An occasional writer on TheSpoof.com satirical news website has reported a series of events which he says have left him 'incandescent' with rage.
"It all started on Monday when I was sitting at my computer. I was just about to press the exclamation mark key, when Ping! The light went out," he told us. "I realised that the bulb had blown, so I would need to get a new one. And that's when it all started to go wrong, because you can't just buy a light bulb any more."
He was, of course, referring to the recent UK ban on the sale of incandescent bulbs. He was offered a replacement bulb but was told it wouldn't work if he had a dimmer switch or a timer on the circuit or a shade or fitting that was designed for a normal shaped bulb.
"I realised that none of my fittings suit the new low-energy bulbs. So I had to shell out for a new non-dimming switch. With the bulb it came to £7.60. My last normal bulb was 39 pence."
That was not the end of the problem, however. "When I got home it took me half an hour to replace the switch. Then I put the new bulb in. I switched it on and nothing happened. Then the light flickered into life and gave out a dull orange-tinted glow. I thought they'd given me the wrong bulb, so I checked the box. 'Gives the same light as a 60W bulb' it stated. Yeah, right. It was getting brighter, though, and after fifteen minutes of what I suppose could be called global warming, it seemed to be about 80% as bright as my old bulb. Maybe that's why there's no need for dimmer switches anymore."
We contacted the government's Energy Saving Trust and put the whole story to them. Wasn't this an issue that required investigation? Their spokesman told us: "This story does not sound quite right to us. There is no exclamation mark key on a computer; you have to press shift and the 1 key. It's just this kind of inaccurate, sensationalist reporting that is standing in the way of the government's bold energy efficiency initiative. Don't call us again."
The writer did have some good news, though. "The man in the shop told me not to throw my old dimmer switch away because in a year or so all these low energy bulbs will be replaced by new LED ones and the dimmer might work again."