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Power Hardware Technology

Toshiba Ends Incandescent Bulb Production After 120 Years 430

Posted by Soulskill
from the bright-ideas dept.
angry tapir writes "Toshiba has stopped production of mass-market incandescent light bulbs, putting an end to a 120-year manufacturing history of the products. The company, which is one of Japan's largest makers of lighting products, had planned to halt production next year but brought up the date by a year. It will now focus on more energy efficient products, including LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which contain a handful of white LEDs and draw a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs."
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Toshiba Ends Incandescent Bulb Production After 120 Years

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  • so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eexaa (1252378) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:40AM (#31507600) Homepage

    ....and thanks for all the friendly warm light.

    • Re:so long... (Score:5, Informative)

      by BeardedChimp (1416531) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:01AM (#31507864)
      And now for the entirely predictable posts claiming low power lighting causes cancer, are crap, and cause global warming...

      The first argument goes the mercury in CFLs is going to kill us. This argument comes up and is destroyed every time. It will suffice to say there is little mercury, isn't that dangerous and burning coal puts out a lot more.

      Then we attack the lights. They are crap, taking too long to turn on, not being bright enough and so forth. Arguments that might have been true 10 years ago but have been entirely overcome unless you insist on buying the cheapest pos you can find.

      I titter when I hear that because incandescent bulbs warm your house it means you don't need as much heating so you are saving energy and helping the environment! This argument is so weak all I'll say is heating in summer?

      Then there is people claiming that CFLs give them headaches, if I had more time I'd point out the studies where people are shown to have similar sensitivity as those who sense EM fields.

      This time instead of continuing to spout discredited crap, do a bit of research.
      • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:19AM (#31508074) Homepage

        How about this: the color of the light emitted by CFLs and LEDs is ugly, and sometimes even hard on the eyes (especially with LEDs).

        For me, this is reason enough to stick with incandescent bulbs for the places I spend most of my time.

        If you consider my above statements to be "crap" then you shouldn't have skipped class on the day they talked about the light spectrum. The spectrum emitted unquestionably differs between lighting technologies.

        • Re:so long... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Algan (20532) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:29AM (#31508246)

          Get CFLs that provide light with a color temperature of 2700K. That's approximately the color temperature of an incandescent bulb, and, to my untrained eyes, the color seems identical.

          Make sure you look for 2700K on the package. "Soft, warm white" might be 3000K, and you will notice the difference.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Dr. Spork (142693)
            I agree that those are the best fluorescent lights, but they're still not good. A part of the problem is that there are huge bands of wavelengths where they don't emit light. A real filament emitting 2700K blackbody radiation will include every wavelength and make light that's far less tiring to work in. In my fixtures with multiple bulbs, I always include at least one incandescent bulb to fill in all those colors of light that fluorescents just don't make.
          • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ircmaxell (1117387) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:46AM (#31508498) Homepage
            There's more to light than just color temperature... There's also emitted frequencies. So while an incandescent typically emits light evenly across the visible range, a typical CFL emits light in a more grained spectrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp#Spectrum_of_light [wikipedia.org]). So to emit the same "color temperature" and luminosity (brightness of overall effect), a CFL will need to emit more light in certain frequency ranges to compensate for the missing frequencies. And since the human eye doesn't perceive all frequencies equally (We're typically MUCH more sensitive to green than red or blue) it can lead to the light not "feeling" right. The net combination of the colors looks the same, but they are processed differently in the eye which leads to a real, measurable difference. A CFL can never be identical to an incandescent. It's a matter of the physics behind it. Sure, they can "approximate" the light output, but the difference will always be there (and hence why some colors are less discernible under a CFL than under an incandescent)... In situations where color is very important (Artists, designers, etc) an incandescent bulb will be far better than a CFL. In situations (like every day life) where it isn't important to get colors exactly right, then it doesn't matter. But the point is that there is a difference...
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Algan (20532)

              True, but unless you're a professional that cares about the spectral composition of your light sources, it doesn't really matter. 99% of complaints about CFL light are related to color temperature, since most people grew up accustomed to the warm yellowish light provided by incandescent bulbs.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by kestasjk (933987) *
              Personally I prefer candles or kerosene lighting, I don't go for all this electricity bullshit.
              You see light is a part of the electro-magnetic spectrum and therefore the candela SI unit of light-- [... incoming wall of text about my stupid choice of lighting]
          • Re:so long... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:49AM (#31508542)

            "color temperature" is only the beginning. The color-resolving power of CFLs is horrible, and this is absolutely obvious to me and others. This might have something to do with the fact that I'm a photographer and might be a little more visually-tuned than others. Maybe you can't notice the difference, maybe most people can't, and that's fine. However, CFLs put out ugly light; I have yet to see one that doesn't. LEDs too. Not slightly ugly, like extremely ugly. While they are light bulbs in the first-order sense (they put out light) and thus are good where you simply need some light (I use them in my handheld shop light) I can't imagine anyone using them to light a well-decorated interior or do anything else, really. Switching to an incandescent is like a breath of fresh air, even my wife can notice after adapting to those horrible, horrible phosphor emissions. Human eyes are adapted to looking at black body radiators.

            captcha: "spectrum"

            • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:25AM (#31509048)

              I can't imagine anyone using them to light a well-decorated interior or do anything else, really. Switching to an incandescent is like a breath of fresh air, even my wife can notice after adapting to those horrible, horrible phosphor emissions. Human eyes are adapted to looking at black body radiators.

              Yet architects and decorators have been utilizing fluorescent lights for decades in commercial and industrial settings.

              I personally find incandescents to be far, far too yellow. Give me a 'bright white' CFL any day.

        • Now that most of the European Union has effectively outlawed incadescents and replaced them with CFLs, has the EU power demand dropped?

          Nope.

          Giant. Waste. Of. Legislators' Time. It would have made more sense for them to mandate all homes meet PassivHaus standards, such that heating/cooling is virtually nothing. Figure 66% less heating/cooling energy use per home, or about 2000 kWh for my house, equals $180 saved each month.

          • Re:so long... (Score:5, Informative)

            by mikael_j (106439) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:45AM (#31508482)

            ...has effectively outlawed incadescents and replaced them with CFLs, has the EU power demand dropped?

            You can still buy regular light-bulbs here in Sweden, the first step was apparently only to outlaw the sale of certain lightbulbs (not the common 25, 40 and 60W bulbs that are the most common ones).

            It'll probably take a couple of years before the results (if any) can be seen.

          • You know what? This. 1000x this. Rather than mandate what lighting a home uses, mandate that they need to be upgraded for heating efficiency. And NO GRANDFATHERING IN OLD HOUSES. Unless it's a historic site that would have its character irreparably damaged by energy efficiency alterations, it fucking needs to get fixed up. Give tax incentives, or pass out a stimulus. Whatever needs to be done. Give a 10 year time frame for older places (I say that long since demand for materials would be massive during this

          • by gilgongo (57446)

            Now that most of the European Union has effectively outlawed incadescents and replaced them with CFLs, has the EU power demand dropped?

            Nope.

            Citation needed (sigh).

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by xaxa (988988)

          You claim a:
          (X) medical ( ) economic ( ) environmental (X) aesthetic
          issue with CFL or LED-produced light. Your view is incorrect and/or irrelevant, here's why:

          ( ) Double-blind tests have proved people don't notice the difference anyway
          (X) There is no evidence that CFL or LED light causes headaches
          (X) The bulbs are available with different colour temperatures
          ( ) Modern CFLs attain full brightness very quickly
          ( ) LED bulbs attain full brightness instantly
          ( ) You are basing your argument on a 50-cent bul

          • Your response is bogus because:

            (x) I never said anything about headaches
            (x) LEDs/CFLs with the spectrum of sunlight or incandescent bulbs do not exist

            This is not even close to a continuous spectrum. [wikipedia.org]

            But thanks for trolling by!

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by dunkelfalke (91624)

              There are CFLs with a CRI of 96 (CRI of 100 is real daylight). So much for that.

          • Re:so long... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @12:00PM (#31509564)
            CFLs are strobe lights. That is just what they do. I cannot perceive it in most bulbs, but there is a good reason that they tell you not to plug in the florescent lights in you garage to the same circuit as your table saw. In theory they strobe fast enough that humans cannot see them, but given that florescent lights can trick your eyes if they are in sync with your table saw, it is clear that the strobing is not 100% outside of human perception.

            I tried to move to CFLs early on, and had to go back to incandescent until recently. The problem was that the IR the CFLs would produce would cause so much noise that remote controls frequently didn't work, and even worse, sometimes the bulbs would issue commands on their own. The first time that I was sitting at home alone with the curtains closed, and the TV started changing channels on it's own, I got a bit freaked out. After searching the house for whoever was screwing with me, I eventually figured out it was the CFLs changing the channels and volume.

            I am 95% CFL now, and this seems to be a problem that has been resolved.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jockeys (753885)
          I'm not going to take sides, but you CAN buy CFLs in different color temperatures. Incadescent bulbs put out light at around 2500k or so, and you can get CFLs that range from about that all the way up to nearly 10000k, which borders on actinic (12000k).

          Myself, I use different "colors" and strengths of CFLs depending on the area of my house and what's going on. examples:

          garage - very bright, very harsh lighting: 150w CFL floods with no diffusers running at either 8500k or 9500k, can't remember. cold
        • by jitterman (987991)
          Just wondering (i.e. not a flame), are there socket enclosures (so that the LEDs are "hidden" within) that have perhaps a plastic/glass filter that can warm the light up a bit? I could Google for it to try and find out, but I'm afraid laziness has reached a new height.
        • by gilgongo (57446)

          How about this: the color of the light emitted by CFLs and LEDs is ugly, and sometimes even hard on the eyes (especially with LEDs).

          So fruckingh what? I also love the taste of bluefin tuna, but at least I wonder whether I should be eating it.

          In any case, the fact that you're used to yellowish light is just personal preference. I assume you've never stayed in a house in a place like Japan or China, where the default domestic light is usually provided by cold white neon bulbs.

        • If you'd been brought up on CFLs or LEDs and they were trying to get you to switch to incandescents you'd be all, "It's horrible it makes everything look yellow!!!"

      • Re:so long... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:26AM (#31508164) Journal

        >>>unless you insist on buying the cheapest POS you can find.

        I have Philips bulbs. I timed my 60watt-equivalent (13 watt actual) and it took 4 minutes to reach full brightness. And no it wasn't just a bad set, because identical bulbs I bought a year later still exhibited the same behavior.

        I was not aware Philips make crap products?

        And then there's the expense. Why should I spend $3.50 per bulb when I can get an incandescent for around 25 cents. And the incandescents have not been stagnate. New laser-carved filments inside old incandescents can produce the same brightness as a 60 watt, but only use 40 watts.

        So CFL v. old bulb == savings of about 25 watts * 1 hours a day (typical) * 30 days == 3 kWh saved off my 3000 kWh bill. Wow. Times 9 cents per kwH == 27 cents. Holy crap. Now I can buy one-third of a twinkie!

        POINT:

        Shouldn't our priorities be focused on more energy-expensive things like heating/cooling? If all new home standards were increased to "PassivHaus" standards, which bring heat/cooling to almost nothing, we'd save HUGE amount of energy.

        I tried the whole CFL deal.
        For fifteen years.
        And now I'm switching back

        Incandescents are the better technology due to simplicity (it's a resistor), cheapness (even poor people can afford them), ease-of-disposal (no need to empty the room like EPA recommends), cleanness (not reactive power), and does not interfere with radio waves (like radio, tv, wifi, et cetera). After fifteen years of testing CFLs, I've concluded they are inferior.

        • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:58AM (#31508666) Homepage

          I have Philips bulbs. I timed my 60watt-equivalent (13 watt actual) and it took 4 minutes to reach full brightness. And no it wasn't just a bad set, because identical bulbs I bought a year later still exhibited the same behavior.

          Maybe you should have tried a different brand then? I have CFLs in almost every fixture in the house. The only ones that take more than 1s to reach max brightness are a recessed light and my 200W-equivalent porch light.

          Some of these lights were rather cheap, too. :)

          I was not aware Philips make crap products?

          Every company has at least the occasional piece of crap in their product line. Phillips has a good reputation, but that plus you holding a crappy Phillips CFL in your hand does not prove all CFLs are crap.

          cleanness (not reactive power)

          Huh? Is this your way of slipping in Power Factor as a reason CFLs are bad? Well at least you aren't still claiming it means CFLs don't save any energy. LOL.

          Shouldn't our priorities be focused on more energy-expensive things like heating/cooling? If all new home standards were increased to "PassivHaus" standards, which bring heat/cooling to almost nothing, we'd save HUGE amount of energy.

          Yes indeed! We need to push energy efficiency from all angles and insulation is a huge one. It is being pushed, too, but hey I agree it should be a bigger priority than it is.

          After fifteen years of testing CFLs, I've concluded they are inferior.

          Why do I get the impression you concluded that long before fifteen years had passed, and at best kept up the "experiment" in the form of buying a new CFL every year or two just to stave off people that you should try em, not all of em take forever to get bright, etc.

          I mean, fifteen years and you haven't found a single CFL that performs well? It took me all of two trips to Home Depot to accomplish this. They exist. Your inability to find any after fifteen years is, um, shall we say, in conflict with the idea of this being a neutral unbiased experiment that you were conducting.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by T-Bone-T (1048702)

          Now with more identity!

          Your lights are on only an hour a day? That's astounding!

          Let's do correct numbers:
          60W incandescent: 60W * 3.13hrs * 30 days = 5.6kWh
          13W CFL(60W equivalent: 13W * 3.13hrs * 30 days = 1.2kWh

          That's a difference of 4.4kWh/month or $4.77/year/bulb. That means my CFL will pay for itself in a only few months.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            CORRECTED:
            (60 watt equivalent bulb vs. bulb)
            40W laser-produced incandescent: 40W * 3.13hrs * 30 days = 3.7kWh
            13W Compact fluorescent light: 13W * 3.13hrs * 30 days = 1.2kWh
            .

            >>>That means my CFL will pay for itself in a only few months.

            Assuming your CFL does not die within a few months, as many of mine have done. And don't give me a load of crap about "buying poor quality" or "maybe you have bad electric". It was the enclosed fixture causing the internal CFL componenent to literally dryout and die

      • Re:so long... (Score:5, Informative)

        by ircmaxell (1117387) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @10:34AM (#31508304) Homepage

        Then there is people claiming that CFLs give them headaches, if I had more time I'd point out the studies where people are shown to have similar sensitivity as those who sense EM fields.

        While I don't get headaches directly from CFLs, if I do have one, I typically find that some CFLs will make it worse (When I get a headache, I'm typically very sensitive to light. The fact that some bulbs make it worse than others leads me to believe there may be something about sensitivity to certain light frequencies) The difference, is that it's only SOME CFLs that cause it... The light output varies from model to model, and while I wouldn't avoid CFLs because of it, I may avoid certain models... EM sensitivity I think is largely psychological, but I do think that light sensitivity is a very real effect (But definitely does have some psychological effect)...

        As for the mercury argument, it only plays if you break a bulb. Sure, coal may put out more, but what's the average effect on each person with coal? I'd bet it's less than if you broke a bulb (and were directly exposed to the mercury). However with that said is the amount that's contained in a CFL dangerous? Is it beyond the LEL? The amount of mercury in a typical CFL is around 4mg (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_mercury [energystar.gov])... Based on the MSDS http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/M1599.htm [jtbaker.com], that amount is WELL above the airborne exposure limits (40 times the OSHA upper limit). So the dangers of mercury are real, but the flip side of that argument is how many bulbs are broken? If you have a habit of breaking them, then perhaps it's a real concern. If you've never broken a bulb in your life, perhaps it doesn't concern you (Since exposure one time isn't nearly as bad as a repeated exposure)... But to say that it isn't dangerous is extremely short sighted and blatently ignoring the facts. Sure it's not a mitigate-able danger (just don't break the bulb), but it still exists...

        This time instead of continuing to spout discredited crap, do a bit of research.

        Ummm... No comment...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by c6gunner (950153)

          The amount of mercury in a typical CFL is around 4mg (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_mercury [energystar.gov])... Based on the MSDS http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/M1599.htm [jtbaker.com] [jtbaker.com], that amount is WELL above the airborne exposure limits (40 times the OSHA upper limit).

          How were you planning to get all that mercury to go airborne? Do you normally fry light-bulbs on your stove?

      • Then there is people claiming that CFLs give them headaches, if I had more time I'd point out the studies where people are shown to have similar sensitivity as those who sense EM fields.

        I'm very sensitive to the placebo effect, you insensitive clod! Now I'm going to have to replace all my bulbs AGAIN in addition to making a new tinfoil hat!

      • A few thoughts.

        I have tried three or four different brands of CFL's. All of them take longer to turn on than an incandescent. Some of them are still usable. However... with incandescents, I can buy whatever cheapass brand I want, and they still work. I now have several packages of generally useless light bulbs that combined cost me $30 to find out that they suck. Moreover, I have to remember which brands do and do not suck, and no, just buying the expensive ones doesn't cut it. This is a lot of annoyance fo

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        in case you're wondering, the first 2 arguments are not surprising. The rest are beyond outlandish.

        The mercury in the CFL isn't going to kill us, but I think it's something easy for people to have irrational concern over. Really, people probably think "mercury = bad", and then drop it at that. That part wouldn't even be unfounded, even if the amount in a CFL is ridiculously small.

        The second issue is also a concern - I don't have a factual basis but when comparing 60 watt incandescents to 40 watt LED's, ther

      • And you are so wrong. It is a simple problem.

        I have already put the new lights into almost all of my home lighting now. Eventually, all but ONE light will be replaced. That one 5 bulb chandelier REQUIRES 1 incadescent bulb in order to turn on correctly. The other 4 bulbs are the lower power lighting. They are a smattering of other bulbs still as incadescents, but as they burn out they are getting replaced. (Or as the one required incadescent burns out, I use one of those others to replace it and swap it for

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rubycodez (864176)

        no, the argument about mercury hasn't been "destroyed every time", break one CFL bulb in your home and you will be exposed to more mercury than in ten years of breathing the air 25 miles from a coal fired plant. What a crock of marketing spew.

        It doesn't help doing research if you can't reason and believe a load of bull from those with an agenda.

      • From my experience, the lifetime of the energy-saving bulbs in -15C frost doesn't exceed 2 weeks. They are okay indoors, but I still use a standard bulb for the garage light. After replacing three supposedly "survives 20 bulbs" energy-saving ones in matter of two months.

      • Then there is people claiming that CFLs give them headaches, if I had more time I'd point out the studies where people are shown to have similar sensitivity as those who sense EM fields.

        Fluorescent lights *do* give me headaches - whether they're of the bar, ring, or compact varieties. The synchronicity of the light pulse with the phase of the power supply bothers me. Low-refresh-rate monitors (under 75hz) give me headaches, too. Due to the nature of incandescents, the synchonicity of "pulses" is far less noticeable (if at all since it stays hot even during the down phase of the alternating current, therefore still giving-off its normal light) until the filament is close to the end of its l

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DerekLyons (302214)

        And now for the entirely predictable posts claiming low power lighting causes cancer, are crap, and cause global warming...

        As well as the equally predictable slew of posts filled with handwaving and smokescreens declaring that anyone who doesn't rush out and buy a cartload of CFL's is mentally and morally deficient, and that any problems they have with the bulbs are figments of their imagination. After all, if you most be intelligent and perceptive to see the Emperor's new clothes.

        The first argumen

      • Re:so long... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kmac06 (608921) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:32AM (#31509138)
        How about this? In a free country, don't tell me what kind of lightbulb I can buy.
    • Hmmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Normally I'd just point out that CFLs are now available even from non-specialized retailers in a wide variety of color temperatures, so you can easily replicate the dingy yellow tinge of an incandescent if you prefer it, and I wouldn't bother to wonder why you prefer it.

      But this is Slashdot, so I don't need to wonder, do I?

      GO OUTSIDE

      I know, there appears to be a giant hovering thermonuclear explosion hovering terrifyingly in the air. But, I promise, it won't hurt you. Just don't stand under it unprotecte

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:41AM (#31507606) Homepage

    ...but are Toshiba bulbs available over here in America, possibly under a different name? I don't recall ever seeing Toshiba-branded light bulbs on shelves here...

    • Maybe its because they aren't worth the cost of shipping. I'd imagine standard incandescents are less dense than packing peanuts, and likely have one of the lowest $/sq ft values in shipping. I think all the ones I've seen and used are definitely GE.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The commercial units of the major bulb brands (Philips, GE, Sylvania) sometimes cross-purchase and rebrand bulbs for retail sale. I would not be surprised if rebranded Toshiba bulbs were available under another name in the US.

      We (Philips) have written down our incandescent production assets and we're preparing to write down most of the halogen assets as well. Incandescents are not permitted for retail sale in most of the western world now, and halogens are about to be phased out in Europe. Halogena will

  • Flashlights (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jimbobborg (128330) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:43AM (#31507620)

    I love my LED flashlights. I was a fan of Maglights, but the stupid bulbs would break. My five LED flashlights last a lot longer and I have yet to break and LED. Plus they put out more light than incandescent bulbs while using the same amount of battery charge.

    • Re:Flashlights (Score:5, Informative)

      by jaymz666 (34050) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:45AM (#31507652)

      Mag makes LED torches too

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by polar red (215081)

        indeed, I have one that's already 3 years old. Still working fine. 10+ Hours of light with 1 set of batteries.

        • 3 years is nothing for a flashlight. but a 3 year old fleshlight would be a different story :)
      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        A perfect example of how Mag hasn't done any innovation or design work since the creation of their original lights.

        How the FUCK can you have a gigantic chunk of aluminum and fuck up your thermal management so badly that your emitter/power supply circuitry overheats!

        http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=119665&highlight=mag-led [candlepowerforums.com]

      • by Scutter (18425)

        I tried Mag LED lights, but I couldn't find one that was as bright as even the cheapest off-brand out there. They used to be among the best, but I think they've stagnated in their development and now they're trying to play catch-up. The Rayovac Energizer Sportsman Extreme series is my new favorite. The 4W, 3-C cell light is $18 at Meijer and pumps out 150 lumens. Even their mini lights put out 55 lumens. There isn't a Maglight out there that comes even close.

      • Helping to bring angry villagers into the 21st century.
    • by Like2Byte (542992)

      You can replace the incandescent bulb with an LED module - IIRC, it didn't cost that much, either. I found mine at a sporting goods store in the lights section.

      Good hunting!

  • Are they still making buggy whips?

    • Yeah, but people don't use them for the original intended purpose, so the company doesn't really talk about it. Hitachi is in the same boat.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:44AM (#31507632)
    At least they'll be able to trash their remaining stock without getting mercury all over the goddamn place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Drethon (1445051)
      And that way their remaining stock wont be used to produce extra mercury from coal burning power plants!
  • Go, go LED (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:44AM (#31507634) Homepage

    Excellent! Glad to see that they're moving into LED lighting; I love LED lights. I've been testing out several of the early model LED lights in my house, and they have been working great-- low power requirement, long life. And the technology has been getting better very rapidly.

    (And, unlike incandescent and CFLs, they're not particularly fragile).

    • by click2005 (921437) *

      Are they making dimmable LED lights yet?
      Last time I looked nobody was.
      I ended up making my own by using arrays of LEDs.

    • I love LED lighting too... when I get good quality bulbs. Currently, LEDs suffer from the same problems as the early CFL lights. There are good and bad LED lights on the market, but I've found that buying the more expensive ones or even the better brands is by no means a guarantee of getting a good one. Right now I will not buy any LED light unless it's a known good one, i.e. I have seen it in action.

      The most common problems that persist in many of the LED bulbs on the market are:
      - Less bright than a
    • by xaxa (988988)

      I bought some 1.5W LED lights a couple of years ago to replace some 50W halogen lights. They weren't as bright, had a narrower "spot", but they were whiter (which some people don't like). They're also noticeably dimmer now compared to when they were new -- I'm sure they'll last the 10000 hours (or whatever), but probably at only 25% of their original brightness. I still use them in my bedroom (where I don't need much light) but I've taken them out of the kitchen.

      Conclusion: spend more than £2 per bul

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:44AM (#31507646)
    Kids in 2082 studying history:


    Teacher: And in 1960, it was John Kennedy who said 'It is better to light a LED than to curse the darkness....'"
  • Efficiency (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wh1pp3t (1286918) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:46AM (#31507662)

    It will now focus on more energy efficient products, including LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which contain a handful of white LEDs and draw a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs.

    That use much more power and materials to manufacture than incandescent bulbs.

    I just love corporations using global stewardship to cover up apparent profit motives.
    /sarcasm

    • by selven (1556643)

      Is that power and materials per lightbulb or are the numbers adjusted to account for the fact that fluorescent lights last a heck of a lot longer than incandescent ones?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)

      That use much more power and materials to manufacture than incandescent bulbs.

      Numbers and links to the respective studies, please.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:49AM (#31507712)
    I think by now you can stop expanding the LED acronym, especially on slashdot. Or are you someone who insists on putting devices for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation on sharks' heads?
  • I love LED lights (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Taibhsear (1286214) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:54AM (#31507782)

    And I've been waiting for the tech to get better and cheaper before switching. I will not use fluorescent lights in my home. My eyes are sensitive and they give me a headache, take too long to reach proper brightness, use mercury, and plus the color is off. I'd have switched to LED light, even with the higher prices, if they actually put out enough lumens. The highest I could find only put out the light equivalent of a 10-40W incandescent. It's fine for like going to the bathroom late at night or reading a book, but for working on anything important (art, fixing things, building things, etc) they are not acceptable. I hope this is a big enough push to get the tech moving along and the prices down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mashdar (876825)

      I work in the lighting field and have a few comments:
      1)The reason you can't find bright LEDs to go in your A19 fixtures is that they cannot be properly heat-sinked. Shedding heat is really important for LEDs, and requires some very nice heavy duty fixtures to keep the lamps at full output (heat wears the LEDs out faster, and they dim gradually rather than burning out).
      2) I refused to use CFLs in my house for years. You should buy several varieties and try them out, though. Some are actually very pleasing no

      • by pnuema (523776)
        Since you work in the lighting field, can you offer me some advice? My entire house is wired with recessed lighting (50 W max) on dimmer switches. When incandescents are no longer available, what should I do?
  • Do you feel that flicker is a problem in LEDs? I suppose most of them are driven with PWM to reduce power consumption. Many times I can subconsciously feel the flicker and wonder whether it's healthy for human in long term. After all it's a light blinking on and off very rapidly. The 20kHz is fine for fluorescents but LEDs dim even faster and might require much higher frequency or even pure DC.
    • I can actually see the flicker when I run with an LED headlight: looking at my shoes, I can see about 3-5 impressions of the reflective strips in my retina. That doesn't bother me too much though - I suspect that the frequency is high enough that my eye doesn't try to adjust to it.

      One gripe though - my head light makes everything superflat. Not sure if that's a feature of the rapid oscillations, or if that's a feature of every headlamp.

    • by scorp1us (235526)

      I don't think flicker is the problem I think its the temperature. They have a narrow frequency range. The PWM control method has been used for years, and is in use on automotive tail lights. I think its more of a question of how the duty cycle is set. PWM also lets the element cool (yes, LEDs do generate heat) Maybe what you need is a multiple led arrangement with alternating LEDs activation so that it looks more uniform?

  • Reportedly, Toshiba just couldn't compete with Sony's new "Blu-Bulb" technology.
  • General Electric stopped their product (at least in the US) of incandescent bulbs around a year ago. That story (which was not covered in slashdot as best I can tell) was probably more significant for the slashdot readers in North America - I know I still have quite a few GE incandescent bulbs in my house.
  • First they did it with audio, then with video (my beloved CRT just died), now lights (I don't think LED even with "Quantum Dots" can emit a smooth spectrum). I guess I'll just have to splash out on those special-run "tubes" for my lighting.
  • I wasn't sure what LED stood for.
  • by confused one (671304) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @01:34PM (#31511510)
    but vacuum tubes are still available... Time to form a company to make "vintage" light bulbs for use in historical applications.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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