Back in March, the chocolate Easter bunny annihilators over at North Carolina-based Cree officially opened the floodgates for high-quality budget LEDS with the release of revolutionary — and “non-weird”-looking — 40- and 60-watt replacement bulbs with price tags started at a little under $10.
Now stepping up to the plate is the 2D-Light, a curious-looking — Gizmag aptly describes the 60-watt replacement kind-of-bulb as being “USS Enterprise-like” — LED "light disk" due to hit the market at $10 and expected to drop in price to a mere $3 within the next four years. Hailed by inventor Andy Turudic and the team at Oregon-based startup NliteN (say it outloud) as being a “Light Bulb for the World — an LED bulb that everyone on the planet’ll be able to afford, changing lives and the environment,” the dimmable, disk-shaped 2D-Light recently hit the crowdfunding scene with an Indiegogo campaign to raise cash for production costs. NliteN’s goal? To raise $250,000 within the next several weeks.
There’s admittedly a lot to wade through on the 2D-Light campaign page and the folks at NliteN cover all the bases and then some. This is potentially game-changing stuff not just in terms of cost but in terms of design and performance as Turidic believes that the American manufactured 2D-Light — “born of Silicon Valley innovation and scaling, military and aerospace ruggedness, and highly-efficient and low-cost automated manufacturing” — has the potential to really make a difference the world over particularly in developing nations.
The pledge pitch is rather dramatic:
You can be part of this revolution with your pledge now. You can have satisfaction of walking into a store, looking at the light disks, and being able to say, ‘I made that happen.’ Or, you can do nothing and watch LED lighting technology languish on the shelf at $10 because there isn't a path to get the costs out (after all, they had to resort to manufacturing in China to have even a hope in selling the few they do now), while toxic CFL bulbs continue to be produced and sold, eventually destined for our landfills and water supply.
Launched as part of Philips Innovation Fellows competition (co-sponsored by Indiegogo), the omnidirectional "CFL killer" with its "retro" A-19-mimicking profile is 80 percent more efficient than a standard incandescent bulb and 30 percent more efficient than a CFL. As mentioned, the 2mm-thin bulb is designed as a true 60-watt replacement although it's unclear exactly how much juice the bulb actually consumes. With an output of 800 lumens, it will be available in both 3000K and 4000K “warm white” and “cool white” versions initially with other color temperatures to follow after the launch.
Turudic explains his mission in a recent press release:
The world looks to technology to deliver energy efficiency, better quality of life, and greater capabilities for lower cost. My epiphany came about when I applied my semiconductor industry thinking, and extensive and multidisciplinary design and manufacturing experience to create the patent pending 2D-Light technology. Despite NliteN's highest lumens per dollar price point, this scalable design can offer all of the world's consumers an extremely low cost LED disk that has a clean, energy efficient, point source of light with the style, quality, reliability, innovation, longevity, and attention to detail, expected of American made and designed productsOver the next couple of years, I expect NliteN's products to consequently save energy and green our environment, by making energy efficient, non-toxic, long life, lighting cost-effective, affordable, and available, to everyone on the planet. I won't be happy until 2D-Light's technology completely displaces toxic CFL bulbs. To accelerate near-term consumer adoption, a patent pending, grid friendly, load shedding, utility-dimming capability in 2D-Light should result in electric utility rebates, by reducing their spend on additional grid infrastructure, lowering prices of light disks to CFL levels. NliteN is building jobs, stronger economies, and a cleaner, more hopeful future for everyone and plans to do so, worldwide, without resorting to Chinese outsourcing.
Head on over to the 2D-Light campaign page to learn more about the technology and mission beyond the bulb and to contribute (pre-orders for a single first-gen 2D-Light start at $15 plus shipping). A video explainer will also be published by NliteN in the coming days so keep an eye out for that.
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- 'Nostalgia is dumb': Cree launches LED-promoting TV spots