Shine On, You Crazy Lightbulbs

The other day I found myself at a loss in the light bulb aisle of my hardware store. I might as well have been shopping for a carburetor. There were too many options with too many symbols and verbiage that I couldn’t decipher (LED, CFL, halogen, lumens, Kelvin, CRI), not to mention all of the various brands (GE, Philips, Cree, EcoSmart — each with its own packaging lingo). Since when do you need an electrical engineering degree to buy a light bulb?

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

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