Mangaluru: Bulbs So Cheap,You’ll Freak! New and Unique Street Vendor in Town Selling CFL Bulbs

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Mangaluru: These days you don’t have to go to the stores or markets to buy your required commodities/fish/vegetables etc etc- because you can buy them at your door steps or on the streets from street vendors who either come by two-wheelers or vans. I have seen vendors on two-wheelers riding by in the area selling your favorite fish, there are other vendors who sell vegetables/fruits on four-wheeler carts. Then we have mobile canteens selling all kinds of food, from South Indian to North indian, and even Chinese!. Then there are other vendors who sell products like carpets, shoes, clothing materials right from their modified vans. But one funny vendor that caught my eyes, was selling Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) all lighted up and hanged on the side of his Maruti Van, and was making frequent stops, with a brief announcement through the speakers, thereby attracting crowd to buy these lamps. The power for these lamps was provided from the inverter which was placed inside the van.

Out of curiosity, I followed this van all the way from Market Road until RTO circle, where the vendor stopped for few minutes to do his business. At the steering wheel was Rahul, hailing from Mysore, and beside him was his helper boy, Ramesh also from Mysore. Speaking to, Rahul said, ” Although you may not see vans selling bulbs out of their vans, but in Mysore and surrounding cities it is very common these days. People buy these lamps from us because they are cheap- I ma charging Rs 50 for a 15w warm white tubular CFL, and Rs 100 for 27w spiral CFL- whereas the same products inside a store may range from Rs 200 to Rs 300″.

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He furthers aid, ” People always ask me where is the guarantee that the bulbs may last long or where should we go for a free replacement. I tell them there is no guarantee for anything, even there is no guarantee for our life. I am selling these lamps at the lowest cost, way much cheaper than the MRP price. If there is any defect or the lamp blows out, I will replace them, because I am in Mangaluru twice or three times a month, and also at other locations in different cities. I have not received any complaints about these lamps from my customers since I started this business. Customers can’t expect much out these lamps when I sell them for so cheap”.

Yes, the prices on these lamps sounds good. You get the results for what you pay- I did buy the tubular 15w and also 27w spiral CFL, and there has been no problems since two weeks. It wasn’t just me who bought these lamps from Rahul, there were quite a few others who didn’t mind buying these lamps at those low prices, not worrying at all as to how long the bulbs would last. “Buy the lamps if you wish, or don’t buy them if you are not confident” is the attitude of Rahul, who says that he can’t keep on arguing with the customers about the quality and the life of the lamps. I think he is right!

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Now coming to statistics about these CFL- Most people make the decision between LEDs and CFLs with their pocketbook. LED costs more at purchase, but lasts longer. CFLs are cheaper, but if broken become not so convenient very fast. Other people decide that CFL lighting is closer to what they’re used to and therefore choose these bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs as they blow out. Both are efficient ways to light your home, and both work with all the sockets, lamps and fixtures you already own. If you enjoy a directional light for reading, cooking, or working at home, you might prefer the LED bulbs. For general home lighting, such as illuminating a room, CFL might be best.

Of course, you can always use a combination of these technologies in different parts of your home according to the lighting needs in different rooms. This is also a good way to compare the lights to decide. Try some LEDs in the kitchen over your work spaces and over the home office desk. Use CFLs in the living room and bedroom lamps. In time, you may develop a preference, or find you like one for certain applications and the other for other activities. So if you want to patronize Rahul, and buy couple of CFLs from him, you could catch him near Central Vegetable Market or around that vicinity- I am not sure when will be his next visit to Mangaluru-keep watching for him and his all lighted-up van with CFL bulbs.

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