The Green Show: Does an e-reader make you green?On the Green Show this week, energy-efficient light bulbs, a look at the Maingear Pulse gaming PC, and a study on the greenness of an e-reader.
>> Hey I'm Mark Licea and this week energy efficient lightbulbs, Maingear's low powered gaming desktop and is e-reader eco friendly, the Green Show starts now. ^M00:00:11 [ Music ] ^M00:00:18 >> Eternal LEDs came out with the world's first liquid-cooled lightbulb. It stores paraffin oil inside of the bulb to keep it cool. The Hydrolux-4 sells for $35 a piece and uses a four watt LED bulb that gives off the same amount of light as a 25 watt incandescent. It's supposed to last 35 times longer than conventional incandescents and the company says it will save around $157 over its lifetime in energy costs. If you're not ready for a liquid-cooled lightbulb we got to talk to Jordan Price from the Living Zero home tour; he gave us a quick background on energy-efficient lightbulbs. Check it out. So I see this sign that says how to choose the right lightbulb. I'm guessing you're the guy to talk to about this. >> I would hope so. CFL bulbs are a lot more efficient because they use 75% less energy and they last 10 times longer. The old school incandescent bulbs they heat by using 90% heat and 10% light. So CFL bulbs not only use 75% less energy, then last 10 times longer and put out almost no heat. So that's the big deal about CFL bulbs. >> And what's a quick price breakdown on incandescents versus CFL? >> There's not a big difference in them now. The market has changed dramatically where CFLs maybe a dollar or so more bulb, but again in the savings of wattage compared to the lifetime of the bulb, 10 times longer and 75% less energy makes up the price in less than a year. >> CFL bulbs aren't exactly the most attractive. What are some of the new bulbs that are coming out? >> The original ones are these spiral bulbs and they still have them. These are great for a normal lamp but they now make A Cupboard Spotlights; they make all sorts of different types--reflectors, candles, tubes that are more eye-pleasing. >> So tell me a little bit about this performance comparison chart. >> The idea is LED lights are way more efficient because they don't use near the energy where an incandescent bulb, 65 watts right here, tremendous amounts of heat, lasts about 2,000 hours. An LED bulb lasts about 50,000 hours and only runs on about 12 watts and puts out no heat. So in comparison--no heat, three quarters less wattage and lasts 25 years. >> On this subject, San Francisco is planning to install a lot more of their LED equipped bus stops around the city. Of course the stops are also solar-powered and offer up free Wi-Fi. They're constructed from recycled materials and the roof each bus stop has a solar panel built in to funnel leftover energy into the electric grid. The city plans to have 360 of these stops constructed by 2013. Maingear recently came out with their Pulse Desktop geared for PC gamers. But it's also designed to consume a lot less power. Rich Brown got to review the machine, check it out. >> So the Maingear Pulse is a pretty ambitious little PC. It wants to be a gaming system but it also wants to be power-efficient. But the problem is those two things are kind of at odds. So we give Maingear credit for trying and it definitely took the right steps as far as components to sort of hit that gaming and power save its middle ground. Unfortunately the technology just really isn't there yet, so the power save for this system comes by three different components--you have the power supply which is 80 plus certified but it basically says that a power supply is going to be 80% efficient. Now in addition to the power supply both the CPU and the graphics card are power efficient versions of those components as well. Now the NVIDIA graphics card is a G-Force 9800 GT Eco which means it's essentially a clocked down version of the standard 9800 GT card but because of that it's also going to be a little bit slower. So between the power supply, the CPU and the graphics card, all the parts in here are designed to use less power. Now the problem is this is supposed to be gaming system as well as efficient, and with those lower voltage parts comes slower frame rates and games. HP had a Firebird product out earlier in the year and this system is actually faster than that, more efficient and more affordable, but the point is other vendors are trying this and we think that's great so I'm Rich Brown for the Green Show and this has been the Maingear Pulse. Sony unveiled new e-readers this week but does owning an e-reader make you green? I wouldn't go as far as to make that claim but according to a report from the Clean Tech group, the environmental impact of one e-reader could save around 168 kilograms of CO2 per year. Now that measurement doesn't exactly paint a picture, but the basic idea is that e-readers can replace about 22 physical books a year, plus the amount of carbon used in shipping. The study makes no mention of the use of toxic materials in an e-reader or how they're shipped or packaged. Bottom line owning an e-reader won't turn you into an environmentalist; it will save a couple of trees though. That's it for this week. Send your feedback into Greenshow@cnet.com. I'm Mark Licea; thanks for watching.