Phillips Bug-A-Way

Tuesday January 4thEverything else, Household Category

I don’t have any fond memories of Phillips bug-a-way bulbs.  I have some terrible memories of wishing my parents had bought bug-a-way bulbs.  There would be gangs of multi-legged forest creatures that would loiter at the front door on summer nights.  Moths that seemed to be the size of blue jays, kamikaze hard shelled bugs and giganto spiders hanging out to eat these things – I think I even saw an African walking stick that probably hitchhiked all the way from Nigeria because he heard of how insane the parties were on our front step.   I remember just dreading coming home from the grocery store or wherever to see what Ripley’s display was waiting for us.  I don’t have any other memories of my parents being “mentally challenged” except for the fact that they never bought a bug light for the stupid front door.

So, I have no idea what year the package on the left was made.  I want to say about 1983 because I found this at our local “living museum”  where it is not uncommon to find products on the shelves covered in dust and having an early 80’s date on them.   Of course I love the simplicity of the package and the flat colors  but what really makes the design is the bug/lightbulb relationship so clearly conveyed through the easy-to-understand graphic.
I love the horizontal lines that seem to be coming from the bulb, pushing the bug away and re-routing it’s path. This is what should have been going on at my front when I was a kid.

The new box is okay.  It still keeps it simple but doesn’t have the silent power that the old one has.  Instead of the horizontal lines coming from the bulb, the run behind it- and the rather small image of a light.  The bugs look like they’re going away from the lamp but going for the bigger meat of the larger bulb.  Also interesting is that in the upper right corner it reads “60w Yellow” but the image is of a white bulb.
The old box  has a nice bright yellow bulb – there’s no need to actually read the box (who wants to be bothered with that?)
I think the old box is more upfront and direct in it’s design of showing what it does and what you’ll get.  The new box just lacks the identification one might be looking for while scanning the shelves of bulbs at Home Depot.

Phillips Bug-A-Way: Old or New?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


  1. ima420r
    January 5, 2011

    I had to read the descriptions before I knew which was new and which was old. They don’t look all that different and the old one has aged well. I like the new one better though, the old one has a picture of an odd shaped bulb.

  2. Nightdragon
    May 1, 2011

    I just love the ’80s-style font on the old packaging. Very straightforward.

Leave a comment