Feeds

Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year

Glowing plastic mimics natural light

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The blinking, buzzing fluorescent lighting tubes that have blighted office buildings for over 70 years could be on their way out, now that US scientists think they've cracked a system to replace them with glowing plastic.

"People often complain that fluorescent lights bother their eyes, and the hum from the fluorescent tubes irritates anyone sitting at a desk underneath them," said David Carroll, professor of physics and director of the Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials. "The new lights we have created can cure both of those problems and more."

The new system, dubbed field-induced polymer electroluminescents (FIPEL), uses three layers of white-light emitting polymers that have been mixed with nanomaterials that glow when electrically stimulated. The research team claims the resultant light is close to natural sunlight but can be filtered for specific colors.

Because of the nature of the materials the light source can be built in sizes from eight feet square down to the size of a single light bulb. The team says they are twice as efficient as conventional fluorescents, and as good as LEDs when it comes to energy consumption and won't need a hazmat team to clean up if they break.

While recycling them could be an issue the design should last much longer than conventional lighting systems. The team says one of their units has been in operation for over a decade with no sign of dying as yet.

plastic light

Let there be light

Full details of the system have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Organic Electronics and a commercial company is set to start selling the new panels as early as next year.

In 2007, then-president George W. Bush signed off on legislation calling for a 25 per cent reduction in incandescent bulb energy use by 2012, but several presidential candidates in the last US election tried to portray President Obama as using such legislation to promote government control, after he supported the move.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann felt so outraged by the energy-saving proposition that she introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act to abolish the recommendation. Defeated Republican contender Mitt Romney also picked up on the subject.

"The government would have banned Thomas Edison's light bulb," Romney told the University of Chicago, Huffington Post reports. "Oh yeah, Obama's regulators actually did." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.