Old style light bulbs may return

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RESEARCHERS: Have found a way they can improve a bulb’s efficiency.

SCIENTISTS in America believe they can make traditional bulbs more efficient

THOSE who think that the ‘new’ style light bulbs are ugly, expensive and do not generate enough light, will be pleased to learn that scientists at the world famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe they have developed a way in which they can make the ‘old style’ traditional incandescent light bulb more efficient.

A number of countries have already phased out the old bulbs (as they waste large amounts of energy through heat), although it appears in Spain that they can still be purchased in Chinese Bazaars but are not always guaranteed to light without blowing fuses or exploding.

According to a report which has been published in the Nature Nanotechnology journal, these researchers have discovered a way in which they can improve the efficiency of the bulbs by recycling this waste energy and transferring it back to the filament, thus allowing the bulb to become more efficient and environment friendly.

It appears that there has been very little development in the technology behind the incandescent light bulb, which was launched by Edison in the late 19th century but as the bulbs are so inefficient, converting only a tiny percentage of their energy into light, they were a natural target for enquiring scientists to review.

Even the new bulbs which are much more expensive using compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED, whilst significantly more efficient, still only convert a small percentage of the energy used into light.

By using nanotechnology (the study of very small things), they have managed to surround the filament of the bulb which captures the leaking infrared radiation, reflecting it back to the filament where it is used for the production of visible light.

Calculations and early experiments suggest that this new development, which updates very old technology, could make the light bulbs they are developing three times more efficient than CFL or LED bulbs.

It may not happen immediately but if the researchers can produce a stable bulb at a reasonably cheap price, then we may see the return of a bulb that not only looks like a light bulb, but is even better for the environment.

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