Yesterday, I learned something because, as we all know, “You learn something new every day.” But what I learned yesterday is disturbing, at best, and indicates a new level of waste and laziness.
My kitchen light is on the blink—quite literally—since last week. I was sitting at the table working when it blinked off. But only halfway. Now, it has that annoying fluorescent strobe effect going. Or it would if I left the bulbs in it. I purchased new ones and then returned them when we deemed the problem to be the fixture.
My 14 year old examined the light and determined it needed a new ballast. He went online to find out where we could get one, and how much it would be. I still have to look in the local big box stores, but the proper part was located on Amazon for $40, which seems a bit steep to invest in an old, ugly light. Then again, I don’t have to invest in an electrician because I have a 14 year-old, but I digress.
When we went to the local home center to look at lumber (don’t ask), we stopped in the lighting department. I figure if I can get a fixture for not much more than a ballast, it might be a better option.
“No bulbs to replace,” my son read off the box of one of the lights as we strolled the aisle. “Oh, that’s not good.”
I turned and looked at the box. “Wait. So those are disposable fixtures?” I asked to no one in particular. “That can’t be right.” And yet, the majority of fixtures on the shelf were in similar boxes, all of which touted, “No bulbs to replace.” As if that is somehow a good thing.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I opened one of the boxes and pulled out the light. In fact, there were no bulbs, and inside the light was a circuit board with several small square non-replaceable LED lights on it.
“Not only are there ‘no bulbs to replace,’” my son said, pointing to the LEDs. “Those are all going to go out at different times.” He smirked.
“Well that would stink,” I remarked, thinking of my own half illuminated kitchen light.
But really, I am still in disbelief. A “fixture” is supposed to be fixed, and yet, the fixtures we saw yesterday are disposable. When did it become so difficult to change a light bulb that it’s easier to remove the entire light and throw it away? And just how is that easier?
Either I’m on a steep learning curve, or I’m missing the purported benefits of no light bulbs.