The super light bulb
Australia, 29th December 2009
Keeping up with the latest lighting technologies and developments is of prime importance as a leading lighting designer. Clients hire us because they expect us to know about the latest and best practice in lighting. Going to leading light fairs, attending lighting design seminars or conventions, reading professional lighting magazines or visiting lighting websites are the things we do to keep up with it. As I am flying over the great Australian Bite from Sydney to Perth I have one of those relaxed and undisturbed moments to catch up with the latest lighting magazines.
One of the articles that caught my attention (amongst some others to which I may come back in another blog entry) was an article about the ongoing global search to develop the next super bulb. A competition launched by the US Department of Energy is spurring the development of a lamp that can replace the now defunct 60W incandescent lamp. But then packing it with all the latest technological innovations, comfort and energy requirements that would make the lamp truly a “super bulb” by current standards. The super bulb would have an efficiency of more than 90 lumens/watt (better than any incandescent or compact fluorescent lamp currently on the market) and consume less than 10W with an output of at least 900 lumens (which is the equivalent of the 60W incandescent lamp). Its life expectancy should be at least 25,000 hours and critically its color characteristics should have a CRI greater then 90 and a color temperature between 2700K and 3000K. And it will have to be economically viable. It seems obvious that LED technology will be used to achieve these targets.
The interesting thing about this competition is not that it has a deadline…it will simply be awarded to the first manufacturer that will manage to prove compliance to the competition criteria! I doubt it will take long before a winner will be announced…