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Recycling Light – a new way to bring back old lightbulbs

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LED light bulbs have taken over as the more common type of bulb in most homes and offices but these bulbs aren’t exactly everyone’s favorite. If you are a fan of the classic bulb type, then good news! New research has found a way to “recycle light” and make the classic bulbs more energy efficient than the LED ones.

LED bulbs are better for the environment than the classic type, that’s why we use them. Even so, the light they put off doesn’t show colors as well and may even be causing sleep issues for the masses. New research may be able to create bulb in the classic style that conserves more energy which means we can all go back to using them.

With traditional bulbs, most of the energy is lost when you flip the switch, like 95%. By comparison, LED only loses 86%. Those gains aren’t that large, but its something. By surrounding the filament in a traditional bulb with a special crystal structure, it allows the energy to bounce back and ups the efficiency to a whopping 40%. That’s more than double the current LED bulbs and eight times as much as the classic bulbs. This is still in the research stages but if adopted, they will cast us all in a better light.

Donyae’s love for technology is based on a need to survive our future robotic overlords. Know thy enemy as you know yourself. But since even odds are on the zombie future, she has also learned how to prepare squirrel. You can find her on Facebook until the robots – or zombies – rise up.

Donyae Coles – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • RH

    First they get everyone to switch to the CFL’s, then they get us to switch to LED’s.
    In the near future, they may want us to switch back to the old bulbs.

    • Donyae Coles

      I’m holding out for the plant powered lights.

  • The Deplorable Malatrope

    You have completely misunderstood the physics and efficiency on this one, Donyae. Most of the use of a light source is not the transition from OFF to ON! The efficiency comparison between incandescents and LEDs touted here is only for that less-than-one-second time interval.

    Nothing is more efficient than an LED. Get back to me when you can produce 800 lumens with an incandescent that uses only 6-10 watts of power (800 lumens is the light produced by a standard 60 watt filament bulb).

    “With traditional bulbs, most of the energy is lost when you flip the switch…” is completely nonsensical. Filament bulbs are less efficient because they are radiating infrared energy (heat) that doesn’t contribute to the visible light they produce.

    • Donyae Coles

      I didn’t mean that a energy was lost literally at the flip of the switch as from turning on from off and only during that time.

      I meant when you flip the switch, you start wasting energy. Or to put it another way, while the light is on, it’s wasting energy compared to what it’s drawing, due to how it’s using said energy. Hope that clears that up!

      • The Deplorable Malatrope

        In any event, LEDs are six times as efficient as incandescents and nothing about this process is going to change that. I am a physicist, and you have completely misunderstood the source material – but thanks for responding.

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