The Incandescent Light Bulb Strikes Back…

An incandescent light bulb

Following the EU ban on traditional incandescent light bulbs, we all thought the future was based around LED lighting. But it seems that the clever people from MIT in America have given the incandescent light bulb a reprieve thanks to a technological breakthrough.

Incandescent lighting and its warm, familiar glow is well over a century old yet survives virtually unchanged in homes around the world. It is a simple design that everyone loves. But that has been changing fast, as regulations aimed at improving energy efficiency have been phasing out the old bulbs in favour of more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and newer light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs).

Incandescent bulbs, commercially developed by Thomas Edison, work by heating a thin tungsten wire to temperatures of around 2,700 degrees Celsius. That hot wire emits what is known as black body radiation, a very broad spectrum of light that provides a warm look and a faithful rendering of all colours to the human eye.

But these bulbs have always suffered from one major problem: More than 95 percent of the energy that goes into them is wasted, most of it as heat. That’s why country after country has banned or is phasing out the inefficient technology. Now, researchers at MIT and Purdue University have found a way to change all that.

Three MIT professors have made major breakthrough with what they call – light recycling. The key is to create a two-stage process, the researchers report.

The first stage involves a conventional heated metal filament, with all its attendant losses. But instead of allowing the waste heat to dissipate in the form of infrared radiation, secondary structures surrounding the filament capture this radiation and reflect it back to the filament to be re-absorbed and re-emitted as visible light. These structures, a form of photonic crystal, are made of Earth-abundant elements and can be made using conventional material-deposition technology.

That second step makes a dramatic difference in how efficiently the system converts electricity into light. One quantity that characterizes a lighting source is the so-called luminous efficiency, which takes into account the response of the human eye. Whereas the luminous efficiency of conventional incandescent lights is between 2 and 3 percent, that of fluorescents (including CFLs) is between 7 and 15 percent, and that of most compact LEDs between 5 and 15 percent, the new two-stage incandescent could reach efficiencies as high as 40 percent, the team says.

The first proof-of-concept units made by the team do not yet reach that level, achieving about 6.6 percent efficiency. But even that preliminary result matches the efficiency of some of today’s CFLs and LEDs, they point out. And it is already a threefold improvement over the efficiency of today’s incandescent light bulbs.

The team refers to their approach as “light recycling,” since their material takes in the unwanted, useless wavelengths of energy and converts them into the visible light wavelengths that are desired.  Put simply “It recycles the energy that would otherwise be wasted,”

Here at Easy-Lightbulbs.com we think this is a brilliant step forward. The majority of people still love the light from incandescent bulbs and the ease with which it works with all dimmers. If incandescent light bulbs are suddenly as efficient as LED’s then we will be able to bring them back into the UK and Europe for our customers.

 

How to pick the perfect light bulbs for your house

To help you choose the right light bulbs, we’ve written a quick guide detailing the most important considerations.

  1. Think about function

Before you decide on the light bulbs themselves, you need to decide how you want them to function. Generally, there are three categories:

  • General: illuminates the whole room, producing an effect similar to natural light
  • Task: lights up a certain area for a specific purpose
  • Accent: essentially creates shadowing around a feature object to achieve a dramatic effect

You can layer these functions across a room, so you should decide where you want the lighting to go by paying attention to the current layout.

  1. Choose the correct bulbs

Different light bulbs perform in different ways, so you’ll need to select the right type to meet your requirements. The four most common light bulbs are:

  • Incandescent: traditional bulbs which produce a warm glow. After decades of use they are being phased out in favour of more efficient alternatives
  • Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFLs): these last longer than incandescent bulbs while using up to 75% less energy. The light might feel a bit cooler, but they’re now available in a range of brightness levels.
  • LEDs: equally as efficient as CFLs, but able to burn for up to three times as long. Formally used predominantly for task lighting due to their strong, direct light, the technology has improved considerably to make them look more like traditional bulbs
  • Halogen: produces a white light similar to daylight – often perfect for task lighting
  1. Select your fixtures

You’ll now need to pick the fixtures that will complement your bulbs. The following are some typical fixtures and how they should be used:

  • Ceiling mounted: the most common fixture for general lighting
  • Chandeliers: also popular for general lighting, but best used in dining rooms or bedrooms
  • Wall-mounted/recessed: can be used for general, task or accent lighting, depending on where and how you use them
  • Pendant: hung with shades from the ceiling, providing general lighting without the glare
  • Track: a set of fixtures running along a track that can normally be turned in new directions as you please. Perfect for both accent and general lighting
  • Table lamps: great for task lighting, although several around one room can produce an accenting effect

Here at Easy Light Bulbs, we supply a range of bulbs to fit with any purpose. Just browse our online shop, or contact a team member today.

The Lamp Company – 25 Years

Biography:

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The Lamp Company was founded in the cold December of 1990 at the height of the recession, by Ian and Cledwyn Fursland and Alexander Whitelaw. The business started as a specialist wholesale supplier of light bulbs (or lamps as they are called in the trade). Premises were hard to find in those days but a deal was done so that the Lamp Company could operate from an old Blacksmiths workshop in Watton – At – Stone.group

In 1991 Simon Gifford helped design a logo for the fledgling business and the three founders decided on the strap line of “Unrivalled Service, Knowledge, and Choice” which remains the core principles of the business to this day.

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By the end of 1992 the business had outgrown the old Blacksmiths workshop and moved in January 1993 to a purpose built industrial unit in Nup End, Knebworth. At the same time The Lamp Company hired its first employee in sales, to help answer all the calls that were now coming in daily.

Two months later, in March 1993, the second employee joined to work in the warehouse. This was a young man called Colin, who is still with the business today and who now runs all our export sales and is responsible for sending light bulbs (lamps) all around the world. For instance we have supplied special light bulbs to the Metropolitan Opera house in New York and the Queen Mary liner at various ports around the globe.

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From 1993 to 2000 the business took on four more warehouse units to house the ever growing stock and to help keep up with sales. Inevitably this was never going to be permanent solution for the business.

Following a triple heart bypass Cledwyn Fursland retired from the business in June 2000. But has remained very close to the business ever since.

Finally, after a long search a 12,000 square foot warehouse was found in Baldock where all the stock and all the sales team could be placed under the one roof. It took three months to make the move happen but by March 2001 every light bulb and every person was in.

In 2003 there seemed to be a lot interest in something called “the internet” so a trade website was built – www.lampco.co.uk which listed all the light bulbs and explained what The Lamp Company did.

This first website was then swiftly followed in 2005 by a more customer friendly version – www.easy-lightbulbs.com which at the time was incredibly advanced as all products and actual stock holdings were displayed for customers.

From 2005 to 2009 the business enjoyed steady growth and gradually the new warehouse was filled and modified to keep up with the demands of the growing customer base.

The Company developed its own brand product under the name “Casell Lighting” in 2007 along with a small battery range which has grown to date.

Sadly in 2009, after 19 years with the business Alex Whitelaw had to retire due to ill health.

After 20 years of selling every light bulb that was ever made 2010 saw the introduction of some new product ranges. Control gear and associated lighting accessories was a natural step and one that the now loyal customer base had been asking for.

 

Today as the business enters its 25th year it is still operating in Baldock and enjoys fiercely loyal staff, with over half of the workforce having served ten years or more. The warehouse now stocks over 18,000 different light bulbs and lighting products and the highly trained sales staff have access to 40,000 items more when necessary.

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With twenty eight hard working members of staff and a record sales month in November; The Lamp Company is excited about the future and ready to keep on following the guiding principles laid down in 1991 of “Unrivalled Service, Knowledge and Choice to make sure that the next twenty five years are just as exciting.

Don’t shop anywhere else for the very best coloured bulbs

If you need to obtain obtain coloured light bulbs, we have a newsflash for you – look no further than Easy Light Bulbs. We can cater for a wealth of needs by supplying everything from pygmy bulbs, fluorescent tubes and halogen reflectors to coloured round and standard bulbs.

We offer coloured bulbs in a range of colours to meet your requirements, whether you are hosting a party or simply wish to add a new layer of character to a room. Our team members know our catalogue inside out, and can therefore assist in finding the coloured light bulbs that you require.

Our online store stocks bulbs in an assortment of colours, including red, blue, yellow, green, orange, pink and many more. If you can’t find what you are looking for on the site, simply drop us a line to see what we can do. We regularly go the extra mile to help customers to source specific, hard-to-find products.

Browse our range of coloured bulbs today to view items from such manufacturers as Casell (our own brand), Crompton and The Lamp Company. We can offer bulbs that incorporate all manner of fittings, encompassing bayonet and screw-in bulbs, 2 pin and GU10 halogen reflectors and 2 and 4 pin fluorescent tubes to give just a few examples.

Having been in the business for well over two decades, we possess the experience and expertise necessary to deliver everything that you could possibly require from a lighting company. We have more than 30,000 different product lines and as many as two million items in stock at any time.

You can even depend on us for worldwide delivery, while we have won glowing reviews for our own brand of lighting, Casell Lighting, which is synonymous with great value and high quality. Why not take a look around our website right now if you need to access the very best in coloured light bulbs?

Our team is any here to help if you have any specific lighting requirements, but aren’t quite sure which products to opt for. Call upon the vast expertise and experience of our staffers to identify the most appropriate products for your needs. To find out more about our unrivalled range of lighting products, simply peruse the site or get in touch today.

The many benefits of fluorescent tubes

What’s even better is that fluorescent tubes tend to last much longer than traditional bulbs. Talk to our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team here at Easy Light Bulbs today if you need help identifying the best light bulbs for your needs – whether fluorescent or otherwise.

These tubes are also cooler than many other types of bulb, meaning that they won’t generate unwanted heat. They last up to 20 times longer than other bulbs, so you won’t need to replace them anything like as regularly. We offer a vast range of fluorescent tubes, which allows us to cater for a wealth of needs, tastes and budgets. These bulbs are a good match for spaces of a normal room temperature, and where the lights are likely to be kept on for relatively long periods at a time, such as an hour.

Our catalogue includes a vast range of products including circular, Triphosphor and daylight fluorescent tubes. Whether you require T2, T8 diameter tubes or Triphosphor coated lamps, we can cater for your needs, and what’s more is that we can offer in-depth advice on the products in our catalogue, helping you to come to an informed decision.

The Eterna Blue T4 20W bulb is among the most popular and attractive fluorescent tubes in our range. It offers 6,000 hours of lighting and is manufactured by the highly-reputable LAMP company. Like all the products in our catalogue, it is available at a highly competitive price and you can get in touch with us at any time if you have any queries about the item.

Order your fluorescent tubes before 3pm and you’ll even be able to take advantage of next day delivery. We always carry a great deal of stock, so our customers are rarely left waiting to get the products that they order. Why not browse our online selection of fluorescent tubes right now, to see if any catch your eye?