadays just to find a light bulb?
Any bulb he chose came in a minimum of a 2-pack and up to eight in a package. The single packs were all gone. Sure, he would eventually need another, but should he spend the money to get the multi-pack or just the two-pack, that is, if he got the color and base size right?
Rick saw the term ‘lumen,’ but didn’t know about that either. What was it? It seemed to be related to wattage. Wattage he understood, but lumens?
“Eh, that light bulb can wait until the second bulb on the chandelier burns out,” he said out loud, exiting the store. “I’m going home to figure this out first.”
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