Bulbs for the future

And they’re incandescent, as God and Tom Edison intended:

Scientists in the US believe they have come up with a solution which could see a reprieve for incandescent bulbs.

Researchers at MIT have shown that by surrounding the filament with a special crystal structure in the glass they can bounce back the energy which is usually lost in heat, while still allowing the light through.

They refer to the technique as “recycling light” because the energy which would usually escape into the air is redirected back to the filament where it can create new light.

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

You’d get your colors back, too:

Traditional incandescent bulbs have a “colour rendering index” rating of 100, because they match the hue of objects seen in natural daylight. However even “warm” finish LED or florescent bulbs can only manage an index rating of 80 and most are far less.

And you might even get the goddamn Gaians off your case, too:

Usually traditional light bulbs are only about five per cent efficient, with 95 percent of the energy being lost to the atmosphere. In comparison LED or florescent bulbs manage around 14 percent efficiency. But the scientists believe that the new bulb could reach efficiency levels of 40 percent.

No estimated price was given, but my immediate reaction was “Twenty bucks each? Gimme a dozen.”

The research was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.



  1. fillyjonk »

    14 January 2016 · 5:22 am


    I am not a fan of banning things but I would like to see CFLs banned, for no other reason than then the “cheap” stores in my town where I can shop would have to carry something else. (I especially hate when they “hide” a CFL innard in what looks like a “normal” bulb, and you don’t find that out until later)

  2. McGehee »

    14 January 2016 · 9:15 am

    Banning Edison bulbs in favor of swirlies has worked out kind of like banning cyclamates in favor of saccharin.

  3. McGehee »

    14 January 2016 · 9:15 am

    …or DDT in favor of unicorn kisses…

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