Teaching The Old Light Bulb Some Pretty Bright Tricks

You've learned to program your VCR and your microwave oven. Next, how about your light bulbs? Beacon Light Products Inc. in Meridian, Idaho, has invented a family of devices called Bulb Bosses that screw into sockets and give ordinary bulbs a range of gee-whiz capabilities. Some examples include four-way dimming and timed turnoff--say, 30 minutes after the bulb is turned on.

Toggling the light switch back and forth activates most of the features. For the dimmer module, you toggle once for each reduction in brightness. The timer requires a whole sequence of toggling to set. Beacon Light Chief Executive Dale W. Williams admits that customers will have to get used to the concept, so he's introducing the simplest versions first. Leviton Manufacturing Co. in Queens, N. Y., will sell the socket inserts, starting this spring, at wholesale prices of $5 and up.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.