You may have seen Assistant Editor Carl Jones on BBC's The One Show last night, in a feature about his disdain of energy-saving lightbulbs. Here he finds some moral support.
“I had to ring you up to let you know that you are 100 per cent correct,” said Shropshire lighting shop owner Howard Jones.
Now that’s the way to get a journalist on side – particularly one who’s faced his share of vitriol for non-PC opinions about eco-friendly lightbulbs.
I’ve got plenty dotted around my home, but when you’re trying to read the paper they’re simply not as bright as the old incandescent bulbs the European Union is seeking to outlaw.
Readers poured out their opinions, making my initial blog one of the most talked-about articles in the past year and bringing it to the attention of BBC’s The One Show, which sent a crew to Shropshire Star HQ to see what all the fuss was about.
They carried out a fairly un-scientific experiment, broadcast last night, designed to see if people really can tell the difference between the old and the new. Yes, I got it wrong – but that was only because they added a red herring, in the form of a silver-sheened halogen bulb!
But Howard Jones, who has been in the lighting business for nearly 20 years, and runs Timothys at Mardol in Shrewsbury, is on my side.
He says he’s currently doing a roaring trade in old-fashioned commercial lightbulbs which he’s imported from America – exploiting a loophole which gets round the latest EU regulations banning their sale.
“What people don’t realise about the new eco-bulbs is that they diminish and deteriorate. The process begins almost straight away, as soon as they are switched on.
“The old bulbs remain exactly the same until they ping off and have to be replaced, but if you look at eco bulbs, they start to go purple and black – technically they are still working, but the light they give out becomes really dim.
“You are not wrong in what you say,” adds Howard. “That is why there is a big demand for the old bulbs, and why we continue to stock them.”