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Is start-up's bet on induction tech worth the risk?

Posted: 12 May 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LED  induction  Finally Light Bulb 

Finally Light Bulb Company is turning the spotlight on induction technology, with expectations of sidelining LED as a cheaper substitute for incandescent lighting.

The technology will be used to develop what the company believes is the first energy-efficient A-type light bulb replicating the popular glow of incandescent bulbs. Several venture capitalists have invested a total of $19 million in this undertaking. But will the start-up succeed where all other attempts have failed?

The 60W, 800lm A19 light bulb incorporates the same classic design of an incandescent bulb. It is designed to produce light quality that LED and CFL bulbs seem incapable of delivering, while keeping the cost and energy consumption at a minimum.

Initially, it is hard to see why venture capitalists would not want to lay their money down on a product that claims to turn on instantly, just like a traditional incandescent bulb but claims to be 75 per cent more energy efficient.

Finally light bulb

Finally's Acandescent 60W A19 light bulb replicates the warm and omnidirectional look and glow of an incandescent, consuming 14.5W with a rated life of 15,000 hours. Source: Finally Light Bulb

Induction lighting was developed by German inventor Johann W. Hittorf, who made the first induction lamp as long ago as 1884. Indeed, throughout history, some of the biggest names in science have contributed to induction lighting's progress. In the 1880s, JJ Thompson, the one who discovered the electron, developed induction lamps for use in studying electromagnetic fields. In 1893, Nikola Tesla illuminated the world of induction technology with his demonstration of an induction lamp powered by a 'Tesla Coil' electromagnetic field. Big names help bring in big money.

Add to this the fact that in the 1990s, lighting industry stalwarts such as Philips and GE attempted to introduce induction lighting to the masses with the QL series and the Genura range respectively, and you can see that the concept has it attractions.

The Finally Light Bulb Company start-up also helped to attract investors by bringing on-board some experienced engineering talent including Dr. Victor Roberts, the former Head of Lighting Research at General Electric and Dr. Walter Lapatovich, formerly of Osram Sylvania. From an engineering perspective, the downsizing of induction technology to fit within an A19 envelope has been impressive.

However, history has not been too kind to induction lighting innovations over the years so how will 'Finally' finally succeed?


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