Hate the twisty bulbs? ESL's coming soon

This product just got UL approval, expect it to show up for retail sales soon. What’s an ESL? Think of it as an unfocused Cathode Ray Tube or CRT. The definition at Wikipedia is: Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) is light produced by accelerated electrons hitting a phosphor (fluorescent) surface in a process known as cathodoluminescence.The light generation process is similar to a cathode ray tube (CRT) but lacks magnetic or electrostatic deflection.

Just wait, somebody will figure out a yoke coil for these bad boys and a way to hack the power supply to modulate video and we’ll have little live video pictures of the sun or some other star on the phosphor screens. Or, we’ll all get to claim we have miniature particle accelerators in our ceiling. Amuse your guests with a a Geiger counter capable of recording Beta and X-rays. Don’t freak out though, we’ve been doing the same thing for half a century with bigger, badder CRT’s in TV sets. Beats having a mercury hazard around.

From the company website: Electron Stimulated Luminescence™ Lighting Technology

Overview

Electron Stimulated Luminescence™ (ESL) Lighting Technology is an entirely new, energy efficient lighting technology. It uses accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor to create light, making the surface of the bulb “glow”.  ESL technology creates the same light quality as an incandescent but is up to 70% more energy efficient, lasting up to 5  times longer than incandescent and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. There is no use of the neurotoxin Mercury (Hg) in the lighting process.

With this technology, Vu1 has developed its first light bulb that received UL certification in October 2010: the R30 ESL bulb is specifically designed to replace the 65W incandescent R30 flood bulb is recessed light fixtures and the light quality is virtually indistinguishable from this traditional lamp it replaces and, unlike CFLs, is mercury-free.

In addition to the R30, the company is currently developing a variety of highly energy efficient, optimal light quality mercury-free light bulbs. In 2011 and 2012, Vu1 plans to introduce the classic A-type lamp for US and European consumers, the R40 for the US commercial market and the R25 in Europe.

Proven & Safe

In creating ESL Technology, Vu1 merged several existing and proven technologies then uniquely adapted them for “lighting”. The company uses commonly sourced, non-hazardous, commercial materials that are customized to our specifications.

Safe as a lighting source, the ESL technology fits neatly into classic light bulb shapes similar to those familiar to consumers everywhere. This eliminates the need to bend the technology into an unusual, twisted spiral shape (CFL) or have costly and heavy heat dissipation designed into the bulb housing (LED).

Key features of the technology and associated manufacturing processes are patent pending.

Manufacturing

Vu1 operates a wholly-owned manufacturing subsidiary, Sendio s.r.o., in the Czech Republic. This enables the company to manufacture its products directly to protect the company’s intellectual property while maintaining close control over the quality, volume and distribution of initial product production.

The 75,000 square foot facility provides Vu1 with scalable production capability. The site’s initial production capacity is up to 6.8 million bulbs annually with a planned future capacity of 30 million bulbs annually. Vu1 employs a highly skilled team that has been trained at leading manufacturers such as Philips and Sony. The facility is centrally located, enabling efficient worldwide distribution.

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Spec sheet here (PDF)

Once China gets a hold on these, the price is likely to come way down. Right now they are selling at $20.

h/t to Alan

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93 thoughts on “Hate the twisty bulbs? ESL's coming soon

  1. Now didn’t they tell us kids back in the 1950’s not to sit too close to the tv set?

  2. If they do as they say in the blurb then hopefully we may get rid of the hated CFL’s forced upon us by an inane EU regulations. It may even bring down the cost of LED’s a bit quicker.

  3. “Rough service” bulbs which look just like normal ones are exempt from the 2012 ban, assuming that ban doesn’t suffer a Republican win in the same year. A Google search shows they are not currently overly expensive.

  4. If I could irradiate my food while the refrigerator door is closed, it would stay fresher longer (turn a problem into a feature). Does this thing come in 40W appliance bulb size yet? ;->

  5. So the US Market is wide open to anyone wanting to start up a returning industry.
    The shipping and VAT for products out of the EU is going to see to that.
    Didn’t GE just decide to “come home”?

  6. 70% efficiency gain is pretty pathetic though. A 20W CFL is claimed to give as much light as a 100W old-style luminescent (and observationally, I agree), i..e. a 400% efficiency increase. I may be in a minority, but I lke ’em!

  7. The problem with all these coated bulbs is that half the light that they want to go outwards from the bulb, ends up going intowards towards the bulb. It’s even worse with these twisted fluorescent tubes, as half the time the light escaping one portion of the tube ends up going back into another part of the tube.
    I’ve always wondered whether some manufacturers count the light output in a “warmist” way (i.e. much higher than reality) as in light out isany light coming off the phosphor irrespective of whether it ever goes anywhere useful.

  8. They need to take into account that in future centuries human eyesight will be much improved. I know this because in most films depicting the future everybody lives in darkened corridors and it is often difficult to tell them apart. If I didn’t know better I’d think they were making entire films in just one or two corridors. They wouldn’t do that would they?

  9. He he, how much fun we can have with a magnet?
    I wonder how good the vacuum need to be for the electrons to be efficient?
    And if the vacuum is stronger, like in the CRT, how big the bang will be?

  10. The facility is centrally located, enabling efficient worldwide distribution.

    So who knew that the centre of the world is in the Czech republic?

  11. At 50 cents an incandescent, 8 cents per kw/h for electricity including tax, and the fact the bulb helps heating my house i guess i’ll pass.
    There’s no way i’m going to earn back my investment with that kind of prices.

  12. The LED lobby is going to be very annoyed. They went through so, so much trouble getting Washington to create a captive market. Now their sure-thing income will shrink. Of course, they were never the brightest. (pun.)

  13. Nice if true! I always wondered at the logic of banning mercury in liquid form then demanding it’s gaseous & most toxic (mad hatters) state be installed into light bulbs with the inherent disposal problam!!
    Watched yet again that wonderful film Apollo 13 at the weekend. Still gives me a lump in my throat watching it (sad, I know), seeing all the little gismos & gadgets, mini fluorescent tubes, velcro, etc, we take for granted today that were state of the art unique things for the space race. what a wonderful time that was, I was 12 years old when it happened & we were glued to the tv set every day before & after school, although Britain was shelterd from much of the clamour of the occasion in the US.

  14. Can anyone give me the strike current for a cfl in terms of running hours, there was a website a few years back that gave this , and real world running costs, is has gone now maybe because it showed that unless left on all the time they use more power than a filament bulb, the best came out halogen on a dimmer, and lasted the longest.

  15. As long as we’re reinventing old technology that never worked right in the first place, let’s go ahead and re-invent Davy’s carbon-arc lamp. What a fine way to consume excess evil carbon!

  16. As far as “hacking” these goes, we’d traditionally need both a focusing ring or two to make it into a beam and then two pairs of electric plates for steering the beam. But these are short and fat, so putting all of this outside the bulb will give poor results. Maybe what we could do would be to combine the parts: instead of the deflecting *plates*, make two different focusing rings which are asymmetrical. One would focus and deflect horizontally, the other would focus and deflect vertically. The focus would probably vary with the amount of deflection, but we’re not really trying to get TV resolution here.

  17. “ESL technology creates the same light quality as an incandescent but is up to 70% more energy efficient, lasting up to 5 times longer.”
    Translation: Ain’t no way our bulbs will achieve that level of efficiency or last that long, except for a few rare cases. So to make it sound better, we will take a lesson for CFL industry and use weasel words to make our product sound better than it really is.
    Weasel words aside, what I am most interested in is what kind of light will it produce. My mom has to wear special glasses because she has a sensitivity to all fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights give her headaches. Will the light these ESL’s produce be like CFL’s, that is to say hard on people’s eyes?

  18. I can get an equivalent LED bulb at the local HD for 18 or less 20 does not impress me.

  19. I’m willing to give them a try. I have yet to find a fully dimmable, power saving PAR38 flood that looks halfway normal and works as advertised. These might just do that if the PDF specs are correct.

  20. Love new technology, but am still furious at the attempted ban on incandescent light bulbs. Get Congress’s hands off our lights! Let the market decide! Repeal the ban!
    /Mr Lynn

  21. This is probably a cold cathode design. Otherwise, it would have to have a hot filament. These things take thousands of volts to run. We’ll see if they are a fire hazard the hard way, I’m guessing.

  22. @Tim H. – You can also move the electrons with an external magnetic field. It would be a pain, but you probably could focus with a mag. field also.

  23. Light temperature/ quality is the deciding factor to me. If the light they emit resembles that of fluorescent in ANY way, I’ll go by candlelight, than-you.
    Time to start stocking up on lots and lots of incandescents anyway- 2012 is approaching fast.
    Anyone know where to get incandescents in bulk at good prices?

  24. Chris Edwards wrote: “Can anyone give me the strike current for a cfl in terms of running hours, there was a website a few years back that gave this , and real world running costs, is has gone now maybe because it showed that unless left on all the time they use more power than a filament bulb, the best came out halogen on a dimmer, and lasted the longest.”
    I believe MythBusters busted this myth.

  25. I don’t mind changing from one lighting source to another, provided I get some tangible benefit from doing so. I HATE being force to do so.

  26. @Tim – you never worked on a CRT tv did you?
    Particularly ’60s and ’70s versions. They were focused by a pair of magnets, and deflection by external coils. What you are taking about would be small oscilloscope type CRTs.

  27. Mike McMillan says on May 16, 2011 at 12:09 am
    Now didn’t they tell us kids back in the 1950′s not to sit too close to the tv set?

    It’s (it was) the HV (High Voltage) rectifier tube (used at that time) that produced the X-rays …
    .

  28. Tom Harley says on May 16, 2011 at 4:41 am
    AGW policy has not concerned the oldest picture gardens (in the world) in Broome, regularly in the past flooded during King Spring tides, but the light bulb replacement policy has made incandescent bulbs in Broome unobtainable. The iconic lit-up sign is now a lot duller. …

    Tom, your original link did not work, but a little bit of detective work produced this one:
    http://pindanpost.com/2011/05/16/sun-pictures-broome-victim-of-agw/
    .

  29. I started working on Mrs. Reason this weekend with regards to LED replacement bulbs, as this week we had several of the “special” bulbs in our kitchen all go out within days of each other (speacial meaning something other than the regular globe bulb…in this case a tracklight halogen with the GU10 socket and an R30 flood on a dimmer). The selling point of 50,000 hr life vs. 1,500 hr life on the “long-life!” R30’s box was hard for her to refute.

  30. I would not expect these ESL bulbs to exhibit any more phosphor losses than does a CFL or an ordinary fluorescent tube. It is already true that half the flux emitted from the phosphor goes inwards, rather than outwards, so that is built into the current efficiency ratings of flurescents, and CFLs.
    The phosphor coated on the bulb surface, is thin enough to be partially transparent, so flux that is back radiated, simply corsses the space to the opposite wall, where some of it will simply transmit, and escape. There will be some re-absorption by the phospher, which will be a loss.
    But the technology of how to optimize the thickness of the phospher coating, for maximum efficiency, is well known to those in the industry; so ESLs should not be in any worse shape. There will be a difference in the elecron capture versus UV stimulation of CFLs, as far as the most efficient phosphor thickness. These don’t need to be kV level elctrons, so their penetration depth could be quite thin. It’s an interesting approach, and I wouldn’t dismiss it lightly (pun intended)
    The weasel words “up to” are always present in ads, and I always discount them. They are a legalese approach to specifications. The FTC probably won’t allow more factual claims, without expensive experimental proof.

  31. Something a bit fishy about this, because patent application quoted by the company’s website : “U.S. Patent Application Serial No.: 11/969,840” may well give the impression that this is a new or recent application because of the “11”. You may think that this refers to the year 2011. However reference to the US Patent Office table of serial numbers reveals that this application number was issued in 2007. #1
    According to VU1, “In July 2010, we were granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for our lighting technology. U.S. Patent Application Serial No.: 11/969,840 is for the system and apparatus for cathodoluminescent lighting, relating to the method of operation to create light via phosphor and a cathode, a key component of Vu1′s unique Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) clean, energy efficient lighting technology. We have 10 patents pending in the US being supported by Intellectual Property attorneys Lathrop and Gage LLP. As of October 2010, we had 3 open international applications and 3 international applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. ”
    So then if they “were granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office”,
    then why not quote the number of that patent? Still they are quoting the four year old patent application number. Could it be that somebody else already invented this technology. I mean an unfocussed cathode ray tube as a luminaire. I am thinking of Crookes, or perhaps Tesla. This isn’t really a “novel” invention, is it ?
    #1 – http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/filingyr.jsp

  32. LED will soon be the way to go though. Have no doubts that in 5 years LED will be cost effective with nearly everything and last much, much longer than any competition. This is interesting, but outdated even before it is available. CFL’s were a stopgap at best, but technology has outpaced this technology already.

  33. Ah don’t know. This seems like a happy-happy-joy-joy announcement from a company that knows/fears well that their invention is soon to be swatted to the side of the highway by a much bigger, better and intrinsically indominable competitor. LEDs.
    up to 600 lumens at 19.5 watts comes out to about 30 lumens a watt. Not bad, really. Lumileds consistently are achieving 1300 lumens off 19 watts of input power, or about 68 lumens per watt. They last a bazillion years, also have no mercury, can be dropped, banged around, compressed, dinged, soldered to, and so on with no ill effect. The form-factor can be incorporated into conventionally shaped bulbs made either of glass but more likely polycarbonate plastic. Cree and Luxeon also have competing product, and the Chinese in their charitable way have a whole billion-bulb-a-month industry that copies and duplicates pilfered intellectual property for domestic and export consumption. They WILL bring product to the market at prices easily competitive with CFL and even old incandescent tech.
    The threat of LED notwithstanding, these electroluminescent bulbs may have some market especially for people who claim to get headaches and other maladies from anything-but-incandescent light. Maybe they should market them as Organic, and include organic hemp stabilized, cross-linked tofu protein polymer in the bases and circuit-board. Little green leaf-patterns all over blue-and-white hued base, with a double-R universal recycling stamp and mail-back coupon in each box. “A percentage of every sale is donated directly to saving the endangered species of our planet, fighting poverty in Botswana and fostering the Presidents Circle initiative for global warming education!”
    It may be tongue-in-cheek, but you know full well that there’d be armies of self-taught enviro-conscious, and very well intentioned folks that’d buy em. Hell, I already see the corporate takeover or merger with the Natures Choice soap company.

  34. Axel – “This isn’t really a “novel” invention, is it ?”
    It has been around for a while. The old Jumbotron screens used individual lamps, each of which consisted of a small CRT with only one or a handful of pixels. They are now obsolete, replaced with LED based displays. One problem was a relatively short lifetime compared with LEDs. They could still have patent coverage, depending on the details of the interior design (incorporation of a cold cathode or low work-function cathode material, for example). However, I agree that publishing a patent application number (which involves no examination of patentability) rather than the issued patent number is strange.

  35. George E. Smith says:
    May 16, 2011 at 8:41 am
    […snip]
    The weasel words “up to” are always present in ads, and I always discount them. They are a legalese approach to specifications. The FTC probably won’t allow more factual claims, without expensive experimental proof.

    It would be less about factual claims and more about consumer perception. Luminaire life is based on the time to 50% mortality. If the standard deviation for the lamp life isn’t fairly narrow, you’ll get a lot of consumer complaints. Hardly anyone complains when it goes for 2x or 3x the listed life ;-).

  36. Will they work at 30 below? I did try cfl’s outside but in the middle of winter by the time they lit up I forgot what I went outside for.

  37. Old CRT monitors are hazardous to dispose, as the TV news has told me, due to the pound or so of lead that is in the glass. I likewise wonder about old CRT televisions. Do these bulbs also have leaded glass, and will similar disposal concerns surface? Will these get caught up in the mandated electronics recycling and disposal programs, (allegedly) coming soon to Pennsylvania?
    At least with them being made in the Czech Republic, we know they’re manufactured under tougher environmental and worker-safety standards than if made in China. And I am amazed that the world has changed that much.
    Question: If these “are like” CRT’s but without magnetic or electrostatic deflection, then why isn’t the fixed electron beam striking a single dot? Wouldn’t there have to be a deflection system to “paint” the entire phosphor surface?

  38. Since they do not state the efficiency, it can’t be very good. 70% over incandescent is meaningless since they vary from 10-20 lm/W. T5/T8 fluorescent are about 100 lm/W, white LED are 40-80 lm/W.

  39. There is also an electrode-less fluorescent that is excited by microwaves, I don’t know if they are efficient. CRT are not efficient, that’s one reason we switched to LCDs.

  40. According to their web site, they have only 11,000 hour life and consume 19.5 W. Slightly better than incandescent. Not too exciting because of the up front cost. They can’t compete with commercially available LED versions because the LED bulbs only consume ~10 W and cost ~$20-$25. Even if they were free, they can’t compete with LEDs because of the energy cost.
    The possible edge is better light and other minor features such as instant on and dimmable. Perhaps the bulb life and power consumption can be improved?

  41. ????
    CRTs were supposed to be an EM radiation danger, if one sat somewhere behind one, which was common in many offices. So, I have to ask if these have any “back side” to these ESLs.

  42. I don’t know about the rest of you but, I have experienced about a 20% DOA and 10% infant mortality rate with CFLs.

  43. “”””” lighthouse says:
    May 16, 2011 at 11:54 am
    RE LED alternatives,
    they have problems too, like CFLs:
    Lead, arsenic and other toxic content, home breakage and disposal concerns
    as covered by recent 2011 University of California research
    http://ceolas.net/#li20ledx “””””
    Well the U of C notwithstanding, I think you’d have a hard time finding anything more than trace amounts of Arsenic anywwhere in the vicinity of a competitive LED white lamp substitute for CFLs or incandescents. How about that lead alloy in the very nose of an ordinary incandescent Edison base. Howcum the worry warts have never worried about all the infant deaths from eating incandescent lamps.
    And last time I checked, even the older LEDs had Gallium Arsenide in them; not Arsenic. We only have about 92 elements to worry about; let’s not start worrying about ever compound thereof. Humans themselves are compounds of carbon which is well know to be highly toxic. Washington DC is full of highly toxic human beings, as are many State houses. (Unicersities too)

  44. “”””” kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 16, 2011 at 9:46 am
    Old CRT monitors are hazardous to dispose, as the TV news has told me, due to the pound or so of lead that is in the glass. I likewise wonder about old CRT televisions. Do these bulbs also have leaded glass, and will similar disposal concerns surface? Will these get caught up in the mandated electronics recycling and disposal programs, (allegedly) coming soon to Pennsylvania?
    At least with them being made in the Czech Republic, we know they’re manufactured under tougher environmental and worker-safety standards than if made in China. And I am amazed that the world has changed that much.
    Question: If these “are like” CRT’s but without magnetic or electrostatic deflection, then why isn’t the fixed electron beam striking a single dot? Wouldn’t there have to be a deflection system to “paint” the entire phosphor surface? “””””
    Nobody said that the electron source is a beam source. A small area source can be nearly isotropic, or at least confined to a forward hemisphere. Possibly the inside of the bulb is conductive coated with Indium Tin oxide for example, or even a thin metal coating, that makes an anode electrode to attract the electrons. Not that I’m pushing the technology; I just think it will have to compete on its own merits, and I don’t think it sounds impractical at this point. But I I was a CFL promoter, I would be concerned about these things.

  45. You missed what to me is one of the most important points -Color Temperature.
    According to the spec sheet, the color temp is 2800 K, which is closer to the incandescent than the fluorescent. Having a child who is sensitive to the harshness of CFL lights (can trigger migraines), that’s a huge factor.

  46. “”””” D. J. Hawkins says:
    May 16, 2011 at 9:36 am
    George E. Smith says:
    May 16, 2011 at 8:41 am
    […snip]
    The weasel words “up to” are always present in ads, and I always discount them. They are a legalese approach to specifications. The FTC probably won’t allow more factual claims, without expensive experimental proof.
    It would be less about factual claims and more about consumer perception. Luminaire life is based on the time to 50% mortality. If the standard deviation for the lamp life isn’t fairly narrow, you’ll get a lot of consumer complaints. Hardly anyone complains when it goes for 2x or 3x the listed life ;-). “””””
    Well both incandescents, and fluorescents and CFLs fail catastrophically; I have never heard of one dropping below its “end of life” dimness specification.
    LEDs can have infant mortality failures, which are usually packaging and assembly low technology failures. Anything with phosphers in them such as white LEDS or CFLs or these new ESLs tends to have a total on hours slow decay mode, which is often a result of phospher contamination from trace elements. This new type is likely to have an electron source slow decay mode as well. Tehy made a whole slew of vaccuum tubes long before solid state devices took over, so I think there is a lot of mature knowhow behind this new option.
    As I said, I will let the chips fall where they may; but it doesn’t sound like a born loser to me.

  47. “”””” kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 16, 2011 at 9:46 am
    Old CRT monitors are hazardous to dispose, as the TV news has told me, due to the pound or so of lead that is in the glass. I likewise wonder about old CRT televisions. Do these bulbs also have leaded glass, and will similar disposal concerns surface? Will these get caught up in the mandated electronics recycling and disposal programs, (allegedly) coming soon to Pennsylvania? “””””
    Well the Romans had lead plumbing for their water supplies, and it didn’t stop them from becoming a dominant empire for a long time.
    The only place you will find lead today in glass, is in your wife’s finest crystal ware, which is hevay in lead oxide that provides high index, as well as high dispersion (low V value). This contributes to the sparkle of “crystal” glass. Lead oxide optical glasses, are now replaced with Lanthanum types.
    So what was the name of the last person who died as a result of lead oxide poisoning by “flint” glass. Well I can think of many thousands who got sliced to ribbons by all sorts of glass in car accidents; never ever heard of anyone who died from optical glass lead poisoning.

  48. “”””” John T says:
    May 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm
    You missed what to me is one of the most important points -Color Temperature.
    According to the spec sheet, the color temp is 2800 K, which is closer to the incandescent than the fluorescent. Having a child who is sensitive to the harshness of CFL lights (can trigger migraines), that’s a huge factor.
    Well John, the color temperature of lamps; either incandescent, fluorescent, LED or any other phosphor type is completely at the whim of the designers,a nd is easily made any color temperature you want. The resulting luminous efficacy (lumens per Watt) may be a function of color temperature, so designers may tweak on that meet whatever design criteria they want. For me personally, the 2700-2800 K temperature of incandescents, or lookalikes is most unpleasant for reading, and I prefer a somewhat whiter light; but not the 5,000 K stuff.
    And I was under the impression that it is fluorescent flickering that causes migraines; and not the color temperature of the light. After all, the color temperature of the sun is almost 6,000 K, so I don’t think you can blame fluorescent migraines, on color temperature; it’s flicker, because fluorescents go on and off every 1/120 seconds ( or worse yet, 1/100 for soem folks.
    Incandescents also undergo 120 Hertz pulsation but with a much lower modulation index. Fluorescents go completely out in between flashes. CFLs of course are driven at high frequencies like 40 kHz or more, so they don’t have the flicker of ordinary fluorescents. Well some cheap junk CFLs still have 120 Hz amplitude modulation of the 40 kHz drive signal so they would still have incandescent style pulsations. So buy a better grade of CFL, not made by the lowest bidder.

  49. Eric Gisin-” …electrode-less fluorescent that is excited by microwaves,”
    GE R&D was working on this back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. They developed a white-light gas-filled glass sphere about 1 inch in diameter with wall-plug efficiency of >200 lumens/W and 100 W – 250 W power consumption (targeting industrial lighting). The light output was a clean blackbody emission from a plasma heated by RF energy. The wall-plug performance included the AC-RF converter, which fit in less than 1 cubic inch. It was, to say the least, spectacular to see in person. There were problems with lifetime, warm-up and cost. Since I have not seen a GE product, I assume it was eventually shelved.

  50. I purchased several LED lights from Costco, thinking that they were the wave of the future – they immediately started to dim out. Then Costco sent out an email saying that they could be exchanged for other bulbs. These were from Feit. I’m waiting for a better source – I still think LEDs with a color temperature like sunlight would be good, and if they can be dimmed in such a manner as to emulate low level incandescent light, even better. I like the lighting effects of the “Golden Hour.” That time of the day, in the morning and evening when the sun is low and the colors redder.

  51. I am considering some new (at least in the UK) LED 10W standard style bulbs which claim a light temperature of 2700. Not cheap (£28) but I hope they’ll last longer than CFLs (which all claimed to last 5 years plus and died within a few months). Also no noticeable warm up time.

  52. _Jim says:
    “It’s (it was) the HV (High Voltage) rectifier tube (used at that time) that produced the X-rays …”
    Well, not. The electron beam hitting the phosphor on the inside of the CRT produced the x-rays. Color sets were worse. (higher voltage?) Thus the leaded glass. There could be an issue here. A bit of black paper and some photographic film would show it. (does anyone remember photographic film?)
    chris y: GE had a 200 lm/w source? I have doubts about that. Those money grubbers would have paid Congress to mandate it. And charged big $$.
    LED’s may not come down all that much, wafer yield is already rather good. Bigger wafers may help. Assembly costs could come down. Then we’ll get LED lamps from China about as good as their CFL’s. Which is to say NOT. The source matters more than the technology.
    Quantum dots. Any color, high efficiency. Some day we may figure out how to mass produce them.

  53. Retired Engineer says on May 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    _Jim says: “It’s (it was) the HV (High Voltage) rectifier tube (used at that time) that produced the X-rays …”
    Well, not.

    Well, yes; in intensities MUCH above those considered safe.
    We’ll start with an EPA release:

    Some television sets and computer screens contain a cathode ray tube (CRT), which bounces electrons off the screen to create an image. The interaction between the electrons and the screen can potentially create low-level x-rays. CRT displays using vacuum tube high voltage rectifiers or regulators also generate x-rays. Because flat screen televisions and computer screens do not use CRTs, they do not produce x-rays.

    And move on to a earlier-period piece, an article from PopSci circa 1968 courtesy of Google books and detailing how Shunt Regulator tubes were creating STRONG X-rays (in this case, although the high-vacuum, HV rectifiers were capable of creating X-rays in those sets too) in a number of color TV sets.
    And an article in time magazine: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,837185,00.html

    The radiation from the tube, according to the Public Health Service, ranged from ten to 100,000 times more than the rate considered safe.
    Because the radiation was directed downward, P.H.S. officials noted that most viewers would probably not be harmed. But they worried about children sitting on the floor near TV sets placed on tables or shelves. X rays shooting through vents in the bottom of such sets could produce serious eye damage within an hour. Because the effects of X rays are cumulative, many hours of exposure at greater distances from an elevated set could also be dangerous.

    A couple demos using a HV rectifier tubes to intentionally create X-rays:

    An article demonstrating the use of a HV rectifier tube to create X-rays
    http://www.kronjaeger.com/hv-old/xray/intro/index.html
    And since no refutation post is complete without a Wiki ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-ray_tube
    .

  54. Even at 5x life and 70% increased efficiency, $20 for a recessed flood lamp bulb is pretty pricey. There is a long life version from Phillips at about $10, and normal bulbs sell for $2 to $3.

  55. Re George E. Smith on May 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm:
    Hey, I said “the TV news” told me about the “hazardous” lead in the glass. Personally I’m still irritated about the banning of lead from plumbing. They never showed any “high lead levels” that weren’t reduced by just letting the tap run for so many seconds, and those were from letting the water sit in the pipes for long periods undisturbed as the leached amounts built up. Lead in plumbing, not counting lead water pipes, wasn’t a problem. Lead in glass, even less of one.
    The TV news, specifically ABC News (US), on the World News with Diane Sawyer, just got done reporting on the “How long will you live?” new blood test that checks telomere sequence length. Finishing the report, back at the studio, the bubbly correspondent concluded, and Diane was gleefully agreeing, that exercise and meditation can lengthen telomeres.
    Wow, someone alert all the doctors, biomedical researchers, and everyone else who has been working on the issue for decades, seeking scientific methods to do what is universally regarded as (currently) impossible in humans. The TV news has announced the methods already exist. Heck, with meditation you can think your telomeres longer! Dang, I must have missed that press release.
    😉

  56. Re: Retired Engineer, May 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    How about a few scholarly article/research cites on the subject of early color TV sets as a source of X-rays as well?
    IEEE Spectrum magazine, July 1968, Volume: 5 Issue: 7, page(s): 95 – 104.

    Abstract
    When black-and-white television receivers using cathode-ray tubes were introduced to the consumer public, measurements verified that, with the voltages and currents needed for satisfactory pictures, the externally emitted X radiation was indeed negligible.
    Color receivers, with much higher voltages and currents, led to a re-examination of the problem. Again, it was found that proper design could produce a bright picture with negligible radiation.
    In the past two years, however, some unusual events, reported experiments, and surveys involving color receivers have been widely publicized in the lay press resulting in a major controversy with respect to the existence of radiation hazards.
    In an effort to free the subject from political overtones and from what has appeared to some as “sensational journalism,” the National Center for Radiological Health joined the Electronic Industries Association in sponsoring a special measurements conference, reported herein, which represents a first step toward complete examination of the X-radiation problem.

    NIH.gov:
    Radiol Health Data Rep. 1970 Apr;11(4):179-82.
    An investigation of x radiation from color television receivers in Suffolk County, New York.
    Radiol Health Data Rep. 1967 Dec;8(12):675-86.
    X-ray patterns and intensities from high voltage shunt regulator tubes for color television receivers.
    EPA National Library Network :

    Abstract
    This report summarizes visits to color television manufacturers by Bureau of Radiological Health personnel to review the efforts being made in the design of television receivers for the reduction of X-ray emissions.
    The procedures used by the manufacturers for measuring X-radiation from color television receivers and components under plant conditions are discussed.
    Improved components and attention to radiation emission control in design and engineering indicate the television industry could manufacture essentially radiation free and safe products now.

    .

  57. chris y says on May 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm:
    Eric Gisin-” …electrode-less fluorescent that is excited by microwaves,”
    GE R&D was working on this back in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. They developed a white-light gas-filled glass sphere about 1 inch in diameter with wall-plug efficiency of >200 lumens/W

    Striking light; spectral curve almost matches that of the sun!
    http://www.plasma-i.com/sulphur-plasma-light.htm
    Efficiency around 140 lm/W (depending) …
    A demo:

    .

  58. The twisty bulbs made me go screaming into the night, and breaking all kinds of in-city speed limits to BiMart to buy the old-fashioned lightbulb. Why? The twisty bulbs revealed all the gray hair I had in my Irish-red locks.

  59. The various new types of bulbs in practice do NOT last longer than the old incandescents.
    But they sure are more expensive!
    Bring back freedom, bring back democracy!
    Give us incandescents!
    (This is a fully paid advertisement for the plant life of the earth.
    We must have more completely harmless CO2 if we are to feed the growing population of the earth.)

  60. Bah, the electroluminescent exit sign retrofit kit I invented back in the 90’s was 99.4% efficient. Granted, ESL’s are a lot brighter, hopefully their efficiency is improved. 70% isn’t great.

  61. As for ESLs replacing the 65w incandescent flood – humbug. I want to replace the 120w floods now no longer on the market. My 3000 sf basement was designed for them; they keep it warm and bright down there in the winter. As someone with winter blues and migraines, the type of light I bask in is critical.
    Paramount to personal health, however, is personal freedom. Don’t dictate my lightbulb, toilet tank size, and thermostat, thank you. And get the ethanol out of my tank. Our forebears (and betters) rebelled for far less.

  62. The Future of the Light Bulb Ban

    See also:
    http://www.infowars.com/new-eco-fascist-light-bulbs-to-cost-50-each/
    New Eco-fascist Light Bulbs to Cost $50 Each
    Get ready to shell out big bucks for light bulbs. Beginning in January, conventional light bulbs will be outlawed by the state. You will have to buy organic light-emitting diode bulbs that cost $50.
    Compact fluorescents are less expensive, but contain toxic mercury vapor. In 2008, it was discovered that fluorescent bulbs cause migraine headaches.
    “Neurologists are increasingly taking notice of the headaches and migraines being reported by people exposed to compact fluorescent light bulbs,” Mike Adams of Natural News wrote earlier this year, noting that electromagnetic pollution caused by the so-called “energy efficient” bulbs is “causing devastating health effects on some people.”
    Congress passed a law in 2007 outlawing conventional light bulbs and creating a new class of criminals. “Manufacturers will no longer be able to make the 100-watt Thomas Edison bulb after Jan. 1, 2012, followed by the 75-watt version in Jan. 2013, and the the 60- and 40-watt bulbs in Jan. 2014,” a law signed by George W. Bush states. The legislation is similar to laws in Europe, where incandescent bulbs began to be phased out in 2009.
    In response to the government ban, people began stockpiling incandescent light bulbs. About 13% of Americans said they would stock up on 100-watt incandescents and continue using them after they are phased out in January, according to a recent survey.
    “The light bulb ban is also a foretaste of what’s to come as the enforcement arm of the eco-fascist agenda unfolds,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote in February. “As we have documented, enviro-Nazis envisage a future world in which car use will be heavily restricted, CO2 emissions will be rationed, meat will be considered a rare delicacy, the state will decide your career, and only the mega-rich elitists enforcing all these new rules and regulations will be exempt from them.”
    As the economy worsens, the new law may force many people to choose between lighting their homes and eating or paying other necessary utility bills. Replacing more than a couple light bulbs will cost hundreds of dollars.

  63. Francisco says on May 17, 2011 at 6:57 am:
    The Future of the Light Bulb Ban

    +1 (Light bulb hoarding/light bulb black markets)
    .

  64. Nice. So long as it doesn’t leave a mysterious skeletal shadow on the wall behind my recliner, like my old man’s television set did, I’ll use em.

  65. $20 a pop?! Oof!
    If they work well and are liked, the mere fact that they’re more appealing to consumers than CFLs should begin to bring prices down.
    Having Chinese manufacture it though… I don’t know if I’d want it… they might figure out how to put some lead or mercury in it for good old times sake.

  66. I wouldn’t be too hard on the CFLs. A simple warning label will do:
    “Warning: Do not let this product come in contact with your skin. Do not breath the fumes. Do not have children after using this product. Do not buy this product. Do not even read this warning.”

  67. I assume these involve the use of vacuum tubes, you know those things that implode when you drop them.
    Beware of flying glass.

  68. From Neil Jones on May 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm:

    I assume these involve the use of vacuum tubes, you know those things that implode when you drop them.

    The beloved incandescent bulb is also a “vacuum tube.” This is readily shown by using a gas torch with a pinpoint flame to “draw” smiley faces on a bulb, as my father showed me. The glass sucks in when softened. (Does that qualify as the Greens destroying an art form?)
    Note this is best practiced on a dead intact bulb, due to the tendency of a pinhole getting formed if the flame dwells too long at one spot, if you want your final masterpieces to be self-illuminating. ☺

  69. One nifty light bulb I picked up last week is a halogen bulb inside a standard glass bulb and claims to use 75 W to produce the equivalent light output of a 100 W bulb. It certainly does seem bright and I can fit it into my ceiling sockets which are limited to a max of 75 W.
    Thus far I haven’t been overly impressed by LED’s as they are still too dim. I have some 1 watt LED’s outside of the house wired to be always on and they are nice at night — especially the red one on the upper deck that lets me keep my night vision when I do some stargazing.
    WRT the new ESL bulb, I might buy one just to take it apart as I presume it has a HV supply within it. I have some incredibly strong magnets salvaged from 1930’s era chart recorders and would be interesting to see the effects of them on the electron beam. Unfortunately all of the deflection yokes I salvaged from old TV sets were used as a source of wire for winding my own transformers and relays during my childhood.
    What CFL bulbs will do is limit neurophysiology experimentation to daylight hours only. Back in my research days when I used to stick glass microelectrodes into neurons, all of the fluorescent bulbs in the lab would be turned off as they radiate a massive amount of electrical noise. Distant incandescents are far far electrically quieter and easier to filter as their electrical signal is a straight 60 Hz instead of multiple harmonics that one gets from fluorescents. Eventually we ended up constructing a Faraday cage to house the experimental apparatus, but even with a wire mesh cage one could see external electrical noise probably conducted via electrode amplifier wiring (the extracellular signals we were recording were in the tens of microvolts compared to the massive intracellular signals in the millivolt range). I haven’t seen what the electrical noise spectrum is like for LED’s.
    The radiation from CRT’s reminded me of one of the old Amateur Scientist columns in Scientific American; back in the days when there was real science in that magazine. One of the projects was to take a burned out radio tube with a metallic “getter” coating in the top, put an Al foil electrode over the top of the tube and then connect the cathode to a HV power supply. Can’t remember if this was an ignition coil or a flyback transformer. I started to build one but the effects of getting zapped with the HV supply a number of times convinced me to get into lower voltage transistorized circuitry for my electronics experimentation instead. Now that I’m less clumsy than I used to be as age 12, perhaps revisiting this project might be worthwhile. I’m curious if anyone remembers more details about that DIY xray machine which is probably from the 1940’s or 1950’s Amateur scientist section.

  70. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 17, 2011 at 11:58 pm
    From Neil Jones on May 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm: “I assume these involve the use of vacuum tubes, you know those things that implode when you drop them.”
    The beloved incandescent bulb is also a “vacuum tube.”

    Update: Please make a note of the advancement (in 1913) in the state-of-the-art regarding Incandescent light bulb composition/construction for such reasons as:
    Reducing filament evaporation

    One of the problems of the standard electric light bulb is evaporation of the filament. Small variations in resistivity along the filament cause “hot spots” to form at points of higher resistivity; a variation of diameter of only 1% will cause a 25% reduction in service life. The hot spots evaporate faster than the rest of the filament, increasing resistance at that point—a positive feedback that ends in the familiar tiny gap in an otherwise healthy-looking filament.
    Irving Langmuir (1913) found that an inert gas, instead of vacuum, would retard evaporation.
    General service incandescent light bulbs over about 25 watts in rating are now filled with a mixture of mostly argon and some nitrogen, or sometimes krypton. Xenon gas, much more expensive, is used occasionally in small bulbs, such as those for flashlights.

    Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incandescent_light_bulb
    .

  71. An interesting read (for tech geeks appreciative of such history) on Nobel Laureate Dr. Irving Langmuir (1881-1957) and his work on:
    The Gas-Filled Incandescent Lamphttp://home.frognet.net/~ejcov/gasfilled.html
    Several early inventors developed incandescent lamps that contained a gas filling. Those early efforts did not result in truly successful products and the aim of this writing is to comment on the features needed in such a lamp for it to be successful. This can be done by comparing early lamp designs with the later successful design of Irving Langmuir.
    The necessary attributes of an efficient gas-filled lamp can be determined from the work performed by Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir. Langmuir’s biography and technical articles dealing with incandescent lamps are available in Volumes 12 and 2, respectively, of The Collected Works of Irving Langmuir, C. Guy Suits, General Editor, Pergamon Press, New York, 1960.
    In the year 1911 Irving Langmuir began a scientific investigation to understand the effects of the interaction of gases with incandescent filaments.
    Platinum and tungsten filaments were used with gases such as hydrogen, nitrogen and air. Total power loss from a filament was determined to be mainly via radiation and convection. End losses through the lead wires, being rather small, are excluded from discussion here. Radiation losses could be calculated easily but the convection loss needed to be understood.
    The convection loss from a filament was found to be dependent on what Langmuir termed the “shape factor” of the filament as well as the thermal conductivity of the fill gas. Very close to the filament in an ordinary household lamp the heat is conducted away from the filament, just as heat is conducted along a poker in a fire.
    Out away from the filament the heat is than convected away. The region about a filament through which conduction takes place is a few millimeters thick. In the lamp industry this region is referred to as the Langmuir film or sheath. The air flow about a vertically or horizontally oriented filament can be visualized by a schlieren technique.
    It should be mentioned that this boundary layer, through which conduction takes place, is present about any body that is heated relative to the surrounding gas atmosphere. For example, one can sometimes detect the boundary layer and shimmering air flow about a heated furnace when sunlight casts shadows of the furnace on a wall.
    MORE – see link above.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Science … gotta love it …
    .

  72. @ _Jim (May 18, 2011 at 6:51 am and 7:23 am)
    Now we’re just comparing definitions of “vacuum” and “filled.” It’s obvious the bulb interior is at a lower pressure than atmospheric as the softened glass is sucked inwards. And it’s not pressure from the flame jet pushing the glass inward, I’ve done it with a pocket-sized small butane torch.
    Moreover, for very good scientific reasons, you don’t want atmospheric pressure levels inside a normal incandescent bulb. There’s the issue of heat convection away from the heated filament, reducing efficiency, thus lower pressure would be preferred to reduce conduction. Your second link specified a cold fill of 80% of atmospheric, which went to a full atmosphere in use, but that was for the tests of the mentioned researcher. In practice you want lower than atmospheric in a heated bulb. Why? Safety reasons. If broken the lower pressure draws the shards inward. The same bulb made for use at sea level is sold for use on mountaintops, thus would be pressurized at high altitudes if designed for a full atmosphere when used. I have noticed this is true of bulbs in use during outdoors work when a bulb is cracked by thermal stress when a raindrop lands on one. Vapor is seen to enter the bulb through the crack and swirl around, indicating lower than local air pressure inside the bulb, before the filament dies.
    Thus, as I have known from observation, a standard household incandescent bulb is a “vacuum tube,” with a partial vacuum. It is “filled” with specific gases as you have said but at lower than atmospheric pressure, low enough that it is still below atmospheric pressure when heated during use.

  73. I knew that there would be a ban in Norway for incandescent bulbs, thanks to the global warming religious leaders.
    Therefore I calculated how many bulbs I would be needing in my house the next 50 years (thinking that I have less than 50 years to live), based on normal use and experience.
    Then I bought those bulbs and have them stacked in the basement.
    When I tell the socialists at work, they stare at me in disbelief.
    However, soon the Norwegian state police will invade each and every home in order to check that we are only using socialistically inclined light sources.

  74. Geir
    re Norway
    Particularly ironic the ban in Norway – no energy shortage, no emissions, cold conditions etc
    Mirrors the Canadian situation,
    but a 2 year delay on light bulb regulations is now proposed by the Canadian government,
    http://ceolas.net/#li01inx
    .

  75. Wow-this technology has been lurking under our noses for decades. My guess is that little of it is patentable which might be a good thing for consumers.
    VU1 will soak the early-adopters $20 a pop to recoup development costs; all companies do this. Cost should fall rapidly, especially when there is competition.
    X-rays are produced when electrons strike an atom. Light elements produce only “soft” x-rays no matter how hard they’re hit; heavier elements produce “harder” (more energetic) x-rays if they are hit hard enough. That scenario requires the electrons be accelerated by higher voltages. Hard x-rays require more shielding. By the time color TVs were common, the rectifier and regulator tubes were gone, but the voltage applied to the CRT was 3 times higher. I don’t know about the phosphors, but I’d guess the metallic shadow mask in color CRTs produced most of the x-rays that provoked the requirement of lead in the glass. The accelerating voltage in the ESL lamps is probably quite low, but I would hope that someone (UL?) is checking the x-ray emission.
    BTW, most fluorescent and some LED lamps leak UV radiation–so, name your poison–UV or x-rays.
    I have found few applications for CFLs indoors because a) there is a dimmer in the circuit, b) it’s a three-way socket or, c) it just doesn’t fit. Throw in the slow turn-on, high failure rate, poor color rendition, poor power factor, fear of mercury vapor release, disposal hassles, etc. and these things are hard to love. I use ’em in the garage, but I tend to leave them on all day to avoid the warm-up delay so there goes the savings.
    The biggest issue I have with the ESL lamps is that their light is ultimately emitted by phosphors. So the light is only an approximation of black-body radiation and subject to constraints of the costs of the phosphors and their efficiencies. Still, they may be the best of a bad lot.
    One more observation: Where I live in California, electricity may actually be cheaper per BTU than propane. Any energy “wasted” by incandescent lamps during the heating season contributes to keeping me warm. I don’t have an air conditioner, so I’m not spending money to pump away the excess heat from inefficient lighting in the summer. One needs to look at the big picture.

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