LED Light Bulbs Make a Great Holiday Gift

December 13, 2012 by Power Pulse1595211359

by Dan Slupik, Texas Instruments

If you're looking for a holiday gift idea to show someone you care about both them and the planet, consider an LED replacement bulb. With more products entering the market every week, there are options for every style, performance level, and price point. Certainly some earlier LED lamp offerings weren't a beauty to behold. One's response might be similar to receiving an ugly Christmas sweater! However, several new options have been released recently that really push the bounds of design to result in beautiful products that perform really well without breaking the bank. While many people have been hesitant to shell out good money and fearing a repeat performance of early CFL lamps, this gift idea might be a good way to introduce friends and family to the latest energy-efficient lighting technology without the risk of disappointment.

Best Buy Insignia 800 lumen lampOne such product is the Best Buy Insignia 800 lumen lamp. Best Buy is now offering this 60W replacement LED lamp for only $17. This fully dimmable product meets the price point and performance needs for nearly all general A-lamp applications. On the aesthetic side, it is shaped in the traditional Edison bulb form with one exception. Three fins run up the side to act as both heat sync and mounting point for the LEDs. Its dimming performance is really impressive on a wide variety of standard phase dimmers.

3M LED Advanced LightAnother option is the 3M LED Advanced Light lamp. This bulb possibly has the best "lit" appearance on the market and comes in 40W and 60W replacement options. 3M, traditionally a materials company, achieves this with their light guide and multi-layer optical film technology. Small slits in the lamp act as vents to keep the electronics cool and protect the lifetime of the lamp. This device can be purchased at WalMart for about $25.

Both devices have done away with the bulky fin-style heat syncs from the first and second generation LED lamps. These resulted in an unappealing "un-lit" appearance and caused complications in light distribution.

TI's LED power management products such as the LM3445 LED driver IC help LED light bulbs like these achieve best-in-class dimming performance. So if a reasonably priced, thoughtful gift is the goal, you can't go wrong with an option that shows you care not only about their friendship, but the planet as well.