The Never-Ending Light Bulb!

Ah ah aaah ah ah aahhh…*ahem*…sorry…this kind of  stuff gets me excited.

Ceravision has just announced that they have developed a lightbulb that is 50% efficient (more than twice the efficiency of CFLs) and will last…um…forever?

No, that can’t be right, but a very very long time anyhow. They say they expect their new lamp to outlast whatever device they put it in, so apparently your lamp will break before the bulb does.

The device doesn’t use any fascinating new technology, which is really good news as it can be built from parts already in mass production. It’s a new sort of metal halide lamp (a tube of gas inside a lump of a metal oxide.) When the lamp is put in the presence of a microwave emitter (just like the one in your kitchen, but much smaller) a concentrated electric field forms in the tube of gas which promptly turns into plasma. More than 50% of the energy is emitted as light, which is 2x more than ordinary metal halide lamps, and four times more than ordinary fluorescents.

The device is so long lived because there is no connection between the electricity source and the bulb itself. As long as the microwave emitter keeps emitting, and the glass tube never breaks, the device will last forever.
This new, as-yet-unnamed sort of lamp will be somewhat expensive in the beginning. And it will likely not produce the highest-quality light until it gets a good deal of tweaking. But if you were wondering what kind of point-light could possibly be better than LEDs, this is it.

No toxics, unsurpassed efficiency, extremely bright, relatively small and ultra-long lived. I’m pretty excited about this one.

Via The Economist

See also:
One Watt Light Bulbs
Quick OLED Review
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