Where are the Simple Product Replacements? [Rant Alert]

My Light Bulb RantIt’s Friday and time for a quick rant my friends. If you don’t like rants, then go check out some of my latest work.  OK, now that we have that part out of the way, back to me little rant.  As most of my followers know, we have recently moved into a new house.  It has been an adventure so far, but good none the less.  We are really happy with our new home and especially the location.  What we aren’t happy with is all of the work that is involved in making it “our own.”  Since I do most of my own stuff around the house, I have been to most of the home improvement stores around the area.  They probably know me by name so far and most likely charge my credit card as I walk in.  What a service!  Anyway, here is the lowdown on the story.

Here is Looking at You Lowe’s Home Improvement!

As you can see, I was frequenting Lowe’s to find two new light fixtures for our kitchen.  The previous ones were old and hanging down so low I felt like I was going to get a bulb in the eye. I am not a tall man, so this was just not cool.  They had to go!  After searching the interwebs trying to find a good looking light that was both not too expensive and big enough to fit in the space, I found a solution at Lowe’s.  During my break , I drove over and found the lights.  Unfortunately, I forgot my 10% off coupon.  Idiot.

After checking out the lights, I decided to wait and get that nice 10% coupon when I got home.  I picked it up and headed back to the Lowe’s near my house.  They had the lights in stock, so I picked up two and headed on my way.  I got back home and started doing some minor electrical work.  It took me about 45 minutes to put up two lights and I think that was entirely too long.  There were some issues, but I got through them.  That was until I heard a nice “POP” when I turned on the second light.  Crap, I just blew the bulb.

I took the lamp back off the ceiling and realized one of my wires fell out of the twist nut.  Simple fix, but now I needed to get a new bulb.  That is where the problem came in.

Stupid GU24 CFL Bulbs

Have you seen these new GU24 base CFL bulbs before?  No?  Neither have I.  The reason is because they suck and they are extremely hard to find.  They are the same as a regular CFL bulb, but they don’t have a twist base like normal bulbs. They have two pins.  The reason why they do this is to prevent people from putting regular incandescent bulbs into an “energy efficient” rated light fixture.  I am sure this was developed in California, where they have some crazy stringent laws.  While I think the idea is good, I think the execution is poor.

The problem with our light fixture is the manufacturer put in four bulbs in the box. While that is awesome, you can’t find the damn replacements anywhere. I looked for the exact model and couldn’t find it.  I don’t even think the manufacturer has one available for customers.  What the hell?  My light bulbs came in a 100 watt equivalent with a 3000K color spectrum.  This is called “warm white.”  Searching Amazon, which is my favorite shopping site, I realized I would have a hard time finding such a bulb.  I looked at the Lowe’s site along with Home Depot and they didn’t carry any equivalent.  It looked like I was going to have to settle for one fixture with only one bulb functioning.  While that might be cool for some, that is not cool for me.  I decided to head back to Lowe’s.

Wait?  You Don’t Have an Alternative?

I do have to admit that Lowe’s has good customer service in my area.  They are courteous and get the job done. Well, they try anyway.  They were unable to help me here.  I walked in with my receipt and my broken bulb. I wasn’t going to ask for a replacement fixture because that bad boy was already hooked into the ceiling.  I just needed the bulb.  I asked them if they could get such a bulb. They searched and searched and couldn’t find a bulb with 100 watt equivalent coming in at 3000K.  They could only find ones at 2700K or 4000K. Well, those are two different color spectrum. Only the 2700K came close.  Alright, they found a bulb I can use temporarily until I can find the real color and wattage. Great, let’s buy it.

Not so Fast Trigger Fingers

As the customer service person was about to go get the bulb, I asked the most important question.  “How much do the bulbs cost?”  She replied with “$7.25 for each bulb.”  Hold on there.  Are you telling me one of these bulbs costs me $7.25 when I can get a two pack of the twist style bulbs for $4.50?  “That is correct sir,” she replied.  No thanks. I needed a different solution. I wasn’t going to  pay more money for one stupid bulb when I can get normal CFL bulbs for much less.  I am not cool with that scenario.

I decided to tell Lowe’s how I felt about the situation.  I told them they shouldn’t be selling items where you can’t get a replacement, especially when it comes to light bulbs.  Things break and we all know that. What I am not going to do is have to buy a new fixture when my bulb dies.  From the reviews, GU24 base bulbs die out much quicker than other CFL bulbs.  That would mean I would have to scrap my new light fixtures when the other bulb died.  Something as simple as replacing a bulb should not be an all day affair. It definitely shouldn’t require me to come up with a work around. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I had to do.

My GU24 Solution

If you have a light fixture that comes with a GU24 base bulb, then don’t worry, there is a fix for it.  Since those bulbs are not very popular nor cost effective, I decided to try something else.  I did some research and found some adapters which change the fixture’s base from the GU24 (pin style) to the E26 (twist/conventional style).  The best part is they were on Amazon and with Prime benefits.  They cost only $7 for a pack of 5.  Hells yes!  I am in.  Now, I can just use the adapters in the fixture and put in my lower cost twist style bulbs.  If Lowe’s is not going to carry replacement bulbs and the manufacturer is not going to sell the same bulbs from the package, then I will take care of it on my own.  I just hate when something as easy as replacing a light bulb needs to be drawn out because manufacturers don’t provide reliable replacements and big box stores don’t carry alternative replacements for the products they sell.  Boo!

Sorry for the length my friends. This turned into a rant/DIY solution post.  Oh well, it is my blog!

About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

FI Pilgrim says July 11

Wow, that’s a good warning, I hadn’t heard of these new pin-style bulbs before… I have noticed how outrageously expensive some of the CFLs can be, so your $7 quote didn’t shock me. Hope the rest of your home renovation goes more smoothly than this part!

    Laurie says July 11

    Some CFLs are getting up there in price when they should be coming down. Since incandescent bulbs will be coming off the shelves over time, we need a cheaper alternative.

Retired by 40 says July 11

This new style is news to me…love the part about it being developed in california….lol! That is also crazy expensive for a light bulb!

    Laurie says July 11

    It was news to me. I had to read up on it to see where these stupid bulbs came from.

BobToday says July 12

Had exactly the same story half a year back with a Philips light fixture.
Ended up ordering it on the internet and paying too much.

    Laurie says July 12

    Well that sucks. Sorry to hear that Bob. Have you seen the adapters to use?

Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says July 13

Wow, Grayson – I had no idea once again about the crazy light bulb invention, which I’m sure was touted as being the next best thing. Can’t we just leave well enough alone?

    Laurie says July 14

    I am with you there Laurie. I had no idea about it until I bought these light fixtures. What a waste!

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