How Do I Replicate the Light of an Old-Fashioned Incandescent Light Bulb?

light bulb

For my next book, on the body and the five senses, one way I’m exploring each sense is by doing a “reboot” exercise.

In a cycle of stimulation, I indulge that sense, deprive it, cure some discomfort it caused me, and confound it:

  • Indulge: I’m an under-buyer—but it’s true that sometimes it makes me happy to indulge in a modest splurge on something that I don’t absolutely need, but that gratifies my senses in some way.
  • Deprive: Deprivation is one of the most effective (and often, least popular) ways to reawaken ourselves to a sensation, or to defeat it. Deprivation brings amplification, so I deprive myself in some way, to make my sensations more acute.
  • Cure: Too often I endure a chronically disagreeable sensation because I couldn’t be bothered to fix it. I improve my surroundings by curing the unpleasant.
  • Confound: I’ve always loved any kind of magic show, illusion, or hoodwinking of perception, and these tricks to mislead or surprise also reveal important truths about how the senses work. I find ways to explore my senses by disconcerting them.

So for sight, I did this reboot exercise—and I hit a snag.

For the “cure,” I decided to solve the irritation that I feel when I look at newfangled light bulbs.

I wonder if my sight is slightly different from most people’s, because while I’m repelled by the orange-green light of the new, more energy-efficient light bulbs, most people don’t seem to notice. I’ll be in a nice restaurant, fancy hotel lobby, or elegant apartment, and want to close my eyes to shut out the light.

I’d read, however, that new technology gave manufacturers the ability to replicate the color and light of ye olde incandescent bulbs.

I did some research, and after a lot of laborious label-checking, I bought an LED, 2700K, 12 Watt (replacing 75 Watt), 1100 lumens, Color Rendering Index (CRI) 80, warm white bulb which allegedly replicated an incandescent bulb.

And it was just as hideous as the others. My frustrating search continues.

To you, do the new bulbs look the same as the old bulbs?

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