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Google Invested $3 Million in Cree LED Lightbulbs

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 30 comments

Google's investing in bright ideas.

Dean Kamen, the man best known for Segway, was at TEDMED 2010 talking about all sorts of cool things.

The one that's closest to being here today is a new LED lightbulb that features lighting technology created by Cree, and produces 450 lumens from a power draw of just 7 watts. It'll retail for $25 and be sold door-to-door through Kamen's FIRST youth program.

Several hundred thousand of these bulbs are already produced, thanks to Google's support of a $3 million investment. It's not quite the Google Lightbulb, but now we know the search giant wants to help you find your stuff with better lighting.

Source: Engadget

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  • 17 Hide
    serkol , November 3, 2010 12:01 PM
    > LED technology isn't there yet! The only advantage is no mercury.

    That's a big advantage. Other advantages:
    - they last much longer
    - they don't flicker
    - instant full-brightness ON (no warm up time)
    - dimmable
  • 10 Hide
    KingArcher , November 3, 2010 4:34 AM
    I'd buy it if it gave out at least 1400-1500 lumen for $8.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    alextheblue , November 3, 2010 1:49 AM
    I'll hold out for semi-affordable 60 watt equivalent LED bulbs, thanks. These ones are too dim and too costly for most of my fixtures.
  • 2 Hide
    nebun , November 3, 2010 2:08 AM
    damn, i guess everyone is jumping on the "be green" bandwagon...i just hope that the light bulb does not steal my passwords, lol
  • -6 Hide
    festerovic , November 3, 2010 2:32 AM
    7 watts? I could run a server with that.
  • 8 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , November 3, 2010 2:33 AM
    nebundamn, i guess everyone is jumping on the "be green" bandwagon...



    Getting stuff like this finally done really should have nothing to do with being green. It's to do with how long they last and how much less it costs to use.

    After all, with the old incandescents technically the light they give off is a byproduct. They really just produce heat.

    There's alot of other stuff that should be done for practical reasons only. Things like hybrid cars though are pointless if you did want to be "green" since the manufacturing process for the batteries isn't green at all to begin with.
  • 6 Hide
    husker , November 3, 2010 2:35 AM
    Kind of a drop in the bucket for Google.
  • -7 Hide
    Travis Beane , November 3, 2010 2:40 AM
    The unfortunate thing is that LED's, at this time, aren't much more efficient than fluorescent bulbs.
    Sodium lamps (both high pressure and more so low pressure) are even more efficient.
    LED's just last a lot longer. :) 
  • 7 Hide
    claec , November 3, 2010 3:04 AM
    Bugger, at first glance I thought it was talking about a 450 lumen flashlight for $25 and I got excited. But seriously, $25 for a lightbulb? Give me 25 CFLs! 13 watts and 825 lumens and much better lighting.
  • 10 Hide
    KingArcher , November 3, 2010 4:34 AM
    I'd buy it if it gave out at least 1400-1500 lumen for $8.
  • 1 Hide
    toastninja17 , November 3, 2010 5:29 AM
    Not bad really. Pretty awesome in fact.
    Google is going to start branding everything now haha, that'd be cool. Like a google drink!
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 3, 2010 5:36 AM
    That isn't any better than a modern spiral fluroscent bulb. I am holding in my hand a MaxLite bulb; 18 watts for 1150 Lumens.
    =63.88 Lumens/watt.
    This LED bulb thing is 450 Lumens for 7 watts. 64.28 Lumens/watt.

    LED technology isn't there yet! The only advantage is no mercury.
  • 17 Hide
    serkol , November 3, 2010 12:01 PM
    > LED technology isn't there yet! The only advantage is no mercury.

    That's a big advantage. Other advantages:
    - they last much longer
    - they don't flicker
    - instant full-brightness ON (no warm up time)
    - dimmable
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , November 3, 2010 12:05 PM
    AlexTheBlueI'll hold out for semi-affordable 60 watt equivalent LED bulbs, thanks. These ones are too dim and too costly for most of my fixtures.

    Agreed. However, I think this would work very well for a small desk lamp,etc.
  • 1 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , November 3, 2010 1:42 PM
    danwat1234LED technology isn't there yet! The only advantage is no mercury.


    Their two biggest problems in getting to mainstream are getting the color of the light correct, and getting them to be less directional with the light they output.
  • 8 Hide
    rubix_1011 , November 3, 2010 2:24 PM
    Light bulbs, the original search engine.
  • 2 Hide
    marokero , November 3, 2010 2:30 PM
    danwat1234...64.28 Lumens/watt.LED technology isn't there yet!


    Cree's own XP-G emiters already put out 132 lumens/watt. What needs to happen is price to come down on LED products. A triple XP-G star sells for around $22 each, and needs a driver that can cost almost as much. Once prices go down, and color gets better fidelity, then LEDs will take off. That triple XP-G star can put out 1000 lumens at 9.9W, and there are other LED products like Luminus Devices' SST-90 that puts out over 2000 lumens from a single emiter... oh yeah, heat is another issue, a BIG issue to be addressed.
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , November 3, 2010 2:40 PM
    As my CFLs begin to wear out, I hope the issues of cost and diffusion on LED lighting can be addressed. As they are now, I may still buy one for a desk lamp just for the coolness factor.
  • 0 Hide
    marokero , November 3, 2010 3:05 PM
    Whenever I can I try to replace CFL and incandescent bulbs with an LED solution. If I can't find one, I build one. Like the Riegel.LR I built for my living room (~2000 lumens and it only uses 36W):

    http://marokero.com/Riegel.LR/

    I might tackle my kitchen next, as one of the CFL tubes keeps failing, and it's not nearly as bright as I'd like it to be. Not cheap, but I love building these.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , November 3, 2010 3:15 PM
    AlexTheBlueI'll hold out for semi-affordable 60 watt equivalent LED bulbs, thanks. These ones are too dim and too costly for most of my fixtures.


    I have to argee, these bulbs only put out the old equiqellent of 30 watts. Not bad for a dim bedroom mood lighting but not enough for most purposes.

    Let me know when they can put out at least 800 lumens and cost about $5 (or less).
  • 0 Hide
    ccx , November 3, 2010 3:15 PM
    These are no better than the early days of CFLs. I got 3 LED lights from Sams club awhile ago in the 20-30$ range. 2 are no longer working after what I would guess is less than a few hundred hours of running and the 3rd only half the LEDs lights up. Ill buy them again but not until a major company like GE has tested them. CFLs are good enough for the time being.
  • 1 Hide
    Anomalyx , November 3, 2010 3:22 PM
    I'm just glad to hear that LED lighting is still gaining momentum. I hate the light CFLs give off. Personally I'm a fan of sunlight (computer nerd who likes sunlight... isn't that the strangest thing you've ever heard?), but for artificial lighting I like LED light because it's cheap to power and doesn't hurt my eyes/head like fluorescent lighting does, whether it be compact or not. My only complaint is the ridiculous dimness and blueness of any LED light bulbs I've been able to find so far. I'll be more than happy to buy some bright white ones when the technology gets more robust.
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