MIT Made Incandescent Lightbulbs That Save More Energy Than LEDs

MIT Made Incandescent Lightbulbs That Save More Energy Than LEDs

Tara Bellucci
Jan 18, 2016
(Image credit: graja/Shutterstock)

Looks like lightbulbs are about to come full circle. Researchers at MIT have discovered a process to "recycle light" by preventing the energy from escaping through an incandescent bulb's glass and into the air in the form of heat.

By using a glass with a special crystal structure, none of the energy escapes as heat, and is instead redirected back to the filament to create more light. Traditional lightbulbs have an efficiency of 5%, LEDs 14%, and the researchers estimate this new process could make a bulb that's 40% efficient. And as a bonus, they would still have the warm light of incandescent bulbs.

"This experimental device is a proof-of-concept, at the low end of performance that could be ultimately achieved by this approach," said principal research scientist Ivan Celanovic.

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