Cheap LED screw bulbs are making our homes look gray and depressing

Originally published at: Cheap LED screw bulbs are making our homes look gray and depressing | Boing Boing


Blue LEDs should be illegal.


Should I also be painting all the fluorescent bulbs and tubes in the house?


Just paint your glasses lenses and you should be good to go


I outfitted my (admittedly small) house with Hue bulbs, programmed to change color throughout the day, and they’ve definitely helped me improve my sleeping habits. Expensive but worthwhile for me, at least.


Xenon / HID headlights should (also) be illegal.

Sleepy Good Night GIF by Nat Geo Wild


This is definitely a “change is bad” perception. If we had started with cold white LEDs and were now transitioning to incandescent bulbs, everyone would be complaining about the dim orange/yellow light that changes the color of everything.


but but shouldn’t my grey and depressing home look ‘gray and depressing’? (“nah, buddyboy, here’re some rose colored glasses! $13.99 for a pair. but wait…!”)

(did you know that The Emerald City (in the book) was just the result of green colored glasses?)

(meh. tis all perception: have that cataract lens (to acrylic) surgery and everything turns bluish)


I don’t agree with much of this article. There are other articles out there like this too. I have nothing but LED bulbs in my house, and the light is just fine. I have had only 1 bulb go out because of a power failure voltage spike. I wonder if this is dissinformation put out by the oil companies? LED bulbs have shaved $20.00 a month off my power bill. Newer LED bulbs are even more efficient, and closer to pure white. I will never go back to incandescents or CF bulbs. LEDs are far superior.


How would you watch TV that is all red-yellow-orange-ish?


Which means that corporations will be using them to replace fluorescent lights in workspaces.


When my lights have slowly burnt out, I have replaced them with LEDs and did notice a whiter/bluer light. I dunno, it did take some adjusting to, but honestly I don’t think it causes me any issues. I have been tempted though when I need to replace another batch to get a warmer colored bulb. Maybe I will be in a position where I can get adjustable via blue tooth ones.


Conservatives don’t like change, and they love the oil companies. Could this article be part of a disinformation campaign put on by the oil companies?


Same thing happened with compact fluorescent bulbs. The early ones were expensive but well-made and lasted years longer than incandescents. By the time they hit the dollar stores, they were cheap, flickery and died sooner than incandescents. Blame capitalism, not technology.


Death to this new fangled 'lectricity! Give me freshly squeezed whale lighting any day of the week!


Well, I don’t know who Tom Scocca is or does, but they seem to have some misconceptions.
Green LEDs are in fact probably the most efficient*, way above blue or red.

Advocating RGB instead of B+phosphor is also fishy.
While having separate RGB emitters helps generating more precisely balanced white light (e.g. it’s used in higher end LCD displays for backlighting), a phosphor has a wider and possibly more controllable spectrum, improving reflected colours (and CRI, etc.).

Putting nail polish - or any kind of filter - will not improve color rendition, as you are in fact poking “holes” in an already bumpy spectrum. It might make the perceived color of the emitted light more to one’s taste, but in that case better use a very warm LED light.

* As a demonstration, here is a green LED supplied with less than10 micro watts.

Daylight, no retouching, and yes I should vacuum my keyboard.


My fluorescent-backlit LCD won’t mind. :slight_smile:


And, of course, with incandescent bulbs!
For a real world conspiracy, one can read about the Phoebus Cartel, or watch the pleasant Veritasium video.


Funny you should mention this, we just recently replaced a bathroom fixture and I ordered 6 bulbs, I wasn’t paying attention and soft white showed up, 2700k. I didn’t realize it until I screwed them in.

Oh my, everything was a yellowish tint, we talked about it and tried to get used to it, 24 hours later, nope, I ordered some 100w 5000k bright white, that’s better.

As far as looking gray, nope, everything looks fine, nice and bright and white.

I do like our Wyze bulbs, the color temperature can be changed on the fly with no hub, I was an early adopter with those, I got in on the ground floor with the cameras so I would get first crack at new stuff. I’m surprised at how I ever got along without smart things like switches, plugs, and bulbs. I love my outdoor dimmable plugs for some LED bulbs, I can set a mood or annoy my neighbors just by telling Alexa what to do.


I was just spending some quality time disassembling a few dead LED bulbs this morning. They certainly put a lot of effort into making them convert 120VAC to 40VDC with a low cost as possible. They used to have inductors to at least do that job well, but now they’re little linear regulators that overheat everything and slowly destroy themselves.
I got to thinking about how it behooves the manufacturers of these things to make them last not much longer than an incandescent bulb, because we’re used to replacing bulbs and they get a lot more repeat business if they fail after a half a year.
As for the color rendering, we’re not going to get anything resembling sunlight for a long time if ever. Incandescent bulbs are nice in that they duplicate the light from candles that we used to fall asleep to in the good old days.