Thursday, January 29, 2009

LED Light.

Over in Crete, and probably at holiday destinations all over the world, you can buy lighters, with LED torches incorporated in them whose intensity is astonishing. You can also buy torches alone that utilize numerous LEDs, and throw out one hell of a beam of light powered by a set of batteries smaller than the collection of LEDs itself. I’ve seen keyrings with these things in, and know that some manufacturers produce them for home lighting. However, they haven’t caught on as yet, because of the ridiculous unit cost. But perhaps they will now:

The researchers have designed a bulb that is three times more energy efficient than today's best offer and can cut lighting bills by 75 per cent. They are made using Gallium Nitride (GaN), a man-made substance used in LEDs (light emitting diodes). It is routinely used in bike lights, mobile phones and camera flashes.

But until now the production costs have been too expensive for widespread use in homes and offices - a single bulb would have cost £20. However, the researchers have found a cheaper technique to help manufacture the bulbs and manufacturers have begun work on production prototypes. The first units could hit shelves within two years. Professor Colin Humphrey, head of the centre, said: "This could well be the holy grail in terms of providing our lighting needs for the future."

The bulbs are 12 times more efficient that conventional tungsten bulbs and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent "energy efficient" bulbs. They can burn for 100,000 hours and they illuminate instantly and can be dimmed, unlike energy efficient bulbs. If they were installed in every home and office the bulbs could cut the proportion of UK electricity used for lights from 20 per cent to 5 per cent a year.

5 comments:

Thud said...

My dear wife has stashed away 5 years worth of conventional bulbs...maybe this will arrive within that timeframe

Bob Lock said...

I’m mad as hell that I am not allowed to buy 100 watt incandescent light bulbs any more but am obliged to use the energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps. There are a number of reasons for this.
First of all I get migraines and fluorescent lighting seems to be one of the triggers that sets it off.
Secondly I read a lot and the light from these bulbs isn’t up to the standard of the normal ones. As I’m getting on a bit and now have to wear glasses to read the poor lighting from these newfangled bulbs only makes things worse.
Thirdly I’d like to know more about the other risks involved in using these bulbs. They contain mercury so what happens when they need to be disposed of? Are you supposed to dispose of them with your normal rubbish, or like fridges with cfcs in, must they be de-commissioned properly, i.e. the mercury removed before they go into a landfill?
But more importantly than this, what happens if you break one and it drops powered glass and mercury into your carpet? Do you hoover it up or try and soak the mercury up with a tissue? Can there be an airborne problem with the mercury should it leave the confines of the bulb?

Bugger it, I think I’ll pop out and buy some bloody candles...

daniel said...

frankly as impressive as this is (and it is impressive that they have refined led's to the point of high efficiency and brightness for white light now), the fact is OLED lighting is just as efficient and easier to produce and that will probably take over in most commercial and office spaces in the future - phillips and others are already producing it on a roll-based process commercially.

mr-maigo said...

60 years? Can you imagine that? Our great grand kids will come down the stairs, "Mommy? Mommy I can't get the light to go on...","Well dear did you use the toggle?", "YES! I just doesn't work!", "I guess I'd better call an electrician". At that point you'll wake up from your nap and yell "Damnit girl! Bulbs are under the sink! WHERE THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN!"

And no way are they going to cost that little, no when you pass down youre 'lucky lightbulb' to your kids.

Bob, there only like 1-5mg in cfl, just enough to fill that little tube with vapor.
If anyone in the EU wants me to smuggle you some bulbs, I've got a Costco card and lots of boxes ;)

Improvedliving said...

My dear wife has stashed away 5 years worth of conventional bulb