Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Neolite - The Next Generation in CFL Lighting

What are Neolites?
Simply put, Neolites are an improvement on an improvement. What I mean is — compact florescent lighting (CFL) is an improvement over traditional incandescent lighting, which has been in homes for years.

We see incandescent lighting in light bulbs and lamps everyday. They are in our homes and in our workplace. Neolites are an improvement on CFL technology, bringing us an even safer, longer lasting alternative to standard CFLs.

The problem with incandescent lighting is that it produces a harsh unnatural light that can contribute to glare and eyestrain. Not to mention far more costly energy consumption and short life cycles for the traditional light bulbs which has resulted in after-life disposal issues.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting

An improvement on incandescence came with the invention of compact florescent lighting (CFLs), which employs a cleaner, energy efficient light source. CFLs are compact versions of the larger florescent light bulbs used in commercial and business establishments.

The CFL technology helps to make the bulbs much smaller, which has allowed individuals to expand their usage into the home and small office. Compact fluorescents are now being used as common light bulbs and other lamp lighting sources in the home. They are taking the place of incandescent bulbs on the shelves in stores as well.
The Downside to CFL

With any kind of improvement, there are usually some drawbacks. A major concern is the existence of mercury in florescent lighting. This has always been the case with lamps of this kind, although compact fluorescents decreased this concern by using far less mercury than older standard fluorescent lighting.

In the past, being in a commercial setting, the danger from fluorescent lighting was much less as people typically did not have direct interaction with those bulbs. When CFLs expanded to home use, homeowners were immediately concerned about the mercury eventually getting into the environment. Today, this is the biggest detractor to CFL sales for home use.
Neolite Improvements

Now we get into the improvement upon the improvement: Neolite!

Neolite features lower mercury usage than traditional CFLs. In fact, the average Neolite contains 1 milligram of mercury or less, compared to the 4-6 milligrams contained in typical CFLs. This makes Neolite low mercury CFLs safer for home use, and safer for the environment when they are disposed of at end of life.

In addition to the environmentally friendly features, Neolites uses up to 75% less energy than incandescent lamps. A true winner right? Well, there are still some concerns and disadvantages even with Neolite.
Disadvantages of Neolite
Neolite still contains mercury, even though less of it. Being in the home, this would immediately create an environmental hazard if a simple light bulb were to break or shatter over the floor.
There are still concerns about the afterlife disposal of millions of mercury-laden bulbs and lamps in the environment if these are used on a mass-market consumption.
There is the real downside to the possible shut down of many incandescent manufactures. With the Neolites being the new standard, thus resulting in layoffs and closures of 100s if not more, of traditional lighting manufacturing companies not rendered obsolete.

Are there enough advantages to outweigh those disadvantages?
Advantages of Neolite
You have the obvious advantages of Neolite being the tremendous cost saving in energy and money over traditional lambs and bulbs.
Not to mention the tremendous longer life of Neolites, there will be fewer of them in the environment to deal with.
The elimination of some of the risk of mercury poisoning in the home and in the environment with the lower levels of mercury.
Less chance of the bulbs breaking since they are manufactured to be much tougher than incandescent bulbs.
When new improvements come along, more than anything else it signals a changing of the guard so to speak in the industry. Technology has moved society forward, we much advance with it.
The Future of Neolites

Of course we must wonder, will there someday be Neolite CFLs with absolutely no mercury in them? That would be a wonderful development. Given the level of technological evolution in the marketplace today, it would not be surprising if mercury-free compact fluorescent lighting was a reality in the near future. For now we should support every step in the right direction by switching to Neolite solutions.

Given the advantages and disadvantages of Neolite technology, I think can see the future of lighting following in the footsteps of Neolites. Slowly, CFL manufacturers will continue to increase the quality of the bulbs and decrease safety concerns, thereby presenting us with the ultimate light bulb. Neolite is the next step in this evolution.

The Energy Superstore sells Neolite CFLs in 3 flavors:
Neolite Warm White CFLs
Neolite Cool White CFLs
Neolite Full Spectrum CFLs

Choose your favorite light and take a step into the future of home lighting efficiency today!
Written by Fluorescent Efficiency
Energy Efficient Compact Fluorescent Lighting

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Next generation Smart LED lighting

Next generation Smart LED lighting

When I was growing up, Dufferin Street in Toronto was lined with factories producing incandescent light bulbs by GE. Those factories are long abandoned or turned into lofts or condos.

The city and the federal government should be looking at attracting the next wave of lighting manufacturers ie the ones that will be producing smarter lighting with light emitting diodes (LED) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) systems. Consumers are already getting their first taste of LED technology...those outdoor solar-powered Christmas lights

The figure above comparses the luminous efficacy (source efficacy) of conventional lighting technologies with the potential of light-emitting diode technology. (N.B. Log scale)

If all the world was to switch over to LED there would be a tremendous savings in energy costs and an increase in energy security ( 280 fewer power plants on the globe and billions of barrels of oils)

Researchers conclude:

"LEDs are more rugged, resembling something closer to hard plastic than thin glass. They are also more environmentally sound, since their manufacture does not require toxic substances such as mercury.

As an alternative to the traditional incandescent light bulb, LED lights provide significant energy savings. They can be 2,000 percent more efficient than conventional light bulbs and 500 percent more efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs. Engineers and scientists predict that widespread use of LEDs over the course of 10 years would save more than $1 trillion in energy costs, eliminate the need for nearly a billion barrels of oil over 10 years, and lead to a substantial reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas. "

Smart LED's should not be seen as just a replacment technology for compact fluorescent lamps (CFL's) and Incandescent lamps but as a serious disruptive technology. Regular bulbs can only be turned on or off, where as LED's can be tuned like a radio. LEDs have novel capabilities that make them extremely useful when going beyond the replacement paradigm. In contrast to conventional light sources, a number of new dimensions are opened up by the unique controllability of LEDs. These include control over the emission spectrum, color temperature, polarization, temporal modulation, hue and spatial emission pattern. These controllable LED sources, called smart lighting sources will result in tremendous benefits to society and humankind, including:

· Biology and imaging: Leapfrog advances in quantitative biology, particularly the rapid identification and counting of biological cells through adaptive and fully tunable reflectance and fluorescence imaging.

· Display systems: Liquid-crystal-displays and projectors with unprecedented efficiency and brilliancy (huge color gamut) through polarization-controlled lighting sources.

· Transportation: Enhanced visibility (less glare) and safety through polarization controlled headlights, temporal-controlled communicating headlights/brake lights/traffic lights, and interactive roadways.

· Communications: Fundamentally new modes of broadcasting, communications, and sensing through temporal control of solid-state-light sources.

· Human factors: Reduced dependency on sleep-inducing pharmaceuticals, higher productivity, prevention of certain cancers, and higher quality of life.

· Agriculture: Efficient plant growth in non-native regions (including space) and non-native seasons. Revolutionize indoor agriculture and Urban indoor Vertical Farming or skyfarming

Source: "Transcending the Replacement Paradigm of Solid-State Lighting," E. Fred Schubert and Jong Kyu Kim, Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 6, December 22, 2008, Focus Issue on Solar Energy


The field of photonics starts with the efficient generation of light. The generation of efficient yet highly controllable light can indeed be accomplished with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are, in principle, capable of generating white light with a 20 times greater efficiency than conventional light bulbs. Deployed on a global scale to replace conventional sources, such solid-state light sources will result in enormous benefits that, over a period of 10 years, include (1) gigantic energy savings of 1.9 x 10*20 joule, (2) a very substantial reduction in global-warming CO2 emissions, (3) a strong reduction in the emission of pollutants such as acid-rain-causing SO2, mercury (Hg), and uranium (U), and (4) financial savings exceeding a trillion (10*12) US$. These benefits can be accomplished by the “replacement paradigm” in which conventional light sources are replaced by more energy efficient, more durable, and non-toxic light sources. However, it will be shown that solid-state light sources can go beyond the replacement paradigm, by providing new capabilities including the control of spectrum, color temperature, polarization, temporal modulation, and spatial emission pattern. We will show that such future, “smart” light sources, can harness the huge potential of LEDs by offering multi-dimensional controllability that will enhance the functionality and performance of light sources in a wide range of applications. These applications include optical microscopy, imaging, display technologies, communications, networking, and transportation systems.