Welcome Back, Incandescent Light Bulb. We Missed You!

Exciting for environmental do-gooders and consumers both ... increased efficiency, much lower cost.

Geniuses that they are… the government decreed that light bulbs had to meet certain standards of energy efficiency, and effectively killed the beloved incandescent light bulb.  People horded the bulbs because LED and fluorescent bulbs just aren’t the same.  Oh, they might be efficient, but people want light for crying out loud.  Well, flattering light at least.

Our beloved government cared not.

Luckily, MIT has our back.  From the Telegraph:

Researchers at MIT have shown that by surrounding the filament with a special crystal structure in the glass they can bounce back the energy which is usually lost in heat, while still allowing the light through.

They refer to the technique as ‘recycling light’ because the energy which would usually escape into the air is redirected back to the filament where it can create new light.

“It recycles the energy that would otherwise be wasted,” said Professor Marin Soljacic.

The first prototype. Credit: MIT
The first prototype. Credit: MIT

Usually traditional light bulbs are only about five per cent efficient, with 95 per cent of the energy being lost to the atmosphere. In comparison LED or florescent bulbs manage around 14 per cent efficiency. But the scientists believe that the new bulb could reach efficiency levels of 40 per cent.

And it shows colours far more naturally than modern energy-efficient bulbs. Traditional incandescent bulbs have a ‘colour rendering index’ rating of 100, because they match the hue of objects seen in natural daylight. However even ‘warm’ finish LED or florescent bulbs can only manage an index rating of 80 and most are far less

The new technology could cost as little as a third of what it currently costs to use LED or florescent bulbs, plus it’ll give you that warm, tingly glow so many of us grew up with.

How long until this comes out?  Well, it’ll be a while, unfortunately.  This bulb is just a proof of concept, so it’ll take a while to work out the details to mass produce these beauties.  However, there is a demand for them and there are millions to be made producing these bulbs.

We can wait.  But hurry please.

Photo Credit: warrenfyfenews.org

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2 comments

  1. jbsteele Reply

    I really hate the cfl “twisty” bulbs, but I like the latest LED bulbs. I find the color is perfectly fine. They do put out a bit of RF interference, at least the ones designed for 110v, Just keep the am radio a couple feet away. 😉

  2. jbsteele Reply

    I really hate the cfl “twisty” bulbs, but I like the latest LED bulbs. I find the color is perfectly fine. They do put out a bit of RF interference, at least the ones designed for 110v, Just keep the am radio a couple feet away. 😉

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