If you're tired of bad light on that broccoli or would prefer the banana pudding to slowly appear before your sleepy eyes instead of shocking you from your stupor, there's a trend toward offering swankier and, for some companies, more energy-efficient lighting in high-end refrigerators this year.
The new lighting aims to soften the focus and ease the glare on models like this Electrolux 22.5 cu. ft. Counter-Depth Side-by-Side model. Here, Electrolux trumpets an interior with "tri-level, ultrawhite, shadowless interior lighting and premium ramp-up lighting that gently increases from soft to full intensity."
Last month, GE started offering the GE Profile bottom freezer refrigeratorwith LED lighting for "brighter, crisper illumination."
The company says that by replacing large standard lightbulbs with flat-panel LED lighting its designers are not only making the view prettier, but making more room in the fridge, too, which is Energy Star qualified and retails starting at $2,099.
Meantime, this JennAir Side By Side Luxury modelhas bright lights installed in its two "ClimateZone" drawers.
(As an aside, if you're interested in replacing your incandescent fridge bulb with an LED bulb, this couple at Watthackers analyze both the energy and the cost savings.)
While the merits of using LED lights in the fridge are debatable, their use apparently goes beyond the green aesthetic to a promise to keep fruits and veggies fresher in the crisper. This model, from Mitsubishi Electric's Folio collection,(who knew this company even made fridges?) claims LED sunlight will keep your fruits and veggies fresher longer bouncing the light on chlorophyll in vegetables to increase their vitamin content.
This Make zine bloggerquestions whether LED sunlight installed in your crisper can truly enhance nutritional value of your food. In tests, Makezine reported that Mitsubishi "starting from the concept of controlling nutrition loss...has been able to achieve increasing nutritional values in a totally new-concept refrigerator. Research showed that the light's color was important: The orange light creates chlorophyll in vegetables without inducing them to grow. A small bank of LEDs in the roof of the vegetable drawer produces lights at a wavelength of 590 nanometers (orange). Mitsubishi Electric found that after three days, the vitamin C level in broccoli sprouts stored in their new refrigerator was 50 percent higher than in a conventional refrigerator."