For our money, one of the easiest ways to transform a problematic space is with good lighting. Many of the spaces we have consulted on suffered terribly —as have their inhabitants— from dim, murky lighting. This is largely due to the pressure to move to energy-saving lighting such as CFL and LED’s, many of which cast a cold, “dirty”, low-wattage light akin to a slumlords 15-watt hallways. We’ve discovered that many people don’t realize that lighting is the reason for a room being unpleasant to be in, and if they do, they’re not sure what to do about it.
Now that manufacture of the classic warmly glowing incandescent bulb has been banned, the question “what to do?” is even more pressing.
The chart above shows the range of options available. (You’ll find even more info here.) A lot environmentally-friendly CFL bulbs are, to our eye, untenably ugly and dim. (Check out our review of the high-style Plumen bulb…and CFLs pollute with mercury.) While
we wait for LED’s to be developed that we’re checking out LEDS that have a truly pleasing light with good light intensity (any day now), our compromise is halogen incandescents. Seventy-two watts yield the equivelent of 100-watt incandescent, the amount of light we consider essential, and easily dimmable for other moods. You’ll find some good basic info for navigating both fixtures and bulbs at our big light bulb post we did some time ago. Philips 423525 22 watt (100 Watt) A21 LED Soft White Light Bulb looks promising as does the SWITCH Lighting A2100CUS40A2-R Classic A21 LED Light Bulb with 100-Watt Replacement and Clear Lens, Neutral White). (We’ll report back on them soon.) Another option for getting more lumens out of 60-watt equivalent bulbs is to use two-bulb lamps, to cast 120-watt equivalent light.
If you really hate to current light bulb offerings, there is a workaround to getting old-fashioned incandescent lights, reported in the Dish. Larry Birnbaum is manufacturing “rough service bulbs”, a loophole in the anti-incandescent law. He calls them “Newcandescents”.
We’re glad that Birnbaum is allowing Thomas Edison’s unique bulb to continue to live in the world, albeit in a limited way. It would be a shame to forget its look altogether.
We can’t look at an Edison bulb anymore without thinking of his singular philosophy: I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.