If you thought innovation in lighting technology hit it’s peak with LEDs, think again. A company by the name of Finally Light Bulb Company has revived an old lighting technique that’s cheaper, brighter, and roughly just as energy efficient.
The bulbs, which Finally refers to as “acandescent,” don’t rely on LEDs or a traditional incandescent filament to become illuminated. Instead, the bulbs are powered by induction. Inside the bulb there sits a three-inch antenna wrapped in copper wire, which produces a magnetic field. This field causes a tiny amount of mercury in the center of the bulb to give off ultraviolet (non-visible) light, which in turn creates visible light when it strikes a phosphorescent coating on the inside of glass.
Oddly enough, this technology has been around since the 1990s, but never gained much mainstream popularity — despite the fact that it offers a long lifespan and relatively low energy consumption compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. Manufacturers just never picked up on it, presumably because back then we didn’t have strict efficiency standards, incandescents were cheap and readily available, and consumers at that time had no compelling reason to switch.
But now that times have changed, laws are different (in the US), and energy efficiency is of higher importance to consumers, Finally thinks the time is right to revive the decades-old technology. The company, which has reportedly raised over $19 million in venture capital, hopes popularize the bulbs, and is touting them as a warmer (and cheaper) alternative to CFL and LED.
Finally says it intends to release it’s 60-watt replacement bulb in stores as early as July, where they will sell for about $7.99 a pop. The 75- and 100-watt versions will follow shortly thereafter, and will be available in the fall. For now, you can pre-order the 60-watt equivalent or find out more here.