Wake Forest University scientists have devised a shatterproof, white light, flicker-free lighting device based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent (FIPEL) technology. (Source: Wake Forest University)
It is interesting that rather than talk about candle power, the devices are described as less harsh than LED or florescent lights. A candle meets those criteria as well as a match, a glowing ember etc. Can anyone put this into terms of candle power per watt or some other real world measurement?
Ann, it seems that usage of plastic is increasing in various forms across different domains. Some of the good qualities of plastics like resistance to corrosion, low electric & thermal conductivity, durability etc can make them more adaptable and suitable for such missions.
Thanks, mrdon, glad you liked the article. We give links in the blog to a detailed journal article that may have the info you're looking for. Regarding SSL, this technology doesn't sound like it qualifies.
Ann, What a great article. Given the tremendous luminance output and efficiency of FIPEL and its applications for commerical and residential lighting, what happens to the lonely LED? I'm curious to know the thermal capabilities, in terms of watts, and how it stacks against high bright LEDs. I've worked on LED projects for automotive and residential lighting applications and the biggest challenged I had was thermal management of the LEDs and the switching mode power supplies. Also, to put a solid state lighting (SSL) product out on the market requires a tremendous amount of testing (6000hrs) to be Energy Star and DOE compliant per the SSL LM80 testing document. Once the SSL product meets the LM80 requirements, its ready to be a saleable consumer item for purchasing.
Yes, I did wonder about that, Ann...if the material was so specialized that perhaps recycled plastic is not an option. Maybe down the line this could work but as you point out, we're definitely not there yet--which is a shame, because there is so much plastic in the world that goes to waste!
Thanks for the great information Ann - just goes to show how we take for granted things outside of our areas of expertise...that's what I love about this forum, it's a great way to learn from others. Makes perfect sense now that you've pointed it out...and a great idea about multiple waste streams fro recycled material. The logistical complexity would be huge but the payoff would be enormous.
It would be great if recycled plastic could be used in devices such as this, but I think it's unlikely that will happen anytime soon. The plastic used in this device is a highly customized and engineered material, which is why it can do what it does. And plastics are not monolithic: they differ greatly in their ability to be recycled into something usable, and the vast majority of available recycled plastic in the US is still of only 1 or 2 types, as we discuss here
Perhaps in the future we'll have an existing, functional infrastructure with multiple known waste streams, so the specific recycled material a manufacturer needs is as easily obtainable as buying virgin plastic. But we're not there yet.