Why Would Anyone Buy a Finally Bulb?
I know… It looks like I’m about to be particularly judgmental and disapproving. That’s not my intention. I’m just confused. Really.
(Admittedly, not the first time)
Here’s my back story…
Bumping into the Future?
So I was shopping at my local Ring’s End store last weekend for a replacement lawn sprinker.
(You may recall I had a meltdown last year when I realized that all of my garden hoses were very likely toxic… including the one that fed our vegetable garden.
So I replaced them all with hoses made by ‘Water Right.)
On my way out, I walked past a stack of boxed light bulbs on a table.
You know how I am about light bulbs.
(I’m like a moth.)
These were no ordinary LED bulbs.
They were something new.
Newer than LED?
Well, I had never seen one before…
They were ‘Acandescent’ bulbs made by a Massachusetts company called
The Finally Light Bulb Company.
(No, not incandescent. ‘Acandescent.’)
I turned to the marketing rep, who was manning the table.
She explained to me that this new Finally light bulb used plasma to create its glow.
“Yes,” she explained.
“Finally emits a warmer light than LED bulbs, and it will help you sleep better at night.”
“So this is a plasma bulb.”
She stared at me.
“That’s not the name of the bulb,” she responded politely.
(I actually think that would be an awesome name- the ‘Plasma Bulb!’)
And then she told me that Finally was running a promotion on its 100-watt model.
(Two for the price of one)
Well, I always love a deal. But I didn’t really need any extra 100-watt bulbs.
And then she told me that Finally bulbs can’t dim.
(That capability is coming next year.)
So I walked out on Finally, finally.
But I decided to do a little more research when I got home…
What is a Finally Bulb?
First off, the Finally bulb isn’t so new. This Acandescent bulb was introduced back in 2014 and released to the market in 2015.
Back then, I was still getting used to the mind-blowing introduction of LED bulbs.
Beyond LED, I’ve had no clue there’s been a competing ‘breakthrough’ light bulb tech out there…
And what exactly is Acandescent technology?
Finally’s website describes it like this:
“Acandescence™ is a new lighting technology that utilizes induction to initiate and sustain a non-thermodynamic equilibrium plasma, coupled with state-of-the-art phosphors, to produce white light with the warm color of a typical incandescent light bulb.”
I think the bottom line is there’s a copper coil, a magnetic field and ‘plasma’ gas that together generate the light.
Acandescence Vs. LED
Okay… so we’ve got here another kind of light bulb.
Does the world really need it?
Is it going to topple the dominance of LED bulbs anytime soon?
Well, let’s look for a compelling reason to buy one…
And how does that compare to the competition?
Cree’s 60-watt Equivalent LED with the stripped-down 4Flow filament design is $7.97 at Home Depot.
Amazon Prime’s got it for $5.11 as an ‘Add-on’ item.
So Finally isn’t your cheapest option, but depending on the brightness of the bulb you’re looking for, it’s not that much more expensive…
Finally bulbs are fifteen times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. But LED bulbs took that prize years ago.
(And according to CNET, many LED bulbs today are slightly more efficient that Finally bulbs.)
This is the big selling point for Finally:
It’s supposed to replicate the look and omnidirectional light of incandescence. According to CNET, the Finally bulb does have even light distribution, but the quality of the light doesn’t live up to all of the hype.
It can’t dim. (yet)
And it doesn’t actually pop instantly on.
(Takes a few seconds to get to full brightness)
Yes, you read correctly. There’s a small amount of mercury in the bulb’s plasma. Finally says the amount is small enough that it’s safe for landfills.
(I say… “Mercury?! Why would I want to bring any amount into my house?!”)
The 60-watt models are physically smaller than the 100 watt, although they both have the same standard-size base. So if you’ve got a fixture with a tight squeeze, the 60-watt Finally could solve your problem.
15,000 hours is great.
But some LEDs promise up to 25,000 hours.
Not Ready for Prime Time
I’m just not feeling it. Are you?
CNET’s 2015 review by Ry Crist totally hammered Finally.
He said it’s essentially CFL tech.
And the bulbs aren’t as bright as advertised.
It’s almost a year later, and now Finally is suddenly showing up in stores like everything’s fine.
(Actually, I’m only seeing it for sale at Ring’s End and Staples.
I feel like I must be missing something…
In Search of Tech Truth
I just don’t understand the glow of the Finally bulb.
To be totally transparent, I admit to firming up my point of view without actually having purchased or used a Finally bulb. But facts are facts… right?
Sure, maybe the light quality is better than the LED competition.
Even so… Will that make it competitive in the marketplace? Or will it end up being the Betamax to VHS’s crushing success.
(I know… an old reference for most of you)
I’ve been pretty happy over the past couple of years with my LED bulbs….
So I conclude this post inviting someone out there to set me straight.
Why buy a new Finally bulb instead of an already established LED bulb?
Please, help me to see the light.
And then maybe I’ll stop writing about light bulbs.