Friday, October 27, 2006

To Change A Lightbulb

155 To Change A Light Bulb

How many Wessayists does it take to change a lightbulb? One. Because there’s only one Wessayist. But a lot depends on the lightbulb.

Let’s see: unscrew lightbulb. Screw in new lightbulb. Turn on lamp. Voila!

But it’s not that simple anymore.

First, you have to make sure you have the right bulb.

If you put a 75 watter into a socket with a warning that 60 is the max, what happens when you turn the light goes on? The light goes on. But maybe, also, the shade gets a brown spot (the light’s too hot,) or the socket melts.

So what happens if you get one of those lightbulbs that look like drill bits or corkscrews and use a whole lot less electricity?

They use seven or ten or 23 watts. But they give off as much light, they say, as a 60 or a 75 or a 100 watt bulb. Oy. Decisions. Can you use a 23 watt bulb that emits 100 watts of light in a light that’s marked “60 watts maximum?”

Let’s call the GE “Hotline” (there’s a phrase for you!) and find out.

Yes, says the guy, you can safely use our 23 watt bulbs in a light that calls for a 60 watt maximum and yes it will light as brightly as a 100.

What about ceiling fixtures, we ask.

That’s a little trickier, according to Mr. Kilowatt up in Schenectady. It’s okay to use in a covered ceiling fixture or a recessed ceiling fixture, but not in one that’s both covered AND recessed.

Okay, now we know the lay of the land.

Let’s see if the 23 watt bulb really throws as much light as a 100. For this, we haul out the digital camera and take a picture of the 100 watt “regular bulb.” Then we switch to the corkscrew bulb and try to take the picture again. But the camera gives us a “low light” alert which means the 23 doesn’t throw as much light as the 100.

Kilowatt is on a break, so we can’t reach him for a second time.

So we put in the lower watt bulb, and save a bundle on electricity. But we also go blind trying to see under it. But that’s no problem because (1) seeing is overrated and (2) health insurances covers treatment for blindness.

A winning situation all around.

But before the blindness sets in, there’s one more light bulb related project and that’s changing the 40 watt halogen bulb in the living room torch light.

This thing is screwed in with actual screws. And to get at it you have to take off a mesh shield that looks like it is supposed to protect you against flying glass shards in the event of an explosion.

Unfortunately, there is no obvious way to do this.

So instead of unscrewing the bulb, let’s unscrew the entire top of the light.

This requires a ladder. (It’s a very tall torch light.)

Once off, the lamp head is impossible to replace on the poll without dismantling the entire lamp.

And the sections of the poll won’t come apart,

So the thing sits in the garage awaiting surgery.

And the answer to the question at the start is: None

It can’t be done.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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