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Incandescent lightbulbs comeback? MIT scientists create bulb more efficient than LED


MIT scientists successfully created a type of incandescent light bulb that has the ability to reuse the heat it generates.

Although the idea is still in its infancy, the team has proven that by surrounding a crystal structure around the filament in the bulb, it bounces back the energy which is typically lost as heat.

This heat, which takes the form of wavelengths at the infrared part of the spectrum, is then used to keep the filament hot and essentially begins to generate its own power, with its energy efficiency reaching levels of 40 per cent, dwarfing that of florescent light bulbs which have an energy efficiency of 14 per cent.

Professor Marin Soljacic said: “It recycles the energy that would otherwise be wasted.”

What has turned people against LED lights is that the portray colours in slightly off lighting.

Traditional incandescent lightbulbs have a colour index rating of 100 as they show objects as they would be seen in natural daylight, in comparison to fluorescent or LED lightbulbs which have a colour index rating of 80.

Principal investigator Ivan Celanovic said of the research published in Nature Nanotechnology: “This experimental device is a proof-of-concept, at the low end of performance that could be ultimately achieved by this approach.

“An important feature is that our demonstrated device achieves near-ideal rendering of colours.

“That is precisely the reason why incandescent lights remained dominant for so long: their warm light has remained preferable to drab fluorescent lighting for decades.”


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