MIT Scientists "Recycle Light" To Make The Most Efficient Light Bulb Ever
Some have deemed old-fashioned light bulbs as good as dead. But researchers at MIT have devised an incandescent light that's greener than ever.
Incandescent light bulbs are making a comeback. In the 136 years since Thomas Edison patented them in 1880, they have fallen out fashion in favor of more energy-efficient alternatives. Indeed, the United States and many other countries have been passing legislation to do away with them throughout recent years. CNN even published an obituary for the old-fashioned candle-replacement. Yet researchers at MIT have conceived of an incandescent light bulb that would be competitive with the most efficient available alternatives.
Traditional light bulbs sparked people to seek greener options for good reasons: they were very consequentially energy inefficient. 95-98% of the energy they use does not even go toward producing light; it is merely felt as heat or given off as infrared radiation. Considering that about a quarter of all electrical energy generated is used toward producing light, good ideas for a greener world must involve alternatives to the energy-draining incandescent light bulb.
Present-day bulb substitutes are no match for the new incandescent light developed at MIT when it comes to electrical efficiency. Fluorescent lights, for example, produce the same amount of light with about a third or a quarter of the energy. And LEDs are 15% more energy-efficient than fluorescent lights. The net improvement over the traditional light bulb, however, is ultimately not huge: whereas incandescent light bulbs use up to 5% of their energy intake on producing visible light, LEDs use 14%. The version of the bulb designed at MIT is much more impressive, with 40% of the energy shining bright. This is achieved by recapturing much of the otherwise lost energy without impeding the light produced. The researchers aptly refer to this method as “light recycling.”
The potential savings for both the planet and consumers are promising. Sarah Knapton, journalist and science editor at The Telegraph, reports:
The Energy Saving Trust calculates that typical living room usage of a 60-watt incandescent lightbulb over a year would cost £7.64. Using an equivalent energy efficient fluorescent or ‘CFL’ lightbulb would cost £1.53 per year, while an LED would cost just £1.27.
But if the new bulbs live up to expectations they would cost under 50p a year to run and even improve health.
Nostalgia, strained wallets and the environment might no longer need to compete among one another to choose a light-source. Indeed, these new bulbs may even ameliorate the problems existing lights cause when trying to fall asleep. This idea has only bright sides.
It's an important place-holding step as we transition further toward renewable energy sources:
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.
- A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
- Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
- New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.