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Shine On, New Bulb

Photonics Spectra
Nov 2008
Step aside incandescent, fluorescent and LED – there’s a new bulb on the block: the Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) from Vu1 Corp. of Seattle.

Based on a whole new technology, it starts with a standard glass bulb that is coated on the outside with a phosphor and then stimulated by accelerated electrons, making the surface glow. According to Vu1, it has several advantages over other lighting technologies. It comes on instantly, does not contain mercury and does not have to be twisted into a funny shape, as do compact fluorescents. It also uses about 75 percent less energy than incandescents. Even at an anticipated price of $12 a bulb, it is cheaper than LED-based lighting, which requires heat dissipation in its housing and still suffers from high manufacturing costs.

The first bulbs released will output about 40 lm/W, with a lifetime rating of about 6000 h – the same as a compact fluorescent. Color can be adjusted, and the company will tune it according to preferences indicated by consumer research.

The ESL bulbs are being manufactured in the Czech Republic and will appear soon on store shelves. Vu1 plans an official product launch on Earth Day 2009 (April 22). Company stock is traded on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) under stock symbol VUOC.OB.

A chemical substance that exhibits fluorescence when excited by ultraviolet radiation, x-rays or an electron beam. The amount of visible light is proportional to the amount of excitation energy. If the fluorescence decays slowly after the exciting source is removed, the substance is said to be phosphorescent.
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