The Power of Organic Light Bulbs
Canada is among several countries set to eliminate incandescent light bulbs. These light bulbs convert 98 per cent of their energy input into heat rather than light. Canada’s ban, effective as of 2012, will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The current leading alternative technologies are compact fluorescent lighting and conventional semiconductor-based light emitting diodes (LED lights). Organic LEDs (OLEDs), however, have potential advantages over both, according to Dr. Zheng-Hong Lu.
Lu is Canada Research Chair in Organic Optoelectronics. His research is set to help make OLEDs a widely accepted form of indoor lighting. He plans to do this by showing how OLEDs can be manufactured at a lower cost, produce greater efficiency, and reduce energy and environmental burdens during their production and recycling processes.
Organic LEDs, compared to regular LED lights, can help reduce lighting-energy consumption by 50 per cent by 2020. That translates into eliminating more than 100 large-scale power plants, and saving 258 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Lu’s research will also uncover secondary uses for OLEDs, including applications in night vision and homeland security.