The pancake bulbThe Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates, among other things, efficiency improvements for light bulbs; 25% greater efficiency to be phased in from 2012 through 2014, and 200% greater efficiency by 2020. This effectively bans the antiquated incandescent bulb starting Jan 1, 2014 (bulbs under 40 watts and above 150 watts are exempt), a move that should supercharge the adoption of much more efficient and durable LED bulbs. And the more LED bulbs are sold, the more affordable they should become thanks to economies of scale and innovation.
Incandescent lovers will no doubt grumble for a while, but over time, vast quantities of electricity will be saved. Lighting represents about 17% of residential and commercial electricity use in the U.S., or about 461 billion kilowatt-hours in 2011.
To celebrate this milestone, Philips is releasing a new LED bulb that looks quite different from what has come before. The SlimStyle LED dumps the heatsink found on most LED bulbs, and breaks with tradition by flattening the bulb.
It produces 800 lumens using 10.5W, making it a 60W equivalent model with a 76 lumens-per-watt efficiency. It is rated for 25,000 hours of life, is dimmable, and projects light in an omnidirectional pattern despite the strange shape.
CRI rating is 80 and color temp is 2700K.
It is the unusual shape that allows Philips to lose the heatsink. LEDs don't get that hot compared to incandescents, but the LEDs themselves are less tolerant of heat than incandescent filaments, so they need a way to keep relatively cool. Usually that's a metal heatsink around the base of the bulb, but in this case, the higher surface area of the bulb helps keep the individual LEDs cool enough.
CNET did a comparison of the SlimStyle with the CREE 60W equivalent LED, if you want more info.
The SlimStyle will go on sale exclusively (at least at first) on HomeDepot.com on January 2. Price isn't known yet, but the speculation is that it'll be under $10.