Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is advancing rapidly, leaving other energy-efficient lighting technology in the dust. Future LED bulbs will cost less, consume less energy, last longer, and do much more than illuminate your home. The LEDs of the future will be able to create lights in multiple colors, stream music, and communicate alerts and data. You do not have to wait much longer to experience this technology, here are eight LED bulbs lighting the way to a brighter, healthier and more convenient future.
1. Philips SlimStyle LED Bulb
The SlimStyle bulb by Philips Lighting makes transitioning from incandescent lighting to LED lighting easy and affordable. The SlimStyle LED bulb is a modern, energy-efficient alternative to any 60-watt incandescent light bulb and costs about $10 per bulb. The slim light bulb features a flat A19 design with LED lights arranged in a unique horseshoe shape for even illumination. A durable rubber coating protects the bulb from shattering. The bulb turns on instantly and emits 360 degrees of soft white light similar to that of an incandescent light bulb. The bulb can also be used with most light dimmers to create mood lighting. The SlimStyle bulb lasts about 22.8 years and saves up to $136 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. This LED bulb is suitable for lamps, pendants, and wall-mounted light fixtures.
2. MiPow LED Playbulb
The MiPow PlayBulb allows users to easily adjust the lighting and play music in a room from their mobile devices. The A-Type LED light bulb has 80 LED lights that emit cool and warm shades of white light equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent light bulb. A built-in Bluetooth 4.0 speaker allows users within 30 feet to stream music directly to the PlayBulb. A dedicated smartphone app controls the light brightness and music. The app also includes four advanced settings - wake up, energy saving, night mode, and sleep mode for added convenience. The wireless, versatile device saves space and is ideal for dorm rooms, home offices and other small spaces. The MiPow PlayBulb is available for purchase for $79.
3. SmartCharge LED Bulb
The SmartCharge Bulb provides security and peace of mind during a power outage. The 5-watt LED bulb includes a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides four hours of continual illumination during a power failure. The LED bulb does not require additional wiring, controls or electrical installation; it simply screws into any existing light socket. The Grid & Switch sensor technology detects when power is lost due to a grid failure and engages the battery power based on light switch's position. If the switch is on during the power failure, the light bulb will remain on. If the switch is off, the light bulb will remain off and will not consume any reservoir power. The batteries must be replaced every three to four years. The LED bulb provides illumination equivalent to a 25-watt incandescent light bulb and lasts up to 25,000 hours. The SmartCharge Bulbs are expected to start shipping in April 2014 at $35 for 1 bulb, $55 for 2 bulbs and $100 for 4 bulbs.
4. Lumen LED Smart Bulb
The Lümen Smart Bulb by Tabü combines the warm white illumination of a standard light bulb, the playfulness of multi-color lights, and the energy savings of LED lighting into a single package that is easily controlled by a smartphone application. The Lümen Smart Bulb fits into any existing light socket and is suitable for replacing a 40-watt incandescent bulb. The light bulb is fully dimmable and the RGBW Control allows users to customize lighting colors to match their atmosphere and mood. The Lümen app includes a number of pre-set features such as proximity detection, incoming call notification, music synchronization, and allows users to control up to ten bulbs at a time. The Smart Bulb by Lümen is available for purchase for $69.99.
5. Lighting Science Awake & Alert LED Bulb
The Awake & Alert LED bulb by Lighting Science helps users start the day alert and refreshed, and remain focused throughout the day. The blue-enriched reflector LED light bulb, winner of Architectural SSL Magazines's Product Innovation Award, promotes focus and increases energy without harmful stimulants. The Awake & Alert LED bulb requires no special tools or applications, and fits any standard bulb socket. This LED bulb is ideal for replacing a traditional 65-watt incandescent bulb. The bulb is also Energy Star approved, UL listed for damp environments and fully recyclable. The shatterproof bulbs last up to 16 times longer than traditional bulbs, and comes with a 5-year limited warranty. The Lighting Science Awake & Alert LED bulb is available for purchase for $69.99.
6. Lighting Science Good Night LED Bulb
The Lighting Science Good Night LED bulb helps users fall asleep naturally without addicting sleep aids. The LED bulb, originally created for NASA astronauts on the International Space Station, filters blue light that disrupts circadian rhythms and prevents the creation of melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep. The Good Night light bulb is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent light bulb and is perfect for illuminating homes, dorms, hotels, hospitals or anywhere where else you want to sleep. The light bulb is dimmable to five percent on most light dimmers and is UL listed for damp environments. The eco-friendly light bulb uses 80 percent less energy than standard light bulbs and lasts up to 50 times longer than traditional light bulbs. The Good Night LED light bulb comes with a 5-year limited warranty and is available for purchase for $69.99.
7. Nokero Solar-Powered LED Bulbs
Nokero, short for "no kerosene", manufactures solar powered LEDs that provide illumination in remote, off-grid locations all over the world. The rainproof, portable LED lamps have state-of-the-art solar panels that harness the sun's rays to charge the provided batteries for about four hours of continual illumination. The rechargeable batteries last about two years (about 300 - 500 charges) and are fully recyclable. The eco-friendly lamps are a healthy and safe alternative to kerosene lamps, and are suitable for illuminating your patio, garden or walkway. The integrated hanging clips make them perfect for camping and fishing. Nokero offers five LED light bulbs options ranging from $6 to $22.
Light Fidelity (or Li-Fi) is not a type of LED bulb, but a rather a visible light communication (VLC) system that uses visible white light-emitting diodes to transmit high-speed data. In layman's term, it transforms your LED bulb into a speedy Wi-Fi router. The groundbreaking technology is the work of Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh in the UK, and is being adopted for commercial use by pureLiFi. Li-Fi is able to transmit data up to 250 times faster than broadband by switching a LED bulb on and off within nanoseconds, undetected by the human eye, and is expected to cost ten times less than Wi-Fi due to low installation and maintenance costs. Li-Fi is also more secure than Wi-Fi because light waves cannot penetrate walls. While LED bulbs must remain on to transmit data, they can be dimmed until they are no longer visible to the human eye while still functioning. The technology does not require cables and therefore does not cause electromagnetic interference (i.e. the loud static sound you hear when you place a cell phone near a computer speaker), which is ideal for hospital and aircraft settings.
In the next few years, LED light bulbs will be as ubiquitous and as programmable as your DVR. Lighting manufacturers are developing LED lights that will help cardiac patients recover in healing environments, improve the attention span, concentration and behavior of students in schools and academic settings, and create sustainable year-round farms in urban cities. Future LEDs will be able to further conserve energy by sensing the number of occupants in a room and then directing lighting to their location. Which features would you like to see in future LED bulbs?