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Zoinks! New Light Bulbs are “Can Do?”?? This guy from USA Today Thinks So! February 4, 2011

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Gadzooks! It seems everyone has an opinion about Light Bulbs these days! Nothing stirs up more conversation than saying “spiral bulb” in mixed company..Anyways this guy from USA Today thinks the “new light bulbs” are “can do”..Me to! As long as they don’t suck..

ZOinmks! Did I say that?

When it comes to energy, the United States is too often the nation of “can’t.” Can’t drill for oil in new areas offshore. Can’t build a new generation of nuclear power plants. Can’t raise gasoline taxes to discourage the use of imported oil. Can’t move quickly to site new offshore wind plants. By PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. EnlargeCloseBy PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. OPPOSING VIEW: Turn on the BULB Act What the nation can do is limp along with a status quo energy policy that takes many energy decisions out of Americans’ hands and weakens national security and the environment. More than half the oil Americans use is imported — a vulnerability underscored by the ongoing tumult in Egypt. Electricity production relies heavily on coal, which exacts a heavy toll on the global climate. Congress and the president spend far more time talking about these problems than solving them, but occasionally they get it right. One of those times was in 2007, when then- President Bush signed an energy bill that, among other things, raised car mileage standards and took aim at an extravangantly inefficient household item: the light bulb. The best way for government to boost energy efficiency isn’t to micromanage by picking winners and losers, a job better suited to free-market innovation. It is to set a reasonable standard — miles per gallon or light per watt, for example — and let the market sort it out. That’s what Congress did in 2007. Americans are already reaping the benefits of higher-mileage vehicles, but a rebellion is brewing against the new standard for more efficient light bulbs, which takes effect next New Year’s Day. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., complained in a response to President Obama’s State of the Union address that the government “now tells us which light bulbs to buy.” A group of House Republicans has introduced a bill to repeal the standard..  That would be a mistake. The familiar incandescent bulb is a 125-year-old design that’s handy and cheap but a huge waster of electricity. Roughly 90% of the juice that goes to a typical bulb generates heat, not light. The new rules require bulbs to be at least 25% more efficient, starting with 100-watt bulbs. Incandescents can’t do that, so they’ll begin to disappear. There’s a huge payoff for this. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that fully implementing the new lighting standards would make it possible to avoid building 30 new power plants and cut CO2 emissions by 100 million tons a year. But what will Americans switch to? The most common alternative now is the compact fluorescent light (CFL), the spiral bulb that uses far less electricity than incandescents. It costs two to four times as much as an old-fashioned bulb but lasts five to 10 times as long —a big saving for consumers and country. CFLs aren’t perfect. Some people don’t like the light they give off, the delay before they reach full brightness or the extra care required because CFLs contain tiny amounts of mercury. Even so, millions of early adopters are perfectly happy with them because they reduce electricity bills. But light bulb makers know that some people hate CFLs, so manufacturers have produced an alternative: a halogen bulb that looks just like an incandescent and produces similar light but meets the new standard. You can buy them today. The evolution won’t stop there, which is the virtue of unleashing market forces. Manufacturers are working on next-generation LED bulbs that last roughly four times as long as long-lived CFLs. They’re wildly expensive now — as much as $30 to $40 or more for a single bulb — but the price inevitably will drop. Some of this innovation would have happened without the new law, but not as much, or as quickly. Faced with deadlines and a market for their new products, manufacturers intensified efforts to develop better bulbs. It would be a shame to undo that progress — and produce yet another energy “can’t.”


America’s most common light bulb gets LED replacement May 28, 2010

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America’s most common light bulb gets LED replacement


Consumers will soon be able to replace the most common light bulb in U.S. households, the 60-watt incandescent, with an ultra-efficient LED, according to manufacturer Royal Philips Electronics.

This new 12-watt Philips LED light bulb, available to consumers later this year, will be able to replace 60-watt incandescents, the most commonly used light bulb in U.S. households.
By Royal Philips Electronics


The company unveiled its new LED at the Lightfair International trade show in Las Vegas, just two days after Home Depot announced it’s begun selling a $20 LED replacement for the 40-watt incandescent.

As incandescents begin their Congress-mandated phaseout in 2012, companies are scurrying to develop and market more efficient replacements.

Philips says its 12-watt Endura light bulb is the industry’s first to replace its century-old predecessor. The company says the LED delivers the same soft white light and dimmability but uses 80% less energy and lasts 25 times longer. The LED will be available to consumers later this year, likely in December, but its price hasn’t been finalized.

More than 425 million 60-watt incandescents are sold each in the United States, representing half the domestic incandescent market, according to Philips. The company estimates its new LED has the potential to save 32.6 terawatt-hours of electricity each year — enough to power the lights of 14% of U.S. households.

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

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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.


GE makes LED replacement for 40-watt bulb April 12, 2010

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GE makes LED replacement for incandescent

Zoinks!  LED’s are back in the news ! Check out the article below!

General Electric, the granddaddy of light bulbs, has developed an LED replacement for 40-watt bulbs that can last for 17 years. GE on Thursday unveiled the Energy Smart LED bulb that puts out 450 lumens–about the same output as a 40-watt incandescent–while consuming 9 watts. GE’s bulb is designed to disperse light more evenly than typical LED lights. (Credit: General Electric) The company plans to show off the LED bulb at upcoming lighting conferences and to start selling it by this fall or early next year. It ios expected to cost $40 to $50. LED lights tend to give off light in a specific direction, which is why they are often used for spot lighting. The GE light has a shape that looks like fingers wrapped around a traditional bulb and is designed to disperse light. Prototypes of the bulb will be fitted with an LED lamp from LED component manufacturer Cree. The bulb is rated for 25,000 hours which, if used four hours a day, means it will last for 17 years. The other advantages of LED bulbs are that they don’t need to warm up to give off full light, are cooler than incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, and do not contain mercury. “This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid’s bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation,” John Strainic, global product general manager of GE Lighting, said in a statement. He added that the bulb is designed to satisfy consumers who are reluctant to move from incandescent bulbs because they like the light quality. Because of their relative energy efficiency and durability, LED lights are expected to start replacing other technologies more rapidly this year, particularly in commercial settings. As LEDs reach the output of 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent, lighting companies are also planning general-purpose LED replacements for traditional screw-in bulbs. Osram Sylvania, for example, plans to introduce an LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent this spring. The high up-front cost, however, remains a barrier to broader adoption. Lighting manufacturers expect that sales will be driven by consumers’ interest in efficient, long-lasting bulbs and by more stringent national efficiency standards.

New LED Traffic Lights Too Cool.. and thats not cool December 21, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Controversial information, LED Lights.
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Zoinks! LEDs have been all the rage as of lately but seems some applications are working out so smoothly. Check out this article from the Detroit Times that discusses the danger of LED traffic signal lamps.

Dr. Z


New traffic lights too cool
They save energy but emit less heat, so snow may block signal
Tom Greenwood / The Detroit News
Some northern states are reporting a problem with light-emitting diode traffic lights: The cool burning LEDs don’t generate enough heat to melt ice and snow that accumulates in front of the lenses on the signals.

Although there are no LED-related reports of crashes or deaths in Michigan, the problem has reportedly led to dozens of accidents in other states.

But the situation is still being addressed, said Utpal Dutta, professor of traffic engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy.

“We are working on the problem,” Dutta said. “We may put a longer shade on the light to shield it from ice and snow, but we’re not sure about putting a heater into the light. A heater would cost us money to run the lights, which we don’t want to do.

“But we will come up with something down the line. In terms of energy and life cycle savings of LEDs, this is a tiny problem.”

On the rare occasion when an LED signal is covered with snow, responding work crews simply clear it with a blast of compressed air.

Longer lasting lights
Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson said LEDs are still better than traditional lights because they need to be replaced only once every seven years.

“There were a lot more times where there were traffic signals with burned-out bulbs than there are signals with snowy LEDs,” Bryson said.

The LEDs used in traffic signals aren’t really a single bulb but are actually arrays of hundreds of individual electronic lights about the size of a pencil eraser.

The appeal of the lights is that they use up to 90 percent less energy, last longer and burn brighter than traditional bulbs.

For Franklin residents George and Madeline Haddad, snow on LED traffic lights hasn’t been a problem.

“We’ve never encountered that problem when we’re on the road, and it really isn’t something I’m worried about,” George Haddad said. “I can’t ever remember seeing traffic signals blocked by ice and snow.”

Bryson said a number of circumstances have to merge for the LEDs to be obstructed by ice or snow.

“The wind has to blow at a certain speed and a certain angle to end up in against the lens,” he said. “Plus the snow has to be wet and heavy. This problem happened with the old bulbs as well.”

Cost only factor in switching
William Taylor, professor emeritus of civil engineering at Michigan State University, understands how the LEDs can be driving problem in snowy weather.

“It kind of makes sense that they could cause a snow problem because they’re so efficient that it doesn’t make all that much heat,” Taylor said.

“But should we switch back to the old incandescent bulbs? Only if it eventually costs more for crews to clean off the LED lights than they would save in energy costs.”

LED traffic signals are common on the MSU campus, Taylor said.

“But as a driver, I’ve never noticed any problems with them,” he said.

Christmas Light Show Meets Guitar Hero December 15, 2009

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Zoinks! Dig this kids Christmas style. Christmas lights meet Guitar Hero!

Dr. Z


What do you get when you mix a Christmas Light show with Guitar Hero? Christmas Light Hero! A real game you play with a wii wireless guitar controller. Optional TV screen is available if you get in trouble, but if you use the screen, you don’t get your name in the high score lis

The History and Mystery of Christmas Lights! December 14, 2009

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Merry Chrizzmazz! Did you ever wonder where the tradition of hangning christmas lights came from? Well the folks at Gizmodo have laid out the history in the brief article below! Enjoy!



Thomas Edison was known for his wacky publicity stunts, but during the Christmas of 1880 he went for the sentimental rather than shock value. That year, instead of electrocuting an elephant, he brought us the first electric Christmas light display.

The Wizard’s Light Show

By the time 1880 rolled around, Edison had his incandescent light bulbs pretty well figured out, and was on the lookout for a way to advertise them. To display his invention as a means of heightening Yuletide excitement, he strung up incandescent bulbs all around his Menlo Park laboratory compound, so that passing commuters on the nearby railway could see the Christmas miracle. But Edison being Edison, he decided to make the challenge a little trickier by powering the lights from a remote generator 13km away.

Two years later, an Edison crony named Edward Johnson displayed the first electrically illuminated Christmas tree at his home in Manhattan. The then-impressive 80-light display girded a very unimpressive Charlie Brown Christmas tree (I mean really, look at that thing). And as you might expect, Johnson’s feat was also intended as an advertising tool.

The tradition of stringing electric lights may have started as a Christmas thing in the Western world, but now it’s a global phenomenon used for all kinds festivities. It’s a practice we take for granted – come December, they’re everywhere. The evolution of the Christmas light parallels that of the light bulb, with some remarkably ornate – OK, tacky – variations. But regardless of how they look, one thing’s for certain: They’re a much better option than sticking a candle in a tree.

In the Beginning There was Fire

Today we look at Christmas lights and think, “Oh, those are pretty.” But the tradition of lighting lights didn’t start off with aesthetics in mind. December is the darkest month of the year with the shortest days (if you live in the northern hemisphere). People living without central heating in the 12th century were understandably unhappy when the sun went down and plunged them into the cold depths of night. Way back during the winter of 1184 was the first recorded lighting of the Yule Log [PDF] in Germany. The burning log was seen as a symbol of the sun’s promise to return. It probably didn’t hurt that a big burning hunk of wood makes for a pretty good heat source.

The Christmas tree has a whole story behind it that we won’t get into here. (Fun fact: They were originally hung upside down from the ceiling — hilarious!) Long story short, Christians had lights, they had trees, and in the 17th century, they decided to put the two together.

Unfortunately, the only way to add Christmas lights to a tree back then was with candles. Obviously, this was a pretty bad idea. So bad that, unlike today, the tree would only be put up a few days before Christmas [PDF] and was promptly taken down afterwards. The candles would remain lit only for a few minutes per night, and even then families would sit around the tree and watch it vigilantly, buckets of sand and water nearby. It’s kind of like the old-timey equivalent of deep-frying a turkey: People knew it could burn their house down, but proceeded to do it anyway.

By 1908, insurance companies wouldn’t even pay for damages [PDF] caused by Christmas tree fires. Their exhaustive research demonstrated that burning wax candles that were loosely secured to a dried-out tree inside your house wasn’t safe. At all. Electric Christmas lights were becoming a viable option for some. They weren’t perfect – incandescent bulbs can get plenty hot, and sparks from malfunctioning strings can still light up a dry tree – but it was a much safer option than lighting multiple fires so close to their favourite fuel.

Keep in mind that by “some”, I mean the extremely rich. In 1900, a single string of electric lights cost $US12 [PDF] – around $US300 in today’s money. It would take the magic of mass manufacturing to create the Clark Griswold-esque neighbourhood light displays that would become a Western tradition.

The Dawn of Tacky Lights

In 1900, eight years after General Electric purchased the patent rights to Edison’s bulbs, the first known advertisement for Christmas tree lights appeared in Scientific American magazine. Like I said, these suckers weren’t cheap. They were so expensive that the ad suggests renting lights for a holiday display.

Twenty-five years later, demand was up. There were 15 companies in the biz of selling Christmas lights, and in 1925 they formed a consortium called the NOMA Electric Corporation, the largest Christmas light manufacturer in the world.

Even though NOMA was formed three years prior to the Great Depression, their appeal was great enough to pull through, becoming a juggernaut that was synonymous with Christmas lights from the Depression clear through to the US Civil Rights Movement. NOMA didn’t just further Edison’s vision, though. They worked hard to bedazzle, giving birth to the bubble light – arguably the first great mass-produced tacky Christmas decoration.

Though NOMA is no more, these psychedelic bubble lights are thankfully still in existence. These colourful round plastic cases hold an unseen bulb, while a candle-shaped vial of clear liquid protrudes upward. As the bulb heats up, the liquid – usually methylene chloride, a chemical with a low boiling point – also heats up, so that the vial would bubble, flickering like the candle it was supposed to replace.

Alas, in 1968 the NOMA Electric Company stopped manufacturing lights, and the bubble lights became more of a novelty, soon to be joined by a host of ridiculously shaped Christmas lights, including chili peppers, flamingos, beer cans and a miniaturised version of that leg from A Christmas Story.

With NOMA, the tacky Pandora’s box had opened, and even people who didn’t spring for bubble lights or their Tex-Mex successors have done wonders with the decidedly more standardised sets we all know today. Once they were weatherproofed for outdoor use, it was only a matter of time before they were stapled to every square inch of house, hearth, tree, even truck.

The Lights You Know and Love

Incandescent lights are the ones that started it all. Even though they’re well over a hundred years old now, the technology largely remains the same. The shapes and sizes of the bulbs, on the other hand, have been in constant flux. Now we’re left with three major types of incandescent Christmas light bulbs:

The Mini/Fairy Light: This is the big kahuna. If you haven’t seen one of these by now, then you’ve probably never seen Christmas lights. Traditionally, the set is wired in series, hence the age old problem where if one bulb goes out, the rest won’t light. But it’s not hard to find sets that are wired in parallel nowadays.

These guys also have a lo-fi twinkle method built in. That little red-tipped bulb that comes with each set is made in a way that as the filament heats up, it rises and breaks the circuit. That, of course, shuts off the rest of the lights. When it cools down, it falls again to complete the circuit, and the lights (wait for it…) come back on. Physics 101.


C7: Again, an incandescent light that comes in a different-sized glass housing. These are about the size of your thumb, and work in almost exactly the same way as a mini light.


C9: You get the picture by now. Same shape as the C7, but slightly bigger.


LED lights have been growing in popularity for the past few years. Regardless of what you think of their light output, there’s no denying that they’re much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, and they give off less heat. And who knows, maybe someday they’ll match the colour temperature of good-ol’ tungsten lighting. Until then, here’s what you’ll be looking at:

5mm: These are the LED equivalent of incandescent mini-lights. They’re small LED bulbs in a plastic enclosure. Usually the “white” level is waaaay off from the “white” of incandescent lights.


G12 and G25: Just like with incandescent lights, you’re going to find a whole lot of the same with LEDs, just in different shapes and sizes. These are globe-shaped plastic enclosures, G12 is pictured.


C7: You’ve seen these before, except this time there’s an LED inside.


You’ll find a bunch of crazy light designs out there, but 99.9 per cent of them are just plastic enclosures that are illuminated by these types of bulbs.

A Long Way From Candles

The basic foundation of the Christmas light, the incandescent bulb, hardly changed for nearly a century, and is only now undergoing its first major revolution as we start replacing our old tungsten lights with energy-efficient LEDs. Yet in that same time, we’ve gone from sticking burning candles in a tree to creating massive, computer-controlled – and completely excessive – light displays like this:

One thing’s for sure: No matter what the technology at hand, no matter what the reason to celebrate, the human desire to light up trees and houses in December will forever be a source for amazing – and often hilarious – innovation.

Are LED Christmas Lights the New Christmas Tradition? December 10, 2009

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Gadzooks! LEDs are getting press everywhere and now they are becoming part of our biggest Holiday! Our friends at Elights.com posted this interesting little article on LEDs and how they are changing up our Christmas lights!

Dr. Z


Santa is getting the LED out!

LED Christmas lights: A burgeoning American holiday tradition? Wednesday, December 09, 2009 LED holiday lights are becoming an increasingly prominent part of the American landscape this holiday season. Americans might notice that the holiday lights on the Washington Monument shine a little brighter this holiday season. That is because Baltimore Gas and Electric has helped Washington D.C. switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs this year. The Baltimore Sun reports that the Washington monument will be illuminated by 84 strands of 200 LED bulbs, consuming only 12 watts of energy per strand. This corresponds with the city’s efforts to conserve energy, even in the midst of holiday decadence. The country’s beloved monument is not the only major American attraction that will glow green this year. According to a report entitled “LEDs lighting the way for Hawaii,” it seems LED holiday lights are as fine a way as mele kalikimaka to say Merry Christmas in the tropical state, while the Detroit city Christmas tree will glow green this season. President Obama used LEDs to decorate the White House Christmas tree this year and the energy-saving light bulbs also adorn the tree in New York’s Rockefeller Center. Moreover, LED lights are becoming more popular with homeowners nationwide; the prices of the LED lights are dropping and consumers can use them to cut power bills and help the environment. According to Michael Van Camp of Light Visions, a commercial and residential holiday decorating service, Americans have gone wild for LED lights this season. “LED lights are the buzz of the decorating biz,” he told the source. “They just look phenomenal!” LEDs are 10 times more efficient than conventional bulbs and it reportedly cost Americans just pennies a day to light up their homes for up to six hours with three strands of 100-bulb strings of LED lights. ShareThis

Wearable Technology LED Kimono Reacts to Music, Motion to Create Interactive Light Show December 3, 2009

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Zoinks! It looks like LEDs aren’t only the future of general lighting.. They also the future of stage performance! Check out this great article and video below from ecouture.com!

Dr. Z


RAZZLE DAZZLE Depending on the pitch of the accompanying music, or the angle and rate of motion of the sleeve, the LEDs turn on and off to create a fluid light show. And here’s where it gets technical: The LEDs, which are connected with conductive thread to eight 9-volt batteries underneath the fabric, are driven by tiny Arduino processors that are sewn into pockets on each side. The processors, in turn, can be hooked up to a computer via Bluetooth wireless or USB. More than a dress, the LED kimono is an interactive light-and-sound instrument. Eventually, Masoaka plans on running LEDs throughout the entire kimono, an endeavor that will require more than 5,000 hand-sewn LEDs. If each point of light is considered a single pixel, the dress can function as a low-resolution video monitor that evolves with its environment.

Are You Dreaming of A Green Xmas? LED Christmas Lights are 10 more efficient! November 30, 2009

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Zoinks! Even Santa is getting the LED out!

Its the Holiday Season and running those Christmas Lights can really jack up your energy costs.. A great solution for this is changing for traditional (incandescent) Christmas lights to LED Christmas lights.

Cherie Jacobs, a Progress Energy spokeswoman, says:

Running 10 strands of 100 LED light bulbs during evenings for the month of December will cost about 70 cents.

• Running 10 strands of 100 conventional light bulbs during evenings for the month of December will cost about $7 — 10 times as much.

The Electric Power Research Institute says if seasonal lights nationwide were replaced with LED lighting, carbon emissions could be reduced by as much as 400,000 tons per year and electricity cost savings would exceed $250 million.




Dr. Z


Thanks to By Ivan Penn, Times Staff Writer for the info