LED bulbs hit 100 watts as federal ban looms

May 16, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
In this product image provided by Osram Sylvania, an ULTRA High Performance Series omni-directional LED A-Line lamp, designed to give the equivalent brightness of a 75-watt standard bulb, is displayed.(AP Photo/Osram Sylvania)

Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.

Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week mean that brighter LED bulbs will likely go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.

The new bulbs will also be expensive - about $50 each - so the development may not prevent consumers from hoarding traditional bulbs.

The technology in traditional "incandescent" bulbs is more than a century old. Such bulbs waste most of the electricity that feeds them, turning it into heat. The 100-watt bulb, in particular, produces so much heat that it's used in Hasbro's Easy-Bake Oven.

To encourage , Congress passed a law in 2007 mandating that bulbs producing 100 watts worth of light meet certain efficiency goals, starting in 2012. Conventional light bulbs don't meet those goals, so the law will prohibit making or importing them. The same rule will start apply to remaining bulbs 40 watts and above in 2014. Since January, California has already banned stores from restocking 100-watt .

Creating good alternatives to the light bulb has been more difficult than expected, especially for the very bright 100-watt bulbs. Part of the problem is that these new bulbs have to fit into lamps and ceiling fixtures designed for older technology.

Compact fluorescents are the most obvious replacement, but they have drawbacks. They contain a small amount of vapor, which is released if they break or are improperly thrown away. They last longer than traditional bulbs but not as long as LEDs. Brighter models are bulky and may not fit in existing fixtures.

Another new , , or OLEDs, has had problems reaching . OLEDs are glowing sheets or tiles, rather than pinprick light sources, as LEDs are. They're used as vibrant color screens for smartphones, particularly from Samsung Electronics Co.

But making OLEDs that are big, bright, cheap and long-lasting enough for use as light sources has proved difficult, in part because they use chemicals that are sensitive to oxygen and spoil unless sealed very carefully.

Acuity Brands Inc., an Atlanta-based maker of light fixtures, will be showing some OLED panels at the show. They will go on sale next year, but the price will likely make them technology showpieces rather than candidates for everyday lighting.

LEDs are efficient, durable and produced in great quantities, but they're still expensive. An LED bulb can contain a dozen , or tiny semiconductor chips, which cost about $1 each.

The big problem with LEDs is that although they don't produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs, the heat they do create shortens the lifespan and reduces the efficiency of the chips. Cramming a dozen chips together in a tight bulb-shaped package that fits in today's lamps and sockets makes the heat problem worse. The brighter the bulb, the bigger the problem is.

The most powerful pear-shaped LED bulbs in stores today - the kind that fits existing lamps - produce light equivalent to a 60-watt bulb, though there are more powerful ones for directional or flood lighting.

Osram Sylvania, a unit of Germany's Siemens AG, said it has overcome the heat problem and will be showing a pear-shaped 100-watt-equivalent LED bulb this week. It doesn't have a firm launch date, but it usually shows products about a year before they hit store shelves.

Lighting Sciences Group Corp., a Satellite Beach, Fla.-based company that specializes in LED lighting, will be showing several 100-watt-equivalent prototypes, including some that solve the problem of cooling the LEDs by using microscopic devices that move air over the chips, like miniature fans.

Before the 100-watters, there will be 75-watters on the shelves this year. Osram Sylvania will be selling them at Lowe's starting in July. Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world's biggest lighting maker, will have them in stores late this year for $40 to $45.

However, 60-watt bulbs are the big prize, since they're the most common. There are 425 million incandescent light bulbs in the 60-watt range in use in the U.S. today, said Zia Eftekhar, the head of Philips' North American lighting division. The energy savings that could be realized by replacing them with 10-watt LED bulbs is staggering.

To stimulate LED development, the federal government has instituted a $10 million "L Prize" for an energy-efficient replacement for the 60-watt bulb. Philips is so far the only entrant in testing, and Eftekhar expects the company to win it soon. But Lighting Sciences Group plans its own entry, which it will demonstrate at the trade show.

Philips has been selling a 60-watt-equivalent bulb at Home Depot since December that's quite similar to the one submitted to the contest. But it's slightly dimmer, consumes 2 watts too much power and costs $40, whereas the L Prize target is $22. Sylvania sells a similar LED bulb at Lowe's, also for $40.

However, LED prices are coming down quickly. The DoE expects a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb to cost $10 by 2015, putting them within striking range of the price of a compact fluorescent bulb.

Bob Karlicek, the director of the Smart Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., thinks that price is achievable.

But, he said, "it's not necessarily clear to people in the lighting industry that LED chips were ever meant to go into a bulb."

What's really needed, he said, is a new approach to lighting - new fixtures and lamps that spread out the LEDs, avoiding the heat problem.

Explore further: Imaginative ideas for a 'greenlight district' in Amsterdam

4.5 /5 (11 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Care for some light music? LEDs make it possible

May 12, 2010

(AP) -- Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are starting to become cost-effective alternatives to standard light bulbs and fluorescent tubes. That opens up some interesting possibilities, such as the combination ...

LEDs bringing good things to light

Jul 01, 2010

Forecasting the future of technology is anything but an exact science. In late 2006, for instance, my colleagues and I put together an article outlining our predictions for the top 10 tech trends for 2007. My record was, ...

Save energy, money with Philips AmbientLED 12.5 watt

Feb 16, 2011

The world's first LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent bulb is now also the first to earn ENERGY STAR qualification. Philips Lighting announced today that the Philips AmbientLED 12.5 watt (also sold professionally under ...

Recommended for you

Image: Testing electric propulsion

21 hours ago

On Aug. 19, National Aviation Day, a lot of people are reflecting on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future – a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter ...

Where's the real value in Tesla's patent pledge?

22 hours ago

With the much-anticipated arrival next month of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla's Model S to Australian shores, it's a good time to revisit Tesla's pledge to freely share patents. ...

New type of solar concentrator doesn't block the view

Aug 19, 2014

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through ...

Asian inventions dominate energy storage systems

Aug 19, 2014

In recent years, the number of patent applications for electrochemical energy storage technologies has soared. According to a study by the Technical University Munich, the largest volume of applications is ...

User comments : 43

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TaxPaid
1 / 5 (1) May 16, 2011
Vu1 has a C.R.T. type bulb that will be out this year. It is twice as efficient as incandecent. Instant on full brightness, daylight spectrum, fully dimming and cool running. Price $20.00. The first ones will be spots and the lamp lights will be release late summer. 11000 hours life.
ECOnservative
3.4 / 5 (5) May 16, 2011
What are we going to do for appliance bulbs that have to run from -10F to 500F? CFLs don't run over that range and neither do LEDs.
zevkirsh
1.2 / 5 (5) May 16, 2011
as much as i hate government centrally planned management and personally believe the global warming panic are both orchestrated stupidity intended only to make certain people money, I think the fact that LED's put out many more lumens per watt of electricity and have the capacity to provide full spectrum light equal to Inacandecents, it's about time that the incandecent cartel finally be put down with a simple bright line rule.

sometimes, simpel rules work well, like all cars must have seatbelts.

ryggesogn2
2.7 / 5 (7) May 16, 2011
as much as i hate government centrally planned management

I don't believe you.
nebeeseer
1.9 / 5 (14) May 16, 2011
This article points out how inept, wasteful and just plain stupid socialistic governments are. The design of the incandescent bulb is 100 years old! Ok lets do away with every thing we use today that was invented 100 years ago or older, shoelace eye, elevator, zipper, electrical power grid storage and supply, combustible engine, and on and on and on! Florescent lighting gives of radiation-which article- didn't point out. Mercury article speaks of electromagnetic fields and ultraviolet radiation. It is funny now almost 6 months before the ban there isn't a viable 100 w replacement. I'm over 45 an I can't see let alone read with these piece of crap bulbs! In fact our Government offering a 10 Mil. reward for a effective 60 w replacement with only one taker...what a joke! I started to stockpile (go figure) 100 w in 2007. maybe I will sell them on e-bay....!
Ramael
4.5 / 5 (2) May 16, 2011
how much power do they actually consume?
bugmenot23
4 / 5 (3) May 16, 2011
how much power do they actually consume?

Try reading the article...
Moch1
5 / 5 (10) May 16, 2011
Florescent lighting gives of radiation-which article- didn't point out


Just a reminder, if light bulbs didn't give off radiation then they wouldn't be useful light bulbs.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 16, 2011
Of course the govt doesn't consider the spectral output and whether people will like the color of the light.
I prefer 6500k cfls, but my wife thinks they are too bright and prefers the 2700K or incandescent.
From what I have seen of 'white' LEDs, I don't care for their color.
Maybe some clever folks could combine colored lasers to produce white light.
Beard
1.5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2011
Couldn't they easily put a colored film over the bulb to get any type of coloration you could want?
MarkyMark
1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2011
Couldn't they easily put a colored film over the bulb to get any type of coloration you could want?

Cant see why not. I even apply thinned out paint over the bulbs i use for my art station to give a better colour light.
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) May 17, 2011
and have the capacity to provide full spectrum light equal to Inacandecents


No, they don't. LEDs produce more or less monochromatic light.

Couldn't they easily put a colored film over the bulb to get any type of coloration you could want?

Cant see why not. I even apply thinned out paint over the bulbs i use for my art station to give a better colour light.


No, you can't, because of the reason stated above. For example, a "white" LED that outputs blue and yellow doesn't look red when you paint it red. It looks black.
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) May 17, 2011
Of course the govt doesn't consider the spectral output and whether people will like the color of the light.
I prefer 6500k cfls, but my wife thinks they are too bright and prefers the 2700K or incandescent.


Color temperature shouldn't be confused with brightness.

And generally speaking, using high color temperatures is suitable for brightly lit environments, whereas low color temperatures are better for dim lighting. It follows from the color response of the human eye, which experiences the Purkinje effect where you start to lose the sense of the color red when you get less light.
Bonkers
5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2011
and have the capacity to provide full spectrum light equal to Inacandecents


No, you can't, because of the reason stated above. For example, a "white" LED that outputs blue and yellow doesn't look red when you paint it red. It looks black.


Not universally true - many TV's use LED backlights and have a good colour gamut. Much as they add yellow phosphor to downconvert from blue, they can add red phosphor, or a very broad yellow, to achieve almost any CRI (colour rendering index) desired. The lumens/watt goes down though. There are other alternatives like sprinkling a few HE Red LED dice in there.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (9) May 17, 2011
Anyone care to take bets the govt will grant light bulb waivers to those politically connected as this regime has done with Obamacare?

"Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obamas administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosis Northern California district.

Read more: http://dailycalle...McD2jbl9

Color temperature relates to brightness as a function of the human photopic response. Humans are most sensitive to 555 nm and the peak color temperature is 5000-6000K. 3000k peaks around 800nm, NIR. Higher peak temperatures provide the most broads spectrum of light.
drel
5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2011
Until the prices of the new tech drops I think I'll switch back to oil lamps and Lamplight "Ultra-Pure" Lamp Oil since they banned the good old whale oil.
ac04605
5 / 5 (1) May 17, 2011
I personally believe that it is good incentive for our government to offer a "reward" for companies to develop cheaper alternatives. This could help nudge them to do something different and innovative especially in a case where the obvious answer is easier. Also I don't feel light bulbs should be compared to devices such as shoelaces and elevators; obviously if there were need for more efficient versions of such things our society would be concerned about inovation for those as well.
bloodyanarch
5 / 5 (8) May 17, 2011
Well how the heck am I going to be able to use my easy bake oven... sure nobody thought of that did they???
Jimbaloid
not rated yet May 17, 2011
What's really needed, he said, is a new approach to lighting - new fixtures and lamps that spread out the LEDs


Well that isn't about to happen very fast in existing homes and offices and the manufacturing, shipping and fitting of all the replacement fittings and lamps is going to have an environmental impact of it's own. Making it work with what we already have is the best solution for some time to come, decades probably.
NameIsNotNick
5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2011
What are we going to do for appliance bulbs that have to run from -10F to 500F? CFLs don't run over that range and neither do LEDs.

I would think that "waste" heat in an oven is not actually wasted. I've never heard of any plan to ban incandescent lamps in that application... it would be pointless. However in a fridge...
NameIsNotNick
2 / 5 (1) May 17, 2011
Couldn't they easily put a colored film over the bulb to get any type of coloration you could want?

Not possible. LEDs don't emit broad spectrum light so a color "filter" won't work. Even if it did, it would lower efficiency.
NameIsNotNick
5 / 5 (1) May 17, 2011
and have the capacity to provide full spectrum light equal to Inacandecents


No, you can't, because of the reason stated above. For example, a "white" LED that outputs blue and yellow doesn't look red when you paint it red. It looks black.


Not universally true - many TV's use LED backlights and have a good colour gamut. Much as they add yellow phosphor to downconvert from blue, they can add red phosphor, or a very broad yellow, to achieve almost any CRI (colour rendering index) desired. The lumens/watt goes down though. There are other alternatives like sprinkling a few HE Red LED dice in there.

TV is not a good example since it is encoded RGB it doesn't require a continuous white spectrum backlight. Also, you can't "add" a color with a filter that isn't there. Bonkers' statement is correct since he was responding to a question about a colored filter, not fluorescence.
Jo01
4.5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2011
You use light when its dark and thats mostly the case in the winter. So most of the 'excess' heat produced by traditional light bulbs is actually 100% effective because it heats the house.

J.
HaveYouConsidered
5 / 5 (3) May 17, 2011
Let's stick with horses, because they've been used for 100's of years and hay is cheaper than gasoline. Sure, the streets are full of manure and the horses need watering, but look at all those fancy and expensive parts needed to make one of those stupid automobiles. Plus they're noisy as all hell and some folks think that soon they'll go over 20 MPH, a clear threat to civilized society. I'm going to start stockpiling hay. You just watch: soon the gov't will tell us we can't all ride horses in the bigger cities anymore. Let's blame Obama, yeah, that makes sense.
HaveYouConsidered
4.5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2011
You use light when its dark and thats mostly the case in the winter. So most of the 'excess' heat produced by traditional light bulbs is actually 100% effective because it heats the house. Also, the idea that one should create primary heat energy to make electricity in a turbine, transmit it with losses into one's home, then use that electricity to make heat, just isn't such a smart idea to begin with from a cost and efficiency point of view.

J.


You use lighting when its dark, and that's mainly at night, whether it is summer or winter, hot or cold. With modern methods of home insulation, there is little need for additional heating beyond the heat produced via normal living in a properly insulated home. One spends money once for insulation, but every month forever for the energy to heat and cool a poorly insulated home.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (7) May 17, 2011
As far as I know, there are no laws forcing people to buy LED flashlights.
If you look around, the most common flashlights, even Maglites, are now LED because they are bright and use less power.
When LEDs for the home meet that threshold, consumers will shift without being forced.
But, most people don't like being forced to do anything and this will continue to increase the members to the various tea parties around the USA.
Another unintended consequence of the Regulatory State.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) May 17, 2011
But, most people don't like being forced to do anything and this will continue to increase the members to the various tea parties around the USA.
Keep believing that lie. Conservative talk radio really rocks the ratings too...

Eikka
3 / 5 (2) May 21, 2011

Not universally true - many TV's use LED backlights and have a good colour gamut.


Televisions and their color gamut are entirely different issue from general lighting.

Here's for example, the spectrum of "white" from an LCD:
http://www.chemis...trum.jpg

It's not continuous, because that's not the point of the RGB color system. You want the colors to be monochromatic so you can design the color filters to be as selective as possible without losing parts of the backlight spectrum. That way you get pure colors.

Room lighting is the opposite. You want every kind of color in a continuous spectrum, because real objects work by subtracting color from the ambient light - not by adding color like the television panel does.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) May 21, 2011
not by adding color like the television panel does.

Is that why color printers use CYM instead of RGB or RYB?
Husky
not rated yet May 21, 2011
50 dollars or more, i am excited...
that_guy
not rated yet May 21, 2011
Couldn't they easily put a colored film over the bulb to get any type of coloration you could want?

Not possible. LEDs don't emit broad spectrum light so a color "filter" won't work. Even if it did, it would lower efficiency.


They can. How do you think they make white LEDs?? It's a blue led with a phosphor. It does affect the efficiency, though it's still tremendously more efficient than incandescent.

LEDs also produce relatively little light compared to a light bulb, so you will generally have a number of LEDs in a single bulb. Combining RGB LEDs, phosphors, and other techniques can give you a wide range range of color tones and depth.

They are also continually improving LEDs and looking for ways to make them cheaper, brighter, and more efficient - such as a natively white led.

That said, i think that selling a $50 LED lightbulb is absurd.
Eikka
not rated yet May 21, 2011
not by adding color like the television panel does.

Is that why color printers use CYM instead of RGB or RYB?


That is the point of subtractive versus additive color.

RGB works as a light source to make the light itself appear a certain color, but the colors of the objects under that light depend on which wavelenghts they remove from the light.

And that process doesn't work properly if all visible wavelenghts are not present in the light. If there is no yellow, then a yellow object looks black.
Eikka
not rated yet May 21, 2011

They can. How do you think they make white LEDs?? It's a blue led with a phosphor.


That's not a color filter.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) May 21, 2011
And that process doesn't work properly if all visible wavelenghts are not present in the light. If there is no yellow, then a yellow object looks black.

Some TV's have RGBY : )
gunnie
not rated yet May 22, 2011
Good question, how much energy do they actually consume.
Commercially available LED bulbs have a power factor of +- 0.55.
Therefore the energy saving in real terms is nowhere near to what is advertised.
Eikka
not rated yet May 22, 2011
Good question, how much energy do they actually consume.
Commercially available LED bulbs have a power factor of +- 0.55.
Therefore the energy saving in real terms is nowhere near to what is advertised.


That depends on how you deal with the reactive power.

Sure, it does cause additional losses as the current required to deliver an amount of real power is higher when the power factor is off 1, but the common misconception is that the reactive power is lost in full.

Eikka
1 / 5 (1) May 22, 2011

Some TV's have RGBY : )


For no practical purpose whatsoever, because the encoding is still RGB. It doesn't contain information about how much yellow there is in the picture, so the computer has to make a guess and produce something that probably wasn't in the picture in the first place.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) May 22, 2011
What incandescent ban?
SH's Regulatory State didn't ban incandescent light bulbs. It just imposed a physically impossible standard for them to meet.
But that is typical of SH's R.S., impose standards that violate the laws of nature.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 22, 2011
What incandescent ban?
SH's Regulatory State didn't ban incandescent light bulbs. It just imposed a physically impossible standard for them to meet.
But that is typical of SH's R.S., impose standards that violate the laws of nature.
Hey, we don't use steam ships as our main cargo transport anymore, do you know why?

They're inefficient.

There's nothing in the laws of nature preventing a more efficient incandescent light bulb. Perhaps you should spend a little time learning about light bulbs before you post silly shit trying to call me out. I'm starting to think the only reason you post here is for my attention. That's pretty sad.
KBK
5 / 5 (1) May 22, 2011
PLAN:
Buy truckload of quality incandescent light bulbs.

Result:
5:1 profit margin in one year.

'lightbulb millionaire'. Cool Beans.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) May 23, 2011
Hey, we don't use steam ships as our main cargo transport anymore, do you know why?

They're inefficient.


Your point?

Steam ships phased out because something better came along. CFLs and LEDs are not better, they're just compromizes of one thing over another.

Imagine having a government ban on steam engines in a time when diesel engines were still worse than steam engines in every other respect than efficiency.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 25, 2011
Steam ships phased out because something better came along. CFLs and LEDs are not better, they're just compromizes of one thing over another.
CFLs and LEDs are far better than incandescent in longevity, resistance to dimming, resistance to breakage, and efficiency.

I'm not sure what your disagreement with them is. Have you used them recently?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) May 25, 2011
LEDs are better? The whole point of a lamp is to provide light. Quality of the light is important.
So far, the light spectrum from an LED is not preferred.
If I don't like the quality of the light and it costs 20 times more, why should I buy them? I guess that's why the govt has to force people to buy them.