And that future is nearly upon us. Scientist David Carroll and graduate student Greg Smith at Wake Forest University have developed a flicker-free, shatterproof alternative for large-scale lighting. Free from the yellowish tint of fluorescent lighting or the blueish tinge of LEDs and shatterproof, it promises to revolutionize lighting from as early as next year.
The device is made of three layers of moldable white-emitting polymer blended with a small amount of nanomaterials that glow when stimulated to create bright and perfectly white light similar to the sunlight human eyes prefer. However, it can be made in any color and any shape – from 2×4-foot sheets to replace office lighting to a bulb with Edison sockets to fit household lamps and light fixtures.
This new lighting solution is at least twice as efficient as compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and on par with LEDs, but these bulbs won’t shatter and contaminate a home like CFLs. They are also highly reliable and long lived, with a prototype having lasted about a decade. These really are the lighting of the future. Would they work well as monitor pixels, perhaps replacing the decidedly imperfect LED technology and the expensive OLED technology which tends to suffer lifetime issues?
Wake Forest is working with a company to manufacture the technology and plans to have it ready for consumers in the next year.