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Energy Efficiency Lightbulb

Published on August 1st, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

38

New Lighting Technology Offers Alternative To CFLs and LEDs

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August 1st, 2008 by
 
Lightbulb

Residential Lighting reports that a new energy-efficient lighting technology, dubbed ESL (electron-stimulated luminescence) was patented in June by a startup company called Vu1.

The technology works by using accelerated electrons to stimulate a phosphor coating on the inside of the glass bulb. In contrast, incandescent bulbs run a current through a filament inside the bulbs, and LEDs stimulate semiconductors to create light.

The first ESL prototype is expected to output 40 lumens per watt with a 6,000 hour lifetime.

So why is the ESL bulb any better than CFLs or LEDs?

Vu1 claims that their bulbs do not have the trace amounts of mercury that CFLs contain, and they do not require the manufacturing energy of LEDs. At $12, the ESL bulbs cost about the same as dimmable CFLs. We can expect to see these on the market fairly soon—Vu1 says the first screw-in models could be available as early as September 2008.

With all the news about the growing popularity of LED bulbs, this development could be just the thing to keep the public eye on energy-efficient alternative lighting.

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Anders Hoveland

    The real advantage of this new ESL bulb is a “softer”, more comfortable quality of light. This has nothing to do with CRI or “color temperature”. If we compare the spectrums, the light from these new ESL bulbs does not have that deep blue frequency spike that LEDs have.
    CFL bulbs leak out UV radiation, and some people have sensitivity to this. For me, sitting under a lamp with a spiral CFL bulb for 15 minutes starts to make my eyes ache and my skin feel sore, so these are really not an option for me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPDC74T5ONY2YOQJQ7PR7CNOQM DT

    2011 now! Where are these bulbs?

  • LanceH

    Yeah, electrons exciting a phosphor layer is the same as a TV picture tube. It’s early 20th century technology really.

    I just wonder if there’s any weird health effects of having a room full of little electron guns. I guess as long as it’s being defused it’s ok.

  • LanceH

    Yeah, electrons exciting a phosphor layer is the same as a TV picture tube. It’s early 20th century technology really.

    I just wonder if there’s any weird health effects of having a room full of little electron guns. I guess as long as it’s being defused it’s ok.

  • http://www.refine-led.com ben

    how much is it,i think CFl is enough

  • http://www.refine-led.com ben

    how much is it,i think CFl is enough

  • Uncle B

    SEE: “A £2 energy-saving lightbulb that lasts for 60 years has been developed by scientists at Cambridge University. The researchers have designed a bulb that is three times more energy efficient than today’s best offer and can cut lighting bills by 75 per cent.The bulbs are 12 times more efficient that conventional tungsten bulbs and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent “energy efficient” bulbs. They can burn for 100,000 hours and they illuminate instantly and can be dimmed, unlike energy efficient bulbs.”

    http://theinfochief.com/

    Betcha the “Big Boys” in “Black Suits” beat the snots out of this discovery and bought up the patents real fast! I haven’t been able to fine even a trace of this science since this article was published? Help, please, anybody out there know anything else?

  • Uncle B

    SEE: “A £2 energy-saving lightbulb that lasts for 60 years has been developed by scientists at Cambridge University. The researchers have designed a bulb that is three times more energy efficient than today’s best offer and can cut lighting bills by 75 per cent.The bulbs are 12 times more efficient that conventional tungsten bulbs and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent “energy efficient” bulbs. They can burn for 100,000 hours and they illuminate instantly and can be dimmed, unlike energy efficient bulbs.”

    http://theinfochief.com/

    Betcha the “Big Boys” in “Black Suits” beat the snots out of this discovery and bought up the patents real fast! I haven’t been able to fine even a trace of this science since this article was published? Help, please, anybody out there know anything else?

    • Anders Hoveland

      The Vu1 company website says they will start shipping to retailers some time this month (July). Right now, they are only offering a single version of the ESL bulb, a direction flood light for recessed lighting.
      There is already a clear economic argument for buying these ESL bulbs. They have a similar initial cost to a dimmable CFL floodlight, but better light quality, and no warm up time.

  • russ

    Another couple of days and we will be in the 2nd quarter of 2009 – the product is now due sometime in 2009.

    CFl’s are designed to be utilized in applications where they are turned on and left on for some time. They are not designed to be on for a minute or two and that will shorten their life.

    I don’t understand the part about the patents pending but not available for public view. I thought once the filing is made it is a public document.

    Hopefully this is more than just smoke & mirrors.

  • russ

    Another couple of days and we will be in the 2nd quarter of 2009 – the product is now due sometime in 2009.

    CFl’s are designed to be utilized in applications where they are turned on and left on for some time. They are not designed to be on for a minute or two and that will shorten their life.

    I don’t understand the part about the patents pending but not available for public view. I thought once the filing is made it is a public document.

    Hopefully this is more than just smoke & mirrors.

  • Tracy Saboe

    40 Lumins per Watt? Isn’t that about the same as Florecents?

    I might potentially by these. I can’t stand CFLs. They buzz, the light’s off, and the electric radiation gives some people headaches.

    But if these are as efficient and cheap as CFLs then that’s great.

    Tracy

  • Tracy Saboe

    40 Lumins per Watt? Isn’t that about the same as Florecents?

    I might potentially by these. I can’t stand CFLs. They buzz, the light’s off, and the electric radiation gives some people headaches.

    But if these are as efficient and cheap as CFLs then that’s great.

    Tracy

  • Some Dude

    To all those who are breaking out the poo-poo gun on this one, I say take it easy!

    “The first ESL prototype is expected to output 40 lumens per watt with a 6,000 hour lifetime.”

    KEY WORDS: THE FIRST ESL PROTOTYPE

    If this product isn’t vapor ware, then it will take some time to mature, and the efficiency will get better over time, just as CFL and LED are maturing.

    I don’t know if any of you have actually tried the dimmable CFL’s, but they’re currently a complete joke. Uneven dimming, buzzing at any level below 100%, and extremely short lifespans. This is according to reports from just about everyone who has tried them (including mysef), and this is with bulbs from many different manufacturers.

    If this company’s claims are true (I know, a BIG IF), then this product will fill the needs of many like myself who have dimmers installed where appropriate.

    Since the US congress has decided to OUTLAW normal light bulbs, we need a variety of products and competition in this marketplace.

    Give these guys a chance!

  • Some Dude

    To all those who are breaking out the poo-poo gun on this one, I say take it easy!

    “The first ESL prototype is expected to output 40 lumens per watt with a 6,000 hour lifetime.”

    KEY WORDS: THE FIRST ESL PROTOTYPE

    If this product isn’t vapor ware, then it will take some time to mature, and the efficiency will get better over time, just as CFL and LED are maturing.

    I don’t know if any of you have actually tried the dimmable CFL’s, but they’re currently a complete joke. Uneven dimming, buzzing at any level below 100%, and extremely short lifespans. This is according to reports from just about everyone who has tried them (including mysef), and this is with bulbs from many different manufacturers.

    If this company’s claims are true (I know, a BIG IF), then this product will fill the needs of many like myself who have dimmers installed where appropriate.

    Since the US congress has decided to OUTLAW normal light bulbs, we need a variety of products and competition in this marketplace.

    Give these guys a chance!

  • http://boksiora.googlepages.com/home2?618604644 David Curteys

    There are LEDs putting out over a hundred lumens per watt, getting brighter all the time and they think they are going to touch that tech with their little forty lumens per watt technology?

  • http://boksiora.googlepages.com/home2?618604644 David Curteys

    There are LEDs putting out over a hundred lumens per watt, getting brighter all the time and they think they are going to touch that tech with their little forty lumens per watt technology?

    • Anders Hoveland

      I have a “high CRI” LED bulb, and still find its light a little “harsh” to my eyes, especially when I am reading. It’s NOT the same as incandescent. I am hoping these new ESL bulbs will have softer light.
      Efficiency is definitely not the only factor that needs to be considered here.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Try a diffusion filter.

  • Myzine.com

    apparently Edisons original light globe is still burning.

  • mars

    CFL’s: supposed to last longer and be as-good as traditional bulbs. Reality check: they don’t and they aren’t. LED’s: um, they are where? These: judgment withheld.

  • mars

    CFL’s: supposed to last longer and be as-good as traditional bulbs. Reality check: they don’t and they aren’t. LED’s: um, they are where? These: judgment withheld.

  • Jim McBull

    I dunno dude, LEDs are pretty cool and VERY cost effective!

    JT

    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  • Jim McBull

    I dunno dude, LEDs are pretty cool and VERY cost effective!

    JT

    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  • Myzine.com

    apparently Edisons original light globe is still burning.

  • http://www.samarabeach.tv Robert MacEwan

    $12 a bulb is great for new construction or those that can afford this luminescent luxury, but what of the Pro Wrestling/NASCAR families? I see lots of them procreating adding the value of WWW stock – will John Bill Kelly Smith choose a light bulb or that case of cheap beer? just a thought

  • http://www.samarabeach.tv Robert MacEwan

    $12 a bulb is great for new construction or those that can afford this luminescent luxury, but what of the Pro Wrestling/NASCAR families? I see lots of them procreating adding the value of WWW stock – will John Bill Kelly Smith choose a light bulb or that case of cheap beer? just a thought

  • Nate

    40 lumens/watt? That’s not exactly stunning – CFLs get 45-60 lm/W, and high-temperature incancesdents already get 35 lm/W. Good tube fluorescents with electronic ballasts can get 80-100 lm/W.

    This is what happens when “Energy Efficient” becomes a checkbox.

  • Nate

    40 lumens/watt? That’s not exactly stunning – CFLs get 45-60 lm/W, and high-temperature incancesdents already get 35 lm/W. Good tube fluorescents with electronic ballasts can get 80-100 lm/W.

    This is what happens when “Energy Efficient” becomes a checkbox.

  • Baker

    It’s great to see we have a potential clean solution on the near horizon. I’ve been following the LED story but GE has now pulled all of it’s LED r&d in the residential space. “Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said he expects limited success for L.E.D.’s, especially in outdoor and track lighting “I do not see a major step toward change in general illumination. To say L.E.D.’s will change everything, I don’t buy it. I think a lot of it is hype.” I think we will see led’s in automotive, retail, stop-lights but probably never in a ceiling fixture.

  • Baker

    It’s great to see we have a potential clean solution on the near horizon. I’ve been following the LED story but GE has now pulled all of it’s LED r&d in the residential space. “Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said he expects limited success for L.E.D.’s, especially in outdoor and track lighting “I do not see a major step toward change in general illumination. To say L.E.D.’s will change everything, I don’t buy it. I think a lot of it is hype.” I think we will see led’s in automotive, retail, stop-lights but probably never in a ceiling fixture.

  • Pingback: LED Cube - » New Lighting Technology Offers Alternative To CFLs and LEDs : CleanTechnica

  • http://www.vivzizi.com George

    So they have turned the light bulb into a small TV tube?

    That technology isn’t new but I guess it’s application to light bulbs is.

    I think LED’s will win in the end becsuse they last so long and draw so much less power.

    the argument that these take less energy to manufacture just won’t relate tot he consumer as much as the power they draw and how long they last.

  • http://www.vivzizi.com George

    So they have turned the light bulb into a small TV tube?

    That technology isn’t new but I guess it’s application to light bulbs is.

    I think LED’s will win in the end becsuse they last so long and draw so much less power.

    the argument that these take less energy to manufacture just won’t relate tot he consumer as much as the power they draw and how long they last.

  • van Bochum

    While its great that there are people trying to create the next best thing; the LED technology is evolving rapidly and big steps are being made. The manufacturing process is becoming cheaper and better, while new materials are being used in the process.

    See: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=12436

  • van Bochum

    While its great that there are people trying to create the next best thing; the LED technology is evolving rapidly and big steps are being made. The manufacturing process is becoming cheaper and better, while new materials are being used in the process.

    See: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=12436

  • Gustavion

    It’s good to see companies like Vu1 taking steps toward sustainability. As consumers we need to support these types of companies. Another, http://www.simplestop.net stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

  • Gustavion

    It’s good to see companies like Vu1 taking steps toward sustainability. As consumers we need to support these types of companies. Another, http://www.simplestop.net stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

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