New Green ESL Bulbs Will Be As Efficient As CFLs and LEDs

In the race to finding the greenest way to illuminate our nights, a new company has come up with a new refinement of old technology to serve our needs. Will it be enough to save you even more money? Find out after the jump.

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The race to finding an alternative to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) is on. Until now, everyone thought that LEDs and OLEDs were the wave of the future. However, a Seattle-based company named Vu1 has announced that it's developed a new type of bulb that could hit markets by mid-2010. The new technology is called ESL for electron stimulated luminescence and promises to eliminate problems associated with CFLs, like their use of mercury and their light color. Vu1 says that their bulbs will be as efficient as CFLs and will cost about $20 each to start out with.

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What is ESL technology? It works by firing electrons at phosphor, which then glows. It's similar to what was used in TVs and cathode ray tubes in the past. The bulbs have naturally been improved. The ESL bulbs will also feature warmer tones than CFLs, reminiscing of incandescent bulbs. Comparatively, LEDs don't contain harmful materials and can last up to 50,000 hours, however they are more expensive than ESLs. ESLs will last about 6,000 hours, which is four times as long as incandescents.

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Naturally, using switching over to CFLs from incandescents will save you a bunch of money. As we previously reported, CFLs are currently as efficient as LEDs. However, we are sure that this won't last. A 25,000 hour LED bulb is as energy efficient as 2.5 10,000 hour CFLs. In order to save even more money, we recommended switching over to highly efficient LEDs that had more than a 25,000 hour lifetime. However, it is possible for the color of LEDs to fade and turn bluish towards the end of their lifetime. Also, LEDs produce a lot of heat, which is why liquid-cooled LEDs were developed. For now, it seems that ESLs have to catch up to CFLs and LEDs in order to stay competitive and to justify all of their claims. Still, having another type of technology on the market can only give the consumer more choices and foster competition between manufacturers, thus making those technologies even more efficient. Sounds good to us.

[via Engadget]

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