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Power Science

GE Announces Advancement in Incandescent Technology 619

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the never-underestimate-ingenuity dept.
finfife writes to tell us that GE has announced an advancement in incandescent technology that promises to increase the efficiency of lightbulbs to put them on par with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). "The new high efficiency incandescent (HEI(TM)) lamp, which incorporates innovative new materials being developed in partnership by GE's Lighting division, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and GE's Global Research Center, headquartered in Niskayuna, NY, would replace traditional 40- to 100-Watt household incandescent light bulbs, the most popular lamp type used by consumers today. The new technology could be expanded to all other incandescent types as well. The target for these bulbs at initial production is to be nearly twice as efficient, at 30 lumens-per-Watt, as current incandescent bulbs. Ultimately the high efficiency lamp (HEI) technology is expected to be about four times as efficient as current incandescent bulbs and comparable to CFL bulbs. Adoption of new technology could lead to greenhouse gas emission reductions of up to 40 million tons of CO2 in the U.S. and up to 50 million tons in the EU if the entire installed base of traditional incandescent bulbs was replaced with HEI lamps."The California legislature may want to revisit the wording of their proposed ban on incandescents (AB 722). How about mandating a level of efficiency rather than assuming that innovation can't happen?"
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GE Announces Advancement in Incandescent Technology

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  • There are times (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:43PM (#18158110)
    There are times when you *need* incandescent lighting, photography for one. Fluorescent is not suitable in all cases. And initial costs of fluorescents are more because you need the ballast etc.

    The fact that these lawmakers don't understand enough of the technology to make it workable really gets on my chimes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "The fact that these lawmakers don't understand enough of the technology to make it workable really gets on my chimes."

      Wait... are we talking lightbulbs or doorbells here??
      • Re:There are times (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907) on Monday February 26, 2007 @08:10PM (#18160902) Homepage
        What gets on MY chimes is the fact that the politicians are considering laws banning incandescents and moving towards CFBs... and, suddenly, GE announces a "new" technology that will let incandescents be just as efficient.

        I mean, I'm not putting on my tinfoil hat just yet, but the timing here seems to be more than coincidental. Just how long has GE been "researching" this technology?
        • Re:There are times (Score:5, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209) on Monday February 26, 2007 @08:38PM (#18161176)
          Even if they *weren't* researching this for the past 100 years, it sure shows how stagnant a business can be until competition spurs it on.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Recent, name-brand CFLs have mostly acceptable color rendition. Where you will notice their shortcomings is with deep red objects, like red velvet. These usually appear as brown or magenta under triphosphor CFLs, because there is simply no real red in the spectrum.

      Now, there are halophosphate and mixed halophosphate/triphosphor lamps which achieve > 90 CRI, but they trade off brightness. Chroma 50 tubes come to mind.

      People like to mention LEDs as a solution. They're great for low-intensity lighting, but
    • Re:There are times (Score:4, Insightful)

      by valathax (916966) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:54PM (#18159986)
      In understand that this is slashdot, and therefore RTFA isn't required, so here is the relevent section from the link:

      "(3) A general service incandescent lamp does not include an appliance lamp, black light lamp, bug lamp, colored lamp, enhanced spectrum lamp, infrared lamp, left-hand tread lamp, marine lamp, marine signal service lamp, mine service lamp, plant light, reflector lamp, rough service lamp, shatter resistant lamp, sign service lamp, silver bowl lamp, showcase lamp, three-way lamp, traffic signal lamp, or vibration service or vibration resistant lamp."

      It would be difficult putting a compact fluorescent in an oven and have it work normally after using the oven.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by adpowers (153922)
        traffic signal lamp

        Why would you want to use an incandescent light in this? I think a lot of cities are switching to LED lamps here because they use much less power and last longer (so they don't need to send out expensive crews as often).
    • by Jake73 (306340) on Monday February 26, 2007 @10:24PM (#18162284) Homepage
      I replaced the bulb in my EZ-Bake oven with an LED one. It took 3 days to cook the first brownie.
  • by SECProto (790283) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:44PM (#18158122)
    Now, people may get another option in lighting. CFLs cause an annoying flashing in the corners of mine, and other peoples, eyes. Not to mention, some people like the "warm" yellow colour of common incandescents. Could be an intriguing development of lighting technologies.
    • by Paulrothrock (685079) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:49PM (#18158196) Homepage Journal

      If you're not getting "warm" colors from CFL bulbs, you're probably using older bulbs. The flickering also points to this. My wife can't stand CRT monitors at 75Hz, but she hasn't complained about our CFL bulbs flickering. She's also got insanely good hearing and doesn't hear them buzz.

      This is like the complaint people have with diesel engines. Yeah, the first diesels in the US were smokey and loud and slow, but new ones are virtually indistinguishable from gas engines and use 50% less fuel or more. Yet, people still avoid them because they don't want a "noisy, smokey, slow diesel car."

      • by Pojut (1027544)
        I'll give you that they aren't smokey and slow. But I'm sorry, youa re dead wrong: a Diesel Engine is WAY louder than a gas engine. Why?

        Can you say 18:1 compression?
    • by danpat (119101) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:52PM (#18158236) Homepage
      Have you tried any of the newer CFL's with non-magnetic ballasts? The oscilation frequency is now much higher, beyond what the human
      eye can typically perceive.

      Also, CFL's come in a range of color temperatures, some of which match "warm yellow" from traditional incandescents. They're not all "hard white".

      A quick reference: http://medfordcan.home.comcast.net/Myths.html [comcast.net]
      • Nice press release. Could this be low-pressure sodium vaporware?
        • by goodmanj (234846)
          Also, according to this site [lamptech.co.uk] (which manufactures low-pressure sodium lamps) doubling the efficiency of traditional incandescents to 30 lumens/watt would leave them less efficient than halogens and LEDs, and still far, far short of fluorescents.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by finarfinjge (612748)
        I'm not sure what the human eye can perceive, but my wife's migraines went away when we ditched our CFL's. And yes, they were the newer "not flickering" type. Interesting link. Looks like advocacy rather than information to me. Not as bad as a wikipedia ref, but almost.

        Cheers
        JE
  • Curious timing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oskay (932940) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:46PM (#18158150) Homepage
    I wonder how long they've been sitting on this!
  • When and where? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by edmicman (830206) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:47PM (#18158154) Homepage Journal
    Sounds good and all, but when is this new stuff going to be at stores? If it's going to take 1-2 years before we see anything at the stores, won't CFL technology in turn have improved that much more by then?
    • by AaronW (33736)
      According to TFA the new bulbs won't be available until 2010 and who knows how long for the 4x efficient bulbs (which is still a bit less than a decent CFL).
      -Aaron
  • by nweaver (113078) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:48PM (#18158166) Homepage
    Here's why. These are INCANDESCENTs. Glowing filliments. You can try to reduce the radiation in the UV and IR, but you aren't going to get rid of it. Running hotter (the Halogen way) ups the UV content which gets filtered out or flouresced down (and if you have a flourescent coating, why not just have a compact flourescent).

    This is mostly a Political Marketing statement, trying to forestall bans or taxes on incandescent bulbs, as although incandescents costs more in the long run, they are cheaper when you pay at the register so people still buy a lot of them.

    Personally, I'd not want a BAN on incandescents, just a "wattage tax" on lightbulbs, say $4/100W tax on bulbs regardless of the mechanism (LED, CFL, incandescent). Just something equivelent to 1 hour a day use for 1 year (assuming .14 kwh power cost), so that at the register you actually see what the bulb will cost.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mikelieman (35628)
      Makes me wonder what other changes they're sitting on which could save money. Perhaps they already have the 4X version sitting on a workbench somewhere waiting for the time they'll need it for PR and/or Compliance purposes.

      They make Power Generating Stations AND Lightbulbs? What's wrong with this picture?

    • by ivan256 (17499) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:59PM (#18158334)
      Running hotter (the Halogen way) ups the UV content which gets filtered out or flouresced down (and if you have a flourescent coating, why not just have a compact flourescent).

      Plenty of reasons. Fluorescents aren't full spectrum; CFLs contain mercury; CFLs are expensive to manufacture; etc...
    • by PPGMD (679725) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:07PM (#18158474) Journal
      I highly doubt that this is simply a marketing statement or that it was a technology that they were just sitting on waiting for proposed bans on their products. Likely they noticed that CFL were cutting into the sales of their regular bulbs and developed the technology so that they can compete.

      Why does nearly everyone on /. assume that every company is out to deceive them? or that every press release (unless it's from Google or Apple) is a marketing lie? Sure every company is out to make money, but not every company is an Enron. CFLs are the perfect product, I use a ton of them, but there are certain applications where they are too costly to run because of less time on vs on/off cycles. I welcome this if they work as well as regular bulbs and last as long they will allow me to bring those rooms in line with the cost savings that my other rooms get with CFLs.

      • Because the bulb physics are VERY well known, its classic black body radiation.

        You can make them more efficient by running them hotter (its how halogens work), and this breakthrough is probably a similar high-temperature filliment strategy, allowing you to get the halogen efficiency (better than a standard incandescent but worse than a CFL) out of something fitting in the standard incandescent form factor. But you can't beat direct radiation technologies (CFL, LED).

        Likewise, I'd bet that these bulbs are de
      • by cptgrudge (177113) <cptgrudge&gmail,com> on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:50PM (#18159136) Journal

        Why does nearly everyone on /. assume that every company is out to deceive them? or that every press release (unless it's from Google or Apple) is a marketing lie?

        I think it's because nearly everyone on Slashdot can be described by what I call the 3P Syndrome. Specifically:

        Pissy. More often than not, Slashdot readers seem to be pissy. They are easily goaded into responding to trolls and participating in flamewars. They will stubbornly support an illogical and inane position simply for the shred of joy they coax from a heated argument. In short, they are easily irritated.

        Pessimistic. Many Slashdot readers are pessimists. They look for the worst-case scenarios and will dismiss any possible silver lining of any act or concept.

        Paranoid. Slashdot readers may also be naturally paranoid. This is perhaps the biggest reason for apparent distrust of others' motives. Serious paranoia makes it very difficult to trust others, and it is only exacerbated by the first two factors.

        Even before mind altering drugs are considered, all Slashdot readers seem to contain these three qualities in varying amounts (some appear to be "normal"). But collectively, they sum up to a critical mass that gives Slashdot that unique community feel.

        I haven't thought up a satisfactory answer for Google and Apple, though. Maybe Slashdot users identify with them on some level.

        • Many/most /.ers are engineers or like-wired people. You cannot be pessimistic and survive as an engineer or developer for very long. You have to be able to believe that the thing you are designing/developing can and will exist even though when you start out it likely does not exist. That is surely not pessimistic.

          The flip side, however is that you can't just wish problems away or ignore them. Good engineers actively seek out the problems and figure out how to address them or work around them.

          The trade press

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by theodicey (662941)
        Why would you trust GE? They haven't earned your trust, among other things they have a terrible environmental record [cleanupge.org]. They may be trying to improve, but they're starting at the absolute bottom.

        GE also has a huge public relations and lobbying staff [sourcewatch.org]. What do you think companies have PR departments for? It's to respond to crises like this. Australia bans incandescent bulbs, California starts talking about it -- and if it snowballs across the nation, suddenly GE's looking at writing off whole factories
      • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday February 26, 2007 @08:57PM (#18161400)
        Why does nearly everyone on /. assume that every company is out to deceive them? or that every press release (unless it's from Google or Apple) is a marketing lie? Sure every company is out to make money, but not every company is an Enron.

        The reason Slashdotters are suspicious is that a large number of, (if not all) corporations are out to deceive the public. This is not conjecture. It's cold fact. GE is a great example, btw. You should look into some of their criminal activities [cleanupge.org].

        1 Feb 1977 D.C. - GE ordered to stop misleading ad claims on color televisions and other home appliances

        16 June 1981 Lincoln NE- GE ordered to pay damages over storage of spent nuclear fuel $8.5 million

        May 1985 D.C.- GE fined for defrauding Defense department on contracts $1.04 million

        5 June 1987 Los Angeles CA- GE subsidiary fined $25.3 million for insider trading

        20 Nov 1987 Cincinnati Ohio- GE ordered to pay damages on safety defects at Zimmer nuclear plant-$78 million

        3 June 1988 San Francisco- GE and others ordered to cleanup groundwater contamination-$5.3 million initial settlement

        29 March 1989 D.C.- GE fined for defrauding government on defense contracts $ 3.5 million

        5 Oct 1989 Tennessee- GE ordered to refund overcharges on work at Brown's Ferry Plant-$2.6 million

        23 March 1990 Shepherdsville KY- GE and others ordered to cleanup PCB contamination of soil and water

        27 March 1990 Wilmington, NC - GE fined for discrimination against employees who report safety violations-$20,000

        11 May 1990 Ft. Edward/Hudson Falls- GE ordered to cleanup PCB contamination of Hudson River -$10 million

        27 July 1990 Philadelphia PA- GE fined for defrauding government in defense contacts-$30 million

        11 Oct 1990 Waterford NY- GE fined for pollution at Silicone Products plant- $176,000

        20 May 1991 D.C. - GE Ordered to pay damages over improperly tested aircraft parts for Air Force and Navy- $1 million

        27 Feb 1992 Allentown, PA - GE ordered to pay damages on design flaws of nuclear plants -$80 million

        4 March 1992 Orange County CA - GE fined for violation of worker safety rules on handling PCB's-$11,000

        13 March 1992 Wilmington, NC- GE fined for safety violations at nuclear fuel plant $20,000

        22 May 1992 Illinois - GE ordered to pay damages on design flaws of nuclear plants $65 million

        22 July 1992 D.C.- GE fined for money laundering and fraud over illegal sale of fighter jets to Israel-$70 million

        13 Sep 1992 Chicago, IL- GE ordered to pay damages for airplane crash-$1.8 million

        12 Oct 1992 Nashville TN - GE ordered to pay damages from deceptive advertising on lightbulbs -$165,000
        27 Oct 1992 D.C.-GE ordered to pay damages from overcharging on defense contracts $576,215

        12 May 1992 D.C.-GE ordered to pay damages to whistleblower on illegal sale of fighter jets to Israel-$13.4 million

        2 March 1993 Riverside CA - GE and others ordered to pay damages for contamination from dumping of industrial chemicals-$96 million

        11 March 1993 Grove City PA - GE and others ordered to cleanup mining site $1.81 million

        16 Sep 1993 NY - GE ordered to compensate commercial fisherman for PCB contamination of the Hudson River-$7 million

        11 Oct 1993 San Francisco- GE ordered to offer rebates to consumers after deceptive light bulb advertising - $3.25 million

        18 July 1993 Hudson Falls NY- GE ordered to clean up PCB contamination of Hudson River -$2.5 Million

        2 Feb 1994 Perry OH - GE settles with utility companies on defective Perry Nuclear Plant.

        14 Mar 1994 Ft. Edward NY - GE ordered to cleanup contamination of sediment from reaching Hudson River $100,000

        14 Sep 1994 9.14.94 D.C.- GE fined for overcharges in defense contracts-$20 million

    • by edwardpickman (965122) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:09PM (#18158524)
      I agree on the overstating of efficency. Odds are the process has been known for years how to make the bulbs more efficent but chances are it would make them more expensive resulting in fewer sales so they never moved ahead with the technology. The hands down winner though are LED bulbs. They use little power and have insanely long lives and don't suffer from surge shock like filament bulbs and even flourecent. The problem is obviously cost. It'll drop but it's hard to say how much and how fast. They are already being used in hard to reach areas to avoid the labor expense of replacement.

      I noticed several responders mentioning taxes and such. It's a mindset we have to be careful of. There's an attitude I noticed with a lot of SUV drivers that they'd prefer to pay a tax and keep driving the beasts. The problem is we need to get them off the road period not just tax them. There was an argument made in Who Killed the Electric Car? that we'll need more coal plants for all the electric cars. Well here's a little food for thought. If all the incandescents were changed to compact florescents not only could every home in amercia charge their electric cars without needing more plants and their electric bills would actually go down. Electric lights are still the biggest single use of electricity in this country.

      • Because taxes are a much better mechanism than an outright ban. There are still reasons for incandescents (there are NO good chandileer style CFL bulbs, CFLs are less weather resistant, etc), and if those uses are worth something, they are worth an extra buck or two a bulb.
      • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:37PM (#18158964)
        There's an attitude I noticed with a lot of SUV drivers that they'd prefer to pay a tax and keep driving the beasts. The problem is we need to get them off the road period not just tax them.

        I own an SUV. I telecommute roughly 90% of the time, and can go days without even starting that vehicle. There are also times when I start the vehicle, and drive it to go do something that involves other people and payload. If I didn't have that vehicle, we'd need four small wind-up passenger cars to haul the passengers and payloads. There are no small, more-efficient vehicles that can go where I can go, and get the people there, too. What's more efficient? Four cars burning fuel, wearing down tires, occupying road space, and possibly getting dangerously stuck enroute to the destination... or, one vehicle that can carry at least half a dozen people and hundreds of pounds of payload on rough roads, through the mud or snow, and safely do so?

        Why should my vehicle be "taken off the road," but some college kid that drives 100 miles in his hybrid in one weekend bouncing between parties while I drive nowhere, gets to use his? You're holding the tool accountable for what people do (when you don't like the people that use the tool), and not even touching on the wasteful habits of people that use a marginally more efficient tool that you like better.
        • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:01PM (#18159276)

          If I didn't have that vehicle, we'd need four small wind-up passenger cars to haul the passengers and payloads.

          Wah. It's not fair to bash 99% of SUV usage, because 1% of SUV drivers are people like me who actually save fuel by using one. Wah.
          • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:49PM (#18160656)
            Wah. It's not fair to bash 99% of SUV usage, because 1% of SUV drivers are people like me who actually save fuel by using one. Wah.

            I don't care if you want to bash. Have fun. What I do care about, and what I responded to, was the idiot who thought the best idea was to "take the off the road."

            I think you've probably not even come close to using all of the available CPU cycles on your computer while you were busy being snide, so it's probably better for the environment if you use a much slower, lower-powered machine. Perhaps one of those wind-up, one-laptop-per-childish-user ones they've been talking about? Or... DO you use your computer entirely to its capacity? Doesn't matter. Even if you do, you're only in the minority, and since the majority of people with fancy computers don't really need them, we should probably not allow anyone to have them, right? Give it a rest.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by potat0man (724766)
          How about increasing the gas tax then? It would promote lifestyles like yours where you drive infrequently and also would make the college kid who drives 100 miles in a weekend not even think about getting an SUV. Best of both worlds. People get taxed for what they use not how they use it.

          I propose revenues be used to lower some other tax.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Theoretically, all you need to do is keep the heat from leaking out of the bulb (radiation and conduction). Keep the filament hot with less electricity and you raise the efficiency.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Radon360 (951529)

      This is mostly a Political Marketing statement, trying to forestall bans or taxes on incandescent bulbs, as although incandescents costs more in the long run, they are cheaper when you pay at the register so people still buy a lot of them.

      Why? General Electric is probably the largest manufacturer of CFLs. Because there's more to the manufacturing process of a CFL, they're more expensive to make. Assuming that they have a 10% profit margin on both, the CFL bulb will make them more money.

      My guess is that they know there is still a demand for incandescent technology for specialized applications and for those who demand incandescent lighting, so they have found a way to make it more efficient. Perhaps not as good as a CFL or LED, but

    • by Your Pal Dave (33229) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:22PM (#18158758)
      They might be using tungsten photonic lattice technology [sandia.gov]. Note that this is an article from 2002, and claims a similar efficiency. IIRC this was discussed on /. at the time:

      Now a microscopic tungsten lattice -- in effect, a tungsten filament fabricated with an internal crystalline pattern -- developed at Sandia has been shown to have the potential to transmute the majority of this wasted infrared energy (commonly called heat) into the frequencies of visible light.

      This would raise the efficiency of an incandescent electric bulb from five percent to greater than 60 percent and greatly reduce the world's most vexing power problem -- excess electrical generating capacity and costs to homeowners caused by inefficient lighting.


      Five years to market doesn't sound especially unreasonable to me.
    • by slamb (119285) * on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:33PM (#18158882) Homepage

      Personally, I'd not want a BAN on incandescents, just a "wattage tax" on lightbulbs, say $4/100W tax on bulbs regardless of the mechanism (LED, CFL, incandescent). Just something equivelent to 1 hour a day use for 1 year (assuming .14 kwh power cost), so that at the register you actually see what the bulb will cost.

      I'd want neither bans nor taxes. Rather, leadership by example. Here's what I don't get: the State of California itself purchases a huge number of light bulbs of every sort. Why don't they just pass new procurement rules? If the government itself uses only Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (or whatever's trendy), the rest of us Californians will be exposed to them. If the new bulbs really are better, we'll all follow in time.

      I come from Iowa. When I got here, people told me about the difference between midwestern liberals and Californian liberals. I'm starting to get it...I don't appreciate this nanny state "we will tell you what kind of light bulbs you must buy" thing.

  • On the one hand, GE is the market leader in CFLs (thanks to Wal Mart) & is building another plant or two in China so they can increase production.

    OTOH, each and every CFL is handmade, which is why they're so much more expensive.

    My guess is that these HEI bulbs will be significantly cheaper, even if they don't have the same lifespan, which should make them a net plus. And you can put them into fixtures that CFls are either cosmetically or technically untenable.
    • by Sporkinum (655143)
      Virtually every CFL I have had lasted less long than an incandesent. I major plus for this new technology would be a low wattage bright bulb that fits current fixtures. I have a lot of fixtures that cant use them, as well as outdoors or inside the oven.
      • by jandrese (485)
        Stop buying such crappy CFLs. I bought a whole house full of the things when I bought my house (4 years ago) and I've only had to replace 1 of them thus far (and it was obviously defective).

        My Mother-in-Law always leaves her lights on but never changes bulbs herself (she's not all right in the head), it used to be a common ritual when I visit her to replace half of the bulbs in her house. I finally got tired of it and brought a big pack of CFLs and replaced all of her bulbs. I haven't had to replace
  • Any clue, anyone? The press release is awfully skimpy on the details, and a quick search of GEs site reveals no additional documentation.
  • by cloudance (139340) <david&cloudance,com> on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:48PM (#18158178) Homepage
    Good god I hope California does put in a minimum efficiency rather than just outlawing Incandescants....

    I decided to be a good citizen and replace the burnt out bulb in my bathroom this weekend with a Daylight CFL that's rated at "42 watts but gives off as much light as a 100w incandescant". I put it in, turned it on, and could get the damned thing out of there fast enough. The light color just sucked... was far too "flourescent" for anyone to stand. I'm sure *someone* out there likes the sterility and coldness of flourescent light, but it sure ain't me and my wife. I went back to Home Depot, returned the bulb, and bough a high effeciency Halogen that takes 27 watts but puts out as much light as a 100 watt bulb. The perfect color of light, higher effeciency than the CFL, and lasts two years.... and it's an "incandescent" that would be outlawed.
    • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:55PM (#18158294) Journal
      That's because you got a Daylight model. You can buy CFLs in incandescent orange if you want. I have one in the lamp across the room right now, and it's virtually indistinguishable from the incandescents I have (certainly a 'warmer' colour than halogen lights, that I have in the downlighter fixtures).

      You can get CFLs in pretty much any colour you like.
    • by cybrthng (22291)
      To each there own. There are good bulbs and bad ones. I'm not fond of most CFL's but in my opinion Halogen's put out more heat then I care to do with. A good light store will help you find what is best and thats how i converted to LED for most of my lighting. I've cut my bill from 130/month to just over 55 by replacing much ouf our external flood lights and most "always on" living space lights (kitchen/living room & bathrooms) nearly 20 flood lights was costing me more than i thought but we like the
    • by rmstar (114746)
      I've had incandecent lamps for a while. They take some time to warm up. After about five minutes i can't tell the difference to an incandescent any more.

      So maybe you screwed it out too fast :-)
    • by AaronW (33736) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:15PM (#18158626) Homepage
      That's because you bought daylight bulbs. They are supposed to look like that since their color temperature is typically 6500K which approximates the color temperature of the sun. If your eyes have not adjusted to it and there are regular warm bulbs nearby then it will look bluish. Next time buy one with a lower color temperature, like 2800-3500K. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature [wikipedia.org] for more information.

      -Aaron
      • by vought (160908) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:57PM (#18159226)
        They are supposed to look like that since their color temperature is typically 6500K which approximates the color temperature of the sun

        Not to be pedantic, but I do need to crrect a misperception.

        Actual daylight is anywhere from 4400-5600k. Daylight-balanced incandescents like SoLux bulbs are at 4700k and are similar to mid-morning light. Note that the color of "daylight" on a reflective white surface is highly subjective depending on atmospheric interference, latitude, and of course, time of day.

        6500k is a normally-used tristimulus daylight benchmark - accurate for transmissive media like RGB computer monitors, but not for bulbs. A computer monitor calibrated to a D65 at 2.2 gamma will show the aforementioned white board photographed in the sun accurately, but it not, strictly speaking, daylight-balanced - merely tuned to reproduce daylight using three component colors. Hence, the higher color temperature than "real" daylight.

        I prefer to measure in mireds!
  • How about mandating a level of efficiency rather than assuming that innovation can't happen?

    How about charging for the abatement costs ($3 per ton of CO2 or whatever) and let people decide for themselves what activities are still worth it?

    Remember efficiency is the ratio of value provided per input required. I accept that you can know the latter, but since you can't know the former, you can't really know what's inefficient for any on person.

    Charging by the *output* you want to get rid of would cover all ex
  • Governments should not try to micromanage. They may want greater efficiency, but when mandating specific technologies, they risk stifling innovation. Bottom line, ratchet up the minimum efficiency level and leave it at that.
    • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:01PM (#18158378) Journal
      W. has given a series of tax breaks to Coal and Oil and has our troops guarding major pipelines where the oil companies are having issues (Iraq comes to mind). In addition, he has dropped a number of needed environmental protections and possible fines. IOW, he has artificially lowered the costs of Oil and Coal. He is pouring money into hydrogen research, while trying to cut all other avenues.

      OTH, there has been damn little incentives for nukes or Alternatives. Now you have states offering incentives for highly unprofitable solar or even ethanol production (which is still unprofitable)and saying that they will ban products. What is needed is for gov. to drop all the incentives and the playing games with picking techs. If they want to encourage us to move away from imports and dirty items, then simply increase the tax on a good in such a way that it encourages alternatives. In particular, rather than banning incandescents, a simple tax based on energy usage would have a much higher impact on creating alternatives. In fact, if they go the route of taxing the energy, then they should tax the pollutants such as the mercury. But this approach of gov. encouraging a particular tech is fool hardy and will lead us down the same road. Basically, it will put the west on a single type of tech which will give us the same damn problem.
  • by cybrthng (22291) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:53PM (#18158258) Journal
    LED's are the way to go if you ask me. Long life span, great performance, more color availability (more "soft" colors/natural looking lights). LED flood lights put out 200-300 lumens @ 7-11 watts of power. I replaced 16 external lights with LEDS and while it was a bit upfront cash my power bill has dropped drastically and no more whipping out the ladder every 2 months to replace burned out bulbs or ones damaged in the weather.

    less garbage over the lifespan, less electricity, less footprint. Seems a dollar short and a day late if you ask me.
    • by ryanov (193048)
      I have been looking, and have not found, 7-watt replacement outdoor Toro/Malibu bulbs. I have outdoor lighting that burns out regularly and I'd love to throw LED's in there and be done with it (cost be damned). I haven't seen them yet, though.
      • by cybrthng (22291)
        I did a search on froogle and found a few sites that had great prices. LED is getting VERY competitive and what was 99-120.00 a light a year ago is around 39-51.00 a light if you don't mind going with a non "boutique" name.

        I purchased 20 LED "flood" lights and got a quantity discount. A decent investment upfront indeed but my first bill has already shown how much the others literally "sucked". Perhaps with people putting priority on these lights they will get even cheaper.

        I'll work on replacing even my CF
    • If you don't have to replace them regularly, then there's no money manufactoring them.

      Like any other industry, the lightbulb industry'll do their best to squash any product that'll damage their industry in the long run. So LEDs are out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AaronW (33736)
      White LEDs are actually not very good for color in many cases. Most white LEDs actually only produce blue, and through the use of a scintillator, mostly yellow light. The yellow is the wavelength which affects the eye by stimulating both red and green since the wavelength is in-between. The result of this is that when using it to look at various objects, the reflected colors are often pretty bad. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED#Disadvantages_of _ using_LEDs [wikipedia.org].

      -Aaron
  • by JustNiz (692889)
    This came along too quickly after the threat of a ban on their products for GE to have innovated this recently.
    So why did it take the threat of a ban on their products before GE made this technology available?
    Could it be that the cost of a tooling change was more important to them than our environment?
     
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Could it be that the cost of a tooling change was more important to them than our environment?

      Could it be that companies sell what consumers are willing to buy, and they didn't believe enough people would buy these lamps at prices which probably are not cost-competitive with current incandescents?

      Of course, it's possible that these pieces of legislation came along only when GE had a solution. Entirely possible. It's even possible for the legislation in Australia to have been created solely to make it look

  • by Iamwin (715797) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:59PM (#18158352)
    If this is so wonderful, why is GE closing one the two remaining Incandescent light plants in the US? http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories. nsf/story/8D30EC3A4F735E358625728C000EE86C?OpenDoc ument [stltoday.com]
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If this is so wonderful, why is GE closing one the two remaining Incandescent light plants in the US?

      As per the FA you linked yourself, "GE will close the 96-year-old plant in Wellston on Wednesday and lay off 175 workers because of rising imports and slumping domestic demand for the soft-white standard incandescent light bulbs assembled there."

      Perhaps you should learn to read things before you link them.

  • CFLs cause mercury contamination. I am not very happy with the current state of garbage disposal. They charge you 3$ to dispose you old battery or 1$ to dispose the oil. But some idiots would save three bucks by taking back their old batteries and tossing them into the swamp or the river and create more problems. Hundred of us might pay the disposal fee and all it takes is one idiot to get the bright idea to save three bucks to nullify it all

    I think the cost of proper disposal of any of these things, tire

  • 30 lumens/W (Score:4, Informative)

    by onkelonkel (560274) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:05PM (#18158448)
    30 lumens/Watt. Thanks for coming out. Here's your little yellow "I Participated" ribbon.

    There are prototype white LED's at 150 lumens/W, supposedly to hit 200 lumens/W by years end.
    • by jandrese (485)
      Yeah, but are those LEDs going to cost $50 a bulb while the fancy new incandescent is less than $0.50 a bulb? LED bulbs are super cool, but also well outside of affordability envelope at the moment. I think LEDs are the future (until something better comes along at least), but right now they're just not practical.
  • Amazing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eric Damron (553630)
    "GE has announced an advancement in incandescent technology..."

    It's amazing how quickly the threat of losing your core business to a new technology can drive innovation! Light bulbs have remained largely unchanged for how long? Suddenly there are promises of huge efficiency increases.

    Are corporations that manufacture incandescent lights also invested in electricity producing companies? That would be about as good for efficiency as automobile companies owning stock in the oil industry...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JabberWokky (19442)
      You're absolutely right... except the same companies that make the incandescents are the ones making the CF bulbs. So this is an internal competition among research and manufacturing divisions rather than some conspiracy to sell power. Same thing will happen for LED bulbs. Unless their massive R&D investment is also due to some legislation unreported here. As long as there's more than one company, or part of a company making competing products they will... well... compete.

      --
      Evan

  • One thing that neither the article nor GE's own press release [geconsumerproducts.com] mention is if these bulbs will last longer than their traditional incandescent counterparts. I have owned one particular CFL bulb for over four years. It has been one of my primary light sources—in operation for tens of thousands of hours—and still works almost as well as the day I bought it. Traditional incandescent bulbs don't last anywhere near that long.

    In buying the CFL, I've saved not only in electricity but also in replacemen

  • This is a case of awkward good timing, given California's and other's desire to ban the incandescent light bulb entirely.
  • by MountainLogic (92466) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:57PM (#18159230) Homepage
    Typical tungsten bulbs are about 15 lumens/Watt. The HEI described get only 30 ln/W. Your old stand-by T12 fluorescent tube in the drop ceiling troffer of a old style cube farm get 50 lm/W. Currently available T5 tubes get 100+ ln/W with improved performance on the way. There are dimmable CFLs out there. Controlling fluorescent brightness is very simple in modern high frequency electronic ballast with PWM. The reason you do not see more dimmable CFLs is due to the small increased cost. In the long run, CFLs are a less optimized solution compared to separating the ballast from the bulb as you might see in many commercial (and some residential) recessed can fixtures. Why replace the ballast every time the bulb goes (hint: CFLs fit into existing sockets)? Also, the old color, flicker and lifespan issure are a tthing of the past with modern electronic fluorescent ballasts. While great tings are promised in LEDs (>150 lm/W), the best LED bulbs that I've seen are only 25 ln/W, but I'm sure there are better out there.
  • by gig (78408) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:45PM (#18159856)
    > How about mandating a level of efficiency rather than assuming that innovation can't happen?"

    The reason people assume innovation can't happen is that it hasn't happened in incandescent light bulbs.

    Anyway, twice as efficient is bullshit. Incandescent light bulbs are so outrageously inefficient that you are still wrecking the planet even with these new vaporware bulbs.

    Banning incandescent bulbs will only spur innovation in LED and other modern solutions. Complaints about the quality of light are very valid, but when you have an LED bulb that is generating the same brightness as an incandescent and the LED is using 1% of the power and has 1000x the lifespan then it is time to get the incandescent bulbs out. You can replace an incandescent with an LED and still have power left over for a notebook computer with dual processors.

    These new incandescent bulbs make me think of a non-hybrid gasoline car that ekes out 50 mpg so "you don't need a hybrid" but the point of the hybrid is not just to double the gas mileage today ... it's also to uncouple the gasoline from the drive train so that the car becomes agnostic about its energy source and the gasoline part can be replaced more easily with a fuel cell or battery or whatever other technology. The hybrid has room to grow and improve whereas a non-hybrid car getting great mileage is still stuck on gasoline. It's just a band-aid to cling to an old technology like gasoline or incandescent bulbs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Russ Nelson (33911)

      but the point of the hybrid is not just to double the gas mileage today, it's also to uncouple the gasoline from the drive train


      Errr, you do realize that all road hybrids today don't do that? Do you know ANYTHING or do you just pull it all out of your butt? Railroad hybrids do that -- but railroad diesel engines have always done that. It's just that they're adding batteries to switchers now.

  • by superstick58 (809423) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:46PM (#18159874)
    So how is the consumer going to know which light bulb to buy once these come out. I know how bright a 100W bulb is compared to a 40W bulb. Will I have to buy a 50W high efficiency bulb that gives equivalent light of a current 100W bulb? Lets say i walk into the store and need a reading light for my room. I want to get something fairly bright so I look for the 100W bulb. I have the option of buying the old 100W bulb or a "new" 75W bulb. I will go with the 100W bulb because I'm a dumb consumer and assume it will be brighter even though the high efficiency 75W bulb produces more light.

    This poses an interesting issue for the marketers to tackle once this goes to market. Hopefully they will be able to properly convey the "light output" as the deciding factor rather than the wattage.

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