Liquid Cooled LED Light Bulbs: A Bright Idea That's Not All Wet

LED light bulbs are beginning to enter the marketplace at competitive prices, offering owners big energy savings over their average 35,000 hour lifespans - that's 25 to 30 years under normal use! They're mercury-free and they won't dim over time. That's the good stuff... now for the drawbacks.

The LEDs (light-emitting diodes) inside the new home and commercial bulbs don't generate much heat but their chips do, and unless this heat is dissipated it can deleteriously affect the bulb's power output. Many existing LED light bulbs use heat sinks in the "throats" of the bulbs, but this has not completely solved the problem.

A Japanese company called Beat-Sonic has come up with an interesting and, at first, somewhat scary solution they call "Aqua Sphere" - glass bulbs filled with a clear liquid that quickly draws off excess heat from the LED chips. Here's a short video showing what a lit Aqua Sphere bulb looks like:

"Aqua Sphere" bulbs, officially introduced on June 10th of 2010, are factory-filled with a slightly viscous liquid that surrounds the LED chips in a cooling bath. The liquid is non-toxic to humans and is environmentally friendly should a bulb break.

Like most new technologies, Aqua Sphere LED light bulbs aren't cheap: the bulbs cost around 3,500 yen ($38.90) each. With life spans of up to three decades, however, memories of the purchase price will fade long before these bulbs will. (via Impress Watch)