Currently the brightest options for those looking to ditch their incandescent light bulbs in favor of the longer life and more energy efficient LED variety are those equivalent to 60 watt incandescent bulbs, such as the GeoBulb II. Things got a little brighter last month when California-based Switch Lighting announced its 75 watt-equivalent LED bulb and now the company has gone one better with the announcement of what it claims is the world's first 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb.
To solve the problem of LEDs projecting light in only one direction, Switch has mounted outward-facing LEDs on metal fingers. But the real key to the brighter bulb is the company's "City of Light" technology that allows for maximum brightness with fewer LEDs by creating a self-cooling environment inside the bulb. To draw heat away from the LEDs, the bulb dome is filled with a nontoxic liquid that flows out towards the surface of the bulb as it warms. The heat then dissipates evenly over the surface of the bulb and the liquid is then drawn back in to repeat the process.
Switch Lighting says all its LED bulbs offer incandescent quality light and the 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb is no exception. The bulbs are also dimmable and can be mounted in any direction. Additionally, in accordance with the Cradle to Cradle principals, all parts of the bulb can be reused, recycled or reclaimed.
Switch Lighting's Chief Strategy Officer, Brett Sharenow says the company's 100 watt-equivalent A19 bulb produces 1700 lumens in neutral white, which is the same white color as halogen track lighting. Switch Lightbulbs will be available later this year and the company says it will also offer a warm white version of the 100W equivalent bulb in mid- to late-2012.
While no concrete pricing has been announced, Switch Lighting says its LED bulbs will cost much less than existing LED bulbs. A figure of US$20 to $25 for the company's 15.5 watt, 75 watt equivalent bulb is being bandied about, which would see the bulb paying for itself in about a year and is much lower than other LED replacement bulbs currently available.
UPDATE: Switch's 100W e LED bulb consumes 16W with an efficacy of 100 Lumens/Watt. Switch says it has an average lifetime of 20,000 hours and is dimmable from 20 to 100 percent.