28 September 2007

New Light Bulb

LEDs are quickly becoming the illumination technology of choice for avant-garde design (cars and homes) and are very efficient in terms of light production per unit of energy consumed. Now a new player appears on scene: the microwave-driven electrode-free lamp from Ceravision.

The technology involves using a microwave source is focused onto a small cavity and ionizes a noble gas containing metal halides.

The Economist reports:

"Because the lamp has no filament, the scientists who developed it think it will last for thousands of hours of use—in other words, for decades. Moreover, the light it generates comes from what is almost a single point, which means that the bulbs can be used in projectors and televisions. Because of this, the light is much more directional and the lamp could thus prove more efficient than bulbs that scatter light in all directions. Its long life would make the new light ideal for buildings in which the architecture makes changing light bulbs complicated and expensive. The lamps' small size makes them comparable to light-emitting diodes but the new lamp generates much brighter light than those semiconductor devices do. A single microwave generator can be used to power several lamps."

Ceravision is offering this option as a simple to assemble low cost option to lighting. I am curious to see its development.