December 18, 2013
FORCING INNOVATION ALWAYS WORKS:
Switching to This Flat LED Light Bulb Could Be an Easy Resolution to Keep in the New Year (Tuan C. Nguyen, 12/18/13, Smithsonian)
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2013 7:25 PMIt was only when the Cree warm white LED bulb was introduced in March of this year that consumers and critics felt they may soon have acceptable options. Here, at least, was a replacement that was omni-directional, dimmed smoothly, worked quietly and cost around $12 for the 6-watt (40W) version. Royal Philips Electronics CEO Frans van Houten says that the tipping point for consumers is "well below $10."Hailed as the first LED bulb to actually feel like a conventional bulb, the Cree warm white was praised widely by reviewers for its coverage and ability to cast a "warm and pleasant" glow. In response, Cree's main competitor, Philips, is now set to release a high-performance, 60-watt model with a rumored price that's even lower (under $10), an achievement made possible by--get this--simply flattening the bulb.The SlimStyle's radical design allows for continuous operation without the need for aluminum heat sinks, one of the major cost drivers of LED bulbs. These components are built into LED lights to draw heat away from the diode, or light source, which is prone to overheating, a consequence that shortens the bulbs' life span. A heat sink, however, generally amounts to 16 percent of the cost of manufacturing a single bulb. Instead, positioning an array of LEDs along the raised rim of a flat bulb, according to a Philips representative, "helps conduct heat away from the LEDs, eliminating the need for the heavy aluminum heat sinks associated with LED bulbs."
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