Shedding New Light

The first incandescent  light bulbs were introduced over 100 years ago, and have gone virtually unchanged since.  In fact, it is the only technological innovation from that time period that is still widely in use today that has not undergone considerable modifications and improvements — could you imagine still sending mail using the Pony Express?

However, as time has passed, new technologies have emerged like CFL’s and LED’s that have a much longer lifespan, and use considerably less energy to emit the same amount of light as their incandescent counterparts. There are now hundreds of options to choose from — incandescents, CFL’s, and LED’s — all offering different sizes, shapes, colors, and price.  With so many choices it can be a pretty daunting task to go to the hardware store and find the bulb that you want.

I certainly know how difficult it can be, when we did our lighting retrofit here at Kendall-Jackson, we partnered with General Electric, looked at dozens of options, and eventually came up with a couple of viable solutions for our facilities.  All in all, we installed over 4,000 new bulbs and are saving 1,664,500-kilowatt hours per year – enough to power 266 average homes for one year.

To help transition the incandescent light bulb into this century, new companies like LIFX are working hard to reinvent this century-old technology by putting a unique spin on LED’s.  If this was an option when we did our lighting retrofit here at Kendall-Jackson, we might have gone a different route.

LIFX Labs is a pet project from San Francisco’s Phil Bosua and is committed to completely revolutionizing the lighting industry.  Before LIFX, once you bought the bulb you were stuck with what came in the package.  But now, using state-of-the art, Wi-Fi enabled, multicolored, high efficiency LED bulbs, Bosua’s project can create a unique lighting experience for each user.  And did I mention that you control the brightness, dimness and color with your iPhone or Android?

This fully customizable lighting experience is incredibly energy efficient.  The LED bulbs used are 50% more efficient than your typical CFL, and use only 13% of the energy needed to power a standard incandescent bulb; not to mention the LIFX bulbs are expected to last up to 25 years.

LIFX is working on bringing this product to a home near you, so if you think this project is as neat as I do, then take a look at their Kickstarter page.  It is amazing that in only the first couple of days Bousa raised over $1 million.  By making a pledge, you are personally investing in this revolutionary technology.

If you have not started to upgrade the lighting in your house, this might be a fun place to start.