Scientists at Wake Forest University have developed a flicker-free, shatterproof alternative for large-scale lighting that they claim is at least twice as efficient as CFL technology and less expensive than LEDs. The lighting is based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent (FIPEL) technology, which uses a nano-engineered polymer matrix to convert the charge into light.
“People often complain that fluorescent lights bother their eyes, and the hum from the fluorescent tubes irritates anyone sitting at a desk underneath them…The new lights we have created can cure both of those problems and more.” – David Carroll, Director, Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, Wake Forest.
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 a bright white light similar to that of sunlight. The lighting can be made in any color and shape, and it is nearly indestructible and long-lasting (David Carroll has one that has worked for about a decade).
Carroll’s team 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.
The research supporting the technology can be found in the peer-reviewed journal, Organic Electronics. Wake Forest is currently working with a company to manufacture the lighting technology and plans to have it in market as early as next year.
Source: Wake Forest University
Elizabeth Smyth is a writer for Precision Paragon, an energy efficient commercial lighting manufacturer and a leading source for lighting retrofit solutions.