Shedding New Light on Efficient Bulbs – 06.12.11

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First up this week, Correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan visits the Lightfair International trade show in Philadelphia to find the latest offerings in energy efficient bulbs. He finds a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb that will be the first in the world to sell for less than $20 and the first 100-watt equivalent LED bulb to hit the market in October. He also find out how LED technology is expanding to bring us bulbs that can be dimmed and programmed with a tablet computer or smart phone and wireless sound throughout the home.

Next, our animated correspondent, 'Little Lee Patrick Sullivan,' kicks off our "Energy 101" series with an inside look - literally - at light bulb technology. He goes inside an incandescent, a compact fluorescent and an LED bulb to see what makes them work, and their potential drawbacks.

For a more practical look at bulbs, Special Correspondent Daniel Sieberg, our gadget and technology expert, demonstrates several different types of LED, compact fluorescent, halogen and even a hybrid light bulb. He rates them on their cost, brightness, the type of light they produce and how fast they turn on.

One man who isn't thrilled with the government's plan to phase out inefficient light bulbs is Rep Joe Barton (R-TX). In an interview from his congressional office, he tells Anchor Thalia Assuras why he's sponsoring the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act and the reservations he has about compact fluorescent bulbs. He also explains when he's likely to finally give in and buy one of the new bulbs.

Finally, when it comes to lifespan, even the most efficient new lights have a long way to go to catch what the Guinness Book of World Records calls the world's most durable bulb. The "Centennial Light" is not just a museum piece, but an actual working bulb in service at Fire Station Number 6 in Livermore, CA. It was first screwed in in 1901, and although it's been switched off a few times to be moved, it hasn't burned out yet. It has even ...