Normally, I am a supporter of energy-efficient solutions. But when it gets in the way of design aesthetic, I will have think twice. I am talking about light bulb progression.
The energy-efficient lightbulbs just don’t produce the warmth we have been accustomed to at home. Simply put, it makes our home look ugly and uninviting. In fact, they make you look ugly too. Can you think of other energy-efficient development that actually make things look bad? I know even green interior designers don’t use them all the way. They may sneak in a few good old incandescent lights among those compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Despite that fact that CFLs last 6-10 times longer and use as much as 75 percent less energy than incandescent lightbulbs, only 11 percent household sockets have them, accordingly to an US government survey last year. I suppose the upfront cost could be another reason. But even if price is the same, I am not sure if I could totally give up the incandescent lightbulbs.
I like incandescent lightbulbs not just because the warm color they produce, I think a clear incandescent lightbulb is beautiful. There is something honest about it. You can see the core of it, to be so close to how a piece of invention functions is a beauty by itself. Vintage lightbulbs and light fixtures with exposed lightbulbs have made a come back. Many restaurants use them. Anthropologie carries varies designs.
Congress has mandated to phase out the Edison incandescent lightbulbs starting in 2012, so we won’t have the choice anymore. I hope by then, companies like GE and Philips have already developed a true replacement to incandescent lightbulbs. In fact, they have been working hard on the LED technology and have planned to deliver energy-efficient LED lightbulbs to the market by the end of this year, starting with 40 and 60 watt bulbs. We shall see how these are accepted by the public. They are expensive though. So, buy all the old school Edison incandescent lightbulbs out there while you can. The other alternatives is vintage lightbulbs. There are manufactures (like Kyp-Go) that continue to produce replicas of the original Edison carbon filament lightbulbs. Some say these lightbulbs are not restricted by the new rule in 2012 because they are not for general use but I am not sure if it is definite.
To help consumer choosing among the different types of lightbulbs, Federal Trade Commission is working on having a nutrition-fact like label on lightbulb packages. It gives detailed information about the light and color quality. Check out www.lightingfacts.com for more information.