Entries in Light Bulbs (4)


Philips Hue Light Bulb Can Be Controlled with Phone

Philips(NEW YORK) -- Given all the attention being placed on Hurricane Sandy, Monday might not be the best day to announce a new light bulb, but at least Philips’ hue isn’t just any old light bulb.

It's a light bulb that you can control with your iPhone, iPad or Android phone.  With an app, you can not only turn on and off the light when you are away from home, but you can also customize the color of the light.

How does it all work?  The starter kit, which starts at $199, comes with a smart bridge, a gadget that plugs into your home’s WiFi router.  That bridge connects to the LED bulb and then the 600 lumen LED bulb connects to the hue app on your phone.  The bulbs screw into your existing fittings, just like any normal light bulb.

The secret sauce is really in the app though.  That’s where you can control the light with some pretty advanced features, including matching the color of the light to a color on any photo; the bulbs supports any color on the RGB spectrum, which equals 16 million different colors.

You can also say goodbye to those old light bulb timers; you can set the light to turn on and off at a specific time and even wake you up with a “gentle wake up” setting.  Lastly, you can control up to 50 bulbs from the single app.

Other companies have announced WiFi-equipped light bulbs, but Philips is the first to bring it to market for consumers.  It is based on ZigBee Light Link standard, which other companies such as Sylvania and GE are also working with.

The $199 hue starter kit, which contains three light bulbs and the bridge, goes on sale on Oct. 30 at Apple stores.  The rub?  Additional bulbs cost $59, while the average LED light bulb costs much less -- about $16 on Amazon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


$50 Light Bulb Wins Government Affordability Prize

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. government has awarded appliance-maker Philips $10 million for devising an “affordable” alternative to today’s standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That standard bulb sells for around $1. The Philips alternative sells for $50.

Of course, the award-winner is no ordinary bulb. It uses only one-sixth the energy of an incandescent. And it lasts 30,000 hours -- about 30 times as long. In fact, if you don’t drop it, it may last 10 years or more.

But only the U.S. Government (in this case, the Department of Energy) could view a $50 bulb as cheap.

“I don’t want to say it’s exorbitant,” a Home Depot bulb-peddler quoted by The Washington Post demurs. He goes on to say, though, that he could see how a consumer shopping by price could come to that conclusion.

The Post says retailers are reluctant to criticize the bulb, lest they earn the wrath of Philips, a major supplier.

The Department of Energy created its so-called “L-Prize” to encourage manufacturers to come up with energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) alternatives to incandescent bulbs. To be deemed the winner, a bulb had to be affordable.

But LED alternatives already on the market and comparable to the L-Prize winner sell for less than half its price.

So by what standard is the winner cheap? The federal government’s, of course. But to be fair, also by the standard of other U.S.-made LEDs. The L-Prize originally required the winning bulb to be made in the U.S.A. The components for Philips’ bulb are made in California and assembled in Wisconsin. Cheaper LEDs of comparable performance come from overseas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Congress Defunds Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Incandescent light bulbs are back. A last-minute rider attached to the omnibus government spending bill defanged the 2007 energy standards for light bulbs that would have rendered the good ol’ incandescent all but obsolete starting Jan. 1, by stripping funding for enforcing the ban.

Beginning next year, the federal government had planned to start banning cheap, energy-guzzling light bulbs and instead requiring more energy-efficient bulbs be manufactured and sold.

It was a bipartisan idea, but conservatives have come to hate it. It wasn’t just that the new bulbs are uglier, dimmer and more expensive, but that the federal government was dictating what kind of light bulb consumers could buy.

“The American people want less government intrusion into their lives, not more, and that includes staying out of their personal light bulb choices,” said GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who, as a member of the House, introduced a bill to roll back the incandescent ban.

So Friday Congress took the teeth out of the incandescent ban by eliminating the funds the Department of Energy would need to enforce it.

But what many Republicans are celebrating as a win for individuals’ light-bulb-choosing freedom will probably not save the energy-guzzling bulbs from disappearing off store shelves.

“The industry has moved on,” said Larry Lauck, a spokesman for the American Lighting Association.

Lauck said U.S. light bulb manufacturers have already “retooled” their production lines to build more efficient bulbs, he said.

Joseph Higbee, a spokesman for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which represents 95 percent of U.S. light bulb manufacturers, said even if the Department of Energy does not have the funding to enforce the energy efficiency standards, manufacturers are not going to retro-fit their assembly lines to produce the traditional, less-efficient bulbs.

“The manufacturers have invested millions into the transitions and a delay in enforcement undermines those investments and creates regulatory uncertainty,” Higbee said. “Without [federal] enforcement, it does allow bad actors to sell noncompliant products without fear of enforcement and that creates a competitive disadvantage for law-abiding companies.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Philips Recalling 1.86 Million Light Bulbs over Laceration Risk

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(WASHINGTON) -- Philips Lighting announced Thursday that it is recalling 1.86 million light bulbs after receiving 700 reports of a faulty glue attachment on the products' body, which could pose a laceration risk to consumers.

The recall affects the company's EnergySaver -- also known as Marathon or Marathon Classic -- compact fluorescent dimmable reflector lamps made between March 2007 and May 2010.  The models that could put consumers at risk are R30, R40, and PAR 38.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the glue that keeps the glass globe attached to the body of the lamp on these models can fail, allowing the globe to fall and shatter.

So far, two minor injuries have been reported as a result.  Three instances of minor property damage have also occurred.

Consumers can locate the model numbers and date codes on the white ceramic portion at the base of the light bulbs.  Those with an affected product are advised to immediately cease its use and contact Philips for a replacement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio