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NanoLight looks like an origami bulb of LEDs

The quest for the world's most energy-efficient lightbulb has resulted in a Kickstarter project for an LED bulb with a striking design.

Saving energy never looked so awesome.

It's a new era for lightbulbs. Incandescents are well on their way to being obsolete. Compact fluorescents are reigning champs, but LEDs are rising through the ranks, looking to challenge CFLs with advancing technology and falling prices. As fast as the tech changes, we're still pretty hooked on the old-school incandescent shape. We still want our bulbs.

The NanoLight Kickstarter project wants to give us LEDs without sacrificing the traditional bulb shape and ability to shine light in all directions. The result is a bulb that looks like it was designed by a Cubist painter. The makers claim it is the most energy-efficient light bulb in the world.

There's plenty of purpose to the unusual design besides just looking cool. The angles let the LED light extend in all directions. It will also fit well into lights built to hold regular bulbs. Some people might not dig the look, but I would personally choose to use it an open fixture to put it on full display.

The NanoLight is still dealing with an issue common to LED lightbulb replacements: cost. A 100W equivalent NanoLight will set you back a $45 pledge. If you want the super-bright white version that outputs 1800 lumens, it will cost you $100. Depending on the cost of electricity in your area, you may be able to recover the investment over time, especially considering the expected longevity of the LEDs.

Interest in the NanoLight has been pretty intense. With 44 days left to go on the project, it has already nearly quadrupled the original $20,000 funding goal. Kickstarter may well be giving us an early glimpse into the future of household LED lighting.

NanoLight comparison chart
This cost comparison is based on 30,000 hours of usage and an electricity rate of $0.14/kWhr. NanoLight