LED First: Switch’s 100W-Equivalent Hits Market

There have a been a number of light bulbs introduced on the market to replace energy-sapping incandescent bulbs, but few have gotten the attention—before it went on sale, even—of those from Switch Lighting. But now San Jose-based company is launching its Switch100 LED replacement bulb, heralded as the first 100-watt equivalent to hit the market.

Switch is something of a darling of LED bulb watchers—as we noted when the company appeared at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. At the show, Switch grabbed a CES Innovations Design and Engineering award, an honor that came on the heels of making the cover of Wired and being cited as a top-50 invention of 2011 by Time.

image via Switch Lighting

The key innovation behind Switch is a liquid cooling system for the LEDs within the bulb. A nontoxic fluid—there’s no mercury in the Switch bulbs—is used to move heat away from the LEDs to the outside of the bulb. This allows the bulb to use fewer LEDs running at full power than in typical LED bulbs, and avoids the need for heat sinks.

The company claims the Switch100 is the first “true” 100-watt bulb with 1,600 lumen output offering the same cozy lighting of incandescents. Appearing at the National Facilities Management and Technology Conference in Baltimore this week, the company said the bulb was now available to its commercial channel. The company also showed its unreleased Switch40, Switch60 and Switch75 versions at the event.

Here are the list of the bulb’s vital stats, according to Switch:

  • Lifespan of at least 25,000 hours
  • Uses 80 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb
  • Uses 20 watts of input power, and produces 1600 lumens
  • Color temperature of 4100K, making it an ideal lamp for areas which require bright white light
  • Can be used in any fixture, recessed or fully enclosed
  • Can be used in any orientation, with no compromise to driver function or lumen output
  • It is dimmable and turns on instantly

Switch won’t mind if consumers ultimately embrace its products, of course, but out of the gate it seems to be aiming its marketing toward large-scale users who spend significant resources not only on the energy that more conventional bulbs use, but also on frequently changing those bulbs in hard-to-get-to locations. “We see the facility management end market as a terrific opportunity because of the significant energy and maintenance savings Switch bulbs provide,” Switch CEO Tracy Bilbrough said in a statement.

Remarkably, Switch announced the launch of the Switch100 without giving the price of the bulb. Various reports have suggested it could go for around $25—in a market in which competing products that aren’t even as bright can cost substantially more.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.

    • windbourne

      Go switch. Can not wait to pick up a few. 

    • Mlau0624

      Switch is the first to launch a 100W LED bulb, but the link you provided is incorrect (about competing products)? You mention cost up to $50, but it’s for a 2-pack…

      • Pete Danko

        Thanks for the note! We’ve now fixed that, comparing the Switch 100W-equivalent LED with 1,600 lumens to a Philips 75W-equivalent with 1,100 lumens.

    • Retinaldoc

      Any idea when and where they will actually be available to purchase?

    • Guest

      I’ve been waiting to buy these bulbs since April 2011 when I read about them in the Times.  When and where can I get them?  I’m just a homeowner who would like to operate in a greener fashion.  

    • guest

      So, can we buy these? If so, where? If not, I guess it was good that you posted a link to your competitor’s bulbs (that are available today).

      I, like so many others have been waiting for YOUR bulbs since early last year. I guess that is what you call vaporware.