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Could We Already Have an Alternative to LEDs?

Oct 17, 2014 01:18 PM EDT

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded just last week to the three experts who brought revolutionary blue LEDs into our lives. However, a new team of physicists from Japan are saying that they have already crafted a more efficient and nature-friendly alternative light source.

That's at least according to a study recently published in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, an American Institute of Physics (API) publication.

While LEDs are a boon to the alternative power industry, capable of lighting entire households at a fraction of the energy costs of traditional lighting, Nature World News recently reported how these lights are also a threat to the natural world.

Experts are arguing that the shot spectrum blue light that comes from these LEDs has major disruptive influences on nocturnal life, drawing pests to urban areas and even ports where they can be whisked away to other parts of the world to unwittingly become an invasive species.

Health experts have also previously argued that LEDs are even bad for humans once dusk falls, as their light disrupts circadian rhythms and leads to sleepless and stressful nights.

That's why experts at Tokyo University have been looking into alternative forms of energy efficient lighting, and they think they've got one.

"Our simple 'diode' panel could obtain high brightness efficiency of 60 Lumen per Watt, which holds excellent potential for a lighting device with low power consumption," Norihiro Shimoi, the lead researcher, said in a recent release. (Scroll to read on...)

The new light uses carbon nanotubes - a technology that seems to be practically everywhere these days - coupled with a complex chemical liquid mixture. The concept uses a simple phosphor screen as the main source of light, and looks like a simple flat panel that glows on its own.

And it's a powerful glow. Compared to LEDs, the new panels consume 100 times less energy and are only about 40 Lumens per Watt less bright.

And the good news? Although the device has a diode-like structure, its light-emitting system is not based on a true diode system. It does not use altered blue wavelength emitting diodes to create a soft white light.

"Many researchers have attempted to construct light sources with carbon nanotubes as field emitter," Shimoi added proudly. "But nobody has developed an equivalent and simpler lighting device."

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