The other night, my girlfriend and I experienced a power outage from a thunderstorm. There was a loud pop outside when suddenly half the neighborhood went dark. The power wasn’t restored until nearly two hours later.
As we were sitting in the living room, reading books with the help of candle light and watching the impressive display of lightning continue outside, I couldn’t help but think back to a TV commercial that I saw a little while ago. The TV commercial was for the InstaBulb, a battery-operated light bulb that you can mount anywhere you need a little bit of extra light.
InstaBulb website — www.InstaBulb.com
Before we continue, check out the TV commercial for InstaBulb.
InstaBulb TV commercial
Did you catch anything suspicious in the TV commercial? Not outrageous or exaggerated (that happens as well), but something suspicious.
Let’s take a closer look at the InstaBulb and see if the marketers are trying to scam the general public.
InstaBulb TV commercial — Trying to read labels in a dimly lit pantry.
The InstaBulb TV commercial begins with what supposedly is a common problem for a lot of people. As we can see here, this woman has a dimly lit pantry. It’s probably been that way since A) she moved into the house, or B) added the room herself. Either way, she’s just now dealing with a problem that she’s known about for some time.
I like it how this scientist is trying to read the ingredients on the container of spices in the dark room. It must be hard to take a step back into the light to read the container.
InstaBulb TV commercial — It’s the InstaBulb! Hooray!
Just when all hope was lost aside from installing a permanent light or finding some other wacky light to press against the wall, along comes InstaBulb. Not to be confused with any other cheap light you can stick against a wall, the InstaBulb actually has the look of an ordinary light bulb.
Now there’s no need to call an electrician and have a light bulb permanently installed where it would be beneficial. Thanks to the InstaBulb, you can supposedly simulate that experience.
InstaBulb TV commercial – A sticky surface is all it takes.
And just how easy is it to install the InstaBulb?
As TV pitchman Anthony Sullivan explains, all you have to do is peel off the back and press the base against the wall. That’s it. The sticky surface is supposedly strong enough to handle people constantly pulling the cord of the InstaBulb, turning the bulb on and off. There’s no need to worry about nailing, drilling, or anchoring the base to a wall. Just rely on the sticky surface to do the job of safely securing the InstaBulb.
InstaBulb TV commercial – Triple A’s for installing the InstaBulb.
If you have that sudden desire for mounting an InstaBulb underneath the lid of the toilet seat in the middle of the night, then go right ahead. You’ll have plenty of light to help you stand and aim for the bowl during a blackout.
InstaBulb TV commercial – Even small children will be captivated by the InstaBulb.
Don’t worry if your kid stands and stares directly at the InstaBulb. The product’s website fails to mention the bulb’s wattage. Since this is in the TV commercial, we can assume that the wattage is low enough not to hurt the child’s eyes.
Notice how close the camera is to both the child and the InstaBulb. It looks kind of neat when you’re standing right next to it. Later examples in the commercial use a wider shot with more controversial results.
InstaBulb TV commercial – The mighty InstaBulb is even shatterproof!
Have no fear if the InstaBulb suddenly falls and hits the floor. Despite shattering the word on the TV commercial and website, the company claims that the bulb will not shatter if it’s dropped on the floor.
It’s kind of interesting that the company makes a point of claiming that the bulb is shatterproof when dropped. Perhaps the test audience was concerned about the strength of the sticky base and the very real possibility of people accidentally pulling the InstaBulb off the wall. Just how strong (or reliable) is the glue that holds the base to the wall?
InstaBulb TV commercial – Put your horrible handyman skills to rest.
Thanks to the sticky surface on the base of the InstaBulb, there’s no need to do a crappy job cutting a hole in the wall just to install a light bulb fixture. It looks like this guy would have been better off just punching a hole in the wall with his fist.
InstaBulb TV commercial – Just how powerful is the light bulb?
Here’s where the InstaBulb TV commercial becomes mighty peculiar.
Notice the image on the left where the InstaBulb is turned on in Anthony Sullivan’s hand. That’s not a whole lot of light, is it?
The image on the right was captured about half a second later when the room was suddenly lit much better. Notice that the InstaBulb is just as bright between the two images, yet the image on the right has much more light in the room. Also take note how we can suddenly see the previously dark shelf to the right of Sullivan, yet his body should be blocking the light from the InstaBulb. In other words, the light from the InstaBulb apparently wrapped around his body and eliminated his shadow.
Meet InstaBulb – The shadow eliminator!
Gee, are other lights off-camera influencing the effect of this shot? Don’t worry, we’ll see the “magical” power of the InstaBulb again in the TV commercial.
InstaBulb TV commercial – How does it manage to stay cool to the touch?
While the coolness of the bulb is interesting, it does make us question the product’s actual wattage power. For example, is the InstaBulb cool because it is fluorescent? Fluorescent bulbs are generally dimmer and cooler to the touch than incandescent light bulbs.
Is the InstaBulb’s shatterproof material responsible for it being cool to the touch? Wouldn’t that material also have a negative outcome on the bulb’s brightness?
InstaBulb TV commercial – A macho way of working on a car.
What better way is there to provide light while working on a car (or anything else for that matter) than with the InstaBulb? I can see garage mechanics placing orders by the hundreds for a bulb like this. Why mess with those expensive (and hot) floodlights when a tiny little light bulb can provide light for you?
On a side note, notice how little of the engine area is actually being illuminated by the InstaBulb. This exposes another advertising flaw with the product. When working around a vehicle’s engine area, you generally need extra illumination pointing downwards, underneath the car’s hood. The engine area is usually a nightmare of shadows. That’s where those floodlights and spotlights come into play. In addition to being able to hang them from the hood and point them in the right direction, they also put out a tremendous amount of extra light so you can actually see what you’re doing. Trying to show that the InstaBulb supposedly works just as well as a floodlight is a hilariously bad move by the marketers.
Sure, the InstaBulb supposedly won’t burn you if you touch it, but those other garage lights put out significantly more light. There’s a good reason why so many garages and amateur mechanics use them.
InstaBulb TV commercial – More magical light from the InstaBulb!
On the left side we see a guy fairly well illuminated by some sort of light. We’ll assume it’s light from the staircase. The rest of the basement is still dark, and he’s going to use a single InstaBulb to light a good chunk of it.
The right side shows him using the InstaBulb. Oddly enough, the shadow on his forearm is still there despite being so close to the illuminated light bulb. Hmmm.
Another odd feature is that apparently the InstaBulb can also provide light around the corner on the rear wall. Notice that very bright area behind his forearm. The dark vertical line matches with the wall where the InstaBulb is mounted in the foreground. The bright area to the left of the vertical line is actually around the corner from the bulb. What we’re seeing is a bulb that still leaves a shadow on the guy’s arm but can somehow travel around a solid corner and brightly illuminate a far wall.
Now that’s a magical light bulb.
InstaBulb TV commercial – What kind of idiot uses a flashlight when you have a lighter?
Going back to what the TV commercial assumes to be reality, we see a woman in a dark room trying to pick out a book. Instead of using a flashlight or an ancient Egyptian mirror trick to reflect light into the room, what does she use to provide light? A tiny lighter! Wow!
Somehow I think it’s going to take more than an InstaBulb to cure this woman of her problems.
InstaBulb TV commercial – No more lighters! Hooray!
Ah. Now the woman can easily pick out a book without resorting to a lighter or torch. I can hear the local firemen can breathing a sigh of relief.
Once again, something just doesn’t seem right about this example of the InstaBulb. I can’t place my finger on it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that with the light behind her, the woman is not casting a shadow on the books. Somehow we can clearly see her face despite the fact that the (presumably) sole light is located directly behind her head.
Maybe the wall behind her is really wide, and the InstaBulb is mounted between the woman and the camera. Despite that, somehow that one light is illuminating places that should be hidden by shadows.
InstaBulb TV commercial – “Look, ma! It even creates light behind me!”
Unless we’re seeing a fireball from this guy igniting his flatulence, somehow there’s a very bright light above the guy’s head. The light is so bright that it’s casting a shadow of his hand and arm on the wall. If the only source of light was the tiny InstaBulb, then you wouldn’t see that shadow on the wall. The InstaBulb light is above him, so the shadow should instead be on the floor, IF it could even illuminate an area that far away. Instead, we’re seeing a shadow from the result of his arm blocking a different light up and to the right, behind the guy’s head.
Folks, this is a prime example of false advertising. It’s obvious that a significant amount of additional light is being used to help demonstrate the product.
InstaBulb TV commercial – It even spreads light behind the garbage disposal!
Take a look at how the InstaBulb can magically put a tremendous amount of light behind that bulky garbage disposal underneath the sink. Also take note how the shadows from the rear pipes are being cast downwards, and somehow that great big garbage disposal does not have a shadow on the wall.
Let me take a wild guess. There’s a second InstaBulb hiding in the rear part of the cabinet. No, that can’t be right. The light on the far wall is a different color than the light on the wall around the InstaBulb. Maybe the sun came out at the same moment the InstaBulb was turned on.
InstaBulb TV commercial – Uneven lighting in the tool shed.
Here we see the InstaBulb being used in a small tool shed. The only issue is that it appears that the InstaBulb has a problem of unequal lighting. The right side of the shed is brightly illuminated while the shovel, broom, and wall to the left side are very dark despite being so close to the light bulb.
It appears that the InstaBulb is hanging in the middle of the shed. If the light is supposedly equal distance from both rear corners, why is one corner much brighter than the other? Hmmm.
InstaBulb TV commercial – “Come along child as I lead you to safety with my magical light bulb.”
One of the selling points of the InstaBulb is that it easily detaches from the base and can be used as a makeshift flashlight. However, this screenshot of the commercial suggests that using it as one, especially on a staircase, may not be the best idea.
Take a look at the wall right next to the InstaBulb. Do you see how little of the wall is actually being illuminated by the weak power of the light? Do you really think the woman can even see the floor or steps when holding the InstaBulb that high? Come to think of it, do you really want to be in a dark house and holding a bright object in front of your eyes while holding a child’s hand and descending a staircase?
Luckily for the woman and her daughter, the rest of the house actually looks pretty bright. In fact, the light off-camera from the left side is so bright that the woman is casting a shadow on the wall to the light. If the only source of light was from the InstaBulb, then that large shadow wouldn’t exist in that spot. In the commercial, you do not see the rear wall get any dimmer when she begins to walk down the stairs. Nor does the foreground become any brighter.
InstaBulb TV commercial – Professionally installing a light costs how much?!?
That’s right. That one electrician in the commercial wants to charge $190 to install a light fixture. Of course, we don’t know any details concerning the project. We just know that that ONE electrician wants an ass load of money to install a single light bulb.
I wonder how much those other electricians were going to charge for the same project. What if you purchase the light fixture ahead of time and the location is easy to access?
After this we’re hit with the sales pitch. The commercial on Youtube flashes a message for us to visit the company’s website. Okay . . . . . . . .
InstaBulb – website ordering page – www.InstaBulb.com
At the company’s website we see that the current promotion is for two InstaBulbs for only $10.99 (plus $6.99 for shipping & handling). If we choose, we can also receive two more InstaBulbs for a $6.99 fee. That brings the TOTAL PRICE to $24.97 ($10.99 + $6.99 (S&H) + $6.99 (fee for two more InstaBulbs)).
Be warned that the 30-day satisfaction guarantee does not necessarily include refunding the shipping & handling fees if you decide to return the product.
WARNING – Be careful if you enter your credit card company and press the “Begin Order” button. Many of these as-seen-on-TV company websites do NOT give you a final confirmation screen before accepting your CC number. The FAQ page for InstaBulb’s website lists a phone number if you need to call and change something in your order before it is shipped.
For starters, the TV commercial has false advertising written all over it. There were several product demonstration scenes that clearly had additional lights off-camera. Whether it was intentional or not, the extra lights gave the appearance of the InstaBulb being very bright for the camera.
As far as the product itself, notice how the website and commercial don’t tell us anything about the actual light bulb. We don’t know if it’s incandescent or fluorescent, and we certainly don’t know its wattage. Wouldn’t that be useful information?
It’s only on the website’s FAQ page where you’ll see that each InstaBulb requires FOUR (4) AA batteries. That’s quite a hefty load of power required for a single light bulb. I’d imagine that the batteries are not included with the product. It would be a good selling point if it was mentioned that they were included. And of course, there’s no estimate of how long you can expect the InstaBulb to last on a single set of four AA batteries.
What gets me is that the concept of the InstaBulb sounds like a decent idea. It’s a light bulb that’s easy to install and use. It even detaches from the base and can be carried like an electric candle. However, the way that the base attaches to the wall is a little bit scary. I prefer to use nails and screws to secure items to the wall, and not just a sticky substance. This goes double since you have to pull down a cord to turn the light on and off, putting extra pressure on the sticky substance each time you use the InstaBulb.
A major problem with the product’s marketing is that the demonstration scenes in the TV commercial indirectly (and heavily) suggest that the InstaBulb barely puts out any light at all. If the product worked so well, then we wouldn’t have seen all of the evidence of bright lights off-camera. In fact, we’d see better examples of the product being used in even darker environments. But we don’t. Many of the examples are in fairly well lit scenes, as if the marketers are trying to disguise and artificially improve the lighting power of the InstaBulb.
On a side note, websites like InstaBulb’s site bug me when they spell their own product two different ways. Many parts of the website have InstaBulb as two separate words, while other parts had it as a single word. My guess it that it’s supposed to be a single word. Is it really that hard for these people to be a little bit consistent on their website? We’re only talking about the product’s name of all things.
That’s how the InstaBulb is being sold to the public. Perhaps there’s a reason why I haven’t seen any TV commercials for it recently. Some of those as-seen-on-TV products run commercials for six months or longer. Others make yearly appearances during certain seasons.
As far as emergency lighting, the candles that my girlfriend and I used a few days ago during the blackout worked great.
All of the InstaBulb commercial images were screenshots of a TV commercial currently available on Youtube. For more product information, please visit the company’s website at www.InstaBulb.com.
InstaBulb is a registered trademark.
ChamberofReviews.com is not affiliated with InstaBulb.