Re: The Sad Economics of Lightbulbs

I enjoyed this post from Stack about lightbulbs:

The Sad Economics of Lightbulbs

I especially like the point about the “inefficiency” of incandescent bulbs not actually being an inefficiency in situations where people are consuming energy to create heat anyway. Low Tech Magazine made a complimentary argument about thermoelectric power¹: if you need one of heat or electricity, and you already have the other (because you need that too), then it’s okay to perform the conversion with less than maximal efficiency.

The only point I’ll add to Stack’s is that we should question why we need to use so much power to light our spaces in the first place. We’re spending all of our daylight hours at (or doing) work for our employers, and many of us engaged in bullshit jobs² or producing things that aren’t necessary (just think about how much labor power went into producing incandescent bulbs that were designed to fail). If people lived their lives according to the weather, the seasons, and their actual needs — and not the dictates of capitalism — people would accomplish most of their daily chores and leisure activities under natural light, and would need significantly less artificial light and energy at night to accomplish these things.

1 Thermoelectric Stoves: Ditch the Solar Panels?
2 Bullshit Jobs, by David Graeber