Say goodbye to that annoying buzz created by overhead fluorescent light bulbs in your office. Scientists at Wake Forest University have developed a flicker-free, shatterproof alternative for large-scale lighting.
The lighting, based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent (FIPEL) technology, also gives off soft, white light – not the yellowish glint from fluorescents or bluish tinge from LEDs.
"People often complain that fluorescent lights bother their eyes, and the hum from the fluorescent tubes irritates anyone sitting at a desk underneath them," said David Carroll, the scientist leading the development of this technology at Wake Forest. "The new lights we have created can cure both of those problems and more."
The team uses a nano-engineered polymer matrix to convert the charge into light. This allows the researchers to create an entirely new light bulb – overcoming one of the major barriers in using plastic lights in commercial buildings and homes. The research supporting the technology is described in a study appearing online in advance of publication in the peer-reviewed journal Organic Electronics.
The device is made of three layers of moldable white-emitting polymer blended with a small amount of nanomaterials that glow when stimulated to create bright and perfectly white light similar to the sunlight human eyes prefer. However, it can be made in any color and any shape – from 2x4-foot sheets to replace office lighting to a bulb with Edison sockets to fit household lamps and light fixtures.
This new lighting solution is at least twice as efficient as compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and on par with LEDs, but these bulbs won't shatter and contaminate a home like CFLs or emit a bluish light like LED counterparts.
"If you wanted blue lights, discos would still be popular. You want lights that have a spectral content that is appealing to us inside of a building," Carroll said. "You want a light that won't shatter and create a hazmat situation while your children are around."
Carroll's group is the first to make a large-scale FIPEL that can replace current office lighting and is based on natural white light. Beyond office and home lighting, Carroll sees potential uses for large display lighting, from store marquees to signs on buses and subway cars.
FIPELs also are long-lasting; Carroll has one that has worked for about a decade.
Wake Forest is working with a company to manufacture the technology and plans to have it ready for consumers as early as next year.
Carroll is the Director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. Center scientists have developed innovative technology including highly efficient plastic solar cells; Power Felt, a fabric that can use body heat to charge small electronics; and a combination solar-thermal heat pump.
Wake Forest University: http://www.wfu.edu
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
As private spaceflight firms SpaceX and Orbital Science take charge of missions, Nasa returns to lessons of history to design safer shuttlesDisaster is stark reminder of the incredible dangers Russian rocket manufacturer insists it is not to blame
One of the first website servers was developed at Stanford University in 1991. Archivists have kept the sites active showing a living history of the Internet. KPIX's John Ramos takes a look at web technology in its infancy.
A team of deaf entrepreneurs has developed a revolutionary way for the hearing and hearing-impaired to communicate
It is surprisingly difficult to build computers that can recognise the many different objects we see every day, but they are getting better all the time
We're beginning to understand how digital devices affect literacy – but don't assume that paper is always better than screens
Nestle Japan will put 1,000 humanoid robots to work as sales clerks
A new feature of most browsers will let them issue alerts through a PC or mobile operating system. What some call the smartphone era might better be termed the notification era.
The FTC says up to 3.5 million of AT&T's high use customers had their data stream "throttled" 60-90 percent -- leaving some smartphones "practically inoperable." Wyatt Andrews reports.
HaptoMime uses reflective surfaces to create a floating virtual screen that you can actually feel
Artificial intelligence is "our biggest existential threat," said the SpaceX and Tesla founder