What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

“Gro and Sho” Bright Stik disposable fluorescent lamps

on September 24, 2014

General Electric sold these, so far as I can tell, from the 1970s through the 2000s. In the later years they remembered how to spell and called them “Grow and Show” lights and Bright Sticks. But they remained much the same: a T5 lamp cemented to its mounts (which incorporated a ballast) with a cord and in-line switch. I didn’t get a picture before this shed, but, bless the internet, people collect old lighting and some of them post images at Lighting-Gallery.net. Here’s a Bright Stick quite like mine.

Convenience was the primary design feature. They weighed only a few ounces and thus were easy to secure with double-sided tape. But the bulbs couldn’t be replaced. Perhaps since they were rated for 7500 hours, most buyers were comfortable with the compromise.

I wouldn’t have been, but I obtained my pair of Bright Stiks by moving into a rental house where a previous occupant left them behind. I’ve used them in early spring to give tomato and other seedlings the surprising amounts of light they need to get a head start indoors. And I don’t know how many hours the lamps had burned before they came to me, but I used them up. They got blinky, and then their plugs melted. That was a bit disconcerting to observe!

This afternoon, Nimue and I loaded the Bright Stiks into our bicycle baskets and rode to our county’s recycling division facility, which accepts fluorescent lamps and some other items requiring special processing. Could anyone at GE when they were designed have conceived what their end-of-life would involve forty years hence? I doubt it, but we’ve got to get better at thinking downstream. Before next spring, I’ll look into LED-lamp seed-starting solutions.

shedding style: recycle
destination: municipal solid waste facility

Comments welcome … what have you had to do to responsibly dispose of the disposable?

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4 responses to ““Gro and Sho” Bright Stik disposable fluorescent lamps

  1. David O'Connor says:

    Do u still have the wall mounts? Or do u know where I could get them.

  2. terry says:

    Ive lost my cord to power the light. Can I order a replacement anywhere?

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