The electric light bulb is easily one of the, if not the most important piece of technology ever developed. It enables people to continue working into the night or a dark environment without hazardous lamps. Since the technology was first developed, it has been reinvented multiple times to give us a variety of lighting solutions, from the traditional incandescent to the new fluorescent and still newer LED. Now researchers at Wake Forest University have developed yet another lighting technology based on Field-Induced Polymer ELectroluminescence (FIPEL).
The light itself is made of a polymer matrix consisting of three layers of a white-emitting plastic and some nanomaterials mixed in. This combination enables it to produce white light similar to that we receive from the Sun, as opposed to the slightly yellow light of fluorescents and slightly blue of LEDs. In terms of efficiency, this technology reaches to that of LEDs; more than twice as efficient as compact fluorescent lights. Being made out of plastic, this material can be produce into a multitude of shapes including those needed for light a house or some specialty purpose.
Currently the researchers are working with a manufacturer to bring these to market as soon as next year. When that happens the product will not only lighten up your life, but also do so more safely, as the technology does not use hazardous materials, like those in fluorescent bulbs.