Lawyers in Clay County/Brazil don't make TV lawyer money; they make small town Midwest lawyer money. That means we are typically in the middle of the middle class.
That said, a private client recently paid in full leaving a little doe-ray-me in my pocket after paying the bills. Thus, a trip to Lowes was in order with a copy of the honey-do list from She Who Must Be Obeyed.
After picking up a several items to check off a project or two from the honey-do list, I saw a display for some newfangled household light bulbs; LEDs.
I picked up and red a few of the packages. I examined the power consumption, the lumens produced, the life of the bulb (25 years), and the price. The gears in the old adding machine in my head started to clack, spin, and grind. A store employee told me that an engineer had calculated that the bulbs would pay for themselves in one year with the energy savings.
Since the bulbs are supposed to produce no heat and last much longer than fluorescents, I thought I would give it a try. I would replace the four bulbs in my bedroom-ceiling fan and the two bulbs in my office-ceiling fan. At roughly $25 plus 7 percent tax each that put the bulbs for these two fixtures just north of one hundred fifty bucks.
As She Who Must Be Obeyed was reviewing my purchases upon my return home, she was not impressed. For that much money, we could have purchased the leaf pattern drapes for our bedroom that we can't possibly live without. Apparently everything in our bedroom must now have a leaf on it.
"But honey," I explained, "these bulbs will last 25 years. We'll never have to change them again. Not only that, but they won't heat up our room in the summertime and since they use so little electricity, we will save money even if we occasionally leave them on."
She reluctantly agreed to let me test the theory.
As it just so happens, I am a lifelong radio aficionado. As I curse the first rays of the morning daylight, I have my favorite comedy show playing on the radio. Throughout the day, I try to keep up with the news and economic information by listening to various radio programs. In the evening, as I cant stomach most of prime-time TV, I read while listening to the radio.
For reasons unknown to me, these LED light bulbs create some sort of radio interference. They cause the speakers to resonate with something between static and a buzz on every frequency. I was not amused.
Finally, within a week, I turned on the bedroom lights and noticed that the room wasn't quite as bright.
Yep, one of the $25 LED light bulbs, a bulb that is supposed to last for decades, had died. This is far too expensive to simply throw away. So, after a diligent search, the store receipt was found.
Now, I am not quite sure how much energy it will take to get me to Lowes and back again to exchange this expensive light bulb, but I suspect when this light bulb "blew" I blew all of the savings for this year.