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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    It is amazing just how much research is being thrown at developing new light bulb technology. While much of the attention is being focused on CFLs, LEDs and even OLEDs, other technologies are in the works.

    Here's one I hadn't been aware of until recently. VU1 Corporation has their first product out the door and it can be ordered directly for $19.95. (You need to order at least 8 of them) It is designed to replace a 65W incandescent R-30 flood bulb for recessed light fixtures but they claim to have other types in the works.

    The bulbs uses Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) which bears a certain relationship with CRT tubes.

    "Electron Stimulated Luminescence Lighting Technology is an entirely new, energy efficient lighting technology. It uses accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor to create light, making the surface of the bulb “glow”. ESL technology creates the same light quality as an incandescent but is up to 70% more energy efficient, lasting up to 5 times longer than incandescent and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. There is no use of the neurotoxin Mercury (Hg) in the lighting process.

    "ESL uniquely applies much of the science that has been proven over a long period of time in TV and CRT technology. However, ESL has made groundbreaking improvements in uniform electron distribution, energy efficiency, phosphor performance and manufacturing costs. More simply, CRT and TV technology is based on delivering an electron “beam” and then turning pixels on and off very quickly. ESL technology is based on uniformly delivering a “spray” of electrons that illuminate a large surface very energy efficiently over a long lifetime."

    It will be interesting to see how this technology pans out in the long run, although they still haven't achieved the 100 Watt standard bulb equivalent.

    http://www.vu1corporation.com/technology/




    Last edited by EZO; 05-17-2011 at 12:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    So many choices, what to purchase? Too bad I can't get just 1 or 2 to see how they look. $185(w/tax&shipping) for 8 bulbs is a risky investment. VU1 needs to get these in a dept or hardware store chain ASAP.

    I think that my next "30" sized bulb will be the 14w LED BR30 Ecosmart from HomeyDepot. Its $30 and if I don't like it, I can either easily return it or use it in a rarely-used fixture location. The CFL R30's that I have now are an eyesore.

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    Flashaholic* JohnR66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    I recall reading about this technology a couple years back, probably here on CPF. 600 lumens at 19.5 watts = 30.7 lumens per watt. I think this is too little too late as LEDs are starting to take off.

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    I agree, I would order one or two myself. I think the company is just trying to get some of them out to the public and reviewers as soon as they can while they get their sales and distribution network up and running without going entirely into the retail end of the business.

    I'd love to test one of them out in an architect's lamp on one my work tables. The color rendering comparison photo they show for ESL bulbs looks really interesting but I'd love to see what the CRI really looks like.


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    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Is there any info on the actual technology? i.e. how are electrons stimulating those phosphors? Is it different from electroluminescense (sp?)? Are they saying it's literally like a CRT? i.e. electrons are flung at high speed into a phosphor? If so, does this present a risk of generating x-rays (I think...) and needing to put lead in the glass as is done in a CRT?

    I did find a wiki entry, but it doesn't have the level of detail I was hoping for. It does mention that about 5kv is used to get those little 'trons up and energized. That's not too bad.

    regards,
    Steve K.

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    Is there any info on the actual technology? i.e. how are electrons stimulating those phosphors? Is it different from electroluminescense (sp?)? Are they saying it's literally like a CRT? i.e. electrons are flung at high speed into a phosphor? If so, does this present a risk of generating x-rays (I think...) and needing to put lead in the glass as is done in a CRT?

    I did find a wiki entry, but it doesn't have the level of detail I was hoping for. It does mention that about 5kv is used to get those little 'trons up and energized. That's not too bad.

    regards,
    Steve K.
    You raised some questions that I have had too. Either they're ducking the question of x-ray emissions and leaded glass or it is a non issue they don't need to concern themselves with. It could be that because it is a "spray" of electrons rather than an electron beam "gun" that the emissions are not a problem. I imagine that others will be asking this obvious question.

    As for information with further detail, here is the patent.

    Also, I found two other video "infomercials" from the company. There are interviews with outside "experts" but it is hard to tell if their opinions are unbiased. I found the videos interesting nevertheless because there is some new info about their prototypes, where they demonstrate a functional Edison type bulb and show a forthcoming fluorescent type replacement tube. There's also some good footage of the bulbs being manufactured, tested and demonstrated.



    Last edited by EZO; 05-19-2011 at 11:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    While this is interesting new technology, I'm just not seeing where it fits in. It's way more expensive than CFLs, and about the same as LED. In return for the extra expense it offers neither higher efficiency nor greater lifetime (11,000 hour lifetime is mediocre by today's standards). Honestly, to me anyway it seems like a solution in search of a problem.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    While this is interesting new technology, I'm just not seeing where it fits in. It's way more expensive than CFLs, and about the same as LED. In return for the extra expense it offers neither higher efficiency nor greater lifetime (11,000 hour lifetime is mediocre by today's standards). Honestly, to me anyway it seems like a solution in search of a problem.
    Emphasis mine. That was my read. I think it began with a CRT manufacturing facility looking for a means of staying afloat, with lighting being about all they could come up with...
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    While this is interesting new technology, I'm just not seeing where it fits in. It's way more expensive than CFLs, and about the same as LED. In return for the extra expense it offers neither higher efficiency nor greater lifetime (11,000 hour lifetime is mediocre by today's standards). Honestly, to me anyway it seems like a solution in search of a problem..

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    Emphasis mine. That was my read. I think it began with a CRT manufacturing facility looking for a means of staying afloat, with lighting being about all they could come up with...
    I'm not sure I agree with you and jtr1962. This may prove to be a viable technology for several reasons. Who are we to dismiss it out of hand? These kind of remarks make me think of an interview I saw with a well known tech writer who said he thought the just introduced iPad would fail because he couldn't see a real use for it.

    In truth, I do see your point about keeping an old CRT factory and its employees afloat and also had that thought, but it could also turn out to be an astute use of an existing resource.

    This company may have a technology that unlike current generation LEDs and CFLs could adequately replace all existing PAR 30 and 38 bulbs, G60/A19 bulbs and tubular fluorescents using currently installed fixtures with a singular technology that has no mercury and where the price could be brought down rather quickly.
    Last edited by EZO; 05-18-2011 at 05:41 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    When CFLs first came on the scene they were much more expensive than they are today; more expensive than $19.95 each. Thanks to state and utility company subsidies they are affordable now. Vu1's R30 is likely to qualify for the same level of subsidies down the road making them very affordable. The price will also become more competitive as Vu1 gears up production.

    Comparable quality LED lamps are considerably more expensive than the Vu1 R30, even now. They have dropped about 1/3 in price since introduction of the first high quality LED recesses lamp replacement, the CREE LR6 has gone from $130 to $88. Still $88 is well beyond what most consumers will spend for a replacement lightbulb.

    The problem in search of a solution is the resistance to fluorescent lighting in the home by consumers. Even though fluorescent CFLs and tubes have improved tremendously over the last decade or so, most consumers still hate them in their homes and pine for something better.

    I have two of these Vu1 R30s in my kitchen right now. As a kitchen designer, who has been providing lighting design to my clients for 20 years, I can tell you that these lamps are a viable replacement for the CFLs that consumers dislike so much. The light is well-colored and as bright and strong as any 65 watt incandescent or CFL 65 watt replacement lamp.

    This new ESL technology IS a solution well suited to the problem. As the company rolls out more products, I expect it will be a resoundingly successful enterprise.

    You can purchase the R30 on Seattle's Destination Lighting online web site by ones and twos. An order of three will give you free shipping (orders over $50).

    http://www.destinationlighting.com/s...tml?iid=346884

    Try it out. I think you will be as excited about the products as I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    While this is interesting new technology, I'm just not seeing where it fits in. It's way more expensive than CFLs, and about the same as LED. In return for the extra expense it offers neither higher efficiency nor greater lifetime (11,000 hour lifetime is mediocre by today's standards). Honestly, to me anyway it seems like a solution in search of a problem.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    these might look good. the glass would glo so id assume you get a nice even light and the shape is nice. 2 things that cfl and led can struggle with.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    I just read through Vu1's first quarter(dated May 16) SEC filing. If they don't find an angel investor/lender -or someone to purchase the company- they do not have the resources(cash) to continue operations for the remainder of this year.

    IMHO, if Vu1 does not have a clear R&D path to achieve >200 lumens per watt, LED/OLED will ultimately own the vast majority of the lighting marketplace.

    Stephen Lebans

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by pderas View Post
    The problem in search of a solution is the resistance to fluorescent lighting in the home by consumers. Even though fluorescent CFLs and tubes have improved tremendously over the last decade or so, most consumers still hate them in their homes and pine for something better.
    Younger consumers are mostly technology neutral provided the lamp delivers the light distribution and color they prefer. If there was any resistance to fluorescent lighting, then it was because flourescent got a bad rap due to the early halophosphor tubes which flickered, and had awful color rendering. Ever since, the battle to get people to use flourescents has been due in part to overcoming that bad rap. I suspect we haven't overcome it yet. The only reason CFLs are being adopted in increasing numbers is because of a younger generation never exposed much to really bad fluorescent lighting. As a result, they just didn't develop the aversion to it their parents had. And that same older generation which still resists CFLs isn't going to be any more likely to adopt this lamp. Strictly speaking, it's still a fluorescent lamp, only it's driven via a cathode ray tube instead of a mercury arc.

    I have two of these Vu1 R30s in my kitchen right now. As a kitchen designer, who has been providing lighting design to my clients for 20 years, I can tell you that these lamps are a viable replacement for the CFLs that consumers dislike so much. The light is well-colored and as bright and strong as any 65 watt incandescent or CFL 65 watt replacement lamp.

    This new ESL technology IS a solution well suited to the problem. As the company rolls out more products, I expect it will be a resoundingly successful enterprise.

    You can purchase the R30 on Seattle's Destination Lighting online web site by ones and twos. An order of three will give you free shipping (orders over $50).

    http://www.destinationlighting.com/s...tml?iid=346884

    Try it out. I think you will be as excited about the products as I am.
    I appreciate the offer to try these out but truth is I don't even have any sockets where an R30 lamp will be appropriate, although it might be OK in a table lamp or desk lamp. You see, years ago, I converted most of the house to 4-foot linear fluorescent (first T12, then T8). I'm more than happy with this choice. The ceiling mount fixtures are unobtrusive and give plenty of light. The tubes last over a decade. And I can get the high-CRI, 5000K light I prefer (this is actually one big reason I made the switch besides efficiency-I personally can't stand incandescent-type light). If these we made in 5000K, I might consider getting one for a desk lamp or table lamp just to try, but at 2700K I really have no interest at all.

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    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    nice videos... it does seem a bit ironic that they are touting the "white spectrum" available from incandescents as well as their ESL technology, and they are doing this in a video that is being viewed on a monitor using red, green and blue phosphors on a CRT (in my case), or a LCD screen that is backlit by either florescent or LED sources. Maybe I'm uninformed, but doesn't this shoot down their argument that a continuous spectrum is really required?? Or are they trying to make a demonstration within the limitations of the media?

    moving on... when they show the big bulb, my first thought was of a CRT from an old TV or oscilloscope! I wish someone would tear one apart and report on it, similar to what some magazines were doing with LED lights. Just be sure to discharge that high voltage cap before you start poking around inside it!

    Steve K.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    If the anode is 5KV, there is no issue with X-rays. Not even close.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Its cheaper than currently available LED bulbs. A good R30/PAR30... type LED bulb is $30-$60. This ESL is about $20. And, you can bet that most shoppers shop on price and is why free-CFLs(thank your utility co) and paid for incan's(cheapskates) are the most commonly used bulbs. Get rid of both and you have a price battle brewing among LED, LVD, ESL.... We need this ESL bulb in normal G60/A19 bulb size and in R38 sizes too. And, once adapted by the major stores, price will come down too.

    The price for LED will come down with time. But, CFL's never reached the incan price point and is why we need incan's to become outlaws.

    I also do not want ONE type of bulb to choose from. I find that my LVD, LED, halogen(we call it an efficient incan), .... all serve their purposes. Competition among tech is a must!

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Despite the naysayers VU1 Corporation seems to be plugging along with their ESL lightbulb technology. They have apparently obtained the needed financing and are about to introduce an A19 type bulb in the US in August.

    This company and its products may or may not float but it will be interesting to see what kind of reception their novel bulb receives. I plan to buy some just to check them out.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Maybe with a little additional research the efficiency levels will increase. Or a whole new technology will be discovered?

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Thats what I'm hoping. Its not 'all about' the overrated LED(which IMO is getting too many subsidizes, grants, and written as a requirement). ESL, LVD/induction, LEP, improved CFL, CCFL, .... and other lighting options exist and need to be R&D'd also.

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by deadrx7conv View Post
    ESL, LVD/induction, LEP, improved CFL, CCFL, .... and other lighting options exist and need to be R&D'd also.
    There was a paper in 1995 which basically showed that fluorescent and other discharge lamp technologies were already close to their inherent limits. This is why they're not receiving much R&D. There just isn't much room for improvement beyond decreasing costs. For example, Stokes losses incurred when exciting a phosphor are much higher with flourescent because the mercury arc is a shorter wavelength than a blue LED. This is basic physics with no workaround. On the other hand, there's no inherent reason a solid-state light source can't approach 100% efficiency, compared to at best 50% for other lighting technologies.

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Back on May 20th in post #17 of this thread I was musing about the type of electron emitter that is currently being used in the VU1 lightbulb (they still don't say) and speculated that carbon nanotube field emitters could be the answer to dramatically increasing the efficiency of a bulb of this design.

    Sure enough, VU1 Corporation issued a press release a week ago (June 23rd) announcing the allowance of a U.S. Patent for its Electron Stimulated Luminescence™ Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs.

    According to the release, "
    Cold cathode technology has come to the foreground with the discovery of carbon nanotubes - nature's ideal cathode technology. The Company believes converting to this technology would provide higher efficiency, turn on times measured in millionth's of a second and simplified electronics resulting in lower cost. The Company has already demonstrated this approach internally and would anticipate commercial products in less than two years."

    Interesting; they anticipate higher efficiency AND lower costs with the use of a carbon nanotube emitter.

    Carbon Nanotubes (Fullerenes) have been a remarkable discovery with a wide range of potential applications. Regarding their use as field emitters, here too, they have some amazing properties. For anyone interested, here is an interesting technical article published by the Foresight Institute titled "Why are carbon nanotubes such excellent field emitters?"

    I mentioned back in post #17 that carbon nanotubes are being developed for use in Field Emission Displays (FED) as TV and computer flat panel displays. This is essentially a form of the same technology VU1 intends to deploy in it's cold cathode bulbs but since the original IP was developed by Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc I wonder if they will need to license the technology (or perhaps already have). Applied Nanotech was the company that did the initial research into a carbon emission light source and is still developing the technology for display panels and industrial/medical use.

    What I find most interesting about the potential for this bulb technology is that it does not have any of the issues with heat that exist with other bulb types. Along with pleasing CRI numbers and it's other characteristics it could well be a viable ancillary technology that can exist along with more efficient LEDs assuming the efficiencies increase and the cost continues to come down. Time will tell.




    Last edited by EZO; 06-30-2011 at 09:40 AM. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    I'll be interested to see where this tech goes simply because it seems to offer near-infinite variety of spectrum ... might even be "tuneable" someday to a wide variety of colors. It does appear to be tolerant of high temperatures as well. If starts nearly instantly and handles short-cycling at least as gracefully as the incandescent then it has some chance in the marketplace.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    I'll be interested to see where this tech goes simply because it seems to offer near-infinite variety of spectrum ... might even be "tuneable" someday to a wide variety of colors. It does appear to be tolerant of high temperatures as well. If starts nearly instantly and handles short-cycling at least as gracefully as the incandescent then it has some chance in the marketplace.
    idleprocess, speaking of "tuneable" color wavelengths I posted some links to another thread regarding this feature being developed for OLED technology. It would be very interesting and very cool if that feature could become available in a "bulb" format.

    For convenience, here they are again if it would interest you to read them.

    http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/01/13...ng-yes-please/

    http://www.cens.com/cens/html/en/new...ner_30761.html

  24. #24

    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Their "marketing" videos using so-called experts was to me a load of BS. Frankly, some of these so called PhDs should be ashamed of themselves!

    This is a phosphor based technology. Yes you have more up-conversion range of phosphor with e-beam stimulation but at the end of the day, it is a phosphor based technology. Hence, in terms of spectrum there is inherently very little advantage over fluorescents or over UV stimulated LEDs and some would even argue over blue stimulated LEDS.

    Sure, take a crappy fluorescent and crappy LED and compare it to the ESL bulb. That is marketing BS, that is not science and to my point, those in the video claiming to be scientists should be ashamed! How about comparing a high quality wide spectrum fluorescent or a high CRI LED .... perhaps one of the ones with some deep red... both of which have higher efficiency?

    How about talking about Lumileds 2-3 step McAdam's ellipse LEDS where you can't tell one from the other as opposed to talking about the state of the art years ago?

    Is it an interesting technology? ... yes
    May I consider buying it? ... yes if it is cheap ... I am not a big fan of PAR fluorescents and can't justify current LED prices everywhere.

    Will it be cheaper than LED by the time I actually see it on the store shelf ... guessing that is going to be debatable.

    If you want to convince me ... use honesty!


    "I suspect within a few years, similar lamps based on highly efficient blue LEDs to drive a phosphor-coated bulb will render this technology obsolete. With current LEDs, particularly in the warm/neutral color temps, most of the waste heat occurs due to losses in the phosphor layer, not in the blue LED junction emitter itself. By distributing the phosphor over a large area, heating should no longer be localized at the junction of the LED."

    ... this is not true. The losses are in the emitter mainly, not in the phosphor. I think what you are confusing is light generation and light extraction. The actual conversion process is quite efficient, but a lot gets reabsorbed and lost as heat. Warm LEDs have lower lumens not so much because of phosphor losses but due to the eyes sensitivity of the converted wavelengths. Use a blue led without the phosphor .... it gets almost as hot as it's phosphor coated equivalent.

    ... On the IPOD, yes it was execution, timing, ecosystem, and cool factor. With the exception of us geeks on this forum, PAR lights do not have much cool factor. Some yes, but for the most part, your neighbor is not going to ogle your ESL light. Apple also delivered a product that customers exactly wanted ... truly portable web-browsing (which is what it is most used for) with some e-book, games, music, etc. thrown in. All backed up by the IPOD/IPHONE ecosystem. Hardly the same thing with something as simple as a bulb. I am not saying they will not have commercial success, but it will not be because of "cool" factor, but because of price and performance.

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    Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another Unique Lightbulb Technology with interesting potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by SemiMan View Post
    If you want to convince me ... use honesty!
    +1

    They actually hurt themselves in the long run by selling snake oil to an unsuspecting populace, who later on won't listen anymore.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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