Image via RTI International
With funding from the Department of Energy, RTI International, thanks to funding from the Department of Energy, seems to have developed a light that is five times more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, and also lacks the mercury found in CFLs. Their solution is a light made of nanofibers with diameters smaller than a human hair that can emit warm, white light. The researchers claim that this is the solution for the ups and downs of both incandescents and fluorescent lighting. Popular Science points us toward the technology from RTI International, and while it sounds promising, we won't see it nearing the market for another 3 to 5 years.
"Because lighting consumes almost one-fourth of all electricity generated in the United States, our technology could have a significant impact in reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions," Davis said. "The technology also does not contain mercury, which makes it more environmentally friendly and safer to handle than CFLs and other fluorescent lamps."
RTI International states, "[Our] technology, which was funded in part by the Department of Energy's Solid-State Lighting program, centers around advancements in the nanoscale properties of materials to create high-performance, nanofiber-based reflectors and photoluminescent nanofibers (PLN). When the two nanoscale technologies are combined, a high-efficiency lighting device is produced that is capable of generating in excess of 55 lumens of light output per electrical watt consumed. This efficiency is more than five times greater than that of traditional incandescent bulbs."
Yes, that's a lot of geek speak. The video below has a thorough explanation of the manufacturing of the new light and the impact it could hold for reducing energy consumption in the US>
"By using flexible photoluminescent nanofiber technologies for light management, RTI has opened the door to the creation of new designs for solid-state lighting applications," says Lynn Davis, Ph.D., director of RTI's Nanoscale Materials Program. "This new class of materials can provide cost-effective, safe and efficient lighting solutions."
While 3-5 years is awhile to wait for better lighting options, this seems like a promising new technology.