VU1 – What’s Going On Over There?


I just read an article about some new-fangled technology from a company called VU-1 (that’s pronounced “view-1”) that is apparently and supposedly creating a consumer light source that will compete with CFLs.  What annoys me is that I was JUST IN SEATTLE and didn’t even know about VU-1.  I would have tried to arrange a visit!


Light Without Compromise is the slogan that VU-1 is working from, and they’re creating a fully dimming, mercury-free, instantly on lamp with six times incandescent lamplife – so, about 6,000 hours.  The technology – ESL, or “electronically stimulated luminescence,” basically fires an electron stream onto a phosphor coating.  There isn’t a lot of really detailed information on this technology, as I think it’s still in the marketing phases and not quite near release.  I could be wrong.  Here’s an image of the technology:


VU-1 is marketing the product towards recessed lighting, as an R30 replacement – with very low heat and a design that appears fitting for the application, VU-1 is targeting the 800+ million recessed can fixtures in the US alone.

I have a few questions:

  • Why only 6,000 hours?  What’s with the technology that limits the lamplife?  This is a source that is competing for market share with CFLs and LED lamps (let alone incandescents and halogens), with a price point of between $18 and $22 – as we’ve seen with CFLs and LED lamps, that’s not a terribly comfortable consumer price point, with incandescents being around $0.50 a pop.
  • Are there any plans to create an A-type lamp out of this technology?  Has VU-1 attempted any research into an omni-directional electron emitter, and what have the results been?
  • The latest company annual report puts VU-1 at a $58 million dollar deficit.  What’s the to-market timeframe?  I’d love to see these in the market!

I would really like to know more about this, VU-1!

Thanks, NYT!

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