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LED tech development could revolutionise lighting industry

by Mark Tyson on 28 August 2015, 12:14

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A new highly efficient and low production cost light emitting diode (LED) that could "potentially revolutionise lighting technology," has been developed. Zhibin Yu, an assistant professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Florida State University (FSU) described the new LED making process in the journal Advanced Materials.

More and more organisations and people are using LED for lighting to cut energy bills. According to the US Department of Energy, residential LED lighting uses about 75 per cent less energy than regular incandescent lighting. Unfortunately the LED bulbs are quite a bit more expensive than we have got used to spending for these consumable items. Also, if you can find cheaper LED bulbs, they may not produce the light hues you like.

There are currently practical barriers to LEDs getting much cheaper, as making them is said to be a rather complicated process. As New Electronics reports "most LED materials require engineers to put four or five layers of material on top of each other to create the desired product or effect." The new LEDs developed at FSU only need one layer.

A combination of organic and inorganic materials is used in the new process. The key material dissolves easily in water and can be applied like paint. It shines in blue, green or red light. Sounding rather pleased with his development, assistant professor Yu said "It can potentially revolutionize lighting technology. In general, the cost of LED lighting has been a big concern thus far. Energy savings have not balanced out high costs. This could change that."

Yu's research has been recognised by the US government which has given him a National Science Foundation award to help in further development. He is also looking into stretchable, active-matrix organic LED displays.



HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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Well, that looks promising.

Unfortunately the LED bulbs are quite a bit more expensive than we have got used to spending for these consumable items. Also, if you can find cheaper LED bulbs, they may not produce the light hues you like.
I just put some in the lounge, at £20 each. And optimally, I needed four. These were bayonet-fit direct replacements for conventional incandescent bulbs, but as they're on a dimmer switch, most LED bulbs, and CFl's, aren't suitable.

My problem was a very suspect, strangely behaving dimmer switch. From a power meter I have on the household supply, I noticed that I was using about 40w MORE juice with that switch off, than I was on, but low, say 5-10%. So, 40-50w approx, every hour, day-in, day-out. It adds up.

But I still wanted the dimmer capability. A direct switch replacement was off the order of £40 (double-gang dimmer) so I put in two BC-fit LED bulbs instead, but they are Wifi-dimmable via a little handheld remote, so I replaced the wall dimmer with a simple double-gang on-off switch.

My overall, whole house average daily consumption dropped by about 20%. Before, my daily usage was typically 10-12 units, depending on washing machine usage, what cooking equipment was used, etc. After replacing switch and bulbs, typical daily usage is 7-9 units, once or twice hitting 10 units.

So replacing that dimmer switch, and four 60w incandescent bulbs, with two dimmable LEDs, two CFl, and a simple £2 MK double-gang switch, knocked about 20 of my annual leccy bill. Flippin' ‘eck.

Most of the time, we use one of two light fittings, that being the one now with the LEDs. Occasionally, when we want very bright lights, we’d use all four, but many days, probably many weeks, go by without using the second pair at all, hence using CFl not another £40 worth of dimmabke LEDs. But at that 20% saving, I reckon the reduced leccy bills will oay for the bulbs in a few months, and certainly, less than a year.

Oh, and their party trick? We can change colour temp on those LEDs by remote, too. Not colour (red, blue, mgreen, etc) but colour temp, as in cold-blue to warm-yellow. We use them on max yellow for ‘normal’, probably because we're used to it, but I go much cooler for reading, computer use, etc.

My only real gripe is at £20 per bulb, plus a few quid for his and hers Wifi remotes, they ain't cheap. But they're great to use. So if this new tech drops the price in future, so much the better., Just be careful to pick the right colour temp if they aren't adjustable.

EDIT - to clarify, these new bulbs of mine are ONLY dimmable via the remote. They are NOT compatible with conventional dimmer switches. I don't know how they work, but assume each ‘bulb’ has numerous fixed-output LEDs, and when you dim, you're switching off a fixed number at each stage, so each individual LED is either on, or off, but the effect in the bulb is to dim it. How they change colour temp, dunno. But it works. Maybe a similar trick, with either cool or warm, or a mix, being used.

EDIT 2 - A Wifi bridge is also apparently available, allowing them to be controlled via smartphone app, etc, but I didn't bother with that.
Would be great if they can bring these to market quickly. I do love LED's and they have a better hue to me than CCFL's. Looking forward to what this brings
We've just replaced about 15 GU10 halogens and maybe 5 screw fitting CFLs with LEDs. Of course we were doing it for the utility mostly, 3 x 20W halogens in a bathroom isn't that bright but the LED replacements are more like 60W equivalent each for 9W power draw at the wall. Cost a couple of hundred to do but so worthwhile and it's always satisfying to replace a poor old CFL putting out 45W equivalent for a 100W equivalent LED that draws the same power.

Haven't had enough time to see the effect on the electricity bill but it's gotta be good and we get more light! Only downside is it'll take 1500 hours for the LEDs to be better value than the bulbs they replace, we're gonna have to take them to our next flat to get our money's worth!
CampGareth
We've just replaced about 15 GU10 halogens and maybe 5 screw fitting CFLs with LEDs. Of course we were doing it for the utility mostly, 3 x 20W halogens in a bathroom isn't that bright but the LED replacements are more like 60W equivalent each for 9W power draw at the wall. Cost a couple of hundred to do but so worthwhile and it's always satisfying to replace a poor old CFL putting out 45W equivalent for a 100W equivalent LED that draws the same power.

Haven't had enough time to see the effect on the electricity bill but it's gotta be good and we get more light! Only downside is it'll take 1500 hours for the LEDs to be better value than the bulbs they replace, we're gonna have to take them to our next flat to get our money's worth!

Take them with you? I'd be expecting them to last 10 years
3dcandy
Take them with you? I'd be expecting them to last 10 years
As would I. I hope.

That was a factor in using straight BC-fit bulbs that fit in existing light fittings rather than having to replace the fittings.