New lighting tech aimed at homes, offices

Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:17 PM
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say a new type of lighting made from plastic could replace fluorescent bulbs and give better, flicker-free light for homes and offices.

Scientists at the Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials said their shatterproof alternative for large-scale lighting gives off soft, white light, not the yellowish hue from fluorescents or the bluish tinge from LEDs.

"People often complain that fluorescent lights bother their eyes, and the hum from the fluorescent tubes irritates anyone sitting at a desk underneath them," lead researcher David Carroll said. "The new lights we have created can cure both of those problems and more."

The light uses a technology called field-induced polymer electroluminescent and is made of three layers of moldable white-emitting polymer blended with a small amount of nanomaterials that glow when electrically stimulated to create bright and perfectly white light similar to the sunlight human eyes prefer, a Wake Forest release said Monday.

"You want lights that have a spectral content that is appealing to us inside of a building," Carroll said.

The technology allows a light unit to be make in any shape, researchers said, from 2-by-4-foot sheets to replace office lighting to a bulb with Edison sockets to fit household lamps and light fixtures.

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