Thursday, January 03, 2013

A Light in the Window - A Tribute to the Incandescent Bulb

The 75 watt incandescent lightbulb was pronounced dead a few days ago. If you ask me it looks like murder. The 100 watt was buried last year after it also received a fatal blow.

Next year the 60 and the 40 will be laid to rest once the hitmen complete their ghastly plan, brush the broken glass off of their hands and collect their fees. (The pretty sum you'll pay for the replacement bulbs will fill their pockets to overflowing.)

If you love incandescent light, face it, you're screwed.

Your bulbs on the other hand will have to be unscrewed. Badda-bing!

They have come for your lightbulbs, the same bulbs that have graced our homes for as long as we can remember with silent ambiance and practical beauty.

So let me share a little tribute I wrote a while back to honor the bulbs that have so faithfully shared our lives and family time, illuminating our moments and memories:

A Very Good Idea
By Liz Detter

Electric current passes through filament.
Inert gas burns white and hot.
A little bulb is born.
A very good idea.

Mood and moment sitting together by the window.
Comfort and radiance encased in glass.
A warm welcome home.
A warning flash.
A protector standing watch.
A passionate one.
A colorful show of style.
A subtle ambiance.
A dramatic blaze.
Twinkling entertainment.
A reader’s friend.
A spectrum of emotion.
A handy little basic that has shaped our world.
Beautiful utility.
A very good idea.

Memories glow in little bulbs...
Heartbeats are tended under their vigilant supervision.
Sparks kindle in racing hearts...a kiss beneath the front porch light.
Bulb guiding pen as compelling thoughts whisper in the night.
A baby chick hatched under golden warmth.
The flick of a switch... Surprise!

A cozy shimmer through window panes at twilight, 
spinning tales of the lives inside.
A summer night’s swim with the neighborhood gang; chlorine halos dance in carefree eyes. 
A catch in my breath at the sight of you, little bulb.
A very good idea

Floods of light swing back and forth, 
passing in the sky as they announce the big event.
Bare bulbs strung from tree to tree sing
with romance for the bride and groom’s first dance.

Rays of light protect toes in the night.
Beams banish secrets that crouch in the dark, 
pointing the way to what has been lost.

Twinkling accents flirt after sunset, winking playfully through the window screen.
A ray of kindness illuminates sock drawer shadows 
so he won't head out in one black and one blue.

A stern glare chases monsters from a little boy’s room...
A very good idea.

Dressed to the nines, or with naked simplicity my little bulb, you are efficient, luminescent, alluring. 

No, you are not always flattering, and you have been known to tell tactless truths 
(especially in fitting rooms where you have a habit of being very unkind), but you 
do accept the prompt of the dimmer switch, and for that I owe you.

You are skill and imagination radiating brilliance.
I have been wooed and won by your mesmerizing charms.

Millions of memories and you've been there, dear bulb. 
My eyes and my heart are forever yours.
You are a very good idea.

They want you to say goodbye, little bulb.
But it ain’t over ‘til they turn out the lights. 

Hang on little bulb...

...hang on. 


Davy, Swan, Brush, Edison, as well as others experimented with incandescent light; Davy beginning the work back as far as 1802. Edison went beyond and designed a lightbulb capable of being commercially produced so we could all enjoy the little shiner’s benefits. 
Thanks guys! It is, it was and always will be a very good idea. 

I'll be sharing this tale at:

Freedom Friday @ My Turn for UsTime Travel Thursday @ The Brambleberry Cottage
Wow us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Knick of Time Tuesday @ Knick of Time
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Cowgirl Up @ Cedar Hill Ranch Sunday's Best @ My 1929 Charmer
Mop It Up Monday @ I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Sunday Show Off @ Twigg Studios
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Be Inspired Friday @ Common Ground
Treasure Hunt Thursday @ FMFPTY


  1. This 'free' country we live in? Not so much. Freedom we no longer have - we have rules and regulations and laws. Sigh. Great poem - I loved the bulbs too. If ever I was to stockpile anything this would be it.

  2. I am going to need to stock up once again. grrr.

  3. Liz! Hey great idea.

    Did you know you need to adjust your width on your site, so your text doesn't over lap onto the pictures. If you want directions on how let me know.

  4. I am so upset about losing incandescent bulbs. These "new-fangled" things just don't put out any light. I hate them! I can see a few more cases of 60 watts being bought. I've already bought some. Government regulations!!!! Phew!!

  5. This is a great tribute! :) I hate to sound dramatic but I can't imagine our lives without incandescent light. Everything will seem so cold and stark! Booooo! I heard about the schedule for their demise on the news the other day and I couldn't believe how matter-of-fact and quickly it was reported. I am betting that not many people are even aware! So sad and unnecessary!

  6. Awh Liz! I see a difference already. Awesome. :D

  7. You've written a beautiful tribute to the light I love! I've dedicated a few blog posts to this same subject that is near and dear to my heart. I HATE all the replacement bulbs the geniuses have come up with so far, but the experts at This Old House promise us there are better lights on the horizon. I shamefully burn my incandescents along with my big old colored Christmas lights outside. Whatever are we going to do with all our chandies?! I myself would rather replace the bulbs with candles than those hideous torpedos they call light bulbs!

    Shine on. :@

  8. I'm so frustrated with the whole light bulb thing. The new bulbs burn out so quickly--and the spiral bulb? So ugly! It's a sad day when the government spends more time worrying about lightbulbs than it does about spending money they don't have!

  9. I plan to stockpile some... because I find the new Lights to be somewhat painful to look at. In a few years we'll probably hear the new lighting is harmful to the eye... I know that the new Christmas Lights give me a headache so I'm sticking to the Old Style Fairy Lights for as long as I can find some. A great Tribute to the Incadescent Bulb! It's rather strange to me what the Govt. can become fixated on and banish when there are certainly bigger fish to fry?!

    Happy New Year from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  10. I am an incandescent fan too. It's much more flattering!

  11. Isn't it ridiculous??? Like many others, I will miss the regular light bulbs. Just amazing this is an issue with so much else needing attention/correction.


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