Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NIST 'Vision Science Facility' aims for lighting revolution

30.09.2010
Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have become popular with backpackers and cyclists who mount them on headbands for a reliable, hands-free source of illumination. Now, a new lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is helping to bring these tiny but brilliant devices into your home, to help save both energy costs and the environment.

"LEDs can be very energy efficient, and they are a lot smaller and last a lot longer than light bulbs," says NIST vision scientist Wendy Davis. "They're what we'll likely use in the future to light our houses and public places."

It's a vision of illumination's future. And to realize it, Davis, along with Yoshi Ohno and a team of physicists, created the NIST Spectrally Tunable Lighting Facility (STLF). Their main goal is to improve the quality of the light that LEDs produce, so that when you turn them on, home feels homey.

"Everyone wants light that appears natural and is pleasing to the eye, but with LEDs we're not consistently there yet," Davis says. "LEDs offer a lot of advantages over incandescent and fluorescent lighting, but they don't always emit light that looks 'right.'"

About 12 percent of electricity consumed in the United States powers lights. Using LEDs wherever practical would halve that, but a few problems must be overcome. When a newfangled device goes up against a product as historically omnipresent as the light bulb, the newcomer has to prove it can work better than the incumbent, and that's where Davis and her colleagues are focusing their effort.

The new STLF distinguishes itself from most optical technology labs in that it concentrates on the relationship between physical measurements of light and human perception of light and color. Here, scientists experiment with combining LEDs of different hues to produce an overall light color that pleases the eye.

The lab space makes sense even to a nonscientist. One section is decorated with couches, tables, and food-filled plates, just like a living room—but above, hundreds of LEDs cover the ceiling like stars in the sky. Davis can activate varied groups of them like color-coordinated constellations. Adjusting the level of different colors demonstrates the effect lighting has on the appearance of the food and furniture below.

Learning from efforts like this is helping the team develop a way to quantify how LEDs affect the colors of objects in ways meaningful to the lighting industry. They are currently developing a measurement tool called the Color Quality Scale to help manufacturers develop LEDs for general lighting.

"Because the light emitted by LEDs is different from the light we get from other lighting technologies, the way that we measure color quality doesn't always work for them. At this point, LED manufacturers don't have a reliable way to determine the color performance of their products," Davis says. "If we don't handle this issue now, it could create big problems for future LED lighting products, because bad color means unhappy consumers. We want to use measurement, which is a NIST specialty, to nip this problem in the bud."

See YouTube video of the new lab at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZwECokbwE

Chad Boutin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

Further reports about: LED NIST STLF energy costs light-emitting diodes source of illumination

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht How protons move through a fuel cell
22.06.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Fraunhofer IZFP acquires lucrative EU project for increasing nuclear power plant safety
21.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>