MIT Develops Efficient Incandescent Lights To Rival LEDs

Posted: Jan 16 2016, 5:58am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

MIT Develops Efficient Incandescent Lights to Rival LEDs
A proof-of-concept device built by MIT researchers demonstrates the principle of a two-stage process to make incandescent bulbs more efficient. This device already achieves efficiency comparable to some compact fluorescent and LED bulbs. Courtesy of the MIT researchers
  • Incandescent Lights Returns to Rival LEDs

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Certain laboratory technicians at MIT have made lights resembling LEDs in their level of efficacy.

In order to save on power, many households have taken to using LEDs and fluorescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are avoided since they are seen as clumsy remnants of lighting fixtures. But everybody misses their warm glow. They had a more human touch to them.

However, the latest research may have discovered a new technology that rivals the LEDs of today. Normally incandescent light bulbs consist of a current that passes through a tungsten filament. Still, most of the heat generated is wasted due to inefficiency.

LEDs and fluorescents turn at least 10% to 20% of the current into light energy. A group of scientists at MIT have discovered a method of recycling light. This fine technique consists of a reflection of the heat back into the filament.

Thus the energy is saved in the process. Many parallel filaments of crystals allow some light to pass through but deflect the rest back thereby saving it from wastage. More light is clearly the end result. It shows a 6% greater efficiency. This efficacy could be ramped up to 40% in the future.

It seems that traditional light bulbs are not a thing of the past just yet. All the CFLs and LEDs may have overtaken the old school lighting systems but the light bulb is in principle alive and well on planet earth.

The light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison. And it is still a symbol of that “eureka” moment of sudden insight that leads to discovery. The superhot tungsten wire in the light bulb emits black body radiation. But the only problem is the sheer wastage involved in these things of the past.

Light recycling is the wave of future times. It consists of two phases. The first comprises a thin filament that radiates heat and light. The photonic nanostructures surrounding it resend the heat back to its original source thereby saving it from wastage.

The second phase occurs when electricity is converted to light in a jiffy. The world that lies beyond may use the same technology that produced light bulbs but in a different way so as to minimize the inefficiency involved in their operations.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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