How to light up 2007


Despite all the razzing I get from Neil about my fashion-forward geek-aliciousness, I am not an early adopter. Early adopters have to be the first (First!) and they’re willing to pay for the privilege. Me, I am too cheap. I let the early adopters ride out the kinks of version 1.0, wait for structural improvements, a better user manual and a lower price, and then I jump.

Take compact fluorescent lightbulbs, for example. Raised by an environmentally conscious alcoholic, monthly trips to the recycling plant with a Chevy Malibu full of empty booze bottles seemed as natural as breathing. Mom predated CFLs by about a decade, but you know if their paths had coincided, she would have ratcheted down to the box Chablis to cover the initially high cost. (Oh, wait, she dropped down to the box Chablis anyway.)

No such sacrifice is necessary now, of course. You can pick you up some dandy CFLs at IKEA for about 5 bucks a pop, free, if you can sneak them into your boyfriend’s cart. They’ll save a bunch of energy, which saves the planet and also saves you money. How is this not the most fantastic thing in the world? More importantly, how is it that only 6% of U.S. households are using even one CFL now?!? Does no one want to save money? Do you crave full-spectrum light that much?

True, the light isn’t as pretty as that from incandescent (i.e., “regular”) bulbs. But the new CFLs are pretty darn good. And the ones from IKEA don’t even have that weird coil shape.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…


This post made as my bloggy contribution to a worldwide blogger effort to raise awareness about CFLs. More information on Seth Godin’s site, here. Save the planet! Buy a lightbulb!

Image by Irina / Riri via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Oooh – I recently started buying these bulbs and LOVE them! I’ll be honest, though – it had a lot less to do with saving the environment and a lot more to do with me hating to change the lightbulbs in my hard to reach fixtures every month. So far it’s been 6 months and no burned out bulbs…

  2. Environment safety net? Yes. Save money? No! These motherfuckers cost 5 times more than a regular bulb and last about as long as one of their farts. We had 4 light bulbs in the bathroom FOR 6 YEARS!!! Never changed one. We replaced them with these shitholes and have cycled through 2 changings on all the bulbs already. GE bulbs, too! The fancy ones. The fucking Penguins, Polar Bears and Spotted Owls better appreciate this shit.


  3. Jenny – I heard that. I’m reeeeeeally tempted to try one in my outside fixture next time it goes. There’s a short in it or something, and I go through incandescents at an insane rate. Technically, it’s the building’s responsibility, but they’re so cheap, there’s no way they’ll go green until it saves them money up front.

    Ricky, blow off that GE crap and go IKEA. If we’re going to buy into the Chinese slave labor business model, we might as well save the environment while we do it.

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