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Will Laser Technology Bring Back Energy Efficient Incandescent Light Bulbs?

There is a new project in the works from scientists at the University of Rochester with the ability to make incandescent light bulbs more energy efficient as well as brighter than ever before. All it takes is a few bright UofR scientists, a powerful laser and a few quadrillionths of a second.  

Scientists at the University of Rochester are using an "ultra-intense beam of light called the femtosecond laser pulse" to create "nano- and micro-scale structures on the surface of a regular tungsten filament" of an incandescent light bulb. The tungsten filament is the small thin wire inside the light bulb. In doing this scientists can make a 100-watt light bulb consume less electricity than a 60-watt bulb. The laser can also be used to make the light bulbs brighter and possibly even change their colors.

In 2006- 2008 Guo Chunlei, associate professor of optics at the University of Rochester and his assistant, Anatoliy Vorobyev, used a similar laser process to turn different metals pitch black, blue, golden, or gray. Now they are using this process to bring about better brighter traditional light bulbs.

What does this mean for consumers? Will these improved incandescent light bulbs be expensive? According to the University of Rochester the process is simple, quick and inexpensive, cheaper than CFLs.  

What does this mean for CFLS, LED's and all other eco-friendly lighting? It may mean they need to make a little more room for new and improved incandescent light bulbs. If this works and it goes to market we could finally have the brighter, cheaper light bulbs we've have been waiting for all these years.

What does this mean for the environment? Hopefully it means there will be less incandescent light bulb ending up in our landfills. What do you think?

For more information on this project and other projects by Guo Chunlei and his team of scientists visit his webpage here and The Institute of Optics website here. The findings of this project will also be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. So, keep an eye out for it.


Via Ecogeek and University of Rochester