Why the incandescent light bulb will be missed

incandescent light bulbs.

We’re nearing end of days for the 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulb. They are being replaced by more energy efficient lighting, CFLs and LEDs, often with a cooler light. At the beginning of the year, the 40 and 60 watt bulbs will no longer be made or imported into the U.S. And they’ll slowly start to disappear from store shelves.

So, we thought we’d hold a little memorial service, to say goodbye to the incandescent bulb.

“Oh my god, tears are coming to my eyes,” says Kathy Pryzgoda, principal lighting designer for lightstudioLA. “I’m kidding, but I’m not really kidding.” Saying goodbye, she says, means saying goodbye to the glow of the incandescent bulb, its ability to warm and dim.  

“It’s a feeling that you’re going to miss,” says LA interior designer Ruth Storc, “It’s the feeling of a space that has a natural warmth to it, and that really comes from lighting.”

We know, like all creations, this bulb wasn’t perfect. It burned hot. It was wasteful.

But, we celebrate. The new generation owes its success to the passing generation.

We asked the inventor of the bulb to share his thoughts -- Thomas Edison. (Via Edison impersonator RJ Lindsey.)

HILL: How do you feel, Mr. Edison, that your incandescent light bulb is now being phased out?

EDISON: Well, I will tell you, if I were still inventing I would have invented whatever they are going to phase me out with. 

 Derek Porter, a professor at Parsons The New School for Design, offers an appropriate epitaph: “Best Wishes, Warm Friend.”

Best wishes, warm friend.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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