After 134 years, the incandescent light bulb has finally outlived its usefulness. Incandescent bulbs are disappearing from store shelves in the US and many more will be gone within a few months. For those of us who forgot to hoard light bulbs, what are we to do the next time we are left in the dark? As we put to bed our old favorites, 60 and 40 watt bulbs, it is time to look to the future and make the best replacement choices for ourselves and the environment. That look to the future is filled with hints and mentions of LED lighting and the recent advances that have made it into a truly viable solution to our lighting dilemma.
This North Carolina maker of light emitting diodes aims to kill off the incandescent lightbulb. It’s already doubled its market cap to $7 billion in just one year.
In the ad for Cree lightbulbs you see snow whipping across a desolate field as a bagpipe creaks out “Amazing Grace.” An announcer holds up a lightbulb and speaks into the camera. “Mr. Edison, today we lay to rest your creation, the incandescent lightbulb. I know you’re not shocked, sir. You knew that it needed an unreasonable amount of energy to do its job and that it had the life span of a lucky bug.”
He fits the bulb into a tiny wooden casket and places it into a hole in the ground. Then we see Cree’s new LED bulb. “The biggest thing since the lightbulb,” we’re told. Continue reading