New Eco light bulbs

oliver General, Technology/ Energy Saving

The world of low energy lighting seems to move at, well, the speed of light I guess, so its pretty tricky to keep up to date with whats going on. No sooner have you specified your new super bright LED down lighters and they are yesterdays news.

So here a few newcomers to the low energy lighting market place.

First up is the sculptural Plumen compact fluorescent bulb designed by Samuel Wilkinson, which has been winning fans and awards left right and centre. It seems pretty surprising that it’s taken this long for designers to get on board and put illumination, styling and efficiency together. As they say “Glass tubes can be bent in many different shapes so why are there thousands of manufacturers but only three designs?” Plumen aims to address the problem. The bulb is designed to be left “naked” so without a shade, but I think it would also add to many a luminaire. At £19.95 it’s not cheap for a bulb but it will last 8 times longer,  save you 80% on your energy use than a conventional bulb, and is set to become a design classic.

However there are issues with CFL such as they contain small amounts of mercury which can be lost into soil and water at the end of the bulbs life, plus they can take a little while to warm up, and for that reason along many people don’t like them.  So perhaps they are a short term stop gap before a new generation of bulbs are to be found?

Another new kid (well light bulb) on the block is the 17 watt LED (light emitting diode) Phillips Endura LED A21.

It’s a replacement for the 75-watt incandescent light – not that I think I have ever owned a 75 watt bulb?!. It consumes 80 percent less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and lasts around 25 times longer, again cost of buying one is again likely to be a barrier over traditional bulbs, perhaps we all just need to start thinking long term savings not short term costs?

Many new bulbs seem to be a mere shadow to the flexibility of our dearly beloved tungsten bulbs but this new Sharp A19 lamp has a separate dimmer module which can also change the colour temperature so you can create exactly the brightness and shade of warm white that you are after.

For those of us who will still love the sharp shadows created by clear tungsten bulbs take a look at the Panasonic LDAHV4L27CG which has a single filament and a clear cover yet uses just 4.4 watts and lasts 40,000 hours. They are great for creating shadows and casting clean light through chandeliers so i think lighting designers will love them.

But talking about crystals, if I were to gaze into my crystal ball, the brightest future is likely to be in Organic LED’s or OLEDS these  are composed of thin films of organic molecules that create light with the application of electricity. They are more flexible in application, less prone to breaking and are also mercury free…….. But don’t get too excited just yet as the transparent and color-turnable OLEDs will be here within 3-5 years,  for the flexible ones it might take up to 5-8 years. boooo! In the mean time here are few designed by Tom Dixon in association with Phillips.

More sustainable lighting solutions are arriving into our homes all the time, creating brighter, longer lasting more efficient solutions, the future as they say, really is bright.