We examined high-powered LEDs instead. They use significantly less power than a CFL, can be tuned to give a pleasant color output and contain no mercury. The drawback is that high-output LEDs create heat (although not nearly as much as incandescent lights) that needs to be dissipated, or the life of the LED is greatly affected.
As our ideas began to focus on combining LEDs with a fluorescent, we sketched several forms that tried to create harmony between the two technologies. The idea of creating a separation between work and home life through the modulation of the color output drove some of our early forms. As soon as we chose to use only high-output LEDs, our forms changed significantly, rendering the old concepts no longer valid.
As designers are inclined to do, we started to create beautiful forms that revolved around the advantages of the new technology and the form factor it lent itself to. This may have been our biggest wrong turn. With LEDs, that form was flat and thin; but this would not solve the problem we had defined for ourselves. To create the biggest impact on society, this design had to keep the barriers to acceptance as low as practical—which in part meant no super-sexy, fluid designs that would only be found in high-end design stores. Any unnecessary styling would cause a rift in its mainstream acceptance.
I really like the fact that the product designers used a very traditional form factor and combining it with a innovative technology, and extended the life span by many years even compared to the CFL based bulbs. I am curious to learn how many lumen this bulb will be able to produce and what kind of heat gets produced by this (see heat sink / led of the bulb on the right). Hope that frog design is going to find a way to bring this to market!
What do you think about this case study, or have you seen other innovative, energy conserving lighting ideas?
Photo Credit: Frog Design