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World’s first 100 watt equivalent LED replacement bulb


May 17, 2011

Switch Lighting's 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb

Switch Lighting's 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb

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Currently the brightest options for those looking to ditch their incandescent light bulbs in favor of the longer life and more energy efficient LED variety are those equivalent to 60 watt incandescent bulbs, such as the GeoBulb II. Things got a little brighter last month when California-based Switch Lighting announced its 75 watt-equivalent LED bulb and now the company has gone one better with the announcement of what it claims is the world's first 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb.

To solve the problem of LEDs projecting light in only one direction, Switch has mounted outward-facing LEDs on metal fingers. But the real key to the brighter bulb is the company's "City of Light" technology that allows for maximum brightness with fewer LEDs by creating a self-cooling environment inside the bulb. To draw heat away from the LEDs, the bulb dome is filled with a nontoxic liquid that flows out towards the surface of the bulb as it warms. The heat then dissipates evenly over the surface of the bulb and the liquid is then drawn back in to repeat the process.

Switch Lighting says all its LED bulbs offer incandescent quality light and the 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb is no exception. The bulbs are also dimmable and can be mounted in any direction. Additionally, in accordance with the Cradle to Cradle principals, all parts of the bulb can be reused, recycled or reclaimed.

Switch Lighting's Chief Strategy Officer, Brett Sharenow says the company's 100 watt-equivalent A19 bulb produces 1700 lumens in neutral white, which is the same white color as halogen track lighting. Switch Lightbulbs will be available later this year and the company says it will also offer a warm white version of the 100W equivalent bulb in mid- to late-2012.

While no concrete pricing has been announced, Switch Lighting says its LED bulbs will cost much less than existing LED bulbs. A figure of US$20 to $25 for the company's 15.5 watt, 75 watt equivalent bulb is being bandied about, which would see the bulb paying for itself in about a year and is much lower than other LED replacement bulbs currently available.

UPDATE: Switch's 100W e LED bulb consumes 16W with an efficacy of 100 Lumens/Watt. Switch says it has an average lifetime of 20,000 hours and is dimmable from 20 to 100 percent.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Cool design, but I\'d like to know how many watts this uses


100 watts equivalent ,ok. What about real watts?


I want one! No I want 20, unfortunately I am not willing to shell out $500 hard earned dollars to get them.

Paul Anthony

I don\'t get it. All this hoohah about 72 lumens per watt? At $20 per bulb? Regular old electronic ballast fluorescent tubes get 80-100 lumens per watt. Yes that\'s better than 17 l/w from an incandescent, but that\'s not hard to beat. LEDs are good for harsh environments or confined spaces, but not for regular old building lights.


The cooling system is very intreating.

Aj Jensen

Gee Gizmag!! I love u guyz but... what is THAT? Aren\'t ya missing something here? Anybody can build an LED-based bulb that can replace a 100 watt incandescent, the trick is to build one that uses so little power that it is actually worth doing it.

Looking at the company website: for their 60 watt replacement bulb they state \"16 watts\" of power needed to obtain the 60-watt-equivalent light output. Lumens per watt for that product are 75. If the 100-watt-equivalent bulb has a comparable performance, it would consume 21.3 watt to get to that 100-watt-equivalent light output. That is good, but not outstanding. There are conventional compact fluorescents (mercury containing, an thus not very nice) with a comparable efficiency available, and have been for over a decade.

LEDs already on the market exist with a light output of 100 lumens per watt, albeit not in the most desirable wave lengths that people want to light up their living rooms with. Laboratory records have recently gone up to near 200 lumens per watt, but are far from production.

For the time being, people will still buy compact fluorescents if they want to save energy without draining their wallet. Only if they also want to be nice to the earth and not poison their children\'s drinking water supply, they will shell out the four, five, or eight times higher cost to get one of these new LED products.

I hope to see some of these relevant numbers in future Gizmag articles about LED lighting. And yes, I still dearly love you, Mag. My sweet Giz.


You put that isotropic pattern LED in a conventional lamp, and the shade attenuates half the light. I want a lamp that incorporates an LED array effectively, so that I get the light where I want it, without glare or shadows.

James Van Damme

Guys, this is hardly a first. Have a look at the EarthLED EvoLux (http://www.earthled.com/evolux-led-light-bulb.html). For 13 watt you got 100 watt equivalent lighting. We\'ve got a number of these over a year ago and couldn\'t be happier with them.

Mark Burgunder

The picture is so bright I had to put on my sunglasses to look at it! We have come along way sense burning whale oil but there is along way to go. The first goal should be price and then the product. If you could only combine photo illuminating chemicals, florescent and LED at an affordable cost then you will have my full attention.


I made my own LED lamp that runs off 240V. Just string together enough 3.5V very high brightness LED\'s, to run them at about 80% maximum input voltage - bingo = very bright and an interesting project.

Mr Stiffy

Am I the only one here who absolutely HATES the \"light\" these wretched things produce?


my home is already 100% led lighting, a recent PGE energy audit showed my home using less electricity than anyone in my neighborhood (200 homes), and I have two putors running 24/7

Bill Bennett

I want two of them. I have two fixtures in my kitchen in which these \"bulbs\' would look so cool.

Page Schorer

These comments are... ignorant, sorry.

@arf, look at the update, 16W at 100W equivalent

@Paul Anthony, it\'s not 72 l\w, it\'s 100 l/w.

@Mark S Burgunder, When\'s the last time \"The first goal should be price and then the product\" actually worked?? We can dream up prices for the same old products but that won\'t get us anywhere. Were the first computers economical in the least bit? No! 50 years ago billions of dollars were poured into a NASA system that is today\'s equivalent of a $10 scientific calculator. Should the cost have deterred us would still be using paper and ink (GASP). You go after the product first, and then the market drives the cost down should supply and demand reinforce it.

The point is 100 L/w is a new deal and though the cost isn\'t particularly enticing at the moment, it\'s a step in the right direction. If one of you buy this product today for $20, then perhaps two of us will buy it for $15 tomorrow. Then 50 years from now we will have 1000 L/w at $1/watt. The sun is only at 80 lm/w.

Alex Cooper

With all the new research showing that using CFLs is toxic to our health, LEDs will be our only alternative since the EU and the USA are banning safer bulbs. Nice to know that new brighter bulbs will be available. Wish they weren\'t so expensive.


The subject should not be lumens, but Big Brother making our decisions. The question for me to save or spend on light bulbs is my right to decide for myself and my family....not the gov\'t\'s. Gov\'t agencies have knowingly distorted issues facing us...what makes this issue any different? Congress needs to rescind their very stupid light bulb ban and let the market place determine good, bad or indifferent light bulbs.

Jess Atwell

What about real watts? What about color reproduction? This Switch100 bulb has CRI 65 - it\'s just terrible...

Mark S Burgunder : Have a look at the EarthLED EvoLux For 13 watt you got 100 watt equivalent lighting. BS detected. from the EarthLED EvoLux specs. : \"Luminous Flux: 650(Cool White), 500 (Warm White)\" [lm] regular 100W incandescent light bulb : 1700 lm Why, yes... sure, you can replace your 100W bulbs with it. If you\'re ok with 1/3 of the previous light level.


Alex, the wattage update wasn't there when I made my comment.


@Alex Cooper What are you talking about, and why are you calling me ingnorant???

Paul Anthony

\"Regular old electronic ballast fluorescent tubes get 80-100 lumens per watt. \"

Yes, but the ballast also consumes some power. Tubes are not convenient in most homes. The bulb in this article looks economical @ 100 Lu/W and good cooling features...if it sells for $20. The color temp of this bulb replacement may not fit the taste of most people, but can be adjusted to look \"warmer\" at some loss of efficiency.

In truth though, a replacement bulb format is not the best way to use LEDs and take advantage of of their small light source which can be directed where one wants the light. Whole new fixtures designed for easy cooling will work best. But this is a giant step up compared to the 60 W equivalents that now sell for $50. And can be dimmed...not true for CFL or tube fluorescents.


For those who are asking the question why is this better than CF bulb? It produced roughly the same lumens per watt and LED lights do not burn out from being switched on/off as quickly as CF bulbs.

The Mythbusters episode where they busted \"leave the light on\" the last test was on/off cycles until burn out. The LED bulbs outlasted the all the other bulbs by thousands of switches. This thing while it appears expensive because of its high up front cost is actually cheaper than either incandescent or CF bulbs due to the 11 year thousands of on/ff cycles life span. If they do not the manufacturer needs to list the number of bulbs of other types it is equal to on average.

As to why they are making a replacement over a better form factor. Just look around your house and count the number of screw sockets in your house. Most folks have them in large numbers and are unwilling to replace all the fixtures in the home to use a different form factor.


Jess Atwell you have hit the nail unerringly on the head.

I don\'t need/want the government (aka. a bunch of idiots assigned to represent us), deciding what I need to buy or not. Let me buy my standard incandescent lightbulbs until there is a viable alternative. CFLs put out horrible light and they take a while to come to full dullness, they also burn out way before the advertised number of hours... often.

LEDs Yay! the future is here, give me some now.

I calculated the replacement cost for my home was over $2300. Probably more than most would spend. More than I would anyway. I bought a few though.

One burned out after a few months and I didn\'t take the time to calculate but I am sure that is nowhere near 50,000 hours! Ha.

If there was a warranty with them that would replace them at a nominal cost if they burn out before the alleged high number they are supposed to last that would be great, at least until the costs come down to a reasonable price for NOT BILL GATES.

I have incandescents in my home that are over 8 years old.

Dr. Veritas

I live in Manitoba, Canada. As such, I must endure several months of the year when the temperature is at least -20 C (and often much, much colder). Compact fluorescents do not work at these temperatures - or at least do not provide any real light. So I don\'t mind if it takes a quarter of the electricity to create 100 watts of light. And I certainly don\'t mind paying $20 for a bulb which will last 20,000 hours. It\'s all a matter of perspective, I guess.

Christopher Porozny

Wired Mag did a good review of the state of lightbulbs. They loved the Switch bulbs. Might want to check it out. http://www.wired.com/magazine/19-09


@ Aj Jensen

We will never get 1000lm/W white light.

The best that can be gotten - by definition - is 555lm/W - and this is with pure green - to which the eye is most sensitive.

The amount of lumens you can theoretically get per watt varies between perhaps 100 and 350.

This is with light that varies between \'Cannot in any circumstances be told from sunlight by the naked eye\' to \'There isn\'t really a name for that colour other than white, but it\'s really, really not\'.

For the latter case, the highest output per watt LEDs are pretty much doing around 30% of that now, which is pretty astounding considering that over the last decade that\'s risen from 3%.

Roger Black

sadly 20,000 hours is the deal killer for me.

unless its dirt cheap I won\'t touch an LED that is less than 50,000 hours. (and I have some pushing past that mark now)

I try to only use 1watt LED\'s (more efficient lumens per watt 85-95) and easier to dissipate the unwanted damaging heat.

I simply keep \"adding\" led\'s until I reach the desired \"brightness\"

I have about half my house converted to LED\'s and its BRIGHTER than it was before.

My kitchen went from 80 watts (2x 40watt FL Tubes) to 15 watts (6 x 2.5watt LED)

when I have the cash I will install 6 more of those 2.5 watt and then use a variac to cut the power until its same brightness as 6 at full power.

triple the lifespan and increase the lumen/watt efficiency.

in the bathroom I use 6 1.5 watt LED bulbs. (down from 4 13watt CFL\'s) ie 9 watts.

7.5 now since everyeone complained 6 was too bright so I removed 1 and use 5 now.

I use vanity bulb fixtures so 100% of the light is utilized.

are those 5 1.5 watt led bulbs as bright as 4 13watt CFL\'s ? heck no. but I get more light \"out of them\" than I did from the CFL\'s by the time they filtered through their fixtures.

I lit the cove at our front door with 2.7 watts (3x .9 watt led\'s) and its VERY bright.

I only do warm white. I simply do not like cold white.

for christmas I have been all LED for over 10 years. I have over 10 year old LED strings that still work to this day.

I put up over 3000 LED typically for under 225 watts. (I really go overboard with it when I am in the mood)

I LOVE LED\'s I just found some cheap LED\'s for $4 a pop on ebay recently. the lumens per watt is pretty dismal but they appear to be holding up nicely for now and produce \"enough\" light to do the job asked of them.

I don\'t like the ecolux bulbs because they use a fan which WILL become the failure point for those bulbs in my estimation.

the 50,000 hours is nice though. its my minimum any less and it either has to be dirt cheap or I am not interested at all.

Chris Taylor

To the guy who thinks $500 for 20 lamps is much:

The lamp uses 16W instead of 100W. You save 84W from 1 lamp. In 1 hour you save 0.084KWh. The cost of 1KWh is 0.15$ (Greece).

Therefore, for 20 lamps you save: -- 0.25 $ in 1hour -- 2 $ in 1 day (8-hour use) -- 60 $ in 1 month -- 500 $ in less than 8 months

If you know another investment where you get your capital back in 8 months, please let me know...


One of the assets of the LED is that it is usually shock proof and dropping it is not much of a concern. These lights undo that advantage. I sure don\'t want mineral oil all over the floor or whatever is in that thing.

20,000 hours is not sufficient, we need 100,000 hours.

LEDs can\'t \"pay for themselves\" if they are too expensive and people steel them from my porch as has happened 3 times already.

100 lumens per Watt is just not enough. This needs to reach and exceed 200.

I think ultraviolet laser diode-phosphor is probably the future.

Random thought: in the winter it really does not mater what the efficiency is if the room is going to be warmed anyway as the \"wasted\" energy is just heat anyway. In the summer however, it can make a big difference as the heat from lights may have to be removed by the air conditioner which is not efficient either.


I think the hang up on price happens because you folks are late adopters to CFL bulbs, used to grocery store prices. I bought my first CFL bulbs at $16 each for 60 watt equivalency, they were huge and sometimes hummed. They still work today (20 years later), unlike the \"new\" cfl bulbs available for a few bucks that don\'t last as long as advertised! The Mercury scare surrounding CFL bulbs is more emotional than factual, created by folks who resist change. There is more mercury still in your flu vaccine or your \"silver\" tooth fillings. Don\'t see old folks complaining about their teeth as much as their lightbulbs!

Dave Beachler

At 20,000 hours it should be priced at $5.

Facebook User

Yes christopher your the only one who hates the way they look so stop staring at them. Besides that this is the best discussion ever in Gizmag.

The Hoff

From all of the comments I have read it is possible that 'roll your own' led lighting might be a good way to go. For the best price and assortment for LEDS, find a manufacturer's outlet. We The People are ingenious. Power a few through a transformer such as a battery charger and they don't have to be clumped together like a bulb. Good luck out there. For all of you who don't know your stuff, find a friend who does.

Charles Samek

I noticed that very few lighting people have read the blog over at Solid State Technology magazine that Lester the Lightbulb was most certainly framed:



The statement “100,000 hours of LED luminaire lifetime” is gradually giving way to the realization that there is little consistency, very little published data, and few hard facts around so-called luminaire lifetime numbers...sometimes only lumen depreciation...of the LEDs is considered in estimating useful life of the luminaire product...a problem, since failure or degradation of drivers, optics, or other components can lead to total failure. Like other parts of the lighting system, the devices and components used to convert line power to direct current suitable to drive and control LEDs affect lifetime and reliability. Capacitors, inductors, transformers, opto-isolators, and other electrical components all have different design lifetimes, are affected by operating and ambient temperature, and are vulnerable to electrical operating parameter variations from surges, spikes, and so forth. An effective LED system-reliability evaluation must take all of these aspects into consideration... Additional information that should be readily available to the purchaser, although not on the label itself, should include maximum ambient temperature of operation to achieve this depreciation performance, the number of hours actually tested on which the projection is based, and the type of projection...”

Conclusions: (1) The CFL and LED technologies, while they will certainly use less energy, are much more complex and simple volume scaling will not take them to the cost of an incandescent bulb. (2) Are all the components on the PCBs really rated for 7.3 let alone 23 years use ? That’s longer than the ATandT telecom standards ! I am not convinced that anyone has determined whether all the passive components currently used on these devices will last that long and if they don’t, it will not matter if the bulb was outputting 800 lumens at the time that the bulb failed. As we all know, a device is only as good as its weakest component. (3) Savings are tied to two main variables: (a) cost of power and (b) lifetime of weakest component. Increased price of energy makes them look better and failure of any of the components in the bulb will make their relative price increase significantly. For instance if a capacitor fails on the LED bulb after 4 years the new cost would be $12.80 / yr or double the cost of an incandescent. In fact the LED bulb needs to last 9 years to be equal to the cost of the incandescent. (4) Since the CFLs will cost more than 7X less than the LEDs most families, when faced with changing > 20 bulbs per household in the period of a year, will move to CFLs. Changing 4B bulbs to CFLs in a year will increase the mercury released to the environment by ~ 20,000 Kg with much of this concentrated in the urban areas where our population is concentrated. (5) IFTLE predicts that theft of light bulbs from public places will increase significantly in the future !

Steven Evers

Just read another article that says the NanoLight Ltd released a new LED bulb (NanoLight) that's a true 100W replacement (1600+ lumens/watt), lasts 30,000 hours and consumes only 12W of electricity with no heatsink. Looks like this one's got some competition. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/619878070/nanolight-the-worlds-most-energy-efficient-lightbu?ref=category


Please can you check if the new Philips lamp and Switch meets all of the required standards and in particular if it passes EMC regulations.

in terms of operation, what is the proven degragation at 70% of its life and how long do they state it will last.

Thank you for the article


LED lighting is win win for me. Fluorescent lighting gives me horrible headaches, due to the flickering, and I cant really work in an office any more - not a great thing for a computer programmer. I really look forward to the day that fluorescents and CFLs are no more.

Jim Dunstan

The Edison base and 120 volt AC power to make light, is so last millennium! LEDs are DC devices and should be wired as such. Check out the New way of doing things, Lumen Cache "Micro Grid Technology"!

Peter Puky

Moser baer 7W Cool White LED Bulb is really amazing product with best lightening features. It has all such features which one want and is even durable and can be be used for long time. No way to bring any chnage.

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