Watt are you talking about?

Just hangin' around from the ceiling
Just hangin’ around from the ceiling

Light is very important to both of us and had a lot to do with the house we chose to buy here in Carcassonne. Since it’s built around a courtyard and almost every room has a window and/or a glass door opening onto that space, lots of sunlight floods in even now when the sun is low in the sky. With all of that natural light you might think that we wouldn’t need to spend a lot of time searching for table lamps or lighting to hang on the walls and from the ceilings but it’s just the opposite. Here, when someone moves out of their home, be it a rental or a sale, it’s not at all unusual to take everything with them including kitchen cabinets, all of the appliances, the lights on the walls and ceilings, and yes, sometimes even the kitchen sink.

Luckily in our house it was possible to start living there from day one, perhaps camping style, since most things that in the US would be considered as “attached” and therefore part of the sale were still there, but not a single light remained. In their place were special fixtures sold at the hardware store for the exact purpose of providing a place where the seller, who has removed her/his crystal chandelier, can easily plug in a bare bulb to literally light the way. Of course, once you buy lamps then you have to buy bulbs.

Our current dining room light
Our current dining room light

Have you ever seen a 3 watt bulb? Me neither, since in my mind even if you switched it on I wouldn’t be able to see it glowing in the dark—until we saw a display at the hardware store of LED bulbs. In Atlanta, I don’t think that we owned a bulb less than 60 watts and many were 75 or 100 watts to ensure a constant supply of that bright light we crave. While that 3 watt LED (about 30 watts incandescent) might not truly give us what we wanted, double the wattage to 6 and you get the equivalent of a 75 watt incandescent bulb in your choice of cool, warm, or even a range of colors you can select with a remote control.

To encourage people to make the change, there was a promotion here that provided you with 10 LED bulbs at about one-third their retail cost. When you consider that these LEDs, if used for 8 hours a day, are supposed to last 17 years, it will be a while before we go back to the hardware store. (Not really—we love hardware stores since you never know what tool you’ll find there that you didn’t know existed and now have a reason to own it).

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