Monday, March 14, 2011

A Lighting Tip

Dusting out the cobwebs and returning … It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been busy with a variety of things both at work and at home. Lately, I can’t even keep up with the basics much less find time to jump back into house projects. (Stay tuned. That’s about to end soon. Very soon.)

That said, one of the things I recently had to do was buy new light bulbs for the over-the-sink kitchen light. It’s not the garden variety light anymore. This is the triple-light LED stainless steel version that Lawrence installed nearly 19 months ago. (Looks just like the photo minus one light.) One of the end bulbs had apparently burned out.

Though these are “long-life Xenon bulbs,” 19 months is a pretty good record considering that this light gets used CONSTANTLY. In its higher setting, it light up a good enough chunk of the kitchen that we don’t have to turn on the overhead to heat something in the microwave or wash a dish. In its lower setting, it keeps the kitchen lit overnight.

I wrote down the volts and did a typical stick-figure drawing of the bulb itself which is small, clear and has two protruding pins at the bottom. (It reminds me a little bit of the bulbs for one of my first cameras where you pulled the film out and waited for it to develop before peeling a layer of paper off to reveal the photo. But I digress.) Unfortunately, neither bit of information helped me. I found bulbs that looked similar but they looked stubbier. I finally scoured the shelves until I found a version of our actual fixture, though in white. I compared the packaged bulbs to the fixture’s. No. It still looked wrong.

During my search, I learned two things from a guy working in the lighting department at Lowe’s who finally appeared at the height of my frustration. “Do these bulbs fit this light?” I asked. “They look smaller.”

He assured me that they did fit though they were smaller. The first of my lessons: Go by the G rating. If it says it will take a G6, all G6 bulbs will fit. Same for G8. Good to know.

Secondly, since these are Xenon LED bulbs, it Is best to wear gloves or use a cloth while handling them. Apparently, body oils can interact with the Xenon in a not-so-good-way and significantly lessen their lifespan. (This is equally good to know because many cars, including Pearl, now use Xenon bulbs.)

And since these little suckers cost almost $4 each, I don’t think you want to do anything to jeopardize their working time!

1 comment:

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