Friday, January 19, 2007

this little light of mine

Fluorescent lighting is the way to go in the 21st century. These energy saving bulbs are starting to make an appearance in every household. But when one says fluorescent what comes to mind is those ugly, unflattering white tube fluorescent lights. The popular lighting choice for work, school, hospital, factories. Unfortunately, while they're energy saving & cost efficient, they also highlight every unflattering wrinkle on your face. I'm not a fan of fluorescent lighting especially when used at home.

I lived with my grandparents in India from the ages of three to 13 & while there I had to live with the ugly fluorescents. They insisted on having them. The tubes are efficient & cost effective, so practically every household has them. It's been the only choice since perhaps electricity was introduced in India. Mood lighting is somehow not an everyday option regardless of class you belong to: upper, middle or lower. It's more about brighter is better. I grew up hating those lights. Everyone loved them but me. I guess my interior design skills were alive & kicking even when I was three & thereon to make me sit up & take notice how unflattering & a little depressing those lights were. When I'd visit my parents in Dubai, I'd breathe a sigh or relief because we had mood lighting there. But when I was back in India for the academic year, I'd cringe every time the sun went down & those lights came on. My friends in the next building over, now their folks had the mood lighting all setup. There was not a fluorescent in the living room. Their minimal plantation style furniture looked great. I thought I was in heaven every time I went over to their place. What a difference lighting makes!

Fast forward to Canada where we took out
any traces of fluorescent lighting at my parents' new place. Well, I did actually & my dad's comment was that I was on a mission to rid the house of any fluorescent lights. Seriously, do people not like mood lighting? It's called mood lighting for a reason. It affects your mood. Sigh! Anyway, incandescent was the way to go for a while until the introduction of new fluorescent lights of the future. You know those energy saving bulbs that use just 13 watts to produce the output of a 60 watt bulb. They are a lifesaver for your electric bill. But the best part, though they're fluorescent bulbs, they also provide you with ambient mood lighting just like the incandescent bulbs. I love technology, don't you?

Once we moved here to Bermuda, I was surprised to find the limited variety of bulbs available on the island. Incandescent 60 watts are very popular & mostly all that's available here. Losing no time to make the change, I dug into my stash & got out my fluorescent bulbs (almost seems like I have a Santa Claus bag of goodies, doesn't it? I wish!). Since the change, our electric bill has seen a significant decrease. Like everything, electricity is also imported into Bermuda from the US & at a hefty price too. Everyone complains about the electric bill here especially in the summer when the air cons are running at full capacity. Want to save some $$ & help out the environment? Well, switch to the new & improved fluorescent bulbs. Add it to your shopping list on your next trip back home. Companies like GE, Sunbeam & Noma have followed Ikea's original bulbs & have now revolutionized these fluorescent bulbs. They are now available in the same size as an incandescent bulb & are even available for pot/recessed & flood lights all at Canadian Tire. Damn! Times are a changing & it's time to get in on that change.

I often see this Bermudian man at the corner of Burnaby & Reid Street
selling the new fluorescent bulbs for about $8 a pop. He tried to get me to buy them once. He said it's very hard to get people here to switch & they have no idea how much they'd be saving in the long run. I told him I had a whole stash at home & I use nothing else. He said: Lemme guess, you got it from back home. Sure, I said, I got them from Canada. They come in packs of two or three. He groaned & said: I don't even want to know what you got them for. He's right. I spared him the pricing details for what he doesn't know won't hurt him. Besides he asked not to know.

1 comment:

Fjäderlös Tvåfoting said...

Hi, greetings from a cold Sweden.

Take care.