The ice cream cone-shaped fluorescent light bulb was supposed to be the lamp of the future, producing just as much light as the century-old Edison incandescent at a fraction of the energy. But CFLs look terrible, enveloping rooms in an unfriendly bluish hue. LED lamps are the next future of lighting, but they have their own obstacles to overcome, including sensitive electronics that can burn out when they get warm. SWITCH, the first liquid-cooled light bulb, aims to solve that issue and light up your house with the comfortable yellow glow of the incandescent.
Pearl, my beloved labradoodle, dutifully watched me build myself a new house for the past three years. So when I was almost finished, I decided to build her a place of her own. A standard model just wouldn't do, though, so I went a little overboard. After creating the design with CAD software, I added a solar hot-water radiant-heating system and made a green roof that retains rainwater, creates oxygen, and improves insulation.
By deploying LED lighting across the board, the United States could save $120 billion – and untold tons of greenhouse gas emissions – over the next two decades. But it's another kind of green that’s keeping the era of the LED from coming to fruition. While scientists have long been able to produce red and blue LED lights, the essential third ingredient for creating good, brilliant white light—green–has proven elusive. But researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have finally cracked the code on LED green.