Today, Jan. 27, marks the 131st birthday of one of the most revolutionary, world-changing invention of all time. Decades later, this pioneering product is on the brink of extinction, slowly being phased out for the good. Have a guess as to what I’m talking about? Hint: It’s something that you can no longer purchase at IKEA and something that Republican Congresswoman/Tea Party talking head Michele Bachmann has probably already started hoarding in the basement of her Minnesota home.
I’m talking about the incandescent light bulb, which on Jan. 27, 1880, became a reality when Thomas Edison was granted the patent for “Improvement in Electric Lamps and in the method of manufacturing.”
To celebrate Edison’s 131-year-old achievement — and to further emphasize that it has been a truly great run but that it's high time to move on to more energy-efficient lighting technologies — LED industry leader Cree has unveiled a new, LED-based A-lamp that’s the first of its kind to meet EnergyStar requirements for a 60-watt standard LED replacement bulb. Cree Chairman Chuck Swoboda describes the dimmable prototype bulb as “the first no-compromise replacement for a 60 watt incandescent bulb.”
According to Cree, this new EnergyStar-qualified bulb can last 25,000 hours or 15 times longer than Edison’s groundbreaking invention. It also uses 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. The bulb consumes less than 10 watts while boasting an output of more than 800 lumens.
Cree is also touting the bulb, dubbed the Cree TrueWhite Light, as being the brightest and whitest in the industry. Says Swoboda in a press release: “In the race to commercialize low-cost, low-energy bulbs, the industry has forgotten that LEED lighting is supposed to look as good as the technology it is replacing.” Amen.
No word on an exact release date of this breakthrough bulb or a potential cost. I’m interested to see how it stacks up cost-wise compared to GE’s $50 Energy Smart LED, the first A-Line LED 40 watt replacement bulb to achieve EnergyStar qualification.
In the meantime, head on over to the Cree TrueWhite website to learn more. On the site, there’s a cool cutaway image of the bulb as well as tech specs and a video that drives home the point: “Thank you Mr. Edison, well take it from here.”