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ESL Lightbulbs Better Than CFL, LED?

As the lighting industry transitions away from incandescent to more energy-friendly alternatives such as CFL or LED, there's a lesser known type of lightbulb that's more environmentally friendly (with no mercury) and produces a warmer light that's pleasing to the eye--and it's called the ESL.

ESL is short for Electron Stimulated Luminescence, which uses accelerated electrons in a spray to stimulate phosphor to create light. Read more about the technology here.

Vu1 Corporation of Seattle, WA has released an eight minute video that features a demonstration of ESL, a side by side feature comparison with CFLs and LEDs, and interviews with lighting and energy industry experts. It's produced by Vu1, so it's obviously slanted towards the ESL, but it's still fascinating.

"As we move our technology from the lab into testing and pilot production, we felt it was important to visually display the unique attributes of ESL and the progress we have made, as well as let the world know there is a lighting solution coming that performs similarly to the incandescent light bulb we are all familiar with," said R. Gale Sellers, Vu1's CEO. "This video is our first opportunity to show people the benefits of our breakthrough technology that is generating widespread interest and enthusiasm from scientists, industry experts, utility companies, and lighting product distributors."

Vu1 is now targeting product availability by mid 2010.

  • The major problem I have with this video: they talk about all the great characteristics of these bulbs, but they don't mention how long they are supposed to last or what the watts/lumens rate is. A ESL bulb is all well and good that it matches the spectrum that a traditional light bulb puts out, but if it uses 30W as opposed to 60, and lasts about 3 months, I'll stick with my CFLs
    Reply
  • ESL and lighting in all it's glory, but the thing im wondering about, this being TomsHardware and all is: Will it make Crysis look any better?
    Reply
  • redgarl
    Really interesting, it shows that it's simple change that can make a big impacts on our environment.
    Reply
  • redgarl
    psimitryThe major problem I have with this video: they talk about all the great characteristics of these bulbs, but they don't mention how long they are supposed to last or what the watts/lumens rate is. A ESL bulb is all well and good that it matches the spectrum that a traditional light bulb puts out, but if it uses 30W as opposed to 60, and lasts about 3 months, I'll stick with my CFLs
    4 time the lifespan of a incandescent light bulb. For my part, I really which to know how much energy it uses...
    Reply
  • TheDraac
    Good one Bredmeupmate...... LOL
    Reply
  • Upendra09
    ESL, english second language

    i got my flame suit so.......

    FLAME ON!!!!!
    Reply
  • bubblehouse
    Lighting is a huge opportunity for the right product and right company. I don't think this is one of them. The technology is questionable. Just curious... is Vu1's bulbs going to get Energy Star certified and what does that process look like?
    Reply
  • TunaSoda
    Got a couple cases of standard 75w incandescent bulbs from Home Depot so I'm good :)
    Reply
  • geoffs
    In the video they claim it's currently "a little over 4x the energy efficiency" of an incandescent bulb, so roughly comparable to CFL bulbs.

    Modern CFL bulbs can produce very warm, balanced light. Not necessarily good enough for work where color accuracy is critical (printing, etc), but good enough that most people can't tell it's CFL unless they see the slight delay at startup.

    Now for the real questions. Electrons striking a phosphor to produce light. Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah, something called a CRT. During the whole time they spend in the video talking about the dangers of mercury in CFL bulbs, I'm wondering about how they're shielding their bulb as I don't particularly want to be bombarded with an electron stream all day long. Which leads me to lead (Pb), specifically do they use lead shielding in the bulbs? Lead is no less dangerous than mercury. If not, how do they contain the electron beam? Also, CRTs aren't known for their efficiency.

    Not saying any of this is impossible, or even unlikely, but I do have questions.
    Reply
  • jerther
    Wow... mini CRT (Cathode Ray Tube).

    I thought the liquid filled bulb we saw earlier was a better innovation.
    Reply