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The lightbulb of the future?Silicon Valley's Luxim has developed a lightbulb the size of a Tic Tac that gives off as much light as a streetlight. CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos talks to the company about its technology and its plans to expand into various markets.
^B00:00:00 [ Music ] >> The gas in the middle of this is an argon gas. >> It might look like a refuge from a string of Christmas lights, but this tiny bulb from Luxon can put out as much light as a streetlight. Check it out. >> You got a 400-watt bulb in this unit. In our system we're running about 250 watts. >> Here's how it works. Electrical energy is delivered to a component called the puck. >> The puck acts like an electrical lens. >> The gases heat up, turn into a plasma, and give off light. A substantial portion of the energy gets into light rather than heat. >> How many of these will I need? And when you answer, only one, they're like, you gotta be kidding me. >> Yeah, one per streetlight. >> Luxon gets about 140 lumens per watt. High-end LEDs get around 70 lumens per watt, and an ordinary light bulb gets about 15. >> The key advantage is that the energy is driven into the bulb without any electrodes. So you don't use any electrical connections to get the energy to the bulb. >> Right in the middle of the chamber, the plasma will 6,000 Kelvin in temperature. >> Really hot. >> So it will be the same temperature as the surface of the sun, which is why the spectrum -- it's very similar to the spectrum of the sun arriving on earth. >> Lighting is hot these days, mostly because engineers and companies have ignored energy efficiency until recently. A lot of LED companies have received funds. Luxon, for instance, has received around 40 million in VC funds. We don't know who will win, but it seems clear that the bulbs in streetlights you grew up with are going to change soon. ^M00:01:32 [ Music ]