December 3, 2012

New light.

Invented by David Carroll, professor of physics at Wake Forest University:
He says the new plastic lighting source can be made into any shape, and it produces a better quality of light than compact fluorescent bulbs which have become very popular in recent years.

"They have a bluish, harsh tint to them," he told BBC News, "it is not really accommodating to the human eye; people complain of headaches and the reason is the spectral content of that light doesn't match the Sun - our device can match the solar spectrum perfectly. I'm saying we are brighter than one of these curly cube bulbs and I can give you any tint to that white light that you want."
Curly cube? I'm guessing the BBC didn't hear that right and they don't say curlicue in Britain.

34 comments:

Scott M said...

With or without the mercury?

AJ Lynch said...

I have noticed tree hugger zealots refuse to acknowledge flourescent light has an inferior quality.

mishu said...

Scott,

From the article:

"What we've found is a way of creating light rather than heat. Our devices contain no mercury, they contain no caustic chemicals and they don't break as they are not made of glass."

Nonapod said...

As long as they can tint them so you don't get the hard white light like we're living on a planet orbiting an F-type main-sequence star.

edutcher said...

Nice to know we still produce scholarship like that.

At least for now.

EMD said...

Sounds cool.

Aridog said...

Although you can now get "soft white" CFL blubs that mimic the hue of incandescent bulbs by a filtering tint on the glass ... I'd very happy to have a plastic bulb with tints that range from conventional "indoor" temps (3200 to 3400 degrees K) to outdoor "daylight" temps (5600 to 6000 degrees K) where appropriate. Having them not break and last for 10 years? Perfect.

Make them suitable as outdoor spot or flood lights and I've save even more as the CFL's don't work well, and the incandescent or halogen versions don't last long. I'm off the buy another 7 of them when I finish this comment....even with motion detection controls, they wear out fast.

Richard Dolan said...

"I'm guessing the BBC didn't hear that right and they don't say curlicue in Britain."

Anyone with the OED handy could check that hypothesis.

EDH said...

I'm just trying to picture what cartoon image appeared above his head when this idea came to him.

SteveR said...

The important question is can they create Christmas light strings that all work the next year?

chuck said...

CFL's have become popular? I don't think so, they have been pushed on us by government fiat. Crappy light that costs more, it's a progressive dream.

Freddy Hill said...

Althouse, I believe you have spotted an eggcorn...

ken in sc said...

I call them curly fry bulbs because that's what they remind me of.

chuck said...

Hard to tell from what I can see of the paper, but it looks like a square meter of the stuff would be roughly equivalent to a 25 Watt bulb.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Made into any shape? Cool. I always thought we would get to the point where wall paint would be a light source.

The walls could be our lights. The walls could change color by a click on the computer or huge TV on one wall, etc etc

TosaGuy said...

More of this from our universities, please.

Less "studies" programs and coordinators of this-or-that. Also LIMIT enrollment in liberal arts majors by 50 percent -- perhaps those degrees will be valued again.

Money in higher education needs to be reallocated accordingly.

Larry J said...

It'll be interesting to see how quickly this new lighting technology moves from the lab to Home Depot and Lowes. How long will these lights last? How much energy will they consume per lumin? And how much will they cost?

I was looking at CFLs and LEDs yesterday at Lowes. A 60 watt equivalent LED was selling for $25. That's cheaper than they used to be but still way too expensive for me. Maybe this new technology will give LEDs a run for my money.

mark said...

If it is more efficient than CFL a big seller could be to compete against LED's in the back-light market for LCD screens. A glowing plate behind the LCD may be better the light guided LEDs behind them.

And it would introduce interesting lighting options. Ceiling panels in the office that glow rather than light fixtures.

30yearProf said...

I have a lifetime supply of incandescent bulbs in storage.

deborah said...

"It is made from three layers of white-emitting polymer that contain a small volume of nanomaterials that glow when electric current is passed through them."


Don't know jack, but is this related to Kindle's paperwhite tech?

Alex said...

I wonder what sunlight would look if our star was Zeta Orionis. Probably blue-ish.

chuckR said...

I want new lights for over my garage doors. If chuck@11:30 is right and you only get 25W/meter square, some more development is required - understatement. Meanwhile, if I want a quality LED solution - without motion sensors, the price for a pair of fixtures to replace the illumination of the two 75W incandescent $15 jelly jar type I have would run from $200 to $400 per pair (RAB or Hubbell fixtures). LED makes sense for commercial settings, but its still a tough sell for a residence. Forget CFL or other fluorescent - putrid color, bad in cold weather and not particularly long-lived outdoors in winter. And they don't like enclosures.

Geoff Matthews said...

What about LED's?

Astro said...

I'm guessing it was just a typo- curly Tube, not curly cube or curlicue.
As for backlighting LCDs, you need to match the lamp spectrum to the rgb filters in the LCD. A straight thin tube fluorescent is a good match, but LEDs are cheaper and simpler to drive. An incandescent lamp spectrum is a poor match to the rgb filters.

dbp said...

" He says he has one in his lab that has been working for about a decade."

On one hand, good; they last a long time. On the other hand, bad; he invented this stuff a decade ago and it still hasn't been commercialized.

Astro said...

Oh, rgb = red, green, blue.

David said...

Curly pubes." The correct quote was "curly pubes."

Methadras said...

OLED's are the real promise here. Still to expensive to make.

chickelit said...

From the article: [Carroll] says he has one in his lab that has been working for about a decade.

Ooops! I hope he kept that a secret!

35 USC § 102(b): A person shall be entitled to a patent unless the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States...

chickelit said...

Methadras said...
OLED's are the real promise here. Still to expensive to make.

Do they still use palladium-catalysed coupling of aromatics?

chickelit said...

Astro said...
Oh, rgb = red, green, blue.

RGB makes white light as this "Venn diagram" shows: link. Tweaking the three components gives most any other color.

Rusty said...

chuckR said...
I want new lights for over my garage doors. If chuck@11:30 is right and you only get 25W/meter square, some more development is required - understatement. Meanwhile, if I want a quality LED solution - without motion sensors, the price for a pair of fixtures to replace the illumination of the two 75W incandescent $15 jelly jar type I have would run from $200 to $400 per pair (RAB or Hubbell fixtures). LED makes sense for commercial settings, but its still a tough sell for a residence. Forget CFL or other fluorescent - putrid color, bad in cold weather and not particularly long-lived outdoors in winter. And they don't like enclosures.

LEDs are pretty cheap. You can get some ideas of how to make your own lights at places like 'HackaDay' or 'instructables'. Deal Extreme has some good prices on bulk giant LEDs.
You just have to be handy with a soldering iron.

Astro said...

@chickelit
Yep, that's the way most full-color displays work. It's somewhat more complicated than that, since relative intensity, ambient lighting and the surround also affect color as well, else there's no way to get to colors like brown and gold. It's more like a 3D Venn Diagram with odd shaped blobs rather than spheres.

Methadras said...

chickelit said...

Methadras said...
OLED's are the real promise here. Still to expensive to make.

Do they still use palladium-catalysed coupling of aromatics?


That I do not know. But I can try to find out.