Another week, another Kickstarter-funded LED bulb.

And for what this particular bulb, the NanoLight, lacks in smartness and sleek, incandescent-mimicking looks, it makes up for in superior efficiency. The 100-watt replacement bulb is so efficient — it produces over 1600 lumens while consuming only 12 watts — that its creators are hailing it as the “the World’s Most Efficient Light Bulb.” And as for the price point? At $45, it isn’t all that shabby either.

The first thing you’ll notice about the NanoLight is its somewhat alien geometric form that’s decidedly “a bit funky” as SmartPlanet puts it. What you’re seeing is a printed circuit board (PCB) that’s been folded into a light bulb-ish shape and mounted with electrical components. It's not the prettiest thing but that’s obviously besides the point.

The big deal here is that the NanoLight’s developers — a San Diego-based trio composed of Gimmy Chu, Christian Yan, and Tom Rodigner — have created a heat sink-free bulb (a rarity) that serves as a 100- or 75-watt replacement (again, a rarity in the world of LEDs) while offering the benefits of standard incandescent bulbs such as instant-on capabilities and omnidirectionality that aren’t normally found in LED or CFL bulbs. The lifespan of both the 10-watt NanoLight and the signature 12-watt model is between 25 and 30 years based on usage of 3 hours per day.

According to the NanoLight Kickstarter campaign page, “for the amount of energy that it uses, the NanoLight produces more light visible to the human eye than any other white light bulb available on the market.” Breaking it down, the 12-watt flagship NanoLight operates at a mere 133 lumens per watt which is 200 percent more efficient than other bulbs on the market. The bulb’s estimated annual energy cost is $1.84 (based on 3 hours/day, $0.14/KWh) and, overall, it requires 88 percent less energy than a standard incandescent.

The second 12-watt NanoLight produces a brightness of 1800 lumens at 150 per lumens per watt and costs the same to operate. Finally, the 10-watt NanoLight produces 1200 lumens at 120 lumens per watt. It’s estimated yearly energy cost is $1.53 which, again, is based on 3 hours/day at $0.14/KWh. All three bulbs boast a “neutral white with a bit of warmth” color temperature of 4000k. They’re also mercury-free and come in different voltages making them compatible in both North America and Europe/Asia. The current model of the NanoLight is not dimmable.

Lots more particulars on the NanoLight’s game-changing performance and the technology behind it over on the bulb’s Kickstarter page. And, of course, you can pre-order your own NanoLight for as low as $30 (the campaign has 48 more days to go and has already triped its intial fundraising goal). Both the 10-watt and 12-watt bulbs come in black or white and are expected to ship in May.


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

NanoLight LED boasts unconventional appearance, peerless efficiency
The NanoLight, a new Kickstarter-funded 12-watt LED bulb, eschews fancy-schmancy smart capabilities and instead focuses on groundbreaking energy savings.