Some notable advances have taken place in the world of LED lighting of late. From Ikea's flexible lighting tiles to Phillips' $5 bulbs, those looking to switch off their incandescent globes for good have plenty of options to choose from. But, just as it did with vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and air purifiers, Dyson has arrived and is promising a superior solution. Inventor Jake Dyson, son of Dyson founder James, says the company has built the first light that cools LEDs properly, enabling them to last 37 years.
Efforts to keep LED bulbs cool has been a focus for manufacturers working to drag the technology into the mainstream. While LEDs won't get as hot as the incandescent cousins, they do still generate heat, which sees their brightness and color deteriorate over time. A common feature of LEDs has been an integrated heat sink that circles the base of the globe to create more surface area and allow for better dissipation of heat.
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Last October we saw LED makers Cree do away with the conventional heat sink in favor of a convection cooling technique. This sees slots built into the base and top of the globe, allowing cool air to drawn in through the bottom and warm air to be pushed out the top.
Dyson's solution to LED's temperature woes is inspired by "Heat-pipe technology" used in satellites. This sees an aluminum heat sink used to draw heat away from the globes and, according to the company, keeps the LEDs running at around 55º Celsius (131º F). Dyson claims this will preserve the LED's phosphorous coating and keep it burning for more than 37 years (based on 12 hours continual use per day).
"Other designers have made half-hearted attempts to cool LEDs. But it's not enough," Jake Dyson boldly states on the company's website. "Their lights are built to fail and they don't seem to mind. We mind. So we've invented the first light that cools LEDs properly. As a result, it lasts for 37 years."
Dyson's long-lasting LEDs are packed into a lamp it calls Csys. The Csys design incorporates touch-sensitive dimming and its zinc alloy base rotates through 360 degrees, supporting vertical and horizontal sliding arms to position the lamp in different ways. It features eight LEDs that beam 587 lx (lumens per square meter) of light.
All of this doesn't come cheap, however. Csys starts at £399.00 (US$610), a lavish lighting expense even if you rarely, if ever, need to replace the globe.