Could new plastic lighting replace fluorescent bulbs?

Writing in the journal Organic Electronics researchers from the US say they have developed a new type of lighting that could replace fluorescent bulbs. The new source is made from layers of plastic and is said to be more efficient while producing a better quality of flicker-free light. According to the scientists working on the project the first units could be produced in 2013.

The new light source is called field-induced polymer electroluminescent (Fipel) technology and is made from three layers of white-emitting polymer that contain a small volume of nanomaterials that glow when electric current is passed through them.

According to the inventor of the technology, Dr David Carroll, professor of physics at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, the new plastic lighting source can be made into any shape, and it produces a better quality of light than compact fluorescent bulbs. The new light source is said to be twice as efficient as fluorescent bulbs.

There have been several attempts to develop new light-bulbs in recent years including Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs) both of which have promised greater efficiency and better light than older, incandescent bulbs.

According to Professor Carroll the new Fipel ights can be transformed into many different shapes and could be used in screens for high-definition televisions. They are also able to offer more light and wont melt if too much current is run through them, he explained.

The Fipel bulb, he says, has been designed to create light rather than heat. They contain no caustic chemicals and they don”t break as they are not made of glass.

Carroll says his new bulb is cheap to make and he has a “corporate partner” interested in manufacturing the device. He believes the first production runs will take place in 2013.

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