Thursday, May 19, 2022

How Many People Does It Take to Buy a Light Bulb?

It started with a burnt out little lightbulb.

We bought our chest freezer back in 2012. It has a light in the inside of the lid which turns on when you lift the lid.

Recently, the light started to flicker.  My spouse, who knows a little bit about electronics thanks to military training from years ago, tried various things but nothing seemed to eliminate the flicker.  On Saturday, the light stopped working.

Spouse took the lightbulb out of the lighting compartment.  It was a small thing, an LED bulb that said only "12V E14".  

Now, keep in mind that spouse and I are senior citizens, meaning that most of our lives were spent with the old incandescent light bulbs that have since been replaced by newer, more energy efficient technologies (such as LED bulbs).

My education on LED bulbs, just coincidentally, had begun a couple of days before, when we had to buy light bulbs for my home office fixture.  We hadn't bought light bulbs in a while, and the choices for modern LEDs absolutely overwhelmed me. Warm bulbs. Cool bulbs. Color changing bulbs. Dimmable bulbs.  Non dimmable bulbs.

Now, another project.

So E14, I found,  means a small screw socket. The "E" means an Edison socket, in other words, the socket looking like an old incandescent light bulb, and, indeed, that is what our small freezer bulb looked like.

But this is where the fun (and I use that term loosely) began.  The owners manual for the freezer said that if the bulb burnt out, we were to contact a service technician to replace.

Umm, no.

But, an hour or so later,  I was exhausted from fruitless Internet research. We used to have a couple of appliance parts places in this area, but we knew they were no more.  The manufacturer of the freezer had nothing at all about freezers on their website. They had a customer service number that actually had Saturday hours, but spouse didn't want to try it.  Amazon didn't seem to have anything that looked anything like this little light bulb.  Finally, we gave up for the day.

Sunday, our son came over for lunch and he tried to help us. He discovered our particular bulb had been discontinued, after visiting several more websites.   Finally, he came up with a possibility, on Amazon (a site I try not to order from, but it was looking like we had no choice).  The bulbs (we had to buy two) came Tuesday.  They didn't fit.

So son did a lot more research (after asking us for certain measurements) and he thinks he found a replacement bulb locally. Several hours of research and hair pulling have already been invested in this quest.

So something 11 years old is obsolete.  That's nice to know.

Later today, we will go to that store.

Finally, to answer my blog post title's question:  How many people does it take to buy a light bulb?  

Answer:  at least three.  Maybe more.


  1. ...why is life so complex?

  2. They do this s--- on purpose so you have to buy a new appliance. Planned obsolescence.

  3. Ugh. The simple act of changing a light bulb complicated by 'modern' technologies. Life was so simply way back when...

  4. So frustrating when something as simple as a light bulb is so complex. And yes, lighting technology has sure changed in the last few years!

  5. Of course. They couldn't make it easy for you. Sigh.

  6. Sometimes everything is complicated! Get a flashlight I guess:)

  7. Hi Alana - I know so much change ... which frankly seems unnecessary - but who knows! Cheers Hilary

  8. It's called "planned obsolescence."


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