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Long-Lasting LED Bulbs Challenge Incandescents
As part of the Light Fair industry conference going on now in Las Vegas, a number of new long-lasting LED lightbulbs made their debut today, including a liquid-cooled bulb from Switch Lighting.
As part of the Light Fair industry conference going on now in Las Vegas, a number of new long-lasting LED light bulbs made their debut today, including a liquid-cooled bulb from Switch Lighting.
Also on tap are LED offerings from General Electric and Philips.
Switch said its new LED A-lamps are a true replacement for the incandescent bulbs that are common in U.S. homes and businesses. The company’s new lineup can be used in any fixture or orientation – inside or out.
Switch said its thermal cooling system “uses a special liquid to move heat out to all surfaces of the bulb – not just the heat sink – for more rapid, even cooling, just like Edison did.”
A cooler bulb can handle more power, allowing a brighter light that lasts longer, Switch said.
Several U.S. hotels have been testing the first Switch bulbs since November, and the company’s 40-, 60-, 75-, and 100-watt bulbs will start shipping in the U.S. this summer. They will be priced between $40-60.
Philips, meanwhile, is pushing its LED solutions as long-lasting solutions for African countries facing energy shortages. “New LED technology, when combined with the latest solar and battery developments, can also provide good quality practical light for rural areas where more than 500 million Africans currently live without electricity,” the company said.
Philips is pushing its LED Street and Area lighting options, and announced plans for a Pan-African soccer tour lit by solar-powered LED floodlights.
General Electric has been working on an LED bulb it hopes will last 25,000 hours since June 2011 and expects to go into production early next year.
As other companies have found, GE said its “chief nemesis was heat.”
“Though LEDs need a fraction of the power consumed by the incandescent bulb, the 27 watts that run the new bulb still make the LEDs inside so hot they could boil a cup of tea,” GE said in a statement. “LEDs are made from silicon, just like the semi-conductor chips inside your computer. Without cooling, they will burn up.”
The team at GE finally landed on a synthetic jet, which resembled “a pair of tiny vibrating sub-woofer speakers mounted back to back.” It needed to be pared down to fit inside the bulb, which went through seven design changes itself, but is now ready to go.
“The whole market has been conditioned to understand light from the perspective of watts,” said Glenn Kuenzler, a lighting engineer at GE. “But people don’t really want to use 100 watts, they want 1,600 lumens of light,” he said, the light output of a standard 100-watt incandescent light bulb. The new LED is set to make strides in changing that old mindset, according to GE.
By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag