I've just been reading about VU1's new ESL bulb technology (http://
Looks really good and seems to address a lot of the
problems of CFL and LED. They specifically talk about (and show) that
it dims smoothly on normal dimmers. I was wondering if anyone knows
how they would work with X10/Insteon/etc electronic dimmers and the
infamous local-control problems.
I've given up on adding any more HA gear until there's a good,
inexpensive, high-efficiency, light bulb available that I can actually
Without more technical details on their technology, it's impossible to say
if they will work with X10 or Insteon dimmers. However, the fact that the
power factor is less than unity indicates they have an internal power supply
and that frequently causes problems with electronic dimmers.
Their demo is impressive. If they can pull off the A bulb at a reasonable
price, they likely have a winner. As it is, they will likely drive a stake
through the heart of CFL and LED reflectors.
unfrostedp>I've just been reading about VU1's new ESL bulb technology (http://
Don't hold your breath. This is still smoke and mirrors. It is phospher
based technology just like flourescent bulbs, but rather than using
ultaviolet stimulation, they are using electron beam stimulation like an old
television CRT. So the question is what is the next thing we have to worry
about, X-ray emissions from our ESL bulbs?
Tagging on the Dave Houston's train of thought, With regard to X10 the ESL
probably will work in everything but the two wire wall switch, which relies
on a trickle of power through the filament of an incandescent bulb. But I'll
be waiting to see some independent lab analysis for secondary emissions. I
have feeling this is the new version of the foot/shoe X-ray machine that
every shoe store had back in the 40s and 50s until it was figured out they
were a big cancer hazard.
Again, without technical details one can only speculate. but I think it
highly unlikely that the voltages involved will be anywhere near high enough
to generate significant x-ray emissions.
Here's an IBM blurb about x-rays from CRT type computer monitors that puts
it in perspective.
But, your point about waiting for independent lab analysis is certainly
apropos as I'm sure the manufacturer is trying to show their light in the
Pure Spectrum has now patented a CFL build that is fully dimmable(no
flicker or dying out), instant on, cold to the touch, highest power
factor(.96), and the energy usage is proportional to the dimming level,
the light output is that of an incandescent and the price will be in the
$4-$6 range. This is the answer to the NEW CFL!
The have numerous patents and are manufacturing and filling orders now
worldwide. Utility companies are buying them up in the droves for their
free distribution program. The utility companies love them because it
costs them less to deliver the power to these bulbs due to the extremely
High Power Factor. ...which means the utility companies charge you less!
The also have a dimmable ballast for linear fluorescents(yes, you will be
able to dim fluorescents), also at a fraction of the cost of normal
ballast due to the fewer parts that they use in the ballast. This will be
huge, imagine a high rise office building in which the fluorescent lights
dim with the amount of sunlight coming in,....daylight harvesting at a
fraction of the cost...HUGE SAVINGS.
Hopefully the bulbs will be on Home Depot and Wal Mart shelves soon.
unfrostedp> I've just been reading about VU1's new ESL bulb technology (http://
On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 15:36:29 -0700 (PDT), unfrostedpoptart
wrote in message
All the CFL and LED lamps that we use that are designed to dim do so
"smoothly". Is 'non-smooth ' dimming something you've personally experienced,
or something that you've read/heard about? My own experiences with
'non-smooth dimming' is limited to the infamous 'full-on before dim'
characteristic of X-10 ( eg WS-467) dimmers.
If what you mean is that incandescent lamps not only have a greater _range_
in actual light output (lumens) than CFLs and LEDs, but also change color
temperature in a familiar and often desirable way when dimmed, then the
not-yet-available ESL lamp from VU1 will not satisfy your need either (but
new generation RGBx LEDs with new control mechanisms such as DMX might).
If by "local-control problems" you are asking whether they will work without
a neutral conductor as the X10 WS-467 does, I wouldn't hold my breath --
partly because the consumer demand for a lamp that provides the required
trickle circuit is miniscule. While we still used WS-467's the air-gap
switch that was required by the use of the trickle current, those X$%#
switches were the single most frequent source of Home Automation 'failure'
because an unsuspecting elder or visitor or non-geek would move the air-gap
switch and so 'break' the light. Set WAF back a decade.
I am generally pleased with the "good,inexpensive, high-efficiency, light
bulb [s] ... that I can actually dim" that we currently use. (Another example
not previously mentioned in this news group was replacing the
INSTEON-controlled MR16 halogen in my bed reading lamp with an MR-16 LED.)
Yes, I would guess voltage to be faily low also, but bulb glass is much
thinner and non leaded as in a CRT. I was just thinking of back in the late
60s, early 70s (yeah, I'm a geezer, not a geek) when government mandated
more shielding around high voltage rectifier and damper cage in TVs because
of X-rays out the bottom of the set. I think this applied to B&W sets also.
Perhaps I have been living too long in the "progressive" world of Chicken
Little and the Sky is Falling. ;-)
I think that was only for color TVs where the voltage is 32,000 volts.
Radiation increases with the voltage. It's not likely that these lights will
have anywhere near that voltage - not if they are going to fit existing
email@example.com (Dave Houston) wrote in
The TVs get the same line voltage that these bulbs get. Also, high voltage
supplies can be made quite tiny if the current is low and if the environment
While I agree that these bulbs are likely to be safe, I think that the issue
bears scrutiny. Trust, but verify!
Well, it's been nearly 50 years since I learned about CRTs but, as I dimly
recall, higher voltages are required for higher delection of the beam so the
bigger the CRT the higher the voltage. Few B&W TVs had large screens so they
had lower voltages. Since these folks are not deflecting a beam, the voltage
is likely to be much less. And, even if they were deflecting a beam, the
"screen" size is much, much smaller than a TV.
I asked Vu1 about the internal voltage and whether the bulbs emit x-rays and
got the following (non)response.
"Detail specifications will be made available after independent and UL lab
testing have completed. Please refer to our website and blog site for
I do not know whether UL will test for x-rays.
Ian Shef wrote:
I doubt voltage of the electron emitter beam has anything to do with
deflection but rather the amount of energy to light up the increased area of
a larger screen in the same amount of time. The voltage on the deflection
plates may need to be higher to change the angle amount.
I would conclude to get 50, 100 or even 200W of light a fair bit of energy
would be required and therefore a large voltage, also. What was the enrgy of
light output from the ole' CRT screen. I always had about 300W, in mind, for
a larger TV set. but only based on rough hearsay from TV guys.
Where did you get "voltage of the electron emitter beam"? Heating the
cathode of the electron gun causes it to emit electrons which are then
focused into a beam, accelerated and guided by other electrodes. The amount
of delection depends on the voltage on the deflection plates. Only an area
the (unchanging) diameter of the very thin beam "lights up" as the beam
traverses the screen. It's the kinetic energy of the beam which causes this
- not an electrical interaction.
Electron guns are not limited to CRTs.
I doubt voltage of the electron emitter beam has anything to do with
Hold on there... The horizontal and vertical deflection of the electron
beam in a TV CRT is normally accomplished magnetically with steering
http://electr> Where did you get "voltage of the electron emitter beam"? Heating the
Like I said, it's been nearly 50 years since I learned about CRTs. In those
days electrostatic deflection was prevalent.
This page gives an explanation of the x-rays and of the high voltage. I
still am pretty sure that these new bulbs will not have such high voltages
nor emit x-rays.
This is getting interesting. Today's NYT has an article on a new 60W
equivalent LED bulb from Philips that has the same color as a 60W
incandescent. It doesn't say anything about heat, power factor or
compatibility with existing dimmers and, while it has no specific cost
numbers, indicates it _might_ eventually sell for $20-25. (That may be
I especially liked this paragraph about the Energy Department...
"At first, the department set no standards for compact fluorescent bulbs and
inferior products flooded the market. Consumers rebelled against the bulbs?
shortcomings: the light output from compact fluorescent bulbs was cold and
unpleasant, their life was much shorter than claimed, many were large and
undimmable, they would not work in cold environments and they contained
They didn't note that many of the CFLs also put out about half as much light
as claimed, even when new. But, otherwise, they made most of the points that
I made here when the big push for CFLs first began. Of course, when they
outlaw CFLs, Wall Mart will make out yet again.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Houst>Like I said, it's been nearly 50 years since I learned about CRTs. In those
On Fri, 25 Sep 2009 10:49:04 GMT, email@example.com (Dave Houston) wrote in
ROTFL: But the article does say that " We test LED bulbs today that they're
equivalent to 40 watts but are really like 20 watt bulbs". New product same
Fox-like, Dave continues to purposely distort and selectively report in order
to support his misguided claim that CFL's were a "bad idea" and that nothing
had changed in 10 years.
In fact, many issues with early CFLs were largely the same as with _all_
fluorescent lamps and have largely been resolved. The early exaggerated
claims for CFL output are now paralleled by exaggerated claims for LEDs. This
is the nature of an unregulated marketplace that has next to nothing to do
intrinsically with CFLs ( or LEDs or widgets).
No. Most importantly, Dave said that CFLs were a "bad idea" and that nothing
had changed in 10 years and maligned the very folks working to test, and
regulate and refine CFLs into the better product that they evolved into.
What the NY Times article does state is that "the department considers the
INTRODUCTION [emphasis added] of compact fluorescents, today's alternative to
standard bulbs, to have been in a debacle. At first, the department set no
standards for compact fluorescent bulbs and inferior products flooded the
In my experience, it is human nature for the first of otherwise comparable
changes to encounter more resistance than subsequent, similar changes. The
introduction of LEDs -- and all of _its_ problems -- will have an easier time
of it because CFLs -- and regular fluorescents before CFLs -- paved the way.
And FACT is that all reduction in energy use and CO2 emissions and reduced
mercury pollution that has occurred in the last 15 years because of the use
of CFLs would not have occurred is we were still waiting for the perfect
alternative. All it takes is a trip or two outside the US to see the enormous
popularity of CFLs around the world and the great benefits that they provide.
Those are all actual benefits that actually would have been lost if the
naysayers and hyper-critics had prevailed.