The Challenge Of The Light Bulb

October 18, 2011 § 6 Comments

October 18, 2011
As you know, if you are a follower of our blog, we often refer to articles from Wired Magazine. At one time a publication only for techies, the magazine has become much more user-friendly, especially for those of us who appreciate a bit of simplification.
In a recent issue, there was an article on lighting that explained some of the changes and new technologies that have affected color rendering. One of the most fascinating aspects of the article, written by Dan Koeppel, is the resistance that many consumers have in changing to the newer bulbs and fixtures that are so different from those products we are more accustomed to.
Credit: Philips Lighting

Koeppel observes: ”Evolutionary biologists believe that human lighting preferences are the result of our trichromatic vision—rare in non-primates—which makes us particularly suited to daylight and perception of primary colors. There’s an anthropological component as well; for 4,000 years, humankind has been banishing darkness with fire. And Edison’s bulb, at its core, is a burning filament that casts a glow of flame. Abandoning incandescent bulbs means abandoning fire as our primary light source for the first time in human history.”

I never thought about it that way, but it certainly makes sense and answers the resistance that is being shown to accepting the newer look in light bulbs. Actually, from a design standpoint, some of the squiggly shapes of the newer energy saving bulbs are really quite interesting. The challenge is balancing a lampshade on some of them. However, there are some manufacturers that are using the odd shapes as a design component.

Plumen 001

A chart explains the meaning of color temperature very simply. It states: “Expressed in degrees Kelvin, this is how we measure things like soft white or daylight. A pleasant soft white will have a color temperature of 3000K. White light ranges from 4100K to 6000K, roughly equal to noonday sun. Higher numbers get increasingly bluer”.


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§ 6 Responses to The Challenge Of The Light Bulb

  • Peg Snyder says:

    My problem is slightly different. Does anyone know where to get attractive lalmpshades that fit the various sizes of the energy -saving light bulbs??

    I’ll greatly appreciate any solutions for this particular problem!

    • eisemanandassociates says:

      This is a very good question. I think that some of these bulbs are meant to be displayed without shades. You could always try to make one of your own like this one if your lighting fixture is hanging. If you find a good site for these bulbs, please share. Thanks for writing in.

  • I really like your blog. I even bookmarked it 🙂 LED light bulbs have come a long way from the LED lights most people think of. You can even get them in the standard A19 style. Led light bulbs have a long life, and give off a lot of light. The Phillips Endrualed is a really good light bulb.

    I found a coupon code for them at


  • Color Me Softly says:

    I think the way different kinds of light sources influence the way we perceive color is a fascinating topic. I was reading something about it the other day, in colorA2Z I think it might have been. If you paint under one light and your work is view under another, people are going to see it differently than you intended.

  • ecollage says:

    This reminds me the old Edison bulbs — the ones with the fancy filament because while very stylish they are very low in efficiency… but those with the new color cfls would be a neat package. Thanks for a super post.

  • Even though I’m an environmental activist and have energy efficient bulbs in many areas of my home, I can’t stand the way they look in table lamps. I’ve tried several kinds, but they have a sickly green tinge. I don’t care about the shape of the bulbs, it’s the weird color of the light that bugs me. I’m starting to hoard 3-way incandescent bulbs while hoping the technology will improve.

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