Posts tagged “fluorescent”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • 100-WATT BULBS IN STOCK. (FOR HOW LONG WE DO NOT KNOW) – “Let some government official come in and tell me I can’t sell these,” Jonathan Wright, who has owned Classic Lighting for 40 years, said defiantly as he surveyed his warren of upscale light fixtures and shelves filled with neatly stacked bulbs. “I’ll find them wherever I can get them and sell them for whatever they cost. People are buying in bulk because they want them.”

    In the last two months he has sold 3,000 of the 100-watt bulbs — the traditional mainstay of British light fixtures — more than 30 times the usual. People are buying 10 at a time, the limit per customer, even though their price is nearly 50% higher than it was a year ago.

    Indeed, his customers have a litany of complaints. CFL light is too dim, especially for reading and putting on makeup, the bulbs, which are a bit longer than incandescents, protrude from small light shades; they take a long time to reach full brightness; they cannot be dimmed by switches; they contain mercury and require special disposal.

Shine a light

Just over a year ago I blogged about the push approach that Wal-Mart was taking to drive adoption of energy-efficient fluorescent lighting, spending money on persuasive marketing rather than addressing the known barriers to adoption. A year later, it seems to be okay to acknowledge the problems with the bulbs. The New York Times recently looked at the problems that people have with the quality of light created by those bulbs (nothing new, of course, but the fact that the angle of the story has changed is thought-provoking). Most recently, they offered up this this interview with a Sylvania technologist who speaks to the ongoing work to improve the quality of the light that people experience.

Of course the efforts to improve the bulbs were always ongoing. I’m intrigued by the cultural story that was created by marketing and the media, spending money to force a behavior under the guise of “educating” people.

Make a better light bulb, already. One that is energy efficient and doesn’t make us feel (and look) like crap in our own homes. We’ll beat a path to your door.

I wanna push you around, well I will, I will

Recently, Rob Walker posted about Wal-Mart greenly pushing the the single-bulb-fluorescent (from the NYT) while Mike Wagner posted about how to help the Des Moines Kiwanis Club grow. The substance of the NYT piece and the response to the Wagner entry typify something that is increasingly surprising to me (but maybe shouldn’t be). People (at least in the corners of the blogosphere that I hang in) want to sell ideas. They want to persuade, influence, advertise, manipulate. I sometimes feel a lone voice in asking for i) a user-centered view of what the product or service could evolve to and ii) innovation and development to fix the problems in the product or service.

It’s easier to talk about how to push the idea out there, it seems.

Wal-Mart is working to get these bulbs adopted. But they know what people don’t like about the bulbs. How’s about working on that? I mean, jeez, you already know what the problem is! That seems like an easy one. And the suggestions for the Kiwanis group are strongly focused on how to attract members, without anyone trying to understand what (just to take one of many questions they need to be asking) the current members love about their experience with the organization. No doubt there’s a mismatch between what story is being told to prospective members and what story is desired by those prospective members, as another angle. But no, let’s just focus on how to shout about the existing story.

Push, push.


About Steve