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New LED lightbulbs shine light in all directions Answered

GE is going to be releasing a new LED lightbulb early next year that shines light in all directions, like a normal bulb, instead of one direction like they do now. The bulb will use 9 watts and shine as much light as a 40-watt incandescent. It will also last for 17 years.

The drawback is the cost, which will be $40-$50, but it does provide an efficient lighting option for those who don't like the light from CFLs.

No word about the blades on the side, however.

GE Unveils New Omnidirection LED Bulb That Will Last 17 Years


I'd guess the "blades" are cooling fins, and I'd also hazard a guess that there is just a big emitter in the base and the "bulb" is nothing but a diffuser.

.  I have a hard time believing a 9W bulb would need that large of a heatsink ... but I can't figure out what else it might be. I wouldn't think the "bulb" part would require any more protection than an incandescent (probably less, since the LED bulb is probably some plastic) and, IMNSHO, it dang sure ain't for looks. Didn't see anything about it on the GE site, but I didn't dig very deep.

What LED's are you thinking of?  Certainly not the little ones used in flashlights or Christmas lights.

 There was another instructable about building an LED projector and it required heat syncs, but I guess it was 20w, and these are small. I wonder if it is oil filled to make better contact with the heat syncs and stuff, I heard about stuff like that a couple of months ago. 

Ah, yes.  I saw the picture of the 20W LED on that projector I'ble, and those are huge heat sinks ("sink" as in water down the drain).  I'm not sure that's for the LED itself, or for the voltage regulators. 

When you drop something from 8 or 9 down to 5 V, at the same current, the extra power still goes into heat, so regulators usually have some honkin' heat sinks attached to them.

IMO, they are more about giving the bulb a unique image than functionality.

.  I was in my local Wal-Mart last night and passed by the lamp section. Thought about this topic and did some digging. Found some replacements for incandescent lamps. They had rather large and massive heatsinks on them. None of the "curl around the bulb" stuff, but heavy, metal fins at the base.
.  I'm guessing that there's just not a good way to drop mains voltage to LED level without a lot of loss. If so, in the future, it might be advantageous to have one large low-voltage power supply for lighting (especially in buildings that require lots of and/or 24/7 lighting).

So much heat generated... are they still lower energy consumption than other lighting systems?

.  BTW, the prices on the lamps ranged from just under 30 to over 40 USD! Too big an up-front cost for me; CFLs are pretty cheap nowadays.

.  IIRC, these were ~10W lamps and supposedly equiv to a 40W (not too clear on that one, may have been 60W) incandescent. That compares favorably with the 13W CFLs in my pantry that are labeled as 60W equivs. So, while Wlost/Wtotal is higher, they are still much more efficient (lumens/Wtotal) than incandescents and, depending on how good my memory is, close to the same or better than CFLs.

Well, if we assume perfect efficiency, the LEDs should draw a few milliamps at ~3V (give or take).  So you're dropping 120V to 3V, at some milliamps, so about half a watt going straight to heat.  That's not a lot of absolute heat, and much better even than a 23W CFL (100W equivalent). 

It's probably enough heat, however, to make the circuit board flakey if it isn't drawn away.  Those surface-mount solder connections don't have a lot of oomph.

P.S.  I did my calculations based on U.S. mains distribution.  Apologies for not following the Queen's Voltage :)

It's not a difference to shout about.

Now that's an intriguing proposal.  I could see someone actually doing that with an existing retrofit, provided their main circuit breaker panel had lighting separate from power outlets.  You still have to do the voltage drop, which means some heat dissipation, but doing it centrally is more efficient than at the endpoints.

Of course, havng done that, none of these new LED "screw-in" bulbs are going to work (since they assume wall-power as input).

17 FRICKIN' YEARS! That's insanity! Insanely awesome! I would also like to see the inside of the bulb! :) My guess on the fins is for protection and A heat sink at the same time. Maybe they help evenly distribute the light? Maybe even just packaging material. (:P that would be pretty funny if it was just packing and here we are trying to give it some super sophisticated means of use.) Maybe part of the circuitry is in the fins. or that part of the fins are connected to the inside of the bulb? (As you may have noticed I am throwing "not-so" random guesses out there hoping that one of them is right. :P) Maybe they are for a special stand that helps distribute the light too also. *shrugs* once we find out the big mystery will be all over and all of the useless typing I just did will only be good for finger dexterity. :D hahahahahah. I ESPECIALLY like the prize idea. Giving a pack of the bulbs as a prize for winning a contest. 1st could be like 10bulbs... or less whatever. 2nd could be half that. and 3rd could be 1 light bulb. :) I think it should prolly be a "green" or out doorsy themed contest.


^-^ about three minutes. I'm excited about this kind of stuff. Look into the "new HP chip". That will change the world forever!

I agree, the fins are uncalled for... It pays for itself in 17 years though!

I'm thinking the 17 years is more theoretical then reality.  The diodes are capable of lasting 17 years but the driver circuit is the point of failure.  I have bought plenty of CF which should have a life of 6000+ hours but the electronic ballast fails much sooner then that. 

Despite that, I would love to try these out.  I live in an extremely cold environment and the CF bulbs are ineffective because they cannot reach a good operating temperature and produce far fewer lumens then they should. High wattage incandescent bulbs explode when you turn them on because the interior of the bulb heats up faster then the exterior causing the bulb to break due to the coefficient of expansion of the glass. Again not effective in cold environments.

I have been waiting for a good LED light to hit the market.  Energy efficient and not effected by the cold. Can't wait!

 I don't thing there is that much to powering them.


8 years ago

 These should be a prize in an upcoming contest!  This is probably the only place where a pack of light bulbs would be so highly desirable.

I would like to see the inside of the bulb.

Ooo, yeah

I would like to see the insides of that bulb.

All joking aside, Ooooooo yeaaah.

Those fins are kinda sexy. You have to admit.

 Ooo, yeaaah. 

Check out the curvatures on that globe.

All joking aside, Ooooooo yeaaah.

Interesting that the power usage is essentially the same as a CFL (a factor of 4.5 compared to an equal-luminance incandescent).  I guess that there must be a rather large number LEDs on the inner spherical surface.

Nice. I'm guessing the cost will pay off in terms of bulb life.
Can't wait.