Monday, September 14, 2009

At last, an LED bulb worth talking about

Other LEDs disappoint, but the new bulb from Philips has the power to drag low-carbon spotlights out of the shadows


I've tried everything to resist but I'm afraid this post is going to start with a cliche: I've seen the light. The shadows have receded. You get my drift. Last week incandescent lightbulbs began their long-awaited march out of existence and, at the same time, the next generation of ultra-low-power lightbulb has come a step closer to practicality.

I'm not talking about the compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) that everyone is busy replacing their energy-wasting incandescents with. Instead, I mean the bulb that is one technological step beyond CFL, the LED. Until now, LEDs have been a disappointment for everyday use but Philips has come up with a new bulb that will hopefully make the doubters shut up.

As part of my plans to green my house and, in preparation for the departure of the age of the incandescent bulb, I've been researching the best way to replace the lights in my home with low-energy alternatives. Some would say I've been quite boring and obsessive about this – but never let it be said that I'd let this research go to waste. …

This month, Philips unveiled its new range of LED bulbs. I was sceptical that they'd be any better than the several I had tried already but, well, something has definitely changed in this technology. The 3W Econic spotlight is a direct replacement for the ubiquitous 35W halogen bulb and claims to have the same light output. When I tried it out, I found that Philips wasn't exaggerating. This is brighter than any other LED I've come across. Putting two in our small shower room, after a while I forgot that the bulbs were not halogens. …

At last, an LED bulb worth talking about

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Hank Roberts said...

Let us know if you notice any change in your sleepiness in the evening (tho' if you've been using halogen or fluorescent, it probably won't make a difference).

Janet Raloff did a good article on blue light and sleep a while back; it's rolled off the Science News page but you can find it by searching. Try"science+news"+"blue+light"

Jim said...

Hi Hank, Jim Galasyn here. I'd better do something with my blog design to make it clearer when I'm blockquoting -- that's the Guardian's Green Living blog that I'm fair-using in this post.

But thanks for the Raloff story and for dropping by. I had no idea blue light had this effect.