Who would have guessed? When Thomas Edison created the first commercially viable light bulb in 1879 he never would have guessed. Or maybe he would have. Back then the light bulb came in one size. One color. One shape. Today, there are so many types of light bulbs that there are entire retail stores devoted to nothing but light bulbs.
There are fixed bulbs and replaceable bulbs. Some screw in and some plug in. The base of the screw in type comes in several sizes, wide and narrow. And the glass portion of the bulb comes in an endless variety of shapes. Round, elongated, tubular.
Of course you can get blue lights, black lights, soft whites and white hot lights. And any other color you can imagine.
Even the type of light comes in varieties. Halogen, mercury vapor, fluorescent, metal halide, LED. Special purpose and application lights abound. So who could blame me for picking the wrong one when I went to replace a bulb.
Late last year I bought a solar powered motion activated security light for my daughter’s house. She had told me how one night when a friend was visiting they had to venture out into the darkness from the front door to the driveway and her friends car. I could fix that. One way or another. There was the hard wired spotlight option. Or the solar option. Not being an electrician, I went the solar route.
After I installed the solar fixture and its small power panel I noticed that way up under the eaves, tucked away and blended into the soffits, was an existing spotlight fixture. Wonderful. I had to look at it like more light is better than less.
Taking a quick glance at the fixture I knew exactly what kind of bulbs were needed to get the newly discovered light working. Several months ago I had replaced a number of outdoor lights at my own house. A real hodgepodge of fixtures and lights. So I just knew form experience what was needed. And even better, I knew I had a pair at my house. Leftovers.
I confidently climbed the stepladder with the replacement bulbs in hand. After removing the first of the charred and blackened burned out bulbs it suddenly dawned on me. The replacements were too long. Everything else matched up, just the wrong length. Might as well have been a candle.
Head in hand I descended the ladder. Muttering a few words about the complexity of the light bulb. Tomorrow I’ll head to the hardware store to get the right bulb. And climb back up the ladder. What is it carpenters say about measure twice, cut once? Dang!
That’s part of my story. What’s yours?