Cool-looking Option in LED Lamps

Eight years ago, the first iPods sold at around $300 in an era when you could buy a pretty good Walkman for under $20. That seemed expensive at the time, but do your kids even know what a ‘Walkman' is today?

By that same standard, the GeoBulb, with an MSRP of $99.95, might seem pricey compared to incandescent bulbs, but as the packaging points out, this 7.5 watt wonder will save the user about $27 per year in electrical use compared to a 60 watt incandescent, and last about 30,000 hours. While the energy savings aren't quite so large compared to compact fluorescents – about 40 percent – the expected lifetime is still about 6 times greater. And unlike CFLs, GeoBulbs contain no toxic mercury.

“The primary purpose of the GeoBulb is to reduce energy,” said Bob Crane of the C. Crane Company, which distributes the bulb in North America. “We understand that we need to reduce the price, but the bulbs are very expensive to produce right now. We're the only company that manufactures an LED bulb with components that will outlast the LEDs themselves, and that's one important reason that it's expensive.” But as with all new technology, the price will continue dropping over time.

For now, Crane points to cost-saving advantages for commercial applications such as hotel lobbies where the bulb would be burning 24/7. In that type of use, the bulb would perform for as many as 20 maintenance-free years. In household use, the GeoBulb life expectancy would be 30 to 40 years. The typical consumer, according to Crane, might drive a Prius to his solar-equipped home.

Unlike CFLs, the LED bulb turns on and off instantly with no yellowish warm-up time. The ‘cool white' GeoBulb model produces a soft and evenly diffused level of daylight colored illumination that many users find quite pleasing. “It's very addictive,” Crane chuckled. • 800-522-8863

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