More tea please.


Some exceedingly valuable research has recently been done in our kitchen. What follows are some extremely important observations and findings about light bulbs. Pay attention now…

gu10Our kitchen is equipped with a light socket fitting that accepts four “GU10” lights. This is the sort of light fitting installed by someone who likes to spend a lot of time looking at their light fitting, spending money on light bulbs, and changing light bulbs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m not that kind of person. I like my lights to let me look at and spend money on other things.

The bulbs in the kitchen have blown several times over the past year. About 6 months ago, Screwfix offered two types of GU10 lamp: incandescents, and LED-based. The LED lamps claim a rating of 50000 hours. The incandescents claim 1000 hours. At the time, the LED bulbs cost about £10 each — around 5 times as much as the incandescents. It seemed pretty clear which offered the best value for money, so I bought 1 LED bulb as an experiment along with a pack of incandescents.

It turned out the LED based lamp was extremely dim. There was no way of comparing its brightness with that of the incandescents on the Screwfix website or on its box. Our kitchen has since had one single LED bulb that provides an exceptionally dim light.

Then all the incandescents blew. The kitchen was extremely dim. Torches had to be used to verify that meat had been cooked.

So it was back to Screwfix to get some new bulbs. I was overjoyed to find that they now sell compact fluorescent (CFL — also known as “energy saving” light bulbs to some) GU10 bulbs. I bought one (they’re about 4 times as expensive as the incandescents) and was pleasantly surprised to find that it emits a useful amount of light.

Conclusion: Current LED GU10 bulbs from Screwfix don’t emit enough light for lighting a room. The CFLs do.

There you go. Admit it. You didn’t know that light bulbs could be so exciting.

Posted at 3:05 am on Saturday 18th July 2009

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