New technology which can create natural sunlight in offices and homes and save billions on energy bills
The new technology, called Solid State Lighting, will save billions of pounds by reducing the amount of electricity needed to light homes and offices.The researchers estimate that in the next 20 years 90 per cent of the world's lighting will be provided by this technology, saving billions of pounds in energy costs.
Until recently light emitting diodes (LEDs) - devices that turn electricity into light - only produced red light and so were unsuitable for illuminating rooms. But recent research by scientists has allowed LEDs to emit high-quality green and blue light as well, allowing the full spectrum to be produced for the first time artificially.
This means that offices which now use conventional light bulbs which emit yellow light can now be lit by LEDs that produce light that is the same as the sun's. It also means that at the turn of a dial, the light can be changed to any colour of the spectrum. In addition, the improved quality of blue and green light from LEDs will make images on TV, cinema screens and mobile phones much clearer.
LEDs last 20 times as long as ordinary light bulbs, and the new technology could cut the cost of lighting homes and offices by half by 2025, which could, for example, save the USA over one hundred billion dollar each year, the equivalent output of 133 power stations. Savings in the UK are expected to be similar, proportionally.
Light from LEDs can also be used more flexibly. For instance, car headlights can be programmed to emit a stronger beam when the vehicle goes faster, so that more of the road ahead can be seen to allow the driver to brake easily before obstacles.
At the moment the LEDs are more expensive than conventional lighting, but their cost is falling and new research being done at the University of Bath will play a major role in bringing making the devices cheap enough for people to use them to light their homes and offices.
Alan Nagy contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.discount-light-bulbs.com.
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