EDN, May 26, 2011

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ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHTS TO GAIN FROM INCANDESCENT BAN THE 100-YEAR-LONG REIGN OF THE INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB IS ABOUT TO END. RATHER THAN BEMOANING ITS DEATH, LIGHTING-CIRCUIT DESIGNERS WOULD DO WELL TO SEE THE OPPORTUNITY IN OFFERING A LIGHT WITH INSTANT-ON, THAT DIMS WITHOUT FLICKER, AND THAT IS RELIABLE AND COST-EFFECTIVE. BY MARGERY CONNER • TECHNICAL EDITOR he Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 dictates the phase-out of the incandes- cent light bulb starting in 2012 (Reference 1). The bill does not specifically ban incan- descent lights: You will still be able to buy any incandescent light that can meet the act's efficacy specification of a 25% improvement in incandescent-light output. The lights are noto- riously poor producers of usable light, however. They lose 96% of the power they use to heat; hence, Hasbro uses them as the heating element in the Easy-Bake toy oven. So far, no one has discovered a cost-effective way of coaxing more light and less heat from incandescent lights. T 48 EDN | MAY 26, 2011 Nevertheless, both state and nation- al governments, as well as consumers' preference for saving money in the face of rising energy costs, are signaling the end of the line for common incandes- cent light bulbs. Herein lies an oppor- tunity for engineers in creating lights that not only replace incandescents but also enhance the home or commercial environment through automatic energy savings and create a pleasant lighting environment. Lighting technologies such as LED, fluorescent, and halogen are vying to become the new ubiquitous light source. IMAGE: THINKSTOCK

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