Over the past ten or so years, incandescent light bulbs have fallen out of favor. New designs - such as the compact fluorescent bulb - are far more energy efficient. In fact, the European Union is in the process of phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs, and many countries around the world are following suit.
But the New York Times reports that incandescents may have a new lease on life. Several groups of scientists - from university researchers to lighting corporations - have discovered new techniques for dramatically increasing the energy efficiency of traditional incandescents. Their ideas involve pulse lasers, reflective coatings, and more. Whether next-generation incandescents can keep up with their eco-friendly replacements remains to be seen - but the race is getting more interesting by the day.