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New lease of life for tungsten bulbs

New lease of life for tungsten bulbs?

Tuesday 16 February 2016

In a remarkable change of direction in the search for energy efficient lighting, researchers at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a technique that could make tungsten filament bulbs three times more efficient than LED.

First made commercially viable by Thomas Edison in the 1880’s, filament bulbs have been phased out in many countries because they waste huge amounts of energy as heat. But the boffins at MIT have now discovered a way of using the heat generated to fuel the production of extra light.

The new method uses sophisticated nanotechnology to convert the heat into light via crystal structures around the filament, and could in theory deliver 40% more efficiency than their out-of-favour incandescent cousins. Although only at the proof-of-concept phase, the researchers claim the discovery could have “dramatic implications” for the performance of other energy conversion technologies.


  1. BBC:
    New development could lead to more effective light bulbs.
  2. Nature:
    Tailoring high-temperature radiation and the resurrection of the incandescent source.


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