Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ahead of schedule, an LED bulb for us all

Ahead of schedule, an LED bulb for us all


Just yesterday we brought you news of Cree's new module that will soon be working its way into lighting fixtures. We asked when we'd see their technology taking the shape of high-brightness bulbs that could fit in for home use.

The answer was within the next year or two. But today GE announced that they'll have an LED bulb replacement using Cree's LEDs available by the end of 2010. Now, let's be clear, this joint project from Cree and GE isn't as bright or as technologically advanced as the module we discussed yesterday, but it is a huge step forward for LED technology and I can't wait to get my hands on one (or a dozen).

These bulbs will fit into any traditional bulb socket and will produce about as much light as a 40 watt bulb. It consumes just 9 watts and lasts up to 17 years. It doesn't contain any hazardous substances but will cost up to $50.

Of course, over the life of the bulb, it will be cheaper than incandescents, but when you just want a new lightbulb, it's hard to choose the $50 one over the $0.50 one.

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