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Laser-Based Lighting — Bright, Efficient Alternative To LEDs Developed

A promising, possible alternative to LED lighting has just emerged, thanks to research from the University of California–Santa Barbara. Bright, energy-efficient, high-power white light — just like LEDs provide — but in this case created via the utilization of a laser diode in combination with inorganic phosphors.

LEDs have a number of significant advantages over conventional lighting technologies, as well possessing a number of distinct uses, but the technology hasn’t fully matured yet and still has some hurdles to overcome (though, some of these, such as LED efficiency “droop,” may be close to being addressed). So there is certainly still space for viable competing technologies, as this new technology looks to be.

Photograph of bright white light (right) achieved using lasers in combination with phosphors next to an image of the phosphor with no illumination. Image Credit: K.Denault/UCSB

Photograph of bright white light (right) achieved using lasers in combination with phosphors next to an image of the phosphor with no illumination.
Image Credit: K.Denault/UCSB

The new laser-based lighting technology is extremely efficient, low-heat, produces high-power white light (via a different excitation source than LEDs), and performs well across a number of different performance metrics important to lighting sources, according to the researchers from UC Santa Barbara.

“We found two ways to create high-intensity ‘cool’ white light,” states Kristin A. Denault, one of the two lead researchers. “In one we used a blue laser diode and yellow-emitting phosphor powder with a luminous flux of 252 lumens, which is comparable to current high-brightness white LEDs. For our second method, we used a near-ultra-violet laser diode and a combination of red-, green-, and blue-emitting phosphors.”

“[We] also achieved a variety of other color temperatures with high color rendition, broadening the range of applications for these new lights.”

The new research was just published in the journal AIP Advances.

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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