It’s now been long since I’ve seen people reinventing the lightbulb and betting on new tech like crazy.
Each lightbulb technology has its pluses and minuses. Old incandescent ones, 100+ year-old invention, are most comfortable to the eye but eat a lot of energy and burn out fairly quickly. CFLs contain mercury but are more energy efficient, and LEDs are for now pretty expensive, if you want quality ones, but don’t have any of the others’ disadvantages.
However, people have been trying to use LED lightbulbs for other things than just lighting – take LiFi, for example. It has been developed as a technology that would replace WiFi in offices and artificially-lit places. Advantages are many, from increased security to higher speed.
This looks more like transitioning from gas engines to electric motors, replacing fire with pure energy to do the job.
“We’re going to make LEDs more accessible, and we’ll start using lightbulbs for more than just lighting. We think that lightbulbs will be able to sense or hear. They can be nodes throughout your house,” said marketing manager Steven Pepe.
GE already have a futuristic product they call Link and that serves both as WiFi antenna and as lightbulb – albeit a smart one. Link only uses 11 watts of power and emits as much light as a 60-watt incandescent lightbulb.
All in all, this could really be revolutionary. Just like other car manufacturers took the example of Tesla and started producing electric vehicles, other lighting makers such as Philips could follow GE. This will eventually lower the price of LED bulbs and increase quality. Consumers will be most happy.
Even developers might come up with a bunch of ideas on how to benefit from the new lighting tech. Maybe one day they’ll all be wireless digital projectors and the lamp on your desk could play also the role of an image source for your movie evenings.