Scientists at the Wake Forest University have created a new type of light bulb that promises to be just as efficient as LED equivalents, but without any of the drawbacks. The new field-induced polymer electroluminescent bulbs — FIPEL for short — produce light when an electric current is passed through the nano-engineered plastic layers. The team says that the new type of bulbs are malleable, allowing them to take any shape like compact fluorescent lamps. They also won’t shatter like traditional bulbs, nor will they generate the same hum or flicker.
The inventor of FIPEL, Dr David Carroll, believes that the new solution is superior to LED bulbs: "There's a limit to how much brightness you can get out of them. If you run too much current through them they melt." Not only that, the light generated by FIPEL bulbs is closer to natural sunlight, unlike the bluish tint generated by LEDs. Any worries about longevity are also put to rest by Carroll, who claims to have had a FIPEL prototype working in his laboratory for almost a decade. As for when the technology will make the jump to a commercial product, the team says that a "corporate partner" is interested in producing the new bulbs at scale, with the first run expected in 2013.