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Man stockpiles 4,826 incandescent lightbulbs to last until he's 100 after they're banned

Man stockpiles 4,826 incandescent lightbulbs to last until he's 100 after they're banned

Kevin Szmyd spent the equivalent of a monthly paycheck buying up incandescent lightbulbs because he doesn't like the LED alternative

A man spent the equivalent of a month’s wage buying up loads of incandescent lightbulbs after a new U.S. government law effectively banned them overnight.

The traditional lightbulbs have been ruled out in the future on the grounds that they aren’t very energy efficient, with most people quite happily making the switch to LED lightbulbs without much quarrel.

However, 25-year-old Kevin Szmyd isn’t ‘most people’ and he’s now bought a total of 4,826 of the old lightbulbs, or enough to last him for the next 75 years until he is 100.

The software engineer from New Hampshire started collecting up the stock in the summer, with shop owners presumably absolutely delighted to be able to flog their wares before the new rules came in this August.

The Department of Energy effectively banned the bulbs by increasing the minimum efficiency standards.

The intentions are good as the government wants to modernize the USA’s power grid and reduce energy consumption.

However, as a result, they’ve made sure that most of those old bulbs can’t be sold, leaving many to use what they believe to be inferior LED models.

Kevin Szmyd with his incandescent stock.
Kevin Szmyd

So, over the course of the summer, Szmyd set about buying up a load, taking different types for different fixtures, including chandelier bulbs, three-way bulbs, and even ones for the lights under the stairs.

In total, he spent around $1,700 on them, which is about the same as a monthly paycheck.

Explaining his choice, he said: "I have a personal issue with the light we get from LEDs,

"I don't think they look great."

Fair enough, Kevin.

The ridiculous nature of this isn’t totally lost on Kevin, though.

"If you asked me a year ago, 'What do you think of standard Phillips A19?,' I would have looked at you as if you were insane," he continued.

But, he added: "Nobody collected cars before the first Model T went out of production.

"A lot of things have become too needlessly complicated — no one needs a computer in their fridge.”

Naturally, there will be people who want to buy up some of his stock, but unless they’re a friend, that is unlikely.

Now that the federal ban has taken effect, there’s a $542 fine for anyone selling the bulbs.

That means that unless you’ve got them, you can no longer buy them.

“Most of them are for my own use," Kevin said.

"I've given some to friends — it makes a fun gift now that people have become aware of my light bulb hobby."

As for the thoughts of his friends and family, he said that they are supportive, and even understand where he’s coming from.

That's a lot of lightbulbs.
Kevin Szmyd

"My parents were supportive — we all share a similar, 'Let's get back to the good old days of pen and paper and why does my car beep at me when I go over the line' mentality," he added.

"I'd say my friends think it's a funny eccentric bit that I'm doing, and my partner is really into it," noting that his partner will scout out light bulbs at Goodwill stores and other locations.

"If anyone takes anything away from this story and they want actionable advice, the LED Christmas lights, the ballast in the bulbs themselves, are too small to produce a consistent glow in the diode, so they are more prone to flickering than any other bulb type.”

Kevin concluded: "Try to find some incandescents.”

Featured Image Credit: Kevin Szmyd

Topics: US News, Weird, Politics, Environment, Technology