Illuminating Idea: The Lightbulb Reinvented

By Miles Bett
On April 27, 2012

We have all faced this problem. It is troubling, expensive in the long run and deeply traumatic. I'm talking about a blown lightbulb. When you walk into a dark room late at night and all you want is to be bathed in the iridescent glow of the twentieth century at its best. You flick the switch and instead of the soothing glow, you get a flash, a slight pop and the bulb is dead. You are now upset and afraid. Alone, in the dark, you must try and find the stash of lightbulbs whose location moves with each use. Once flocated, you find out you don't even have the bulb you need, so you sit, alone in the dark, and weep. Hey, at least no one can see you cry.
  Now what would you say if I could give you an alternative. Yes, we already have florescent lights that don't flare out and last upwards of eight to fifteen times as long, but in a world that is continually going green, albeit in baby steps, that just isn't cutting it anymore.  Phillips has just released a new LED lightbulb that lasts 100,000 hours, or twenty years by lightbulb life measure. That is, without a doubt, exceedingly impressive. It does come at a cost, literally. Recently released, it fetches $60 each. With a price tag as impressive as its lifetime, it is a hard sell for the private consumer. I, being only 22, have moved six times in my life. There is no way I would have been able to successfully ferry one lightbulb from house to house without it breaking or getting lost. There is, however, a place where such a lightbulb would be beneficial. Hofstra.
  We are constantly attempting to go green. More plates and metal cutlery to save on waste, more recycling bins dotting campus, it's all a great way to be eco-friendly in little ways. To me, a good next step would be to install such lights on campus. Personally, I am not a fan of the yellow glare that comes from the lights in the dorms; I'd rather the soft white glow of this LED light, but let's be practical. Students are stupid. We break things, set stuff on fire and overall, incite chaos and pandemonium, so installing a few of these lights in dorms hoping they last twenty years just isn't practical.
  Instead, install them in the classrooms, offices and dining halls around campus. These areas are the domains of Hofstra staff, a much more ordered and contained group of people. By installing the lights in these areas, maintenance would save a great deal of time and expense having to go around every year switching out lightbulbs. Under this new system, after twenty years there would be a mass switching of bulbs and then it wouldn't be done for another two decades. This change would be incredibly expensive at first, which is why I think Hofstra should wait until the price goes down. With a student base of thousands, Hofstra could, hopefully, spread out such a cost. It would save on energy demands and costs of buying new bulbs. Though a seemingly ludicrous expense, it may actually end up saving more money in the long run than it costs, as the point of such lightbulbs seems to be.


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