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In the Future You Will Listen To Lightbulbs..maybe May 18, 2010

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in light bulb, Weird Bulb News.
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Sylvania combines speakers and light bulbs, oddly

While Sylvania isn’t the first to combine light bulbs and speakers, the idea is sound. Okay, sorry. But consider the placement of a couple of lamps in your living room. Wouldn’t those locations also be suitable for speakers? Yes? Then MusicLite is for you.

Each one of these fixtures has an array of LEDs on board that emit as much light as a 65-watt incandescent, while cranking out 25 watts of sound at the same time. The speakers are all connected wirelessly, and can be placed 90 feet away from each other. Hide a subwoofer under the couch, and you’re ready to rock.

Too bad you’ll have to wait until Fall to find out the price of these clandestine light/speaks, but if you’re itching for some now, Klipsch might beat Sylvania to the punch with the same thing, with Klipsch saying theirs are “coming soon.” However, the Klipsch models will rip you for $600. Maybe these will be cheaper.

https://www.zbulbs.com

Zoinks!Changing Light Bulbs Can Be Dangerous! May 6, 2010

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Gadzooks.. This story certainly illustrates the dangers of changing lightbulbs.. Climbing Everest is dangerous but climbing a ladder to change a lightbulb..that can be lethal! Our condolences go out to all who knew and loved Marco Da Pozzo.

Man survives K2 climb only to die while fixing a light bulb at ski resort

Man survives K2 climb only to die while fixing a light bulb at ski resort
In 2004, elite climber Marco Da Pozzo successfully climbed the world’s second highest mountain, K2. Recently, however, it was the act of changing a lightbulb that took his life.Marco was changing a bulb on the church roof of the Cortina D’Ampezzo ski resort in Italy when he lost his footing and slammed his body against the stone wall, causing life-ending injuries. He was wearing safety gear.

Father David Fiocco commented: “We were all looking upwards holding our hands and praying but it was in vain and now he is in the hands of Jesus”. Fellow mountaineer Franco Gaspari said: “It was a freak tragedy. He was an outstanding climber.”

Our condolences go out to all who knew and loved Marco Da Pozzo. He was 43-years-old.

The Neon Museum April 27, 2010

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Weird Bulb News.
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ZOinks! There is probably no city more associated with lights than Las Vegas! Lights have been an integral part of Sin City! Now a cool new museum has dedicated itself to the great light signs of the past! Check out the Neon Museum!

http://www.neonmuseum.org./

Dr. Z

Get Lit and Stay Lit

https://www.zbulbs.com

How To Cook A Turkey With A Light Bulb And DVD-Rs November 23, 2009

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Zoinks! I have seen lightbulbs used for many strange and varied things in my time.. but this one can cook your bird! The people at Householdhacker.com have made the following video to show how you can cook your Thanksgiving Turkey with a light bulb! Why didn’t I think of that?

Dr. Z

https://www.zbulbs.com

How To Cook A Turkey With A Light Bulb And DVD-RsClick here for the most popular videos

In this special Thanksgiving episode we will show you how to cook a turkey using a light bulb and 4 DVD-R discs. Happy Thanksgiving from Household Hacker! Our website is at: http://www.householdhacker.com.

Who Invented the Lightbulb? August 24, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in incandescent light bulb, light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture, Weird Bulb News.
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Zoinks! Its me Dr. Z! Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, right? Well not so fast! The article below discusses the history and mystery behind the invention of the light bulb.

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

Zoinks! Was there a conspiracy behind the invention of the light bulb?

Zoinks! Was there a conspiracy behind the invention of the light bulb?

Surprising Science: Who Invented the Lightbulb? Edison’s incandescent lamp lit the world, but did he really invent it? (Copyright Lee Krystek, 2002.) It was Thomas Edison in 1879, wasn’t it? That’s what many people think and were taught in school. Like most stories, however, there is a lot more behind the creation of this important and ubiquitous object than just Mr. Edison.. The story of the lightbulb really starts almost seventy years earlier. In 1806 Humphrey Davy, an Englishman, demonstrated a powerful electric lamp to the Royal Society. Davy’s lamp produced its illumination by creating a blinding electric spark between two charcoal rods. This device, known as an “arc lamp,” was impractical for most uses. The light, similar to that of a welding torch, was simply too bright to be used in residences and most businesses. The device also needed a tremendous source of power and the batteries which powered Davy’s demonstration model were quickly drained. As time went on, electric generators were invented that could feed the arc lamp’s need for power. Iit found its way into applications where a brilliant source of light was needed. Lighthouses and public assembly areas were obvious uses. Later arc lamps were used in war to power huge searchlights used to spot enemy planes. Today you can see such searchlights lighting up the sky near movie theaters or at the opening of a new stores. The Incandescant Light Some 19th century inventors wanted to find a way to “subdivide” the light from Davy’s arc lamp so that it could be used in the home and office. Other scientists thought that a completely new technique for making electric light held more promise. This method of generating light was known as “incandescence.” Scientists knew that if you took some materials and passed enough electricity through them, they would heat up. They also knew that if the material got hot enough, it would start to glow. The problem with this method of making light was that before long either the material would burst into flame or melt into a puddle. If incandescent light was to be made practical, these twin problems would have to be solved. It occurred to inventors that one way to keep their incandescent “burners” from catching fire was to not let them come into contact with oxygen. Oxygen is a necessary ingredient in the combustion process. Since oxygen is in the atmosphere, the only way to keep it away from the burners was to enclose the burner in a glass container, or “bulb,” and pump out the air. In 1841 a British inventor named Frederick DeMoleyns patented a bulb using just this technique in combination with burners made of platinum and carbon. An American named J. W. Starr also received a patent in 1845 for a bulb using vacuum in conjunction with a carbon burner. Many others, including an English chemist named Joseph Swan, improved and patented versions of bulbs using a vacuum with burners of various materials and shapes. None, however, proved practical for everyday use. Swan’s lamp, for example, used carbonized paper that would quickly crumble after being lit a short time. Edison Joins the Fray It was obvious, though, that incandescent lighting would be a huge financial success if it could be perfected, so many inventors continued to work on finding a solution. It was into this environment that the brash, young, inventor Thomas Alva Edison entered the race to make-a-better-bulb in 1878. Edison was already world famous for having created and commercialized several items, including a better stock market ticker and the phonograph. In October of that year, after working on the project for only a few months, he declared to the newspapers “I have just solved the problem of the subdivision of the electric light.” This rash pronouncement was enough to drive the stocks of the gas companies (whose lamps supplied the current form of lighting) down into the ground. As it turned out, Edison’s announcement was premature. He had an idea of how to solve the problems of the electric incandescent light, but had not yey perfected it. His idea was to enclose a platinum burner in a vacuum. When other inventors had done this the platinum melted, but Edison thought he had solved that problem by building a temperature-sensitive switch into the bulb that would cut off the current when the temperature got too high. This was a great idea, but unfortunately it didn’t work. To keep the bulbs cool enough, the switches had to cut the current off very quickly. This resulted in a constant flickering which made the bulbs unusable (this same switching principle is currently used in Christmas tree bulbs to make them blink on and off). It was soon obvious to everyone working on the incandescent light at Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory that another approach was needed. Edison decided to hire a young physicist named The brash, young inventor Thomas Alva Edison. Francis Upton from Princeton University to work on the project. Up to this point Edison’s staff had been trying idea after idea to get the bulb to work. Under Upton’s guidance, they started looking at existing patents and research to try and avoid repeating other people’s mistakes. The staff also started doing basic research on the properties of the materials they had been working with. One of the results of testing the properties of the materials was the realization that any burner chosen would have to have a high electrical resistance. All materials have an amount of electrical “friction” that resists electricity moving through it. This is known as the material’s electrical resistance. Materials with high resistance more easily get hot when electricity passes through them. Edison soon realized that any good burner would have to have a high electrical resistance, otherwise too much electricity would be needed to warm the material to the point where it would give off light. This revelation meant that Edison’s staff need only to test high-resistance materials to find the one they wanted. This information also started Edison thinking about the electric lights not only as an end to themselves, but how they fit as part of a whole electrical system. How big would the generator need to be to light a neighborhood? What voltage should be delivered to a house? By October of 1879 Edison’s workers began to see some results. On the 22nd of that month a thin, cotton “carbonized” thread burned for some 13 hours during an experiment. Longer times were achieved by modifying the vacuum pumps and creating a better vacuum inside the bulb (less oxygen inside the bulb slowed the burning process). More carbonized organic materials were tested and Japanese bamboo proved to be the best. By the end of 1880 Edison’s carbonized bamboo burners, now called filaments because they were fashioned into a long, thin thread, were burning in bulbs as long as 600 hours. The “filament” proved to be the best shape to increase the materials electrical resistance and physical strength. The carbonized bamboo had a high resistance and fit well into Edison’s scheme for building a whole electrical power system to provide lighting. By 1882 he had established the Edison Electrical Light Company which had a generating station located on Perl Street, providing New York City with electrical lighting. In 1883 Macy’s in New York City became the first store to install the new incandescent lamps. Edison Vs. Swan Meanwhile over in England, Joseph Swan had again gotten involved in working on the lightbulb after he saw that new pumps made it possible to produce a better vacuum. Swan made a lamp which worked well for demonstrations, but was impractical in actual use. Swan’s burner was made of a thick carbon rod that gave off gases that soon covered the inside of the bulb in soot. Also, the low resistance of the rod meant that the bulb used up too much power. After seeing the success of a high resistance, thin filament in Edison’s lamps, Swan incorporated this improvement into his own bulbs. After founding his own company in England, Swan found himself sued by Edison for patent infringement. Eventually the two inventors decided to stop fighting and join forces. The company they formed, Edison-Swan United, became one of the world’s largest manufacturer of lightbulbs. An early Edison power generation plant. So did Edison invent the lightbulb? Not really. Others had produced an incandescent light before him. He did, however, create the first practical lightbulb along with an electrical system to support it, certainly a significant achievements in their own right. Of all the inventions Edison was involved in – the stock ticker, the phonograph, the telegraph and the mimeograph – only the incandescent lightbulb remains in general use today. It is a testament to how great a job Edison and his workers at Menlo Park did in taking this invention out of the laboratory and putting it into the home.

http://www.unmuseum.org/lightbulb.htm

Dr. Z wins 3rd place in the Mighty Boosh video contest! August 12, 2009

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Zoinks! We won! What you may ask?? 3rd place in the BBC’s Mighty Boosh video dance contest! Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Well… just watch the video..

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

The Dancer at the Lightbulb Factory. The Art of working in a Lightbulb Factory. July 31, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, Light bulbs in pop culture, Weird Bulb News.
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Zoinks! Here is a great article on a lightbulb factory in China. These people take their jobs to whole new level!
Dr. Z
Getting Down At the Light Bulb Factory

Getting Down At the Light Bulb Factory

Have you ever seen a lightbulb being made? It is a long, fast dance of glittering, breakable parts: legs of glass and filament arms shuttled around shakily, doll versions of Charlie Chaplin in the gears, finally tested and transformed into dazzling, glowing, blinking landscapes thrown back at their heavy-metal creators. The ballet mecanique of the lightbulb can’t help but be nostalgic for an American audience. Where have our factories gone? To China, of course—where Cao Fei’s video Whose Utopia is set in a real lightbulb factory. The first part of the 20-minute video portrays the creation of a lightbulb from start to finish, and this abstract and gorgeous scenario lasts until about halfway through, when hopelessly soft human parts appear: slender female fingers pricked while sorting through tiny heaps of sharp metal bits, shoulders slumped, eyesight going. The bulb bodies take their toll on the flesh ones—an old story—but that’s not the end of it. The flesh fights back. Cao directed real workers to express themselves inside the factory: a ballerina twirling slowly within a canyon of boxes stacked to the factory ceiling, a man soft-shoeing under a sky of fluorescents, a dancer wearing angel wings working alongside everyone else at the long assembly bench. Each moment is a little protest by a still-hopeful member of China’s rapidly developing economy in the Pearl River Delta region, where Cao was commissioned by Siemens to create this video at the Osram factory—a subsidiary of Siemens. Whose Utopia is an unusually direct yet poetic study of the interlock of art and economics in contemporary China, where Cao’s father is a sculptor for the state and Cao’s awareness of her censors, both governmental and corporate, is built into her process from the start. My Future Is Not a Dream is the name of a rock band formed by a handful of the young workers, individuals who have left their hometowns and come to this industrial zone with big dreams. Their lyrics accompany the final section of Whose Utopia, in which the factory moves while individual workers stand still for portraits in work clothes, as in August Sander’s early-20th-century photographs of German workers. “Part of your life had waned and waned,” their song goes in slightly broken English. “And to whom do you beautifully belong?” Cao enlisted the workers as coauthors instead of mere subjects to empower them: “The conditions that these workers live under is generally highly invisible to a broader public,” she told the Vancouver, B.C.–based magazine Fillip. “What this project does is release the workers from a standardized notion of productivity. What we are doing is production, but a type of production that connects back to the personal. I am like a social worker. They don’t regard me as an artist. They think I’m an event organizer.” Maybe so, but what makes the video so moving is its hopelessness to those of us on the other end of rapid industrialization. This is not going to work out, we think. And the art is, in some sense, playing along by offering the carrot of a fleeting transcendence. Resistance is futile—or fatal. This is the China in which so-called “cutting-edge” contemporary artists (such as Cai Guo-Qiang of the “exploding cars” at Seattle Art Museum) produce Olympics spectacles. This is China, post–Tiananmen Square. And without being too nationalistic, it is necessary to point out that we helped to create it. In February 1989, just months before the government executed a still-unknown number of student protesters at Tiananmen Square, a large exhibition called China/Avant-Garde opened at the National Gallery in Beijing. Authorities shut it down shortly after it opened (because of a performance including gunshots), then allowed it to reopen and shut it down again, twice. It ran for only two weeks, but it marked the culmination of a movement that had been taking place throughout the 1980s in China, informed as much by Mao’s Cultural Revolution as by Russian kitsch art and American Pop. Early Pop was really invented by two fountainheads: Robert Rauschenberg, whose ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange, pronounced “Rocky” after his pet turtle) Project visited and influenced Beijing in 1985, and Jasper Johns, whose 20 years of depicting the lightbulb (1957–76) is the subject of a small exhibition on the floor below Cao’s video at the Henry Art Gallery. Jasper Johns: Light Bulb, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, is a nerdacious little universe of experimentation you could disappear into—but its coincidental appearance here with Cao’s study of a lightbulb factory pulls it into a broader context of economic and social history. Cao, born in 1978, is a generation beyond what Art in America termed the “Children of Mao and Coca-Cola,” and maybe not even aware of Johns’s lightbulb works, but the connections are natural. Both Cao and Johns undercut the cliché that art is something that appears magically, like a lightbulb above the head. Cao depicts light as nothing more than a commercial product (and key to a surveillance system); Johns’s lightbulbs are simply devoid of light. Made in bronze, plaster, or lead, Johns’s lightbulbs are heavy, dark, and solid: the anti-lightbulbs. In lithographs, they cast shadows rather than light. They wear the stamps of their manufacturers rather than the artist’s signature, in the classic Pop move of replacing the artist with the machine. Just as light is the product of certain systems, so are artistic ideas. The artist is a manufacturer, too; now: of what? And Johns is also a case of the co-opted critique. The most laconic of the Pop artists, his work is nevertheless today affordable only to the extremely rich. His idea-objects have been elevated to the status of the magical and the rare, an ultimate reversal of the multiple and the banal nature of his subjects: lightbulbs, maps, flags, targets, numbers. Every lightbulb has its price.

The is something fishy about these LEDs..Literally! July 27, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights, light bulb, Uncategorized, Weird Bulb News.
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There is something fishy about these LEDs

There is something fishy about these LEDs

 

 

Dr. Z

 

 

I’m Not Kidding
By now there’s little doubt that LED-based lightbulbs are the future, and while a lot of cool LED technology still needs to make its way from the lab to the store, it’s exciting to see that engineers are still finding new ways to squeeze more performance out of those semiconductor diodes. The latest breakthrough comes from the University of Connecticut, and it uses salmon DNA to create very long-lasting white LEDs (though they can be tuned to other colors). Read on for more details.

 

dna double helix image

A Bit More Technical Information About the Salmon DNA LEDs
Fluorescent dyes (two different ones, spaced between 2 and 10 nanometers from each other) are added to the DNA molecules, which are then spun into nanofibers. These are very durable because DNA is a particularly strong polymer (it has to be!) (they should last 50 times longer than acrylic, for example).

A LED emitting ultra-violet light is then coated with the DNA nanofibers: “When UV light is shined on the material, one dye absorbs the energy and produces blue light. If the other dye molecule is at the right distance, it will absorb part of that blue-light energy and emit orange light.” Using DNA has the benefit of orienting the dyes “in an optimum way for efficient [fluorescence energy transfer] to occur,” according to David Walt, a chemistry professor at Tufts University.

To tune the light quality, all you need to do is vary the ratios of dye. The light can be tuned from cool white to warm white, for example.

Not Ready for the (LED) Limelight Yet
Unfortunately, numbers on how many lumens per watt these LEDs produce haven’t been released yet (though that might just be because they’re still improving them), so it’s not clear if the main benefit from these will be the longer life, or if the extra fine tuning will also mean better light quality than other white LED (like
those that use quantum dots, for example), or if energy efficiency will also be superior. But it’s a new trick that will no doubt be useful.

I’m a bit sick of writing this phrase – “it’s too early to tell” – but that’s how it is with discoveries straight out of the lab. Maybe someday we’ll have a bit of DNA in our lights…

 


 

Dr. Z is a runner up in the Mighty Boosh dance video. July 17, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in compact fluorescent, Light bulbs in pop culture, Weird Bulb News.
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Zoinks! Dr. Z’s video for the Mighty Boosh dance video contest! Never would have guessed! Maybe our Freakbeat mojo came through?

www.zbulbs.com