Where Have All the 100 Watt Bulbs Gone?

Okay, I'm pretty sure I remember the government was going to be outlawing incandescent lights, but I still don't like it. One hundred watt bulbs are typically selling four-for-a-dollar at big box chains like Wal-Mart, but I haven't seen them for awhile (lesser wattages are still available). The shelf tags are still there, but there is a gaping hole where cheap sources of bright light used to be.

I use these bulbs all the time, and they have a permanent home in my clamp light fixtures as well as my most-used floor lamp lighting, that lights my apartment DIY show set. Losing these would be a major blow, since not only are they great for when I'm home to shoot, but in the past I never needed to pack bulbs when travelling, since I could just run down to any store in the U.S. and snap up some new ones. They are/were so cheap that it made more sense to just discard them when I was done, rather than try to take them with me.

I know incandescent bulbs are inefficient power leeches. I know they run hot and you can burn your hand if you touch one (wear gloves!). I know we don't need landfills piled high with old, quickly-expired light bulbs. I know CFLs are everywhere (even Dollar Tree!) and the prices are dropping. I guess I'm just nostalgic. And poor.


Charlie said…
Why the hate on 100w bulbs?

You can still get the 3 level - 50w, 100w & 150w bulbs, not to mention greater watt bulbs that are "work" lights.

I'm ready for LED bulbs to be affordable.
Terrormaster said…
As a home haunter this has been a blow for me as well. CFL's are not dimable so all my dimmers become useless with CFL bulbs. And they're expensive still. I feel your pain man.
Unknown said…
I believe the story is that the Man outlawed 100W incandescents, so now manufacturers make them 95W or some silly stuff like that. I think Home Despot carries them. Model 215046 is an example; see link

msspurlock said…
CFLs don't last nearly as long as people say they will, they're nowhere near as bright, despite their claims, and they're unsafe landfill poisoners. All we did was make the politicos with stock in green tech rich.
Anders Hoveland said…
Incandescent bulbs can burn your hands ? They're not really that dangerous. You can manage to unscrew a 70 Watt with your bare hands if you turn it off and wait just 60 seconds.

Those new spiral CFLs can burn your skin and that's just when they're being used in normal operation! CFLs leak out UV radiation. Some people (like me) are more sensitive than others. It has been advised that people do not sit too close to one, like for reading lamps or night stands. These wretched bulbs irritate my skin and make it feel "roughed up", almost sore, if I am under them for more than 15-20 minutes.

There are also many doubts as to whether "energy efficient" lighting is really good for the environment when production and recycling costs (including realistic bulb lifespans) are factored in. There is also heating factors to consider in colder climates. It may well be possible that the light bulb phase out was just a misguided poorly thought out legislation, pushed by greedy big light bulb corporations on naive environmentalists and incompetent politicians.