U.S. researchers have developed a new type of lighting that could replace fluorescent bulbs, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Organic Electronics.
The lighting, based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent technology, also gives off soft, white light -- not the yellowish glint from fluorescents or bluish tinge from (light-emitting diode) LEDs.
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"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 University. "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 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. 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, claim the researchers on the team.
Wake Forest University, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is said to be working with a company to manufacture the technology and in accordance with a plan, related products will be made ready for consumers as early as next year.
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