In late March, all of the US Home Depot stores began carrying Cree’s new LED light bulbs. While they’re by no means the first such bulbs
to offer the same form factor as standard incandescent bulbs, their combination of a relatively low price and visually-pleasing light quality have got some people – and not just publicists working for Cree – saying that they could be what finally brings LED light bulbs into the mainstream. I recently got a chance to try one out for myself, and I definitely liked what I saw.
Just over a week ago we reported that Philips' 22 W LED light bulb
, designed as a like-for-like replacement of a 100-W incandescent light bulb, was the first LED bulb of its type to receive the stamp of approval from Energy Star. But looking at the Energy Star requirements reported by Philips in its press release, it seemed a little strange that Philips' product is the only one to have been certified – given that products long on the market appear, at face value, to meet those requirements. Since then, Gizmag has spoken to LED light bulb makers Switch Lighting
and other industry players to find out why they're apparently playing catch-up.
Philips has announced that its 22-watt LED lightbulb is the first 100-watt tungsten equivalent bulb to have been awarded Energy Star certification. Often referred to as the A21, which is actually just one of several standard forms for light bulbs that this bulb happens to conform to, Philips' 22-W bulb puts out "nearly" 1,800 lumens for an efficacy of about 82 lumens/watt (lm/W). It's a fine spec, but not too dissimilar to the competition, which raises the question of why Philips' product has been singled out.
Combining the power of smartphones, LED light bulbs, wireless and remote control technology has inspired designers to come up with smart solutions such as LIFX
, Philips’ hue light bulbs
. The Lumen Smart Bulb project, currently raising funds via indiegogo, aims to add one more option to the wireless-enabled LED market, while betting on home entertainment and well-being to score extra points.
Just last month we looked at the LIFX
Wi-Fi enabled, multi-color LED light bulb that could be controlled via a smartphone. With 16 days still to go, the Kickstarter project has exceeded its US$100,000 funding goal 13-fold, suggesting there might just be a market for these things. Looking to claim its own slice of this pie, Philips has just flicked the switch on its own somewhat similar offering called hue.
When it comes to replacing the soon-to-be-obsolete incandescent light bulbs in our homes, LEDs are certainly a good way to go – they’re highly energy-efficient, they last for years, and they emit a nicer quality of light than compact fluorescents. Now, San Francisco-based LIFX Labs has set about making them even more attractive. The company’s new LIFX (pronounced “life-ex”) LED bulbs can be remotely controlled from the user’s smartphone, and
they change color.
It’s a scenario many of us are familiar with: the power goes out and the sole flashlight kept at the bottom of the kitchen drawer has either disappeared, or else been harvested for batteries, leading to much fumbling around in the dark. Portland, OR native Greg Hinzmann aims to prevent this situation by designing a flashlight which is so beautiful that you’ll want to show it off and so have it to hand, should the need arise.
The inclusion of a floating lamp
or just about any appropriately-sized household object
in a room is almost certain to be received with open-mouthed wonder and demand closer inspection from the curious minds of young and old alike. Add the wireless transfer of power into the mix and you're guaranteed to have a winner. Such is the case with 18 year-old Chris Rieger's LevLight. It's not exactly huge, doesn't break any new ground in a technical sense and is more functional than flashy. Nevertheless, the floating LED is quite the visual feast.
Purveyors of fine home automation technology INSTEON claim to be first to market with a "networked remote control dimmable LED light bulb". Compatible with any INSTEON remote control, the bulb can also be paired with INSTEON's free iOS and Android app so that it can be turned on, off, or dimmed, using most contemporary smartphones.
Following Gizmag's coverage of GE Lighting's 27 W Energy Smart
and Switch Lighting's 100 W-replacement
LED light bulbs, Osram Sylvania has been in touch to tell us about its 100 W-replacement LED light bulb, joining its Sylvania Ultra series: a 20 W, 1600 lumen light bulb with a warm, "incandescenty" color appearance of 2700 K. With Philips also to release a 100-W equivalent this means the big three manufacturers of light sources are joining Switch Lighting in offering high-output LED light bulbs for the home, but all things considered, Osram Sylvania's may prove the pick of the bunch.