A light bulb moment

More thoughts, submitted on an occasional basis by our Guest Blogger:  Jack Diamond.


Light bulbs, it used to be so easy.

When one blew, which wasn’t that often, you would simply take it out and replace it with another. Job done.

Not anymore. Not these days.

Back in the not so distant past, light bulbs came in only one fitting (at least here in the UK) and this was the bayonet fitting. You pushed the bulb in and twisted it, and did the reverse to remove it.

Nowadays it’s not so easy.

Why? Because light bulbs these days come in a whole range of sizes and fittings. Here’s just a few…

Bayonet cap light bulb

It’s smaller brother, the small bayonet cap

Then there’s the Edison Screw, which comes in a range of sizes –

5mm Lilliput Edison Screw; 10mm Miniature Edison Screw; 12mm Candelabra Edison Screw; 14mm Small Edison Screw; 27mm Edison Screw and the 40mm Giant Edison Screw

And that’s before we get on to halogen bulbs or fluorescent and led strip lights.

So, the light bulb in your bedroom has blown. You get a chair, stand under the light fitting and remove the bulb. That’s the easy part.

To your dismay you find the bulb is a screw fitting. All the other bulbs in your house are bayonet fittings. Or are they? You can’t remember.

Checking the cupboard downstairs, you find you have an ES bulb (that’s a screw fitting to you and me) but, would you believe it, when you offer it up to the light fitting you find that what you have in your hand is an SES (Small Edison Screw bulb) and no use whatsoever.

Rechecking the cupboard, you have no ES bulbs, only bayonet and this one SES bulb.

When did it all become so much more complex?

Why do we need all these different fittings for bulbs?

Instead of having just one 40 watt bulb and one 60 watt bulb as spares you now need a whole range of spares in different sizes and fittings. Crazy.

And, let’s not even get started on what happened to the 100 watt bulbs and, more lately, the 60 watt bulbs. Again, back in the old days, in a large room you would have a single 100 watt bulb (a bayonet fitting, of course). But these got banned by the European Union back in 2009, followed by a ban on 60 watt bulbs two years later.

Now, to get a decent amount of light, you have to have three or four lower wattage lights placed strategically around the room. So, logically, you’re going to get through more light bulbs and, therefore, be more often in the position of not having a spare of the right size or fitting.

And this is progress?

And then, to add insult to injury, there’s the cost.

Again, light bulbs used to be cheap but now they costs anywhere up to £4 or £5 for a normal everyday bulb. So, you have to buy more of them (because of the plethora of different fittings) and they cost more.

You’ll have noticed that I’ve talked about 60 watt and 100 watt bulbs. Well, I shouldn’t have, because that’s changed too. We’re supposed to talk about ‘lumens’ now, not watts. But, of course, none of us do.

And – what’s more – even if you still talk about the wattage of a lightbulb, well, that’s changed as well. Take a look at the packaging for a lightbulb below.

28 watt is, apparently, the same as 37 watt.

Pardon? Or should I say ‘What?’

The definition of a watt is as follows:

The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI) defined as 1 joule per second and can be used to quantify the rate of energy transfer.

(from Wikipedia)

So, someone explain to me how 28 watts equals 37 watts.

As I said, the whole thing is crazy!

But, that’s progress and, as we know, progress is a marvellous thing. Isn’t it?

Thanks for reading. Oh, and remember to switch the light off after you – the bulbs cost a fortune you know!

Jack Diamond


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(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not reflect the views of PCGraphics.)



Don’t get me started…

if youve landed here

The European Union

Well, that’s the election out of the way here in the UK. The next thing on the agenda will be the referendum we’ve been promised, which will decide whether we stay in the European Union (EU) or not.

There’s a lot of opinions about this out there in the media and they’ll be a hell of a lot more before the referendum actually comes around.

But what’s the answer? Should we stay in or leave?

Well, I can’t tell you the answer, probably no-one can, because no-one knows all the effects of the UK leaving. And we don’t know what’s in the future for us if we stay in either.

I can tell you something though which would possibly satisfy those on either side of the argument, although it will probably never, ever happen.

My suggestion is this. That we revert the EU from its current state back to what is was originally when the UK joined.

It was known as the European Economic Community (EEC) or Common Market then and, to be fair, we (the people of the UK) have never been consulted on whether we wanted everything which came afterwards. We voted to join a Common Market NOT a United States of Europe.

I’d actually wager that it’s only a very small proportion of the population right across Europe who actually want a United States of Europe i.e. complete political and fiscal union. Most would welcome close ties between the countries on a commercial level. And that was the idea of the Common Market.

So, perhaps we should be campaigning for a Common Market and not an in/out referendum on an EU Super State? Good for business, good for jobs and therefore good for people too. Not so good, however, for all those bureaucrats in Brussels. But maybe, just maybe, we should put our own people and countries first before letting some nameless, faceless people decide things for us.

A Common Market NOT a United States of Europe. It can’t be that difficult, can it?


Thanks for reading,

Jack Diamond

(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not reflect the views of PCGraphics.)


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