Our daily lives are full of things we take for granted and do not give much attention to. Do you think much about the lamps, or better yet, the light bulbs in your home? Usually one pays attention to such a thing only when it stops working and needs to be fixed. You think about bulbs when your ceiling light burned out, otherwise it is just fine. The same goes for many other seeming or actually trivial things.
But if the devil hides in the details, as the saying goes. It hides in the apparent trivialities too. Artificial lights, although they have been everywhere for more than a century, have much changed in the course of last three decades—and they are far from trivially important. You may be aware that staring at bright screens at night is bad for your health, that it disrupts the natural day/light cycle, and that using a warm filter lets your eyes far better. LED bulbs are still another case: they seem less obvious because we usually don’t stare at them. Perhaps, metaphorically, we should.
How I became LED-aware
In 2009 I started going, first timidly and cautiously, then on a regular basis in the unofficial Catacombs of Paris. The place has no light of its own, which means that visitors must bring their own, as speleologists do. Thus I bought the classic battery-powered headlamp any large sport shop sells. It had three small LED light bulbs behind its protective glass. Later I bought another headlamp that had only one, yet more powerful, LED bulb. All headlamps you can find on the shelves use these same bulbs.
For a special use like wide-subterranean exploration, this makes sense. When you know you will remain for hours in a place with no lights and know unexpected things ...
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