This is a story about the lighter side of things. As in, a piece of technology that instantly lights up a room, while possibly changing the way we see things.
Switch is a San Jose startup you'll likely hear (and see) a lot about in a few months. That's when the company will officially roll out its new light bulbs. Are we really getting excited about a light bulb?
We are about this one: It's green, it's powerful, and it's efficient. Like just about everything in Silicon Valley, it solves a problem, and this is a problem about to stare us in the face.
For one thing, the incandescent bulbs we've been using forever are being phased out. By 2015, you won't be able to find them. Switch claims its bulb -- which will cost you about $15 each, you should know -- will last close to ten times as long as the incandescent bulbs.
For another, the twisty CFL bulbs many of us have been installing are environmental hazards. Not only do they have mercury inside, they can't be recycled - they're destined for the landfill. The Switch bulbs are made of parts that can be recycled -- the company buys into the "Cradle To Cradle" environmental idea that's been catching on. As CEO Boris Lipkin says, "nothing from this bulb will, eventually, go into waste."
If you get a chance, take a close look at the Switch bulb. It's full of LED diodes and even has its own cooling system.
Like a PC, it cools itself down, so it lasts longer, and uses less energy. Yes, it's heavier than other bulbs, and a lot more expensive. But it will pay for itself, and -- if enough people get turned on -- it could change the way we light up our homes.