Compact fluorescents and LEDs are the major energy efficient lighting options these days, but a new type could be available soon. This new technology is called ESL. My first thought was "English as a Second Language?", but of course that is not correct; ESL in this case stands for Electron Stimulated Luminescence, because it uses accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphors to create natural looking light.
The 2012 phaseout of incandescent light bulbs
draws near, and as a result lighting companies everywhere are vying to become the premier producer of energy efficient light bulbs. More and more compact fluorescents and LEDs are constantly being developed, with LED light bulbs that replace 40-watt and 60-watt incandescents soon to be available at reasonable prices.
Seattle-based Vu1 Corporation, which develops and makes energy efficient lighting, has announced that its R30 ESL reflector light bulbs have received final approval for Underwriters Laboratories listing. The company says the ESL, which can replace the 65-watt incandescent flood bulb and last 10,000 hours, is mercury-free and dimmable and offers better-quality light at a lower cost than LEDs. Those are the company's claims, and it remains to be seen if these ESL light bulbs will truly deliver what Vu1 says they will.
The ESL will initially retail for $20, and company chief Philip Styles says he expects the first orders by the end of this year. It certainly sounds like an interesting light bulb, but I'm a bit skeptical. Old cathode-ray tube TVs and monitors used electron acceleration to provide their light, and they required leaded glass to prevent x-rays from eating our faces. I've seen nothing about that issue in any literature about these ESL light bulbs, so I suppose we'll just have to wait for more information on that front.