Sales of Incandescent Lightbulbs Now Against Federal Law

Philips LED light bulb

Episode 1046

The sale of incandescent lightbulbs is now against federal law. Incandescent bulbs are very inefficient, don't last very long, and compact fluorescents have mostly taken over the market. Now LED lightbulbs are finding their way into stores. The big problem with LED lightbulbs is the heat that LED lights generate. The other issue is color, since they don't produce the warm glow that the incandescents do. LED lights from Philips are in the form of a disc instead of a traditional bulb, which can dissipate heat better.

What should I look for in a new HDTV?

Episode 960

Eric from Los Angeles, CA

Eric's TV recently died and he's in the market for a new one. He's got a house that does have bright ambient light and would cause glare. Leo says that LCD is much better for rooms with that kind of lighting.

First of all, he should know that he cannot judge a TV on any showroom floor. They've set these TVs to a mode that is very bright and will appeal to people, but it's not how he'd want to watch it at home.

Scott Wilkinson, Home Theater HiFi

Episode 951

While last week was the Super Bowl, it was also the biggest TV shopping week of the year as people went out to get a big screen TV to watch the big game. People were looking at plasmas and LED LCDs. Leo's also in the market to upgrade his TV. Should he wait for OLED? Scott says that a 55" OLED will premiere in the US market in March for $12,000! The cost should come down, but the yields are notoriously small with high failure rates. That's why OLED TVs are expensive right now. But over time, Leo says it'll get better. The same thing happened with LCDs.

Is LED better than LCD TV?

Panasonic Viera VT50

Episode 944

Jerry from Huntington Beach, CA

All of these TVs are actually LCDs. LED actually refers to the way some LCD TVs are backlit. Older LCD TVs had fluorescent bulbs backlighting the screen, which gave uneven lighting. A couple of benefits to LED is that the light can be made more pure, they last longer, and it can light the screen more evenly. The newer TVs are LED edge lit now.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 926

Today's gadget from the Giz Wiz has to do with lighting. Compact florescent bulbs have bad color, you can't dim them, and they take forever to get fully bright. So Dick has the Switch 60, the first liquid cooled LED light bulb. It's cooled by liquid silicon and it has 10 LEDs. The color is very pleasant warmish white and it's fully dimmable. $40 for 60W and $60 for the 100W version. Will last over 25,000 hours.