Category Archives: lighting

Good news: revolutionary new light bulb!

And it’s not the Compact Fluorescent Bulb!

It is a refinement of the LED that can be used in standard-sized bulbs (and therefore standard light sockets). The company producing it is called Lemnis Lighting and is owned by Otten and Philips – that’s Philips of electronics fame. It is based in the Netherlands and will be launching its lights there first. The new bulb is called Pharox and “is the first 3.4-watt LED bulb that produces light comparable to an ordinary 40-watt bulb.” The light quality is apparently warmer than the dreaded clinical CFB. Currently, it will cost you about $59 each (gasp!) but…it will last 35 years. It is worth remembering that VCRs also started at insane prices and now you can get them for almost nothing.


Here’s a link to an article about it from a great Dutch-based magazine called Ode that talks about the innovation. Incidentally, Ode is a print and online magazine about positive news ‘for intelligent optimists’- could be a good gift for those articulate pessimists in your life….

And this link will take you to the company that produces the bulb and give you info on where to buy it.


Coming soon: Energy-efficient incandescents?

Ads raving about compact fluorescent light bulbs are everywhere. There are often discounts and other incentives. The cost-saving in electricity is significant over a period of years when compared to the standard incandescent bulb. They are good for the environment but….I hate them.

bulb 2CFLReveal bulb

I have a few but I hate the quality of light they emit. I don’t want my living (and reading) environment to have a green cast. I have tried the two most available colours: “Cool white” and “soft white”. Both make me feel trapped at the office. This is especially true since I had already replaced all my conventional incandescents with GE’s ‘Reveal’ bulbs which waste power in the usual way but have a blue coating that cancels out the normal yellow one. The result from them is a superb light quality that is noticeably brighter – a real asset when you are inside the house in the evening. In Canada, you can get the Reveal bulbs at most hardware stores and pharmacies (eg: Home Depot, Shoppers Drugmart etc). There are similar ones under other brand names. If you think your eyes are going, you should try this light.

More info:

Still, the problem of incandescent lights as energy hogs remains. But will it? I am guessing not. Immediately after Australia announced its plan to ban the bulb, on Feb 24, 2007, GE announced that it will improve the efficiency of the incandescent bulb to match that of the compact fluorescents and they will be ready for market…in time to meet the bans of various countries.

GE’s press release:

The Quest for Better Lighting

This is the first in a series of entries on the problem of finding lighting that is eco-friendly, inexpensive, flattering, and ideally, contributes to an uplifting physical space.

Should you change your good old light bulbs to compact fluorescents? Must every living room look like a clinic? What makes the lighting in some newer public buildings so fantastic and where can I find those bulbs? Will GE really introduce an eco-friendly incandescent next year?

Surprisingly, light is a significant energy gobbler. In the US, lighting is responsible for about 20% of energy use. Much of that is incandescent (though not all of it). Clearly, it is an issue worth revisiting.

Many countries are planning to ban the sale of traditional incandescent light bulbs. Australia will phase them out by 2010. Canada will phase them out by 2012. The European Union is aiming for 2009. As of last week, California will also phase them out by 2012.

For a quick overview of different kinds of light bulbs, their energy efficiency and quality of light, here’s a useful link :