Mimicking Fireflies to Make LED Lights More Efficient

Scientists have figured out how to make LED lights 55% more efficient by taking a closer look at the natural world.  In a time when energy efficiency is paramount to the survival of our ecosystems, what better teacher is there than nature?

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Both fireflies and lightbulbs have an external membrane around the light source that can cause a large portion of the light to reflect back inwards.  To overcome this, scientists have found that fireflies have a pattern of sharp and jagged scales on the membranes of their bellies that allows far more light to be emitted from their lanterns.  This information is now being used to create a skin for LED bulbs, allowing them to make the most of the light they produce, just like those clever fireflies.

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Of course, technological advancements and ‘efficiency’ alone won’t be able to address current energy crises and climate change.  The need to reduce consumption and re-shape our global system of production and distribution should never be de-emphasized.  However, taking cues from the natural world –working and living with natural processes instead of trying to conquer and dominate nature– is a much better plan indeed.  We are all animals, after all.

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3 Comments on “Mimicking Fireflies to Make LED Lights More Efficient”

  1. Andrew January 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Very cool!

    I love LED, but I’m most excited for OLED. (Organic Light Emitting Diode)

    Cheaper to produce, flexible, and the ability to be 100% efficient. (To create “black”, LEDs just go very dim, but OLED can turn off completely)

  2. utopiandreaming January 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Awesome, thanks for sharing!

  3. carolwilliams24 January 22, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    I have one thing to say on this “Led lights are the future trends” and as of now it surely making that statement very clear… 😀
    USALEDSolutions.com

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