Finally: Ridiculously High Tech Lightbulbs

Everydamnthing is high tech these days. I can literally ask my TV remote to find the newest episode of Cupcake Wars, and it’ll change the channel right to it; I can turn up the heat in my house from my phone when I’m three states away; little kids’ action figures interact with tablets and gaming consoles (because your imagination is for $#!t, Kevin). Everydamnthing even includes lightbulbs.

“Acandescent” Light

Incandescent lightbulbs have been officially phased out by the Federales. (Remember a few years back when people were making a big stink about that? They’re just friggin’ lightbulbs, gang… “When incandescent bulbs are outlawed, only outlaws will have incandescent bulbs.”) In their place have come a slew of new lightbulb options (“new lightbulb options” is a phrase I never thought I’d type), including the compact fluorescents with which most of us have replaced incandescents and extremely energy-efficient, but spendy, LED bulbs.

Something something bright idea!

Something something bright idea!

These new bulbs all use less juice than the old-timey ones, which is the goal, but the light they produce is noticeably different. It can range from super bright white to weirdly bluish to almost-but-not-quite-the-same-as-incandescent light. For those of us who grew up with incandescent bulbs everywhere (which is most people, at least for now), the shift in light quality can be a little off-putting.

The Finally Light Bulb Company, straight outta Charlestown, Mass., is using way more technology than should ever go into a lightbulb to bring back the warm, soft light we’re all used to. Each of their “acandescent” lightbulbs uses an electromagnetic coil to stimulate a secret sauce of gases inside the bulb, creating ultraviolet light. A special phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb’s glass turns that UV light into visible light. Technology, right?!

Paying the Cost to Be the Energy-Efficient Boss

Finally says their acandescent lightbulbs are 75 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and last 15 times longer. I seem to remember a similar longevity claim being made about the curlicue compact fluorescent bulbs, which, from my experience, is absolutely not true—those suckers barely last one time as long as the old tungsten filament bulbs.

However, at ten bucks a pop for a single 60-watt bulb, Finally better deliver on both their promises. The high cost of the bulbs is, of course, tied into the high cost of having a dadgum electromagnet inside a lightbulb. This technology has been used in industrial lighting for decades, but has thus far been difficult to make feasible for the consumer market.

By all accounts, the ridiculously high tech bulbs deliver. They’re shaped like the traditional lightbulbs of yore, and reportedly provide an agreeable pinkish-yellow light highly reminiscent of good ol’ incandescents.

Still, at $10 for one bulb, I don’t think the word “feasible” means what you think it means, Finally Light Bulb Company.

Photo credit: byzantiumbooks / Foter / CC BY

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