Hanukkah 2007, light it up!


Once again it is almost time for Hanukkah, aka the Festival of Lights. So named for the Menorah which is lit each night of Hanukkah to honor the remarkable oil candle that lasted for a whole 8 days and nights. Not quite parting the seas, but still a nice little miracle.

Last year, Salon magazine rightly pointed out that the Maccabees in fact used olive oil, making them biofuel visionaries, or maybe just middle-easterners from a time before black gold ruled the region.

Whatever the case, it’s a good time of year to think about lighting. The truth is that ever since the days of Thomas Edison, eight days and nights just hasn’t been that impressive a life span for lighting. Thankfully, nowadays everyone has affordable lighting options that cut power bills and help limit greenhouse gas emissions.

TerraPass has long promoted the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) as a good affordable alternative to old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs, since they last six times longer and use one fourth the energy. In fact, we send them out with every Home TerraPass purchase. But there is newer lighting technology, the LED, that will push things forward even further.

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are still a bit pricy, but they contain no mercury and are twice as efficient than CFLs. They also last up to 50,000 hours — fifty times longer than incandescent bulbs. So plug one in and get ready for 4167 crazy nights!

LEDs and other energy-saving items are available in our green store.

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  1. Dave - December 1, 2007

    I want to replace bulbs in lamps that have shades, but the CFLs–with their weird shape–can’t hold the lamp shade. These look more spherical–do you know if a typical lamp shade will attach to them?

  2. Katie - December 4, 2007

    I was faced with the same dilemma recently. The only solution I found was to replace the lamp recepticle with a new one that had a harp on it and then get a new shade that would screw into the harp. Because the lamp I was dealing with was old, I opted for staying with the old bulb and clip-on shade. Replacing the recepticle was going to be $20.00+, plus the new shade.