New Means of Making Warm-White LEDs
The quintessential use of electricity is lighting, so it is understandable why, with the current focus on energy efficiency, so many are working to develop better lighting technologies. One such technology is the Light Emitting Diode (LEDs) but these solid state lights typically produce bluish, cold light which is not suitable for indoor lighting. Researchers at the University of Georgia have found a new means to create warm, white light from an LED that may lead to their use for lighting our homes.
When trying to create lights for indoor use two of the most important things to consider are the color temperature and color rendition of the light. Color temperatures below 4000 Kelvin and a color rendition value over 80 are considered best. Typically for an LED to produce light in the appropriate ranges, it has to be coated with multiple phosphors, which covert the LED's blue light into a warm white light. The proper combination of phosphors can be tricky to achieve, but the University of Georgia researchers have fixed that by discovering a single phosphor which can produce the desired light on its own.
Of course there are some problems to overcome before the new phosphor can come to market. Specifically the efficiency of the new LED is low and scaling up production will be challenging as minute variations present when producing the phosphor can greatly affect its properties. To further complicate things, the new phosphor has a lattice structure that has never been seen before, so that will have to be studied further as well.