Consumer Technology FIPEL Lighting

Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Elizabeth Smyth


Say Goodbye To The Fluorescent Buzz

December 3rd, 2012 by  

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.

FIPEL Lighting

“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.

Wake Forest FIPEL Lighting

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

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About the Author

is a writer for Precision Paragon, an energy efficient commercial lighting manufacturer and a leading source for lighting retrofit solutions.

  • Very interesting. Lighting of the future. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

  • jburt56

    Wake Forest is about to become VERY rich.

  • The FIPEL technology is currently under an exclusive world-wide license
    by CeeLite Technologies, LLC. CeeLite sponsored the research and
    developed the technology at WFU. CeeLite and Wake Forest are working
    together to begin production early next year. For business inquiries
    please email David Sutton, a management consultant for CeeLite
    Technologies, at

    • Bob_Wallace

      Well, David, answer a couple of question as long as you’re going to grab a bit of free advertising. ;o)


      These puppies run hot or cold?

      First produce planned for the market? Perhaps a drop-in replacement for existing fixtures or will it require new fixtures and wiring?

      • Al in SoCal

        Yes – please answer:


        These puppies run hot or cold?

      • The FIPELs produce little to no heat at the emitter’s surface. As far as the voltage goes it does vary depending on the size of the panel, but I can tell you they are a high impedance AC illuminator. And if you are familiar with these types of devices you will know the high impedance quality leads to improved efficiencies, but at higher voltages.

  • I wonder what the power consumption is.

  • charles000

    About a decade ago, I was actually experimenting with what was then referred to as an ultra thin film “light emitting capacitor”. It did require a high voltage pulsed power source to drive it, but it was quite remarkable at the time.

    I still have a sample of this material, and even the miniature power supply unit I constructed to drive it. My curiosity now is wondering if this is the same general concept, but greatly improved upon via the latest update with nanomaterials and thin film deposition / fab techniques.

  • David

    yes the step down transformers to provide low voltage to these fixtures is what is expensive, several can be on one transformer.

  • gene m

    The only way it’s likely to be less expensive than LEDs is if it can run directly off 110AC without a power supply. LEDs aren’t expensive – remote phosphor isn’t expensive – the power supply and heat sink are expensive.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Power supply cost need not be an issue. If these lights work as claimed then it would pay, especially in new construction, to wire ceiling lights with the appropriate voltage from a singe power supply.

      If the lighting runs have been kept separate in existing buildings then their feeds could be disconnected from the 120vac line and hooked to a different voltage supply.

    • Savings in the long term. Short sighted people…. really.

    • tae rho

      remote phosphor is the way to go for led, but I think that to fit the led bulbs into conventional E type socket is a nonsense. That is forcing companies to combine the power supply, heat sink, and the led module all together. New standard led socket is needed, before the widespread of led bulbs.

  • Scott

    If the light bulb companies don’t assassinate him first.

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