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Community and Q&A

ESL Lights

Carl Seville | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Anyone have experience with ESL light bulbs? Just heard about them and they look interesting, but just like any new technology, they often don’t turn out to be as wonderful as they are touted to be.

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  1. Riversong | | #1

    "Electron stimulated luminescence" sounds vaguely pornographic.

  2. Peggy Deras, CKD, CID | | #2

    I have been on this for about six months. I think I can answer most of your questions because I decided to invest in the company after learning about their product. I have followed it with great interest ever since.

    ESL (Electron stimulated luminescence) light bulbs are an entirely new, energy efficient, lamp invented by Vu1. Their R30 (screw-in 65W recessed downlight replacement) lamp is just about to come to market.

    Seattle Lighting, a distributor in Seattle WA, is the first distributor to receive the product. They have run tests on their first small order and are now taking orders through their retail center, Destination Lighting. They tell us that orders will be filled sequentially beginning February 21, 2011.

    ESL technology is built upon CRT (cathode ray tube) technology. The company says no toxic chemicals or phosphors are used in production. The quality and color of light is claimed to be very close to incandescent. Life is said to be 10,000 hours. Wattage is claimed to be 19.5 watts with comparable light output to a 65 watt incandescent.

    Sounds like everything we could possible want as a replacement for the soon-to-be-phased-out incandescent lightbulb. Better yet: the company claims that it can make an Edison-type A lamp by mid-year and even a tube-shape to replace fluorescents after that.

    The company manufactures the lamps in the Czech Republic, in their own factory, with adequate capacity to handle the demand for the near future. We'll see where it goes from there.

    Vu1 was started in Seattle, WA. and recently moved to New York City for the big kickoff.

  3. Aj Builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a | | #3

    Great informational post Peggy. thank you!

    GBA.... please add the p word to the inappropriate list.

  4. James Morgan | | #4

    Wish there was 'Like' button for RR's comment. 'Helpful' just doesn't cut it.

    By the way, Carl's referenced article seems to perpetuate the myth that, cost issues aside, LED's are more efficient than CFL's. In most general lighting situations they are less so.

  5. ROY HARMON | | #5

    GBA.... is AJ your new boss?
    Great post Carl
    Thanks for the info. Peggy

  6. Expert Member
    Carl Seville | | #6

    Peggy - Is there any independent testing results of these bulbs available?

  7. Daniel Ernst | | #7


    If the Vu1 specs are confirmed, then their ESL lights will produce ~ 30 lumens / watt.

    Here's something else on the horizon:

    CREE is stating that these lights will produce > 80 lumens / watt. Of course, they won't be in the same price range as the ESL bulbs (which are selling for $20 each).

  8. Expert Member
    Carl Seville | | #8

    Just ran across this article in Scientific American on ESL lights. The author is a little biased against CFLs, but it does give me a little more confidence in this new product:

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