A soon-to-be-released light bulb developed by General Electric uses cutting-edge technology to last -- get this -- 17 years!
Let's put it into perspective. Imagine you have a baby
, and you install the soon-to-be-available Energy Smart LED
(light-emitting diode) bulb in the baby's room. That baby will grow up and graduate from high school before that light bulb burns out (based on four hours of use a day).
Of course, there will be a price to pay. The bulbs, which were introduced at trade shows
this year and should be on the market some time in 2011, will cost more than $40 each. That will be the price for the trendsetters among us, also known as "early adopters." As with most new technologies, you can expect the price to drop dramatically in coming years.
The new bulbs are expected to last, according to GE, 25,000 hours -- that's 25 times longer than a regular light bulb and three times longer than a typical compact fluorescent. Each Energy Smart LED bulb would prevent 25 spent light bulbs from ending up in a landfill.
The great part for homeowners is the energy savings. This bulb, GE says, is expected to consume just 9 watt of energy but produce the same light (450 lumens) as a 40-watt bulb
. That works out to a 77 percent savings on energy costs. Can you imagine all of our appliances and devices giving us a 77 percent savings on the energy bill?
I know what you're thinking: Why does this the bulb in the image above have fins? According to the company, those fins help drain heat off of the bulb, making it last longer.
It's quite fitting that the Cleveland-GE developed this new technology. It was back in 1962 when Nick Holonyak Jr.
invented the first visible LED bulb while working in a GE laboratory. Holonyak is now 81 and still a researcher at the University of Illinois. Who knows what he'll come up with next?