Friday, May 29, 2009

America's On-Again, Off-Again Light Bulb Affair;

First up, Jeffrey Ball at the Wall Street Journal:

How long does it take to change a light bulb? Nearly a century and a half, it seems, though a replacement has been around for decades.

In the push for energy efficiency, changing old habits is proving more difficult than developing new technology. In the case of the light bulb, consumers see little reason to switch from energy-draining conventional models to more-efficient alternatives as long as electricity remains cheap....

...And technology marches on. The LED is eclipsing the compact fluorescent as the cutting-edge bulb. Wal-Mart Stores has started selling a consumer LED bulb that uses just seven watts of electricity and claims to last for more than 13 years. It costs around $35 -- a daunting price tag for a light bulb. "We're kind of testing the waters," says Rand Waddoups, Wal-Mart's senior director of strategy and sustainability. "This is a behavior change, and that requires some work.">>>Much More

From the New York Times' Green Inc. blog:

Can Incandescent Bulbs Compete on Efficiency?
Deposition Sciences

Researchers are attempting to create incandescent bulbs that will meet looming efficiency requirements.

The race to find more efficient lighting technologies appears to have an unlikely dark horse: the incandescent light bulb....MUCH MORE

The hybrid was of course predicted by America's Finest News Source in 2006:

Green-Conscious GE Develops Hybrid Lightbulb

FAIRFIELD, CT—One year after pledging to develop more energy-efficient products, General Electric Co. unveiled a product it is calling its most eco-friendly lighting source to date: the first-ever gasoline-electric hybrid lightbulb.

"With the price of gas escalating as its supply dwindles, now is the perfect time to introduce innovative lighting technology that only relies on this fast-depleting, nonrenewable resource for a portion of its power," GE chairman Jeff Immelt said in a statement released Monday.

Enlarge Image Green Conscious Jump R

If the Wisebulb, which will be available in stores by November for the retail price of $89.99, is used only for recommended short-term, dim, and frequent on-and-off lighting, it could eliminate nearly 80 percent of global-warming pollution that would be caused by using solely gas-powered lightbulbs, GE spokesman Brian Tormey said.

"A full tank of gas can illuminate a hybrid bulb for an average of two weeks," Tormey said. "Once the 1.5-gallon tank is empty, all customers have to do is drive their lightbulb to the gas station and fill it up for only about $6."

The hybrid bulb's structure—slightly more complex than the older filament-and-wire models—features a small, efficient four-cylinder internal-combustion engine at the base of the bulb that powers an electric generator attached to the glass mount. The generator produces electricity that is then fed to the electric motor, which ignites a small flame inside the glass casing. Any excess electricity is used to charge the bulb's 300-volt lead-acid battery, which at full capacity is capable of independently lighting a 60-watt bulb for up to 30 minutes....Not Much More