If you’re not using compact fluorescent light bulbs (called CFLs) in your home, you’re missing out on a “green” thing. They are more energy efficient, last longer and produce more light per watt than standard incandescent bulbs.
Most of us are familiar with the overhead fluorescent tube lights common in offices and warehouses and the cold, often harsh, light they produce. Well, CFLs can be cold to the eyes too.
That’s about to change. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers at the University of Florida have been working with blue organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, to produce lighting that is much more efficient than compact fluorescents and can give off the high-quality light similar to standard incandescent bulbs. The research team has set a new record of OLED white light efficiency, achieving 50 lumens per watt — lumen is the measure of brightness human eyes perceive. Their goal is efficiency higher than 100 lumens per watt.
Because each OLED is an individual light, differently colored OLEDs can be combined to produce different shades of light — red, green, blue or white.
When might we be able to flip the switch on this new generation of warm, rich light? Possibly in 2010, according to Franky So, the lead investigator and an associate professor at the university.
In the meantime, get the green light. Learn more about CFLs