CFL lightbulb. Photo from Wikipedia
You're not supposed to look directly at a lightbulb, it's bad for your eyes, but I did it the other day. Then it struck me: CFL lightbulbs are ugly in the same way the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris is ugly. The museum building looks inside-out, with colourful pipes running up and down the exterior walls (yellow for electricity, red for lifts, blue for air, and green for water). Energy saving lightbulbs are the home lighting equivalent -- they look raw, exposed, modern.

Meanwhile, the Irish Government confirmed last week that they stand by their decision to outlaw inefficient lightbulbs by 2009. Italy began legislating to ban the bulb in December, and the European Commission are speeding up their energy efficiency standards-making process too.

Some lightbulb companies are still dragging their heels, but they haven't a leg to stand on. Legislators, activists and the general public heard their plea to "make the switch", and answered resoundingly: "Sure, we'll do that. But you have to stop making power crazy bulbs."

(Photo from Wikipedia Commons)