A sad farewell to the 60 Watt bulb


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Hum

The once ubiquitous 60W light bulb is about to plop off the production line for the last time across Europe. But while its light may be dimming, it is still illuminating many of our homes.

It is at once a thing of delicate beauty and robust science.

Encased in its own glass world, a miniature laboratory keeps a tiny thread of tungsten burning brightly. There is even a touch of romance in its soft flare, as it casts a painterly glow over the room and the faces of its occupants.

The 60W has long been the bulb of choice for the modestly-sized rooms in the typical British home. But this very domestic species will be put on the endangered list on Thursday 1 September, when an EU-wide ban on the manufacturing and importing of 60W incandescent clear light bulbs comes into force.

Customers will still be able to get hold of a 60W bulb but once stocks run out, it will go the same way as candlelight and gaslight before it.

People are being forced to use energy-saving light bulbs. And no matter how much fans of compact fluorescent lamps proclaim their virtues, there will be some who will see Thursday as the day which consigned their homes to eternal dimness.

But the 60W tungsten bulb means more than a warm glow, it is a beacon of modernity. The "perfect demonstration of a brilliant idea" is how cultural commentator Stephen Bayley describes it.

"Because it is such a very legible design, the tungsten light bulb became a symbol of switched-on genius. It's literally, as well as metaphorically, illuminating.

"Its one fault? Like many a genius, it gives off as much heat as light. So it now joins tallow and the gas mantle on technology's scrapheap."

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Crisp

My house value will go up, yay! Many rare bulbs here.

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neoadorable

well, science and tech must move on, but the 60W's contribution i'm sure will always be remembered in Europe. kind of a strange ban, though.

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Growled

I'm all for moving on but a ban seems a wee bit silly.

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neufuse

They have LED bulbs now that have mimiced filiments and glow at the same 2700K color temp, and actually look nice! just put a couple in the other week... brightness seems about the same,and dimmable too!

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PyX

It?ll be good for the environment and our wallets though, on long term.

The only really bad thing about that is, how many people will actually recycle them after they die? That gives us an additional step that I know a lot of people won?t care about.

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Charisma

I'm all for moving on but a ban seems a wee bit silly.

Exactly. The fluorescents kind of hurt my eyes sometimes--I prefer incandescent for my home, at least in the bedroom and room where I work on the PC and read. I hope I don't have to resort to stockpiling if a ban goes into effect here.

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zeta_immersion

actually, i have adjusted the other way ... incandescent hurts my eyes now ...

go europe ...

NA suck ass for bein lazy

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stevember

I changed every bulb with my house about two years ago, now I have got used to them I prefer them.

Plus, it has saved me a small fortune.

Great idea banning them, if people don't do things voluntarily governments need to take action.

Although I don't believe global warming is a human thing, I don't think it hurts to act anyway.

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AJerman

It's not a weird ban. Sometimes we need to move on from old technology that's incredibly wasteful. New bulbs use a fraction of the power, and last much longer. While they may cost more up front to buy, they save a fair amount of money for you, and a TON for the world as a whole while trying to reduce energy usage. The incandescent bulb, while it was a wonderful invention, is outdated and pointless now. New bulbs can be purchased that look identical to incandescents when installed, so there's no argument at all for incandescent bulbs anymore.

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LaP

But the 60W tungsten bulb means more than a warm glow, it is a beacon of modernity. The "perfect demonstration of a brilliant idea" is how cultural commentator Stephen Bayley describes it.

I was skeptical when i moved from incandescent bulb to compact fluorescent but i do not regret it. From my own experience compact fluorescent last a lot longer than long life branded incandescent bulb. I love not needing to change them every month.

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DocM

Mostly CF and LED here, but for some things they cannot yet replace incandescents - floods etc.

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Lexcyn

Canada is doing the same thing but ours comes into effect in 2012.

I just bought some Philips 3w LED GU10 spotlight bulbs and they are AMAZING. Produce no heat, just as bright as a 35w, and last 20 years? YES THANK YOU!

Also in the process of replacing CFL's with that new Philips bulb in which they won the prize in the US for (they are on-sale here in Canada for $39).

While I do like CFL's for their efficiency, the mercury and lead used in them are why I want to go full LED.

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LaP

Future is with LED no doubt about it.

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Rudy

Canada is doing the same thing but ours comes into effect in 2012.

I just bought some Philips 3w LED GU10 spotlight bulbs and they are AMAZING. Produce no heat, just as bright as a 35w, and last 20 years? YES THANK YOU!

Also in the process of replacing CFL's with that new Philips bulb in which they won the prize in the US for (they are on-sale here in Canada for $39).

While I do like CFL's for their efficiency, the mercury and lead used in them are why I want to go full LED.

That's the problem with LED bulbs though, they price is outrageous.

Once the price comes down it will be the best option though

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Elliott

That's the problem with LED bulbs though, they price is outrageous.

Once the price comes down it will be the best option though

One bulb that can last longer than you'll probably own the lamp is worth it, I'd say. :p

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HawkMan

They're not expensive if you consider that they use 1/10th the power and last 20+ times as long.

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Rudy

One bulb that can last longer than you'll probably own the lamp is worth it, I'd say. :p

I move way too often.... And I'm not going to start taking all the bulbs when I move lol

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Travelar

I move way too often.... And I'm not going to start taking all the bulbs when I move lol

LOL! I've already considered this for the next time that I move.

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Squirrelington

They do have warm colored CFLs, i have some in my house and they're just lovely :)

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barbary

The once ubiquitous 60W light bulb is about to plop off the production line for the last time across Europe. But while its light may be dimming, it is still illuminating many of our homes.

It is at once a thing of delicate beauty and robust science.

Encased in its own glass world, a miniature laboratory keeps a tiny thread of tungsten burning brightly. There is even a touch of romance in its soft flare, as it casts a painterly glow over the room and the faces of its occupants.

The 60W has long been the bulb of choice for the modestly-sized rooms in the typical British home. But this very domestic species will be put on the endangered list on Thursday 1 September, when an EU-wide ban on the manufacturing and importing of 60W incandescent clear light bulbs comes into force.

Customers will still be able to get hold of a 60W bulb but once stocks run out, it will go the same way as candlelight and gaslight before it.

People are being forced to use energy-saving light bulbs. And no matter how much fans of compact fluorescent lamps proclaim their virtues, there will be some who will see Thursday as the day which consigned their homes to eternal dimness.

But the 60W tungsten bulb means more than a warm glow, it is a beacon of modernity. The "perfect demonstration of a brilliant idea" is how cultural commentator Stephen Bayley describes it.

"Because it is such a very legible design, the tungsten light bulb became a symbol of switched-on genius. It's literally, as well as metaphorically, illuminating.

"Its one fault? Like many a genius, it gives off as much heat as light. So it now joins tallow and the gas mantle on technology's scrapheap."

more

This is nerd poetry. I loved this.

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Roger H.

I went to Home Depot a while back (few months) and they were selling 4 packs of 60w replacement (14w actual) in "Soft White" which is similar to the normal 60W incadecent bulbs for $0.99. My state discounts those bulbs heavily so there's basically no reason not to get em. Now the ones i ended up liking were the "Bright White" ones which to me made my room nice and white instead of the yellowish tinge the others have, i hate those! The other option is what they call "Daylight" - which are too "bright" for me. I know it's the kelvin that they give off but yikes.

To the old 60W bulbs, i say see ya! I read somewhere (in a story about the 100W version being banned starting January 2012). that they cost like 300% less per year to operate which is prolly why my light bill is only $29/month (minus summer months for Air Conditioning). I can't really complain about the savings i'm getting for sure, and i generally run my lights on most of the time in the house as i'm there alone so i hate dark corners :unsure:

As for the move too often discussion - haha i plan on taking my bulbs with me (and my hangers damnit!) I saved all the old bulbs and just put them in a box in the bottom of the closet. When it's time to move they are going right back in!

(prolly wont cuz as i said, a 4 pack costs 99 cents - i spent about $9 on bulbs when i moved in, some fixtures are those dual/tripple bulbs ones.)

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Hum

Edison is rolling over in his grave :laugh:

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+spikey_richie

They have LED bulbs now that have mimiced filiments and glow at the same 2700K color temp, and actually look nice! just put a couple in the other week... brightness seems about the same,and dimmable too!

I have one of these in my study http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-2700k-Master-LEDbulb-Endura/dp/B004KZCKQI/ref=sr_1_80?s=lighting&ie=UTF8&qid=1314902482&sr=1-80

4 of these in our kitchen http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Dimmable-Master-GU10-equivalent/dp/B002TSS8QE/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

And one of these in the bedroom http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-AccentWhite-Standard-Shape-Light/dp/B002MCZL4E/ref=sr_1_31?s=lighting&ie=UTF8&qid=1314902535&sr=1-31

Phillips do some quite tasty LED bulbs.

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windows95isg8

I hate energy saving light bulbs when your on the computer and the like, there no where near as good as normal bulbs

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