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The Light Bulb 2.0

The 100 watt incandescent light bulb, standard since Thomas Edison Days, is on its way out by law, January 1. We’ll look at the light to come.

LED light bulbs made by the Lighting Science Group (AP)

LED light bulbs made by the Lighting Science Group (AP)

For 400,000 years, human night has been lit by flame. Even Thomas Edison’s incandescent light is, essentially, the light of a burning filament that casts the glow of flame.

But incandescent bulbs are infamously inefficient. On January 1st, by law, the 100 watt incandescent bulb is going away. No more manufacture or import. Then 60 watt incandescent bulbs will go. Then 40.

So what will light our homes? What kind of light? At what price?

This hour On Point: The revolution in lighting. We’re looking at the light to come.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dan Koeppel, writer, “Let There Be LED” for Wired magazine

Robert Friedel, professor, History of Technology & Science Department, University of Maryland; author, “Edison’s Electric Light: The Art of Invention

Brett Sharenow, CFO & CSO, Switch Lighting

From Tom’s Reading List

Sept. Cover (Courtesy of Wired Magazine)

Sept. Cover (Courtesy of Wired Magazine)

Wired “[LED is] a liquid -cooled bulb, as radically different from Edison’s invention as anything that’s ever been screwed into a standard socket and, […] the next big thing in the $30 billion lighting industry.”

Consumer Reports “Our tests of 26 compact fluorescents and 10 light-emitting diodes found that though the newest bulbs might not be perfect, they last longer and use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, and many of the problems of earlier versions have been overcome.”

More

(Courtesy of Wired/Misha Gravenor)

This illuminated LED light bulb, made by Switch, has a liquid filled dome that prevents the LED from overheating. (Misha Gravenor/Wired)

Comparison shop for LED bulbs

(Courtesy of Wired)

(Courtesy of Wired)

Learn more about new LED bulbs on the market:
GE
Lighting Sciences International (makes some EcoSmart bulbs)
Philips
Switch
Feit Electric

Video

How Switch LED Bulbs Work

LED Bulbs Light Up LightFair

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ONPOINT
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Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 
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The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

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