Research from the University of California, Santa Barbara has led to an alternative LED lighting that is just as bright, high-powered, and energy efficient, but powered by a laser diode and inorganic phosphors.
The research was published in the journal AIP Advances.
LEDs have advantages over incandescent lights, including a smaller size and greater durability and reliability. LEDs can withstand extreme temperatures, and they do not contain toxic mercury. With a lifespan of approximately 25,000–35,000 hours, an LED bulb lasts two to four times longer than a CFL, and 25 to 35 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb.
But the research coming from UC Santa Barbara may give the trusty LED a run for its money. The laser-based technology is also extremely energy efficient, low-heat, produces high-powered white light, and holds up well under a variety of normal and extreme conditions.
The researchers used a blue laser diode and a yellow-emitting phosphor powder, having a luminous flux of 252 lumens – comparable to current high-brightness white LEDs. They also used a near-ultra-violet laser diode and a combination of red-, green-, and blue-emitting phosphors. Additionally, they achieved a host of other color temperatures with high color rendition, meaning the range of applications for these lights broadened considerably.