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Improvements to the Incandescent Bulb

7 Jul 2009

Necessity is the mother of invention, this time from a two year old US law on energy efficiency to take effect in 2012. Described as “tough standards”, the law requires incandescent bulbs to be 30% more efficient that today’s (Wikipedia). In contrast, the EU has agreed to put a complete ban on incandescent bulbs by 2012.

“There’s a massive misperception that incandescents are going away quickly,” said Chris Calwell, a researcher with Ecos Consulting who studies the bulb market. “There have been more incandescent innovations in the last three years than in the last two decades.”

I wouldn’t go so far as the author and call it the cutting edge (they are still way behind compact fluorescent lamps), but there are certainly improvements on the way and with an estimated 90% of all private light sources in the United States being incandescent that is definitely needed.

Indeed, the incandescent bulb is turning into a case study of the way government mandates can spur innovation.