The Incandescent Light Bulb Lives!

Posted on February 17, 2014


As you know, Lila and Hubby are in the process of building a house, and just last week I had a meeting with the Light Guy who will supply our light fixtures.  He also provides bulbs to go with those fixtures.

I was under the impression that, come January 2014, the incandescent light bulb would be hard to get.  I pictured light-bulb hoarders and secret stocks squirreled away by those of us who want that instant, bright light at the flip of a switch, instead of having to wait for the new curly bulbs – the Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFLs – to get around to warming up.  Those of us who hadn’t thought ahead, or didn’t have a room to store our hoard of old-fashioned light bulbs, would just be stuck with the new stuff.  Well, I thought, there’s always LED, even if we have to pay an arm and a leg.

As it turns out, the incandescent bulb is not as dead as we thought.  Light Guy showed me his line of incandescent bulbs.  What?  You have incandescent bulbs?  We can still get those?  Why, sure, he said.  The news really hasn’t done a very good job of getting the news out, but there will still be incandescent bulbs.  Here’s one.


It looks just like what you’re used to.  The difference?  It is a bit more expensive than the old incandescents – for example, Target carries a package of two for $4.99.  Instead of a vacuum, the bulb contains halogen gas.  This makes it more efficient than the old incandescents, but not as energy-efficient as the CFLs.  Just like the old incandescents, it’s bright, and it’s fast.

Light Guy recommends the CFLs anywhere that lights will be on often, and for longer periods (we are already doing this in our current home).  In areas where you just want a quick, bright light for a few minutes, he recommends the new halogen-filled incandescents.  If you really want to splurge, you can go for the new LED bulbs, which are the most expensive of all but are said to last for decades.

Virginia code now requires that at least 50% of fixtures in new homes be outfitted with energy-efficient bulbs.  That does not include the new incandescent bulbs, but we’re not too broken up about that; in our current home we use a healthy complement of CFLs, and were expecting the same for the new home.

And then, there’s nothing to keep us from going around changing light bulbs after the final inspection… but… nah.