ESL (the lightbulb, not the language)

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For several years, LEDs were supposed to be the next big thing in consumer lighting, and they're still coming.

But a post this week at GreenDaily touts Electron Stimulated Luminescence as a quicker comer. They are supposed to be equivalent to CFLs in cost and lifespan, but to overcome two of their shortcomings: They use no mercury, and are dimmable.

Rigel Gregg writes that ESLs have a coating of phosphor on the inside of the glass that is excited by electrons accelerated against it. CFLs send current through mercury vapor to get the same effect. The company behind it, VU1, says the light created is far more like incandescents than CFLs. It also boasts that it doesn't need the twisty shape.

I have never seen one of these bulbs, and I don't know if they work. The news of this product surprised me, and triggered at least some skepticism about whether it's real. Until they're on the market, it'll be impossible to tell, but it sounds promising.

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