At our house, the light has finally gone on. The LED light, that is.
A practical, affordable LED light (light emitting diode) is one of those things has been just around the corner for a long, long time. The chief factors holding the technology back were the a) the fact that LED’s are naturally directional, and b) the manufacturing cost is significantly higher than for other types of bulbs.
The fact that LED’s are directional is actually an advantage in some applications. Spot lights and accent lighting are much more effective when the light is directional. For general use, however, a bulb must be able to throw light in every direction. This problem seems to have been solved completely. My new LED light shines brightly in every direction, and in this respect, is indistinguishable from any other type of bulb.
In terms of cost, as is often the case, as manufacturers gain experience with a technology, they get better and more efficient at producing that technology. LED’s are no exception. Prices have come down from upwards of $50 for a single bulb a few years ago to around $10 for a 60 watt equivalent today, which is what I recently paid for my bulb at Costco.
Thanks to recent changes in how people get their daily news, that question is quickly becoming an anachronism. Because of this change, Postmedia has recently made some changes of its own. None of the online versions of this company’s newspapers are free to read anymore. As of last Tuedsay, after surfers read 10 articles, they are prompted to pay a fee for continued access. Postmedia made the changes to some of its papers last year, and time finally ran out on the rest of them last week.
When people first saw this news, I imagine that many reacted as I did: I immediately clicked to a different website in a fit of self-righteous indignation. I refused to even click on the link to find out how much it would cost to sign up for the digital edition. When I was getting ready to write this article, after having had few days to get over (most of) my indignation, I finally checked it out: for access to the digital edition only, the monthly cost is $10.49. The yearly subscription rate is $125.90, so there’s no discount for a long-term subscription. This isn’t actually a lot of money, but it sure is a lot more than free, which is what it was until last Tuesday.
One of the places I don’t like surprises in my life is in my utility bills. Every month, it feels like the city is judging me based on how many resources I’ve used. I don’t always do as well as I would like. Then, to really drive the point home, they charge me for my gluttonous use of their water and electricity. I realise that I have to pay for what I use, but when bills can vary as much as $70 from month to month, I don’t like the kick in the gut I get from receiving a higher-than-average bill. The solution: sign up for an Equalized Payment Plan.