Photograph by Rick Friedman, all rights reserved.
Finally founder and CEO John Goscha
Maybe I was born in the wrong century, because the color of light really matters to me. Fluorescent’s ugly flicker makes me nervous; the CFLs are an evil stepmother, harsh and cold even when they promise to be warm. And LED is trying, but it’s still not the same.
So a news release about a bulb called Finally caught my eye.
It uses “Acandescent” technology—which is good old-fashioned induction. An antenna inside the bulb is wrapped in copper wire, and it produces a magnetic field that causes a bit of mercury in the middle to give off ultraviolet light. That light’s invisible, but when it hits the phosphorescent coating inside the bulb, voila.
The mercury’s the magic—but it’s also toxic, and you still have to be as careful about disposing of the bulb as you do CFLs, which is a serious drawback. Also, you can’t use a Finally bulb with a dimmer switch or a motion detector. But if you put one of these bulbs into a traditional fixture and light it up three hours a day, it will last a decade and cost you about 3 bucks a year. It uses almost three-fourths less energy and lasts 15 times longer than my beloved outlaw incandescent bulbs. And when I screwed an acandescent bulb into a three-bulb fixture alongside two incandescent bulbs (yes I bought them up; yes, I still have a supply), the glow was identical in intensity and softness and color.
Plus my conscience was cleaner—those beloved incandescents wasted about 90 percent of the electricity they drew from the grid.
We light-bulb geeks can thank John Goscha, a young entrepreneur (in 2011 he made Forbes’ list of “30 Under 30 in Technology”) who thought the CFL/LED choice was too limited a field. He put together a research team that included former heads of research at G.E. and Osram Sylvania, and they set out to wring more efficiency from the old induction method. The result? A bulb that didn’t trade off the beloved warmth, familiar design, and economy of the incandescent.
Does the light’s color really matter? If it didn’t, romance wouldn’t happen over candlelight.
My husband—who’s not such a romantic—thinks I’m nuts. But he also rolled his eyes when he said he wanted his office painted “just plain white” and I brought home 45 swatches of whites.
You either see it or you don’t.