Recently we were given the opportunity to test out the Ionic Bulb. No stranger to ionic technology, and deep in the throes of allergy season, we were curious as to how well this bulb would function as anair filter.
The Ionic Bulb, by Zevotek is a CFL equipped with a patented air purifying microchip ion emitter that is powered by the bulb's own energy. The 23W Ionic Bulb is equivalent to a standard 100W incandescent bulb and since the Ionic Bulb is a CFL it lasts up to 10 times longer and use 50% to 80% less energy than regular incandescent light bulbs. Zevotek claims that the bulb silently emits negative ions that help clear the air of smoke, dust, pet dander, allergens, airborne viruses and odors. After hearing all about the greatness that is the Ionic Bulb, we were eager to put its air filter chops to the test.
Our testing involved using the bulb in a small room in our apartment (the entire apartment is under 600 sq ft) that is frequently plagued with the smell of smoke, due to people smoking on the street outside of the apartment. To help test the air filtering abilities of the Ionic Bulb, we turned our HEPA filter off, and solely relied on the bulb for our air filtering needs.
Pros The smell of smoke was reduced and the bulb, being a light bulb, was easy to install (no additional Unplggd writers were needed to change the light bulb).
Cons The bulb makes a sort of hissing sound. Tthe technology is purported to be silent, but we know we were not imagining the soft persistent hiss. After awhile we stopped noticing the hiss, but as soon as we left the room and returned, we would notice it again. We also still sneezed repeatedly. Now, we know it is Spring and this year's allergy season is particularly brutal, but we felt that this bulb was not really working well as a pollen filter. When the HEPA filter is running in this same space, there is no sneezing, no sore throat, and no watery and swollen eyes. Unfortunately the bulb did not filter the air anywhere near as well as our good old Honeywell filter.
Conclusion Sadly, we are a bit disappointed in the Ionic Bulb. We had hoped it would be everything it was purported to be and like many products hawked in a similar fashion, it was a bit of a let down. At $9.99 a piece or for a limited time 4 for $19.99, they are not much more expensive than regular CFLs, and if you are in the market for a new light bulb, this might not be a bad one to pick up.... just don't count on it to replace your air filter if you suffer from allergies.