Saturday, March 10, 2007

Light Bulbs

I've been meaning to comment on this for some time. Korean incandescent light bulbs appear almost identical to those in the USA, except of course they work at 220V instead of 110V. However, there is one further difference. In America, our three-way lamps use a special light bulb with two filiments and a special screw-in base. However, in Korea, there is no such thing as a three-way light bulb. The three-way function is performed entirely in the lamp, using the same bulb as an ordinary lamp. I wonder what this history is on this, why each country ended up with such different techniques?

I can't find them right now to photograph, but a few months ago I had some unusual light bulbs burn out that were above the kitchen table. They were very small, low voltage DC bulbs. We couldn't find anywhere in Korea that sold them, and I ended up doing an extensive search on the internet, where I learned more than I ever wanted to know about low-voltage light bulbs. Apparently these are quite popular these days, all over the world from what I could see. We ended up finding some from an internet store, and I ended up with a lifetime supply for under $10. At the time I intended to sell them to the fellow residents in the building (I assume all the apartments have similar fixtures). But I have lost them I think - in my apartment there are about 50 small light bulbs hiding somewhere.

This is one of the popular styles of flourescent light bulbs in use here in Korea. At least it seems to be. It is in almost all our ceiling and wall light fixtures, and also in the desk lamps. Also like in America, I notice from the selections at the stores that Korea is trying to get people to use flourescent light bulbs to save power I suppose. These little guys have been lasting on average about 2 years each, but I have no idea if that is normal or not. In the USA, my home doesn't have any flourecent tube light fixtures that I can think of, so I don't have a history of using them. Mrs. Stumbler has replaced many of the incandescent light bulbs with weird looking swirly flourescent versions, which I think do last significantly longer than a regular bulb.

1 comment:

Mama Stumbler said...

The weird looking flourescent bulbs are old technology now. The newest onew look almost like an incandescent one. They are not so rounded, but in general give the same look & feel. No more swirls, though they are rather cute if you like swirls.

Do the Korean incandescent bulbs have the same base as ours? Could you physically screw one into out sockets, even if it wouldn't work? Also do they have old timey things left over from years ago like out Mogul bases? If you ever find out why their 3 way switching is in the lamp and why ours is in the bulb, let me know. That's fascinating. Along that line, why is it a 3 way? Why not a 4 or 5 way or even a 2 way?