Philips' latest innovation: flatten the lightbulb

Summary:This isn't just design, for design sake. There's a purpose to flattening the bulb.

SlimStyle white.jpg
 Philips has given the lowly lightbulb a makeover. Instead of the cylindrical shape synonymous with lightbulbs for the past 100 years, this new version is flat. 

The so-called SlimStyle is a 10.5-watt LED bulb that emits light at a brightness equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent. It has a lifespan of 25,000 hours, or about 22 years, and reduces energy use by 85 percent, Philips said in information sent via email. 

The bulb will be available on beginning Jan. 2, around the same time the final phase of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which places efficiency standards on 60-watt incandescent bulbs, goes into effect. 

The energy efficiency specs, which are similar to those found in many modern LEDs, are not what makes the bulb standout. It's the novel design. 

But this isn't design, for design sake. There's a purpose to the flatness. Philips flattened it to help pull heat away from the LEDs, eliminating the need for heavy aluminum heat sinks, which in turn, reduces the cost of bulb. 

Thumbnail photo: Philips

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

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