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Why are People Still Buying High-Wattage Incandescent Light Bulbs?

Why are People Still Buying High-Wattage Incandescent Light Bulbs?

  2012-11-15         sparksdirect         Advice » Lighting Design Advice

Although it would seem to any commentator that energy-efficient lighting is "the future," or at least a component of that future, we at Sparks keep getting requests for high-wattage light bulbs.

This is even after the EU have banned the sale of 100W+ lightbulbs for domestic use.

High-watt lamps are intended for "rough use" alone (that is, for industrial use on construction sites and the like) but even though there's a grand drive towards energy efficiency, it's more likely that homeowners are also buying these bulbs.

We have no way of telling, of course.

We can't tell what these lamps are used for once a customer leaves the shop - we shouldn't be doing that - but clearly they are still being bought and used in the home.

Advantages of Incandescent Lightbulbs 

We can think of a couple of advantages of incandescent bulbs over CFL alternatives - firstly, they are "instant-on." They don't have to "warm up" and they work fine in cold weather, unlike CFLs.

It has also been shown that General Lighting Service (GLS) lightbulbs do not dim over time in a

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process known as lumen deprecation, or at least not to the same degree as CFLs. Meanwhile, the current generation of LEDs are still too new to accurately measure their lumen deprecation.

But perhaps most obvious is the fact that many energy-saving bulbs cast a 'colder' light than the incandescent bulbs many of our customers are used to.

The Comfort Factor

We think that is mostly comfort that drives people to traditional incandescent bulbs: most of us are used to buying a GLS lightbulb. Aside from that factor, however, they are much cheaper at purchase than CFL or LED lamps.

Despite advances in technology, we are still some time away from LEDs being an affordable true alternative to GLS bulbs (although the Apple-endorsed Hue smart lights might do something for that).

Energy-saving lights do save money over time, however, and many of our customers are pleasantly surprised by the quality of these lights.

Photo by Joey Gannon on Flickr (Creative Commons)