3

Do We Need Light Bulbs Anymore?

Klus LED Tape Light Profile

While we will always need light, could it be possible that in the quest to create the “perfect” light bulb, a bulb isn’t what we are looking for at all? Edison’s original invention required the familiar gas-filled bubble we call a bulb to house and protect a carbon filament, and blown glass was the best, most efficient option. Yet that was over 100 years ago, and technology has brought us all types of materials that Edison may have considered better alternatives than a glass bulb.

The idea that we no longer need light bulbs is either revolutionary or absurd, but two products on our website are created with that very idea in mind. One is the LED downlight module, and the other is a series of LED tape light “profiles” from Poland-based Klus Design. One product suggests replacing traditional light fixtures and bulbs with dedicated, modular retrofits, while the other suggests we can do without light fixtures and bulbs altogether.

LED downlights consist of an array of high-powered LEDs, an LED driver, and a heatsink all integrated into a single unit. This alone doesn’t make downlights that much different than any LED light bulb. The difference is in the appearance of the product. The manufacturer doesn’t intend to make the module look like anything like the familiar light bulb we know. Instead, the LED module is a geometric mass of aluminum fins and hard plastic that replaces the bulb within a recessed can, sometimes permanently.

The second product, LED tape light profiles, takes the concept further. As we discussed in a previous article, LED tape light is an extremely versatile and easy to use product. To prove this, Klus even used tape light and their patented aluminum profiles to create a “House Without a Bulb.” Klus tape light profiles—an aluminum extrusion that houses an LED tape light—are inlayed into a groove cut into the underside of a step or cabinet, or mounted to the top of a flat surface. Some models are even made for installation into floors, sidewalks, and driveways. As with the LED modules, you never see a bulb, just light emanating from a recessed area that blends in with its surroundings. It blends in so well, in fact, the casual observer would be hard-pressed to determine where the light is coming from.

Even before LED downlights and tape light profiles, we turned the traditional round light bulb into reflectors, imitation flames, high efficiency tubes, and compact spirals. Do we need the “bulb” shape any longer for anything more than nostalgia? Share your responses in the comments below, or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Recommended Articles

5 Non-Traditional Places to use Chandeliers In the past, it was unusual to see chandeliers beyond the “power” positions of a home, such as at the entrance or over the dinner table. It also used ...
How to Pick Recessed Lighting Housings Initially designed in the 1930’s, recessed lighting continues to lead as stylish and contemporary out-of-sight lighting.  Recessed lights sit flush wi...
How Do Infrared (IR) Halogens Save Energy? In a recent article, we discussed the impending phase out of Halogen PAR lamps. One of the technologies we listed as a replacement was Infrared (IR) H...
Father’s Day Gift Ideas Father’s Day is only a week away, and you know what that means: it’s time to scramble to get those last-minute gifts if you haven’t already. We know t...
2-Pin & 4-Pin Plug In Lamps Go LED There's a good chance you may not have noticed the plug-in (PL) lamps being used in the businesses you visit each day.  If you look up the next time y...
10 LED Lighting Terms: Explained We’ve covered standard lighting terms before, but LEDs have a set of terms of their own.  The barrage of foreign jargon and acronyms on LED data sheet...

1000Bulbs.com

Benjamin is a writer for 1000Bulbs.com.

  • http://www.askchuck.com Charles LaBow

    I work at a railroad museum. While I am trying to convert as many luminaires over to LED sources as possible (doesn’t attract insects or fade colors because of no IR/UV) we still need to keep some “conventional” lamps around. Particularly “MAZDA/antique” style and “A” series envelopes for visible sources of illumination in old display fixture.

    • Benjamin Rorie

      Charles, I agree that antique light bulbs are still great for nostalgic purposes. I have several in my house for accent lighting, though most of my primary light sources are Halogen, LED, or CFL.

  • Andrew at Lighthouse

    A very interesting point Benjamin. I suppose if Edison was around today he would of been capable of doing much more than he did.

    I think we have conformed to the classic “bulb” shape but with the sales of LED’s skyrocketing, we may see the classic shape disappear slowly.