Vu1 R30 Bulb: $14.95

The incandescent light bulb’s popularity has been waning over the last decade thanks in large part to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), both of which are pushing for more energy efficient electricity. If an incandescent bulb uses 60 watts, a CFL emitting the same amout of light would use about 13 watts and and an LED bulb would use just 8 watts (see chart here).

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Now a new kind of bulb has entered the fray. This week, Vu1 announced that Lowes will be selling their electronically stimulated luminescence (ESL) R30 bulb. According to Vu1, ESLs use accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor in order to create light. The bulb uses 19.5 watts of power, a little more than CFLs, but they last longer — 11,000 hours compared with 8,000 hours. And more than that, they don’t contain the mercury CFLs contain, and the ESL bulbs are not plagued with the delay inherent to fluorescent lighting; these light up instantly with full brightness. The company also has plans to sell an Edison-style A19 bulb in the United States and Europe, both styles have received UL certification.


Credit: Vu1