Saving the planet, one bulb at a time

I read an interesting article on recently. It took a look at the rise in popularity of Edison style light bulb. This has seemingly been going on for a couple of years as more “hipster” style restaurants, cafés, bars, tattoo parlours and barber shops are opened. Obviously there’s no problem with them using this vintage style of lighting, considering it’s extremely on trend. Although I was alsways under the impression that hipsters kept in front of fashion and moved on when it caught on mainstream. Am I wrong with that? Answers on a postacrd.

There was a main issue that seems to have been raised by Treehugger (featuring the best strapline: Making sutainability sexy). It was from couple of years ago when the bulbs were very inefficient and used a lot of power. The site noted an article in the New York Times from 2010 that quoted the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) as saying:

“It boggles the mind that in these times of economic hardship and interest in environmental sustainability that restaurant owners would choose the light bulb that uses 5 to 10 times more power than the other bulbs on the market,” Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist at the environmental group, wrote in an e-mail message. “You can’t on the one hand brag how green you are by serving organic beer and locally grown produce while you are lighting your business with the least efficient light bulbs available in the world.”

Technological advances

I never realised this style of bulb had been going on this long. Research has started to bring down the amount of power needed for these trendy bulbs. In the past, the bulbs were popular because of their delicious warm glow. It’s so much nicer than the stark, cold brilliance of modern LED lights. iLamp have a bulb that emits an equivalent of 10w using only 1w of power, for example.

With the steady rise in popularity for vintage lighting to fit with a vintage home or business, the fact that modern and advanced technology can be incorporated into that makes this a truly steampunk achievement. Even if that wasn’t the end game. Thankfully technology has caught up. We can go back to helping the planet and enjoying our aesthetics of a past that never happened.

You can read the Treehugger article here: LED Imitation steampunk bulbs coming to your hipster coffee shop soon


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