Replaceable Arc Tube Makes Lamp Greener

Hitachi fluorescent light bulb with replaceable arc tube unit, in cooperation with Seiyu.

Hitachi Lighting Ltd and Seiyu Co Ltd introduced a joint project that features a bulb-shaped fluorescent lamp that can be separated into a lighting circuit and an arc tube unit. The lighting unit can be used over and over just by replacing the arc tube unit when it reaches about 10,000 hours.

This provides less amount of waste since you do not throw away the lighting unit once the arc tube is spent unlike conventional fluorescent bulbs, not to mention its energy-saving qualities that fluorescent lamps can deliver.

The lighting circuit can last for up to 30,000 hours, about five times the life span of incandescent light bulbs, with the arc tube being replaced about three times.

The new lamp can reduce the amount of copper used in the lighting circuit up to 1/5 required in creating bulb-shaped fluorescent lamps. The developers also claim that carbon dioxide emissions during production of these light bulbs can be reduced by as much as 70%.

Another innovation that the company made is the improved composition of filler gas in the arc tube, making the lamp immediately turn bright once it is turned on.

However, because the new composition has poorer resistance to heat, propriety heat dissipation measures were also adopted, specifically by installing copper contacts on the arc tube and the lighting circuit unit so that the base unit receives the heat through conduction.

A protection circuit is also included in this light bulb in order to detect discharge voltage and shut off the current when the arc comes close to the end of its life.

Because the arc tube is detachable and a protection circuit is included, the new fluorescent light bulb is slightly larger that existing incandescent bulbs. It is slated for release on October 2008, available primarily at Seiyu stores in Japan at ¥1,500 (about US$14).

Image Source: TechOn! 

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