Someone once said that the only constant in the universe is change. I think it might have been Einstein? Be that as it may, one of the changes we’ll all be seeing in the very near future is the death of the incandescent light bulb.As part of the US Clean Energy bill passed in 2007, certain wattages of incandescent bulbs, the ones we’ve used for years, will no longer be available for purchase beginning January 2012. In Europe they started banning the bulb before we before we did. Australia began doing it back in 2007.In the bill there’re many exceptions to the ban and the bulbs to be eliminated will be phased in by wattage category. Checkout this website for some detailed information http://members.misty.com/don/incban.html.The lighting industry has been gearing up for this transition over the last few years in a big way. We’re all now pretty familiar with the compact fluorescent light bulb (C.F.L.) and their energy savings and longer life. But did you know, that there is another technology coming along that may put C.F.L.’s in the shade?If you walk around the lighting section of your favorite big box or home improvement store you’ll a selection of solar powered LED walkway lights. These are about a foot long and can be stuck in the ground like a stake. General Electric Corporation has just taken a quantum leap in the use of LED’s for in home lighting. GE has come up with a LED 40W equivalent light bulb that that will last 17 years if used four hours a day. That is 25,000 hours. This is 25 times longer that a 40W incandescent and three times longer than a standard CFL.It will deliver the same amount of light as a 40W incandescent bulb or ten watt CFL while only using nine watts of power. This LED bulb is ‘instant on’ just like the incandescent bulbs. The bulb contains no mercury like CFL’s, is cooler to the touch than CFL’s and of course has no filament to break. Looking at the longevity of these bulbs from a different angle, if you put one of these bulbs in the room of a child you had today it would last until high school graduation.This bulb looks similar to an incandescent bulb but it sits in a small holder with eight little fins evenly arranged around the bulb. The fins defuse the light so that it radiates evenly. Follow this link for a picture and more details http://www.pcworld.com/article/194324/ge_develops_led_light_bulb_that_lasts_1…. GE is planning to have these LED bulbs on store selves by late 2010 or early 2011.With new technologies I’m always one to ask what’s the downside? These new bulbs are slated to cost $40 to $50 each and now only come in the 40W size. I don’t think this high price will last too long. If you remember when personal computers first came out they cost a bundle but as economies of scale and competition kicked in the prices dropped considerably and a lot more features were added.
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