Sunday, June 1, 2014

Light Bulb Market Lights Up

A search for "new light bulb technology" returns 23 million hits. That's a lot of hits for a product first patented by Thomas Edison in 1879, 135 years ago! The product life cycle for light bulbs (a mature product, to say the least) has been extended by a variety of factors, including legal and regulatory intervention.

In 2007, the U.S. Congress passed a law calling for the phaseout of conventional incandescent light bulbs, which are highly energy inefficient. As of 2014, old-style 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs can no longer be made in the USA--which is significant because these two types of bulbs account for more than half of the consumer light bulb market.

Entrepreneurs and corporate product development execs are thinking quite creatively as they target this lucrative market. Today's innovative new bulbs not only meet new energy-saver mandates but also offer other benefits, such as soft or specific lighting (at a price). Some newer bulbs include halogen, CFL, and LED as well as other unique technologies. More are on the way. Here are just three quick examples of new light bulb technologies soon to be on store shelves:
  • The Finally bulb, which looks and lights like an incandescent bulb but uses a lot less energy. 
  • The Lumen TL800, which goes on and off or dims when you cue it with a smartphone app.
  • The Vu1, which relies on electrons striking phosphors on the glass to make the bulb glow.

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