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USS Enterprise-like flat LED light bulb could end up selling for $3

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September 6, 2013

A rendering of NliteN’s disk-shaped 2D-Lite

A rendering of NliteN’s disk-shaped 2D-Lite

Image Gallery (2 images)

Not long ago, we took a look at Cree’s new LED light bulbs. At US$12.97 a pop, the 60-watt-equivalent model sounded like a pretty good deal. If NliteN’s disk-shaped 2D-Lite reaches production, however, it could make the Cree product look downright expensive. Initially slated to sell for $10, the dimmable 60-watt-equivalent "800 lumen-class" bulb is planned to drop to $6 by 2015, and to $3 by 2017.

Despite its rather unique appearance, the 2D-Lite has the same profile as a much more power-hungry and short-lived standard incandescent bulb, and can be screwed into a traditional fixture.

Instead of the arrays of LEDs used in other LED light bulbs, it has just two, arranged back-to-back on either side of the disk. The design of the 2D-Lite reportedly allows them to act as the originating points of what ends up as an ominidirectional light source. As the bulb’s inventor Andy Turudic tells us, however, less LEDs aren’t the only reason for the planned low price.

"It's 'just' a circuit board," he says. "We use automation and surface mount components – same technology that cranks out hundreds of millions of smartphones. No hand soldering, no die casting of aluminum. In fact there is no screw cap to solder on either. Just surface mount components, even the lenses run on the surface mount line."

Turudic goes on to explain that the 2D-Lite also doesn’t require a separate heat sink, as the copper foil of the circuit board (which is the base material of the disk) serves the same heat-dissipating service.

"The surface area of that disk is about the same as the newer Philips [LED] bulbs, so thermals are equivalent or better, especially considering the LEDs are mounted directly onto the copper foil of that disk,” he says. “The circuit board technology is repurposed from the military, with a special technique to make it consumer price friendly so we don't wind up building the proverbial $400 hammer. It all comes together nicely and gets rid of about 20 to 25 percent of a bulb's parts and labor."

Plans call for the 2D-Lite to be available in a variety of color temperatures, although 3000K and 4000K (“warm white” and “cool white”) models will be the first out of the gate.

Andy and his team are currently raising production funds, on Indiegogo. Despite the estimated retail price of $10, a $20 pledge is required to get yourself one of the first 2D-Lites (assuming the funding goal is met). That money will also help finance Turudic's plan for getting the bulbs into the homes of people in developing nations.

We're just not quite sure whether "800 lumen-class" means the bulb has an output above 800 lumens, around 800 lumens, or something else.

Source: Indiegogo

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
8 Comments

Holy ...! I just looked over their Indiegogo posting and, gee, does this thing stand out. In a bad way, that is.

This is *The Worst Agglomeration* of 100% meat-free blah-blah with switching fonts and randomly copied-and-pasted logos and pictures I have had the bad luck of looking at. Ever.

Any word about the wattage of the appliance that is being offered (and, amazingly, ordered already, by some people)? Uh, nope.

But they sure know how to make someone's head spin. Whoever put this up might qualify for a good standard politician, but hell no, I *so* would not buy even a single one of these bulbs. Not in this stage. Not without all that basic information missing. They probably haven't even started to read up about international standards, which will give them hellish trouble with this -admittedly neat- design idea.

But that's about all this is: a neat design idea. Keep working on it, but take it down from Indiegogo until you got something to show for.

BeWalt
8th September, 2013 @ 04:31 pm PDT

Indiegogo's HTML editor is very buggy and has a mind of its own.Getting words to stay on a page without being eaten is a challenge in itself.

I think you missed that it's entered in a design contest by Philips. Contests have entry start and entry deadlines and they'll rarely coincide with anyone's project plans unless they get really really lucky. Take a look at the other projects in that contest and you'll get an idea of where it is relative to the others.

I think you missed that the "wattage" (there's no such word) is stated as percentages of the incandescent and CFL. It's there, just that you missed it. Lumens are there. Some of the press coverage provides a lot more detail.

Most of all, I think you missed that the page states a demo video date.

After all, the campaign is 60 days, and it has 56 days left as I am typing this, with over $1800 raised.. Yes, those are brave earlybird souls, or perhaps people who believe in the vision stated in the campaign.

It's actually sad that the crowdfunding sites have turned into a Sharper Image - people selling finished products with zero creativity or development needed to vain tehno-grabbers. The entire point was to fund creative ideas and projects, not to buy stuff that's ready to ship, wasn't it?

I think it's nifty. If anything, it'll give the manufacturers currently on the Home Depot shelves fits, which is good for everyone. Especially when we could see those for $5 or less if the utilities buy into the patent pending load shedding grid management scheme.

solutions4circuits
9th September, 2013 @ 12:35 am PDT

Is it just me or does that diagram show the entire shield as being electrically live?

Also, these things here are being shipped, any chance of a review?

http://www.gizmag.com/nanolight-worlds-most-efficient-light-bulb/25674/

Tony Smale
9th September, 2013 @ 01:35 am PDT

next time you read something BeWalt, do it good.

It states in this text "the dimmable 60-watt-equivalent "800 lumen-class"" so the wattage IS THERE

What worries me most is the green bars on each side. Are these realy the contacts to get the current into the bulb.

I wonder who's gonne die today using this device

Vincent Bevort
9th September, 2013 @ 03:23 am PDT

Except that it isn't. Describing an LED light bulb as a 60-watt equivalent is saying it has similar light output to a 60 W incandescent light bulb. It tells you nothing about the bulb's power consumption. And, as the article notes, 800-lumen class is a far from clear statement. To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a "lumen class." If this thing emits 800 lumens, they should make that plain. Speaking as a former lighting designer, I wouldn't buy a bulb if I didn't know the exact lumen output and power consumption as a minimum. And terms like "equivalent" are just too fuzzy and open to abuse to accept as a statement of output. That's how CFLs ended up with a bad rep...

James Holloway
9th September, 2013 @ 03:59 am PDT

@James Holloway - I'm not sure if they updated the page since you read it but the indiegogo site states: "The flat 2D-Light LED "Disk" screws into a standard "E26" 60-W light socket and reduces energy consumption by about 80% over incandescent, and 30% over CFL, bulbs."

So a 60w incandescent bulb is named after the watts it consumes. 20% of 60w is 12w. This bulb will burn ~12 watts. I agree about the lumens though. They need a hard number as there is no such thing as a lumens class. That may be due to the bulb not having been manufactured yet. All I see for the bulb is renderings not prototypes or anything physical.

@Tony Smale - That green strip you see is the circuit board. By nature a circuit board it non-conductive unless they deliberately place conductive material on it. Since the designers are not electricity newbs I doubt the entire thing will be conductive only the portions that need to be like the screw thread grooves. The heat dissipating shield will certainly be metalic but will not be connected to the live part of the "bulb".

VirtualGathis
9th September, 2013 @ 07:17 am PDT

There's a big reason why other LEDs have such big aluminum heat sinks. Without getting the heat out, your bulb is gonna die early. Using a copper spreader works, but copper is much more expensive than aluminum. You need surface area for convection. Having less LEDs means they have the heat more concentrated, which is not so good.

All the blah-blah-blah about power supply voltage and how it interferes with generators is a joke. Lots of cost questions remain, also. I didn't see any details about the electronics, so probably a standard design. Nothing much new here, except for the PR campaign.

I would rather see purpose-built light fixtures which maximize the light where you want it, instead of attenuating it with lamp shades which was necessary with your average incandescent table light, to prevent glare. That's the old way of thinking.

Captain Obvious
9th September, 2013 @ 07:56 am PDT

@captain obvious: basic math, sorry this throws a wrench into your LED business

disk area = 2*pi*radius*radius

heat sink area of current crop of LED bulbs = pi*height* average diameter

You'll find the the disks and LED bulbs are very similarly sized

The LEDs run within rated temperatures - they are directly on COPPER, not a CONTORTED ALUMINUM path. For the same surface area, they will run COOLER as a result

As far as the voltages and currents, suggest you take a high school electric shop class to teach you how that works in relation to power. There's no BS, it's all sound engineering

There is no "old way of thinking", there's "what the customers want thinking", not "tell them what to do thinking", which the LED industry is full of. As far as lamp shades go, that IS where the consumer wants the light to be - evenly dispersed on its surface - sorry your led luminaire products can't do that due to their inherent directionality. .

@james: there's no magic in any LED bulb. "Warmer" LEDs have lower efficacy than cooler ones. Several "warmths" of disks are being offered. They are collectively referred to as "class", which differentiates them from the 600 and 400 lumen Chinese garbage that calls themselves "60W-compatible". The 800 lumen class have more or less 800 lumens, depending on color temperature. Just as 60W incandescents themselves are 800 lumen class bulbs with variations in lumen output for various reasons, including bulb lifetime.

@VirtualGathis: informative post.. You are correct. The green is INSULATION, there are heavy copper traces in that area only, The disks have a surge protector built in - most "bulbs" do not. The disks are electrically isolated. A lot of the 2D-Lite Led Disk's competitors are, ironically, playing their Thomas Edison electrocute-the-elephant, because I have nothing else, cards.

solutions4circuits
10th September, 2013 @ 11:40 pm PDT
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