RUSH: Tony in Farmingville, New York, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s an honor to talk with you. I really follow all the things you talk about in politics, and you’re pretty darn accurate.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: But my reason for calling again is I was listening to your show today — and I’ve been listening to your show for a long time — and you were discussing this whole government thing about the lights and lighting that’s going on in this country about forcing people to do certain things, and I agree with you to a certain point that government control should not be involved. By the same token, I am active in the semiconductor industry as a designer and developer of marketing of products, and what I do see coming is a trend for the LED lighting market to take over and probably push aside incandescents and CFLs over the next two or three years.
RUSH: Uh, really? Push aside the compact fluorescents?
CALLER: Yes. Because what’s happening is there is a point of reflection on this current looks at output, color point and all this nonsense.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
CALLER: And LEDs are actually achieving that point very shortly. I am actually involved with companies, and my company actually sells LED recessed light fixtures today that are 12-watt comparable to 65 watt, incandescents.
RUSH: Can you dim one?
RUSH: Well, that’s all I care about.
CALLER: So my offer is I’m willing to set you up and let you see one of these things, a few of them, but they are real, and they are coming about in the next few years. You’re going to see them in the next few months.
RUSH: For people that don’t know, tell them what an LED is. A lot of people hear LED and think computer screens, or the flashing green and red lights on a piece of electronic equipment. What is LED? It’s a ‘Light-Emitting Diode,’ but how is it applicable to a lightbulb?
CALLER: Well, what’s happening is the LED traditionally was like you just said; it was an indicator on your stereo system.
CALLER: Or a TV or whatever. Now in the last five, six years there’s been a transition in the semiconductor industry where they can make LEDs with high wattage output. Now, we’re talking about one-watt, three-watt, and five-watt LEDs.
RUSH: Cool. Very cool.
CALLER: So they put them in series, and they have 12 of them and they make a 12-watt recessed picture. That puts out quite a bit of light.
RUSH: That’s it. That’s true.
CALLER: So that’s all I wanted to just make sure at least take a look at this. If you want to really look into it more, you can look at the company we work with, LLF, and basically that market’s taking off. It will be in restaurants, hotels, and high-end residential.
RUSH: Let me ask a quick question here, because I’m very sensitive to these kinds of technological advances being thrown into the open market. Will the poor and minorities be able to afford these new lights?
CALLER: No. No.
RUSH: Or is it one of these things where people like me are going to have buy them at exorbitant prices at the outset, in order to bring the price down for the poor?
CALLER: Well, what I see happening is… Your point is correct. What I see happening is that the utilities, as they do with the CFL lights today —
CALLER: — will become sponsors of them, and also cosponsor payment towards these lights.
RUSH: What’s one of these things going to look like?
CALLER: It looks just like your standard six-inch recessed fixture, no different. Actually, they’re quite pleasing looking.
RUSH: Do you screw it in? Do you unscrew it? I mean, how big is it?
CALLER: They screw in, yes. And they look just like it was a recess fixture in the ceiling, but the main thing —
RUSH: And you can get them in red and green and blue, and they flash just like on your stereo or TV?
CALLER: No, no, no. You’re getting them in the true incandescent, yellow color.
RUSH: Oh. But I imagine the sky’s the limit if you’ll pay for it?
CALLER: Well, they’re going to. They’re starting to… They’re coming down. They start at a hundred bucks. But then you look at the maintenance. Like you said, if you have a 50,000-hour bulb that lasts over a period that time and you have to replace other bulbs over that period of time, and you do the energy analysis, the LED light’s probably about a 25% cost.
RUSH: And in three years these things are going to be on the market?
CALLER: They’re on the market now today. I’m actually selling them. I didn’t call up to promote my company or anything, but what I called to say is it’s happening.
RUSH: Well, who are your customers now? Is it homeowners or businesses?
CALLER: Both. Mostly businesses are getting involved with it — like restaurant chains, hotel chains — because they clearly see the maintenance cost savings.
RUSH: Yeah, and these LEDs, they don’t put out a lot of heat, either, do they?
CALLER: Absolutely. Very minimal heat.
RUSH: What about the compact bulbs?
CALLER: So they’re good for the environment.
RUSH: What about those screwball lights, those compact fluorescents? Do they put out any heat?
CALLER: They put out some heat. You can’t touch them. You can touch an LED fixture. You can’t touch a compact.
RUSH: That’s what I was thinking. You can’t touch an incandescent?
RUSH: ‘Til it cools down.
RUSH: You can touch the LED. You can take it out, put it in, put it wherever you want.
CALLER: Right. And the other main thing is with respect to the discussions are going about CFL, the two key points is that they are environmentally not good because of their mercury content.
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
CALLER: The other story is they do have an effect wavelength-wise in terms of light on your skin, and the other thing is they turn on slow, right? You flip ’em on, and they take a few minutes to warm up. So those are the three key features, or factors..
RUSH: Wait. Your lights, the LEDs…? No, yours come on immediately, don’t they?
RUSH: The CFLs, those take time to warm up, is what you’re saying.
CALLER: So there is that advantage.
RUSH: Well, that’s not good. If a burglar sneaks into the house and you want to turn on the lights —
RUSH: — the burglar’s got three minutes before your energy-saving lightbulbs light up to save your life.