Electronic bulbs

Published: Monday 30 November 1992

-- NEXT YEAR, a longer-lasting and more efficient bulb known as the electronic light, or "E-Lamp," will hit the US market. A magnetic coil generates a radio signal that interacts with the gas inside the bulb, as a result of which a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb starts to glow.

The new bulb fits into ordinary sockets and can last between 10 and 14 years if used 4 hours a day. Standard bulbs last from 6 months to a year. The electronic light has no filament to burn -- it dims as the bulb ages. It uses 75 per cent less electricity and produces much less heat. The drawback is the initial price: between US $10 and US $20.

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