Monday, December 28, 2009

Yet another CFL characteristic

We have addressed the issue of the toxicity of "Mercury Bulbs" (CFLs) in several posts. In meetings with many Electric utilities it was acknowledged that the CFL is considered a stop-gap solution until a better technology is available. In an "off the record" phone call with an EPA official we were told that CFLs were resulting in a "pending environmental disaster". Yes, we wrote it down and date and time stamped it.

Over the last few months Vu1 has been contacted by two major museums. One is a well known natural history museum and the other is a museum of art in a large U.S. city. One contact was from a Lighting Director and the other from the Associate Curator. Both expressed great interest in Vu1's ESL lighting as an "accurate and high quality" and "safe" lighting for exhibits and artwork. The museum of art brought to our attention the ultraviolet (UV) generated by CFL bulbs and their damaging effect on artwork. The museum cannot use CFLs due to the UV risk and they said they hated the light quality of LED bulbs. They are being mandated to install energy efficient lighting but feel they have no options with existing technologies.

We are hoping to be able to solve this dilemma for museums with the release of our first ESL reflector bulbs; in the meantime we started looking into the issue of UV. There are number of articles that have been written on the health impacts of CFLs for people that are UV sensitive. CFL lights should be recognized as “a potential risk factor in the aggravation of existing light-sensitive symptoms in some patients with diseases such as lupus, porphyrias, genophotodermatoses, actinic prurigo, chronic actinic dermatitis and solar urticaria”. European Commission – Directorate – General for Health and Consumers

Also interesting is the impact of UV light on plastics. Unfortunately, many light fixtures and lamp shades are made of - or incorporate- plastics. UV has a tendency to attack plastic. There is an excellent article entitled “UV Properties of Plastics: Transmission & Resistance” written by Zeus Industrial Products. This article highlights how -

“All types of UV can cause a photochemical effect within the polymer structure, which can be either a benefit or lead to degradation of some sort to the material. Note that compared to our skin, the higher energy UVC is more likely to affect plastics. The main visible effects are a chalky appearance and a color shift on the surface of the material, and the component surface becomes brittle.”

The result can be as pictured below. The lamp shade in this picture was a premium priced shade that had been enclosing a CFL bulb for 24 months. The plastic liner of the shade became discolored, brittle and then essentially shattered. Stay tuned for many more damaged fixtures and lamp shades as the use of CFLs become more common.

Lastly, we were at a friend’s home on Christmas Eve. Their 8 year old came running into the kitchen exclaiming that “something is burning and smoking by the Christmas tree”. We all ran into the room and were taken aback to find that the burning and smoking was coming from a spiral CFL bulb that had just died a painful death in the table lamp next to the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vu1 Featured

We just received a note that Vu1 is featured in the newly released book "Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties" by Libuse Binder.

Ten Ways is an inspiring collection of new ideas, resources and innovative twists that help twenty somethings tackle today’s toughest issues and find their inner activist.

Check out Libuse’s website and Facebook fanpage.  She can be reached at

Find Ten Ways on

Or at Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Libuse Binder’s work has appeared in Earth911, Weekly Way, Fit Yoga, and Worldchanging. Formerly in film production in Los Angeles and a middle school English teacher in New York, she is now focused on energizing the newest generation of adults for a life of engagement in the social and environmental issues that matter most.

Her passions include the environment, sustainable living, volunteerism, public policy, and social networking technology.

Libuse currently lives in Seattle with her husband, where they enjoy exploring the natural beauty that surrounds them.


“What really distinguishes Ten Ways is how Binder presents real world cases of young people creating positive change. These aren’t just ideas—they’re success stories.”

—Ben Jervey, environmental journalist

“Everywhere I go around the planet, I find young people, fresh from college, leading the new green movement. With savvy and heart, they’re making a real difference—and as this book shows, you can too!”

—Bill McKibben,

“Libuse Binder has a heart as big as the world. Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties is imperative reading for young people committed to helping the planet, and one another, toward a more enlightened future. Read this book!”

—Mark Matousek, author of When You’re Falling, Dive and Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good?

“Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties won’t only teach you how to change the world, it will get you exhilarated about doing so. Libuse Binder is a passionate advocate and activist, and she writes in fun, accessible prose that’s never preachy, that speaks to any generation—whether you’re in your 20s or your 80s—about how to live mindfully, and have a blast while doing so.”

—Melissa Kirsch, author of The Girl’s Guide to Absolutely Everything

“Having a positive impact doesn’t have to be complicated, but sometimes the biggest obstacle is knowing where—and how—to start. Ten Ways is a great resource to help people who are just starting out know how to start making a difference.”

—Meg Busse, director, Nonprofit Transitions Program at

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vu1 Releases Updated Video of ESL™ Lighting Technology

Vu1 Releases Updated Video of ESL™ Lighting Technology

Online documentary demonstrates company’s technology moving from lab bench to socket

December 7, 2009 SEATTLE – Vu1 Corporation (OTCBB: VUOC) today posted an updated documentary in which the company’s Electron Stimulated Luminescence™ (ESL™) lighting technology is shown in a self-contained model of a screw-in bulb for the first time. The three minute video features an updated demonstration of ESL with all the electronics contained inside the light bulb which screws into any standard Edisonian style light socket. This demonstration is an important milestone as the company continues down the path to commercialize its first application of ESL, a fully functional replacement for existing “R-30” reflector bulbs. The video update is now available for public viewing at:

“Demonstrating our technology’s ability to function as a stand-alone bulb is an important step as we move into the next key phase - miniaturization of the electronics in preparation for pilot production,” said R. Gale Sellers, CEO of Vu1. “We are now focused on transitioning our initial bulb design toward a market-ready product so consumers don’t have to compromise on safety, energy efficiency or light quality when choosing their light bulbs.”

Vu1’s ESL is the cornerstone to the company’s development of the next generation of energy efficient lighting technology. As governments around the world begin to mandate the use of energy efficient light bulbs consumers are faced with few good alternatives due to the environmental hazards of mercury, limited features, price concerns and poor light quality associated with other lighting sources such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

ESL will offer the full features of incandescent lights, such as the high light quality and color demanded by consumers, instant on, and true dimability, all in an attractive bulb design but without the use of dangerous mercury. Vu1 plans to focus initially on the R-30 reflector bulb market and, assuming adequate funding the company will target reaching the market in the second half of 2010.

Vu1 has recently applied for a patent utilizing ESL technology in a linear fluorescent tube shape, the most common lighting in commercial buildings. Currently there are more than 1.5 billion fluorescent tube fixtures in the United States alone. The company has recently begun work on an affordable, incandescent light quality, dimmable, mercury free replacement for the common fluorescent tube.

More information on the Vu1 and energy efficient ESL lighting can be found on the company’s blog at:

About Vu1 Corporation

Vu1 Corporation (OTCBB: VUOC) is dedicated to applying its technology to produce energy efficient, environmentally-friendly lighting solutions worldwide. Vu1 is developing a new, energy efficient light bulb to provide the consumer market with the first affordable, non-toxic light bulb with features consumers are demanding and not receiving from existing products. More information about Vu1 is available at:

This news release is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities discussed herein. These securities have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This news release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release includes forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, the future commercial availability of our light bulb, our strategic planning and business development plans and the viability, pricing and acceptance of our products in the market. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The words "may," "would," "will," "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "intend", “scheduled” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's ability to control. These risks include, but are not limited to, our ability to raise capital to fund ongoing development and operations, completing our manufacturing capability, the price and availability of raw materials for manufacturing, timing and results of product development and certification of our product, unanticipated costs and delays in product development and manufacturing, our ability to hire and retain key management and technical personnel, interest of channel partners, competitive factors, and our ability to manage growth, as well as the risks and other factors set forth in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and our other periodic reports as filed from time to time).