So what exactly is the deal with light bulbs in this God-forsaken country! Back in Blighty you could be pretty certain that whenever a light bulb blew in the house you would have spares to replace it. Why is this? Because all the light bulbs were exactly the same, in the whole house, everywhere. You could stock up on them and turn a light on in the sure knowledge that should it blow you were well prepared. Very rarely you'd come across one of those crazy screw-in bulbs, but 99% of them were solid, good old fashioned reliable bayonet socket bulbs.

I come to America, Texas to be more specific and suddenly I discover that one type of bulb is not enough, oh good gracious no. There has to be at least eight different types of bulb per home, and at least two different types in each and every room. Now, whenever a bulb blows I have to make a special trip to the grocery store where I am beseiged by dozens of different types of bulbs, all different sizes and colours and shades of colours. What the hell am I supposed to do with all these options? It's worse than going to Subway, and don't get me started on Subway. For Christ's sake I just want to illuminate my damn house not worry I'm buying the wrong gauge light bulb every bloody time I need to buy one.

What needs to be done is that all non-standard sized bulbs should be destroyed, there will be no more, we can dance naked around a burning fire upon which we shall toss our surplus bulbs, maybe at the same time we can howl pagan rituals. Then we shall rip out any non-standard sockets from our walls and replace them with the proper screw in ones, seeing as bayonet bulbs seem to be non-existant out here. There will be government subsidies to help us fix our homes.

I'll drag this fucking country into God-damned civilisation if it kills me!

The standard household incandescent light bulb is a glass container emitting bright white light equally in all directions. Except it's not bright at all, but relatively very dull - even for the 160 watt bulbs, and magnitudes lower in intensity than natural daylight. And it's not actually white light either, but rather a very mundane, washed out creamy colour. How cream you ask? Well, very cream. In fact so cream, that if you were to represent this colour in RGB, you'd get a hue containing around...

Red: 49%
Green: 33%!
Blue: only 18%!!

This orangey hue generally applies to all common wattages (40 - 200 W). See this URL for a demonstration:

Yes, it's true. A proper white bulb would need around one and a half times the amount of green light, and almost three times as much blue light. The thing you must remember is that stuff looks less apparently orange when everything around is also tinted with the same color. The eye 'adapts' and creates a new standard for 'white' according to what it sees - which is why you don't usually notice the 'oranginess'.

OK, so Halogen and Fluorescent bulbs (especially cool white fluorescents) can often be a little brighter and whiter, but not everybody's going to be able to fit this type of bulb in their living room. Also, fluorescents tend to suffer from irritating flicker and buzzing noises.

Some studies have shown that brighter, whiter light will increase our happiness and productivity, but we're stuck with dull, creamy, inefficient light bulbs that fail to show the true colours of objects. Combine this with the fact they eventually conk out, and you have a device that really belongs to the stone age.

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