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Have you tried dong any project that requires 100W incandescent bulbs lately? Light a set maybe? or build a huge ring light perhaps?

Light Bulb No. 1

If you went to home depot lately and looked for some 100W or even 75W bulbs you are probably out of luck. Those light were a huge hit as a cheap and very available light source. They had a pretty constant light temperature (incandescent, duh:) and they were cheap and available. Cheap enough that you never needed to carry them from place to place and could have just bought some on location.

What’s The Sitch?

But today, the US is in the middle of a lighting paradigm shift aimed at reducing its power consumption, and light bulbs are among the first to take the hit (no pun intended).

First to go were the 100W at 2012 but now the second part of the legislation matures and 75W bulbs were taken off the shelves on January.

Next to go, BTW, are 40-watt and 60-watt at January 2014.

Here, the end of a 125 years era that started with “Edison’s light-bulb” (not that I am a big Edison fan).

Your Options

Basically, you have 4 options for lights now:

Use more 60W incandescent bulbs – I am not even gonna talk about this one, because A – it is not really comfortable and B – they will be gone in 8 months or so.

Use CFL lights – CFL lights are a big hit now. They are not as cheap as the good old incandescent bulbs but they will fit whatever E27 sockets the old bulbs did and can deliver way more wattage with way less heat than their older brothers. (1 CFL Watt is equivalent to about 5 incandescent Watts in terms of light and only 1/5 the heat).

If you go the CFL route make sure to get a full spectrum bulb, otherwise you will experience weird color shifts.

Use LED Lights – LED lights are kinda new in the market but are gaining more and more grounds as they get more powerful on one hand and as the demand for continuous lights increases, specifically for video.

They have very low power consumption and are even cooler than the CFLs. The down side of LEDs is they thy usually use a lens at the tip of the (really small) bulb so unlike CFLs or incandescent bulbs all the light goes in one direction (think hot shoe strobe vs. bare bulb). The industry solution for this is to make panels of LEDs which can serve as a big light source (still directional though).

Another thing to note is that most LED light have a green color spike. So if color accuracy is critical, either get a very good LED panel or compensate with gels.

Use Florescent – If you need a bigger light source, a florescent bulb may be the solution. They are cheap and used correctly can provide beautiful light. Same rules as CFL apply.

They you have it. I would love to hear if you can still buy incandescent bulbs where you live and if not what are you using instead.

[Incandescent light bulb phaseout begins Jan. 1 | USA Today – yes, this article is a year old]

[light bulb photo by Chuck Coker]

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