Bright Idea

Incandescent Lights Reinvented as Eco-Friendly




Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Older incandescent light bulbs have been phased out in many countries because they waste huge amounts of energy as heat, but scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have reported in Nature Nanotechnology that they are finding a way to recycle the waste energy and focus it back onto the filament, where it’s re-emitted as visible light. Their innovative structure is made from thin, stacked layers of a type of light-controlling crystal that allows visible wavelengths to pass through while reflecting infrared back to the filament as if striking a mirror.

Traditional bulbs are banned in the European Union and Canada, and their manufacture and importation are being phased out in the U.S. They’ve been replaced by more expensive compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which are significantly more efficient. In theory, the crystal structures could boost the efficiency of incandescent bulbs to 40 percent, making them three times more efficient than the best available LED and CFL bulbs.


Source: BBC


This article appears in the October 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Bug Apocalypse

The number of invertebrates and insects such as moths, butterflies and bees has dropped worldwide by 45 percent in the last 35 years, raising alarm about the global ecosystem.

Fish Revival

Following the removal two years ago of an obsolete dam, shad have returned to New Jersey’s Millstone River for the first time since 1845.

Horse Sense

The wild horse herds on North Carolina’s Outer Banks survived Hurricane Florence by huddling on high ground, hiding in maritime forests, and possibly by swimming.

Bat Cave Rescue

A fungus known as white-nose syndrome is decimating U.S. bat species, but scientists hope that genetic strategies and cave treatments will turn the situation around.

Mind Meld

Scientists are making progress toward using brain implants to help speech-paralyzed patients "voice" their thoughts.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags