Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Plasma light bulbs the new big thing?

There are light bulbs everywhere in our modern society, and one dramatic difference between our time and that of our ancestors is ubiquitous lights at night. I can't imagine that before electricity the average person could afford well-lit homes at night. The light comes at a cost, the electricity to keep our homes lit usually comes from burning fossil fuels. Light bulbs produce lumens and it more or less doesn't matter what the technology is inside the light bulb. But in the macro-economic picture it makes a big difference the efficiency. Power efficient bulbs promise to generate the same quantity of lumens while expending less electricity. So far the compact fluorescent has been the primary highly efficient light bulb, I've been using CFL's for nearly 20 years. However there are some up-and-coming technologies which may do better.

LED's with high efficiency have been developed but at eye-popping prices. They've seen the greatest adoption in street lights, and vehicle running lights. I've been using LED lighting on my electric vehicles. But while there has long been LED lights available for home use, they haven't been widely adopted.

Luxim Corporation has developed a new light that is more efficient than LED lights.

The technology uses a radio-frequency (RF) signal generated by a power amplifier (PA) circuit that generates an electric field around the bulb. The high concentration of energy vaporizes the contents of the bulb into a plasma state in the bulbs center, the controlled plasma generates an intense light source.

They have several versions for different purposes:-

Entertainment Lighting: For entertainment lighting, LIFI products offer an intense output, a full color spectrum, long life, and ruggedness that outperform its competition. LIFI sources last more than 10 times longer and have an order of magnitude better reliability than conventional HID lamps while offering the intense beam and the colorful spectrum needed for stage, studio and theatrical lights.

Architectural Lighting: With products whose output ranges from 12,000 to 22,000 lumens from a source that is just a few millimeters wide, LIFI enables bright yet compact flood, spot, accent and illuminating light fixtures. LIFI also has higher efficiency and reliability compared to traditional HID fixtures. In addition, LIFI has built in control functions that can be made compatible to any intelligent lighting networks.

Street and Area Lighting: Imagine a directional light source with greater than 120 lumens/watt, can output more than 20,000 lumens from s single source that is a fraction of the size of an HID and LED source, dims to 20% instantaneously on command, has a CRI of 95, and can start and re-strike instantaneously.

Instrument Lighting: Instrument lighting includes LIFI applications like medical and analytical lighting. Endoscopy, microscopy and other equipment are made possible with the highest level of color rendering available from a long life light source. In addition, with no significant variation in the intensity or spectrum, the quality of imaging applications is enhanced. Finally, the long life of the light source results in increased uptime and lower cost of ownership.

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