Saturday, July 25, 2009

Let There Be (More Efficient) Light! Please.

Light bulbs are an obvious place for power savings that everyone can take advantage of. The best cost/value currently comes from compact fluorescent lights, but they have a couple of huge drawbacks. They don't emit a full spectrum of light the way an old fashioned incandescent bulb does, and they contain hazardous mercury vapor. Happily, other avenues are still being pursued including something that improves the efficiency of incandescent bulbs by thirty percent and last three times longer. Scientists are still working on my pick for eventual winner, light emitting diode technology (such as this breakthrough that can improve OLED efficiency by seventy five percent). Of course, we live in a capitalistic society and as the New York Times noted last year, how do you sustain a business on a product that lasts as much as a hundred times as long as current bulbs?

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