Incandescent lights to start dimming

On the continued theme of the superior value of efficiency plays, news breaks out just this week that Toshiba will halt production of their incandescent lighting business, a product they have sold since 1890. The company will now focus on LED lights instead. For reasons of: consumer preferences, government legislation and frankly, common sense, the incandescent light bulb is being replaced by both CFL lights and eventually LED. See Toshiba’s own sales chart of incandescents and CFLs here:

Toshiba Light Sales (Credit: Toshiba & CNET News)

Select Govt Incandescent laws:

US: A 30% increase in efficiency in selected light bulbs which is an effective phase out of incandescents from 2012-2014.
UK: Ban, beginning 1/1/2011
Canada: Ban, beginning 1/1/2012
European Union: Ban, beginning 1/1/2010
Ban, beginning 1/1/2011.
: Ban, beginning 1/1/2010.
Others include: Philippines, Malaysia, Ireland, New Zealand, Venezuela & Cuba.

Lumens Produced per each Watt of electricity:
Incandescent: 10-18 lumens
CFL: 35-60 lumens
LED (cool white, 5000k): 47-64 lumens

Thus, for equal lighting needs we can see an instant 2-4x reduction in electricity consumption when using advanced light technologies.

Challenges: Like many clean tech products, consumer acceptance is a key challenge. Convincing consumers of another generation that advanced lighting will produce the same amount of light and justify a small upfront premium is a challenge I experienced personally when family helped me move to a new house this month. Additionally, finding CFL light bulbs that will fit into your “dimmer” light sockets is very difficult at the moment which can leave consumers with only an incandescent option (until selection improves.) Other, specialized lighting needs are also difficult to satisfy with the current CFL/LED selection in stores however this flaw is expected to improve. CFL lights contain a small amount of mercury. Care is needed should a CFL break, or you can purchase this CFL with a safety skin.

Advanced Light Firms: Toshiba, GE, Phillips plus many start up firms likely with goals to be purchased by one of the larger OEMs such as: ClearLite, Luminus Devices, YLX, Cree, Neo-Neon, & Seoul Semiconductor.

Fun Fact: “Toshiba estimates that switching 60 percent of the world’s incandescent lights with LED lights would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 125.5 million tons in 2025, compared to 2000.”