Switch Lighting believes they've got all the problems with LED lighting figured out. They say their bulb is efficient, relatively cheap and, most importantly, mimics the ambiance of a soft white lightbulb. And they've got Slate's Farhad Manjoo sold on it.
When I arrived at Switch, Brett Sharenow, the company's chief strategy officer, showed me two lamps. Inside one was a standard 75-watt incandescent bulb. Switch's 75-watt replacement bulb, which uses only 16 watts of power, was plugged into the other. The lampshades prevented me from seeing the bulbs directly-I couldn't tell which lamp contained which bulb. When Sharenow turned on the lamps, the light from each lamp looked identical. The moment was completely undramatic, and that was the point. Switch has spent years developing bulbs that produce something thoroughly unexceptional-light that looks exactly like what we're used to.
The 60W equivalent Switch bulb will cost $20, which is considerably less than other premium LED alternatives (the 75W and 100W equivalents will cost a little more). Furthermore, the bulbs will last for decades the 60W equivalent only uses 13W of power (the 75W equivalent uses 16). That means that despite the higher cost, you'll save money on your power bill and would spend more money on replacement incandescents in the same time period. And the bulbs will be in stores this Fall. Sounds good to me. [Slate]