Consumer Technology

Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Best-in-Class LED From SWITCH Infinia Now Available Nationwide

January 8th, 2014 by  

switch infinia_illuminated LEDSWITCH Lighting has just announced nationwide (US) availability of the award-winning SWITCH infinia, “the top-performing LED bulb in the general use category for residential and commercial applications.”

There are 40-watt and 60-watt equivalents of the SWITCH infinia, and the 60We is sold for as low as $11.99, but they can get down to $3.99 with utility rebates.

These LED bulbs are so good that SWITCH sells them with a lifetime residential warranty (3-year commercial warranty).

“The bulbs can be found at commercial distributors, lighting showrooms, and numerous retailers, including nearly 500 Batteries Plus Bulbs stores nationwide,” a news release about the nationwide availability states.

The newest bulb from SWITCH is the best performing, lowest priced 60W equivalent LED bulb and carries both ENERGY STAR certification and a UL rating for enclosed fixtures….

The infinia can be used in any fixture (UL rated for enclosed fixtures), any orientation, and both indoors and out. The bulb provides the same light distribution and quality as an incandescent bulb, while using up to 85 percent less energy, offers a wide range of dimmability, and the technology extends the lifetime….

SWITCH infinia uses the company’s patented LQD Cooling System™ – the most innovative and effective thermal management system on the market today. The LQD Cooling System utilizes a coolant made of liquid silicone, and a highly efficient and reliable electronic driver. SWITCH is up to 40% more effective at cooling LEDs than typical air-cooled LED bulbs.

The infinia was also selected as a 2014 CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards honoree in the Eco Design & Sustainable Technologies product category. The infinia was recently named a winner by Lighting for Tomorrow, one of the most prestigious awards in the lighting industry. Lighting for Tomorrow is a design competition that recognizes energy efficient decorative lighting products and technologies on the market.

It all sounds good to me.

I’m testing out another LED right now. It’s great in my opinion, but now I’m curious to see how it would compare to the SWITCH infinia. I’ll have to try to get my hand on one of the infinia’s as well to let you know. However, if you happen to have experience with the infinia, feel free to chime in below!

Recommended reading:

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Time To Go LED

Intelligent LED Light Bulbs

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Image Credit: SWITCH infinia, the newest liquid-cooled LED bulb from SWITCH Lighting (Photo: Business Wire)

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Otis11

    While 10W for a 60W equivalent isn’t the best I’ve seen, the CRI of >83, 2700K, good aesthetics, and the ability to be enclosed all put it near the top of my list for LEDs. I would still have to recommend the L-Prize bulb for most people as the CRI of 92 is much more appealing, though I might be bias as I have a light sensitivity and get headaches from lower quality light… for the majority of people would never notice a difference at a CRI of 83.

  • Steve

    I forgot to mention… When either one of them is compared side-by-side to a conventional 60w light bulb, you can barely tell the difference in the appearance of the light emitted by all three.

  • Steve

    I’ve recently purchased three – 60w equivalent – 2700k CREE bulbs and six – 60w SWITCH “Infinia” bulbs (Six because instant rebates brought the price down to $4.00 each.) I like both of them equally and can’t tell the difference in the way they look when lit. ………. The price – ($12.00 ea. vs. $4.00 ea.) is the only difference.

  • Jim Dawkins

    CRI is important. I just purchased two of these Infinia. They are well made and a lot cheaper than the older switch bulbs. The light output is excellent. With that said, I was hoping the CRI was over 90. They aren’t and its obvious in my kitchen when switching them out and comparing the light quality to my philips incandescent. Like most LED’s with 80 CRI the light makes things looks washed out. My next test are the new version of the cree bulbs (TW) sold at home depot. Apparently the new bulbs have a CRI over 90.

    • I’m still happy with my Cree TW Series with CRI of 93:

      But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish for the 10 watts of the Switch Infinia, or ability to use it in enclosed fixtures.

      Like other commenters, I’ve returned several LEDs with low CRI #s, with the strange color rendering very apparent to my family.

      The best bulb for my ceiling lights would be 75 watt equivalent, efficient, affordable, and CRI of 93 or more. So guess I’m still waiting for that bulb!

      • Jim Dawkins

        You should check out the sylvania HD ultra professional series” led. PAR lights for your ceiling. They are screw in spot lights and the light quality is very good. CRI of 95. Also the lights made for canned ceiling fixtures tend to be better than the screw in bulbs. Lot of the LED canned lights can be found that have a CRI over 90. Not sure why we dont see more screw in light bulbs with a higher cri.

  • SirSparks

    My lighting circuit is actually 12 VDC (Solar PV installation) and I am using all LED bulbs. Last year I was paying $15 each for 8 watt bulbs with a short lifespan in an enclosed fixture. Now I am paying $3 each for 3 watt bulbs (but 2 per fixture). They give a better light and are running at a MUCH cooler (physical)temperature than the old lamps so I expect them to last a long time.

  • Scotland

    The Switch Infinia are now my favorite LED (and I have tried a lot). They are the same price as the Cree bulbs (or what the Crees were when I last purchased some), are a slightly warmer colour than Crees when side by side, throw light evenly in roughly 270 degrees (Crees throw more to the sides than up), have a shape that better emulates the traditional incandescent (important in tight fixtures) AND are rated for enclosed fixtures. I am very happy with them and will be swapping out more incandescent bulbs in high usage enclosed fixtures with them.

    The previous Switch model before Infinia were also liquid cooled and rated for enclosed fixtures but were really expensive ($40-50). Glad to see they came out with a 2nd gen model with the same features but now with a competitive price. If you need a bulb for enclosed fixtures, give this one a try. If I hadn’t already used Crees, I would have bought a lot of these for open fixtures too.

    Now that I found these, I am only still looking for a good replacement for a 60 watt candelabra. If anyone here has suggestions, please reply back.

  • Steeple

    Given how quick the payout is on LED’s, seems like one of the best ways to promote efficiency/free up generating capacity/reduce emissions would be to subsidize/promote the purchase of these. Seems to be a better investment than subsidizing renewables generation.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I doubt that it will be necessary to subsidize LEDs. If they are under $10 most people are going to grimace and buy one when they can’t find an incandescent and don’t want one of those pig tail things.

      People will start to notice that they don’t burn out. They’ll start hearing more and more about how they pay for themselves in a few months and then save a bunch of money.

      I’d say that in a couple of years LEDs will be BAU.

      Subsidizing renewables is a very wise investment in our future. We’ve got a lot of aging coal and nuclear plants to replace over the next 20, 30 years. Might as well get the costs of renewables (and storage) down now and save ourselves a lot of money in the long run.

      • Steeple

        I think that the average person doesn’t really appreciate the quick payout that LEDs provide based on conversations I have had with people.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Well, I hope you did your part and helped them understand.

          A 60 watt replacement LED uses 9.5 watts. A savings of 50.5 watts.

          5 hours per day * 50.5 watts * 365 days = 92 kWh saved per year.

          92 kWh at $0.125/kWh = $11.52 saved the first year.

          Home Depot is selling 60 watt replacement LEDs for less than $8.

          Nice looking bulbs. Dimmable. Choice of two colors.

          10 year guarantee.

          25,000 hour expected lifetime. At 5 hours a night they should last over 13 years.

          Wise investing….

          • Steve Grinwis

            I’ve finally had some CFL’s burn outout, So I got some Cree bulbs. They are in my most often used lights, and there is a 4 watt savings vs the cfl they replaced. Furthermore… The Cree bulbs are substantially brighter. Odd that. I suppose the cfl gets dimmer over time bit the difference is more dramatic then I guessed.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yeah, my oldest CFL 100w replacement is more of a “mood lamp” now. I’ve got in a sideboard lamp in the dining room for electrified candle light dinners….

            The days of CFLs is over, I suspect.

            Now what to do with the half-dozen I picked up on sale for 50 cents each?

          • Steve Grinwis

            At 50 cents each, your cfl is cost effective yet.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Actually I think I’ll take them to the thrift store. Someone can pick them up for a few cents and animal rescue gets a few cents.

            And I get some free shelf space….

        • Bob_Wallace

          Oh, I forgot the 13 years of incandescent light bulb purchases avoided.
          Even more dividends.

          These things have a better than 100% return on investment for ones most used lamps.

          • Steeple

            I absolutely agree. By far the best investment available; much better than any investment in generation. We need to be going wide open in promoting LED use.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The return on LEDs pales compared to the savings we’d realize if we get our act together and keep climate change from severely screwing us.

  • porkchop

    Nowhere in their PR does Switch speak about light quality factors such as color rendering index, which suggests they’re using crappy LEDs that will make the colors in your surroundings drab like CFLs. For a 20k hour product, I’d rather pay $10 and enjoy incandescent-like light than $5 and hate the look of it. Every vendor has high luminous efficacy and low costs. What differentiates now is beautiful light.

    • Benjamin Nead

      A quick visit, porkchop, to Switch Infinia’s web site (it’s linked within the first sentence of the article) indicates that both their 60 and 40W equivalent bulbs are 2700 Kelvin color temperature, which is the industry standard for what most consumers call “soft white.” So-called “hard white” – or what I disparagingly refer to as “1950s bomb shelter illumination” bulbs are around 5000K.

      2700 to 2800K range CFLs are everywhere. They are far more common than just a few years ago and there typically isn’t any price difference between them and the 5000k ones. I used to have to shop and specialty lighting stores lower number K bulbs, but all the big boxes and hardware stores now have them.

      The real news here is that good LED bulbs have arrived, are only getting better and are less expensive than just a couple years ago. Early LED home lighting had that horrible “bomb shelter” ambiance we both hate so much and they were highly directional, like a focused beam flashlight. Like CFLs, they often came in odd shapes and defied the fitting of clip-on shades. And, yes, they were also hideously expensive.

      Newer LED bulbs, like shown in the article, are traditional bulb shape and of the same physical size as the old standby incandescents, so they work in any legacy fixture. Their light dispersion characteristics are also now non-directional (unless you are specifically wanting a directional track lighting bulb) and, now, dimmable. Add to this a greater electrical efficiency to even CFLs, lasting even longer (decades, perhaps) and not causing a potential mercury mess if one happens to get broken. Like incadencents, they also don’t take minutes to warm up to maximum brightness.

      I shake my head in amazement at folks who are still complaining that their old 60W incandescent bulbs are no longer going to be available. Yes, if all we had was the 5000K swirled glass CFLs of a decade ago, I’d be pissed too. But that simply isn’t the case any longer.

      I note at the local Home Depot I can get a 60W equivalent LED bulb like the one in the article for about $13, but I don’t think it’s dimmable.

      Ikea has dimmable 60W equivalent LED bulbs for around $13, but their non-dimmable one is a buck cheaper (same price as the Switch Infinia’s dimmable one) and the 40W equivalent at Ikea is only available as non-dimmable.

      So, what Switch infinia has done here is bested the Ikea price by a dollar for what is probably the same bulb and made their version of the 40W equivalent one dimmable, thus making it more versatile. Check your local retailer, though, as the LED bulb data I’ve informally complied above is now a couple months old. In regards to these LED bulbs, the world is changing VERY quickly!

      • Bob_Wallace

        At the moment Home Depot is selling the Cree 60w replacement LED for $7.97.
        2700K. 800 lumens. Dimmable. 9.5 watts. Looks just like a “light bulb”.
        I’ve got one and I’m buying more. (Actually, I’m probably waiting for 100w replacements.)

        I’ve also got one of their 5000K bulbs. It’s a great shop light – a place where one wants more contrast.

      • porkchop

        Cartharsis, Benjamin?

        This is kind of what’s interesting about LED lighting right now. Seems companies have succeeded in making some consumers think that color temperature means light quality. It doesn’t — I’ve purchased and returned several 2700k LED lamps that look beautiful when you’re looking at the light fixture, but which turn your yellow walls greenish, your green pants brownish, and your whites bluish etc. Light quality means color rendering index (CRI), meaning how well does the light source render reflected colors? Is it as accurate as the sun or an incandescent (CRI=100). Generally, light quality also touches on how deep reds can look, how white whites can look, among other factors that actually arent captured in the CRI specification, confusingly.

        The specs on Switch’s webpage show a CRI of greater than 83. To my eye and those of my family, that’s the kind of CRI that I don’t want in my house (been there, tried that, returned them to Home Depot). Even though they would save me a lot of energy dollars. Because if I buy this LED lamp, I know it’s going to last 10+ years. I’d rather buy a high light quality LED lamp for $10 than buy a $5 lamp with light that’s going to bug me for 10 years. In other words, value beautiful light more than I value marginal energy savings.

        Trust me, I’m a geek and early-adopter when it comes to cleantech. I buy all that shit. But there’s something about light that I have a hard time compromising about. Today’s LED lighting business does a disservice by glossing over important factors like light quality, and it could come back to bite it, as was the case with CFLs.

        • Benjamin Nead

          Perhaps catharsis is a bit of an overstatement, porkchop, but I’ve encountered many who don’t read the packaging of their light bulbs very carefully and are generally not aware of what color temperature is all about. I’ve illuminated (bad pun here) more than a few on this.

          Recently, the news has been full of stories regarding people on street corners, picketing with signs, dismayed that 60W incandescent bulbs will soon be unavailable. I would characterize that as cathartic behavior. Most of these protesters (at least the ones I’ve heard interviewed in news stories) seem more concerned that their favorite clip-on shade doesn’t work with the more common swirl-shaped CFL, seemingly unaware of all that’s available in non-incandescents with bulb-like form factors. Not much talk there about Kelvin or CRI numbers.

          I’ll have to admit I haven’t paid much attention to CRI numbers and perhaps I will from this point forward.
          Yes, I experienced this washed-out greenish tinge on a cheap LED bulb purchased at the hardware store a few years ago. That one was priced at around $10, back when
          $25 or $30 was the going rate for more affordable pedigree LED bulbs. The ballast lacked any cooling fins and I suspected it wouldn’t last very long, so I was careful to save the receipt. Good thing too. It was an ugly light and I soon resigned it outside to the porch, where it only lasted a few weeks.

          At about that time I was buying cold cathode fluorescents
          (Litetronics brand, mostly) from a local specialty lighting shop. On my first visit there I innocently announced a desire for a “natural” light. The salesman was rather adamant that I should be buying the 5000K version (closer to the Sun’s light spectrum, he declared,) but I was much happier with the 2700K ones. These tended to be put out a slightly more purplish light than the standard CFLs of similar K rating, but I didn’t find it distracting. Merely different. My frustration with these, rather, was short life span (about the same as an incandescent) and, at $15 a pop, I gravitated back to CFLs.

          Bob notes that prices of the Cree 60W equivalent LEDs at Home Deport has dropped recently. Likewise, the $13 dimmable “Ledar” model I purchased at Ikea late last summer is now similarly discounted . . .

          You’ll note no CRI numbers mentioned, porkchop, but the light the Ikea one puts out is VERY different from the horrible $10 LED bulb I tried some 3 or 4 years ago. You might give one of these shot and see what you think. Likewise, if these new Switch Infinia ones are similar, I’m going to put them on my short list.

          All this reminds me of what people were hearing when CDs were beginning to phase out vinyl LPs. Most consumers liked the convenience of the new digital format and all the press seemed to talk about was the lack of pops or scratches. But those of us who had decent audio equipment and actually took care of our records were more concerned with the somewhat sterile and flat sound of early CDs, despite the lack of background noise. Digital audio has gotten much better since then, but that wouldn’t have happened without people who actually listened critically and didn’t rely solely on specification numbers.

        • Otis11

          Agreed – this is one of the better ones with a CRI of 83, but I really prefer CRIs of > 90 for anything I’m going to spend time in. Sure a closet or something similar this would be great.

          Honestly though, a CRI of 80 means 50% of the population can’t tell the difference between it and an incandescent (I know, hard to fathom for those who can tell the difference, but apparently it’s true…). That means for a fair portion of the population this is a good choice for light…

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