The incandescent light bulb is dead. Long live the compact fluorescent light bulb. All hail the CFL! Had consumers been given the option of compact fluorescent lighting technology all along, tens of millions of people would never have burned their fingers one of those round incandescent light bulbs and hundreds of millions of dollars would have been saved as a result of using light bulbs that produced more light than heat. Edison’s incandescent bulb was about 90 percent heat and only 10 percent light, you see. Of course, that wasn’t possible since the technology needed to take fluorescent lighting down from those long white tubes up on the ceiling and corkscrew them bulb size needed for tabletop lamps only occurred within the lifetime of most of you reading this.
Those old Edison incandescent bulbs you grew up with featured one number above all as the most important thing to know. If you didn’t need a brilliantly light bit of illumination, you knew you to buy a 40 watt bulb. If you wanted something to light up an entire room, you bought a bulb with of appropriately higher wattage. The higher the number of watts, the brighter the light. It was so easy.
Except that wattage is a measurement of energy rather than brightness and since incandescent light bulbs required a lot of energy in order to produce the paltry amount of light that came with the heat, wattage simply is no longer any kind of accurate scientific indication of the economics of modern light bulbs. Today’s CFL bulbs require less energy to produce more light so when you go shopping for them, forget all about that wattage you grew up looking for.
What you need to look for when accurately gauging the strength of the bulb you need these days is a little something science likes to refer to as lumens. If you can still find one of those old incandescent bulbs being sold in some store or if you have one still hanging around the house, compare it to the new compact fluorescent bulbs. You will be amazed to find that a new light bulb capable of producing the exact same amount of brightness will be a bulb with wattage significantly lower than the old-fashioned bulb. Therefore, if saving money by being a more efficient shopper of light bulbs is something you fancy, you must untrain yourself out the bad habit imposed upon you by Thomas Edison. Once you learn not to associated wattage with the amount of brightness you require from a light bulb anymore, you will start noticing the savings adding up.