Liquid-Filled LED Bulbs: 360 Degree Light

Liquid-Filled LED Light Bulbs: HydraLux

Liquid-Filled LED Light Bulbs: HydraLux

I’ve been testing a new LED bulb called the HydraLux. These unique bulbs are filled with a clear liquid coolant (a non-toxic paraffin oil). Other LED bulbs use large metal fins or fans for cooling purposes. The advantage of using a liquid coolant is that the LED bulb can produce 360° light like a regular incandescent bulb.The HydraLux also has a slim line, so it can fit in desk lamps and other light sockets with limited space. It uses only one 4W Cree LED to produce the equivalent of a 25 Watt incandescent bulb. In my desk lamp, this bulb produced a slightly bluish white light, similar to a 25 Watt bulb, as the manufacturer claims. I’d use this bulb for a task light, but the light was too blue to use in my bedside lamp. Th LED bulbs that produce a truly warm light are the EarthLED and the EnLux.

The HydraLux sells for about $35. It comes in two colors: 150 Lumens (Warm White), 200 Lumens (Daylight White). It has all the certifications you’d want for a light bulb: it’s UL Listed, CE Approved, and it has a ROHS certification (it has non-toxic components).

Here’s a video of the bulb in action:

This article by Lloyd Alter goes into the technical details behind the bulb.

Link: EternaLeds

Comments 28

  1. This is really neat, but since its been pulled from elementalled’s website, I guest it is not selling very well.

  2. Wanted to check out this new type of bulb. It seems that it might be best for remote installations where dust buildup might be a flame problem of some sort. Or, in an application where a child might be burned gently if exploring such a thing. Truly hopeful for price reduction.
    Thinking remote locations for fill light…
    You’d suggest…

  3. CFL´s do not last as long as their rating, they break very easily and watt rating are not realistic. I do not think they are really cost efective; I have gone back to incandescent and I turn them off when they are not being used.

  4. Since LED Bulbs are so “dim” thus far, I have an idea: someone needs to come up with a 360 degree fixture so we can buy maybe 5 bulbs and screw them in on all sides to get a decent light. I don’t mind the price per se, but I am really bummed about the poor selection of “lumenage”. I use a Chinese paper lantern hung in my livingroom for main light, and that’s what I want to get for it. (Currently using CFL’s reluctantly.) Oh, and also, we need some standardisation. I have a bathroom light bar and while I try to buy the same type of bulb, it’s not easy to find standard looking LEDs!!! My final complaint is to the manufacturers of LED lights. Why, if all you have are low-lumen LEDs, do you cover them up with colored or white plastic? Don’t you know your bulbs will be brighter if you use clear materials??? Happy customers, anyone???

  5. You don’t wan’t Mercury accumulating where you habitate,so far iv’e broken four CFLs through common mishaps(they break easily).
    I know it’s a small amount,but it will accumulate and it is definitly hazardous.There is recommended proceedure,you have to clean this without (further contamination)making it airbourne or spreading it all over.You can argue It’s a miniscule amount but there are already dozens of mercury sources and should we all be eagerly bringing more into our homes?
    Tried out a lower watt bulb Ace had and loved the spectrum so I’m determined to get at least the most used lamps retrofitted.I think 30 fixtures around my house although daily about seven might light so I have to have lets say three 13w/100w and the remainder 7w/60w … needless to say the price has to get lower before the whole house would be equiped.
    But eventually . . . .

  6. The big advantage of LEDs over all fluorescent technologies in the home environment is that they are not sensitive to being cycled dozens of times per day. Fluorescents work well in offices and factories where they can be turned on once and left on for hours, but more than about five cycles per day tends to be very hard on them.

    A secondary advantage over at least the current crop of CFLs in particular is that LEDs are not particularly sensitive to orientation. In our home the majority of the lighting is provided by base-up bulbs; while CFLs are available in that configuration, they are not the norm. One set of track lights in particular can reliably cook the ballast of a CFL in about a month of normal use; we’ve given up for now and returned to incandescents for that application until the price of LEDs comes down a bit further.

    In any event, we have almost certainly bought the last fluorescents that we will ever need for our house. The few that we have in stock will tide us over for a year or so; all new purchases will be LED unless an even better technology comes down the pike.

  7. I just bought a set of these globe leds (in warm white)
    The good :
    – the light distribution is very acceptable (240° round)
    – the oil conducts the heat very well and the result is a cool lamp.
    – they are plexy (don’t think it would break eassily)
    The bad:
    – the led they used, it is a single UV led, directly driven by 220V. The problem is that the light emitted is yellow to green, a typical production fault caused by the wrong doping of phosphor material on UV led (see wikipedia EN for explanation)
    – because of this production fault the amount of visible light is much lower than expected.
    If they give some guarantee about the colour, or correction of this issue, they might very well become usefull. Until than they are absolutely unusable.
    For this price I would have expected at least some quality leds….

  8. I have having a safe alternative to CFLs. Some people don’t want to go there because they’ve hard one of two horror stories about mercury poisoning.

  9. Like the way the light is distributed. To drive rapid adoption, its important that SSL lamps deliver enhnaced efficiency, control and life along with the form, fit and function of the incumbent technology – A19. While the “look” generated by this approach is encouraging, think there would be some major drawbacks as well. This bulb would be much heavier than a typical “hollow” (air cooled) lamp. The additional weight could limit the number of suitable applications. Also, you might experience some optical artifacts from shadowing of heat waves in the liquid as it heated up. However, all things considered, the positives of this approach may outweigh the negatives.

    1. As of today there are many energy efficient LED light bulbs for task lighting and related purposes. I would encourage you to read the product specs and make sure the LED product you are selecting is the right bulb for the particular application. All LED lighting is not created equal and I think the poorer quality bulbs can taint a consumers decision to replace it even know it will save energy and money is chosen correctly. If you need assistance in selecting the right bulb visit http://www.ledlightingwholesale.com and someone will assist you.

  10. Yea, these bulbs are really neat, we’re just starting to sell them at our LED light retailer. LED technology just gets better and better!

    A correction, though: Infinice mentions that CFLs use 25% of the energy that incandescents do, but I think it’s more like 10%. And LEDs use as little as half the power that fluorescents do. So both kinds of bulbs are significantly more efficient than incandescents.

    Another correction: the power consumption of this bulb is 4 Watts, not 25. I think the 25W is just an expression of the brightness. (Since we’re used to using incandescent bulbs, brightness tends to be expressed in watts, which is equal to power consumption in incandescents, but not in CFLs or LEDs.) You want to look at the lumens for a measure of brightness, and this kind of bulb is certainly available with a higher lumens rating than 200.

  11. Anyone have a simple payback calculator for comparing lifetime operating costs of incandescents vs CFLs vs LEDs? Unless these bulbs are like $15 each, I don’t see their advantage over CFLs when used conservatively. The real draw is in situations where you don’t want to constantly change out bulbs, or when the lights are operating continuously. Putting one of these in a desklamp doesn’t seem to be the best application.

  12. I like the idea of these bulbs but I would be concerned about them being liquid filled. How hot would the liquid get and what if the bulb broke?

    1. The liquid barely gets just barely warm to the touch. Here’s some tests from our lab:
      After running for 1 hour:
      Incandescent: 335 deg. F, 135 deg. C
      HydraLux-4: 87 deg. F, 31 deg. C

      If the bulb breaks, the liquid inside is completely harmless – similar in composition to baby oil. Just wipe it up with a cloth/soap.

  13. I think LED’s are the way to go but I don’t think I’d want a liquid filled bulb unless it was pretty much unbreakable. Cleaning the glass from a broken light bulb is bad enough but with paraffin oil mixed in?
    Plus it would be a bit heavy. (Which is probably irrelevent)

  14. …and maybe LED bulbs are obsolete before they even become popular!
    Check out Vu1 Corp’s ESL bulb technology.

    1. 6000 hours life, not even as efficient as a CFL and about 4 times the price? Doesn’t seem any better than anything else and at least the other bulbs are already here. This is still in the works!

  15. What about the light quality? I think that’s a big issue with these bulbs. I have two other LED bulbs, EnLux and GeoBulb. The light quality of EnLux warm is not too bad. The GeoBulb soft white is a bit blue.

  16. Um. Fluorescent bulbs use 25% energy of incandescents. These new LED’s use, if 25W estimate is accurate, 20% energy of incandescents.
    That’s probably a mere 5% saving and, to judge by heat production, probably a much shorter bulb life than fluorescents.
    So the technology, while promising [i’m waiting for color-tuneable bulbs!], just ain’t here yet.

    1. Post
      1. Let’s see… CFL’s last 10,000 hours. That’s just 29% of this new super bulb. Wow. But CFL’s [100W] sell for $4, so a 25W equivalent would cost $1.
        Thus this new LED bulb is 350% the cost, yet lasts only 71% longer. [Is my math wrong??]
        So, sorry, bottom line remains the same: the technology is just not ready for prime time. Coming on strong tho. I’m rooting for it.

        PS: This following is snipped from tiphero.com…
        To extend the life of a CFL bulb, condition the bulb the VERY FIRST TIME YOU USE IT by leaving the bulb on for at least 20 minutes. This allows the ions in the gas to charge fully. This will “set” the bulb to come on at it’s brightest each subsequent time, and it will operate more efficiently each time.

        1. Post

          Both LEDs and CFLs are less expensive than incandescents in the long run, even the expensive LEDs.

          Check out the cost breakdown on this page:

          LEDs have the advantage of being mercury-free, dimmable, instant on, not easily broken, and cold weather tolerant.

          CFL are a good transition bulb, but the disposal problem is concerning to me.

          1. The commercial link you posted, it compares incandescents to LED’s, ignoring its stronger competitor, CFL’s.
            So it’s a bit sleazy. But they are right in saying it’s more environmental, by very little, for very much money. If you can afford it, go for it!

        2. your math is clearly wrong :o)

          if the lifetime of a CFL is 29% compared to this LED, then the LED lasts 3.4x longer (100% / 29%). Your cost math is also wrong: if $1 is 100%, $35 is 3500% (or simply factor 35).

        3. Do you have direct link to tiphero regarding the 20 min first time use? For fluorescents, 100hr burn-in time is considered normal, and recommended by lamp manufacturers…

  17. very cool, but when do we get a 360° screw in LED with over 1500 lumens for a reasonable price? i can’t light my house with 25 watt bulbs. i am poised for the technology but can’t stumble around in the dark either.

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