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Plastic light bulb might replace fluorescent bulbs in the future

Fluorescent bulbs seem to be the theme in energy conservation these days, but proponents of fluorescent bulb may want to keep an eye out for field-induced polymer electroluminescent (Fipel) bulbs once they hit the market.

Developed by a physics professor, Dr. David Carroll, at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, Fipel technology utilizes three layers of white-emitting polymer that contains minute amount of nano-materials which glow when electric current passes through.

Carroll claims that fluorescent bulbs produce a harsh blue tint that can aggravate the human eye, but his Fipel-based bulb on the other hand can produce more natural tints that are more accommodating.


“I’m saying we are brighter than one of these curly cubes and I can give you any tint to that white light you want,” Caroll says.

Furthermore, the new lighting technology is made of plastic, so therefore it could be made into shapes that are constrictive to bulbs utilizing technologies derived from other materials.  Supposedly, Carroll has been running a Fibel-based bulb in his lab for the past decade or so, which is a testament to the technology’s longevity. 

Although fluorescent bulbs are the predominant popular ‘energy saving’ consumer products, LED and OLED technology is creeping into people’s mind.  Many LED lamps have quoted life expectancies of somewhere between 25,000 to 50,000 hours.  LED bulbs have also gone down in prices in recent years, making it much more affordable now as they did in the past.  Even so, Carroll claims that his plastic-derived Fipel bulb is ‘cheap’ to make and that he already has a ‘corporate partner’ interested in mass producing the new light source.  The first round of production could possibly start in as early as 2013.

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