MIT has managed to show that Edison’s bulb resparks nostalgia. In an age where the all-mighty LED monarch reigns with an iron grip, the incandescent old geezer comes forth, humbly requests and audience. It would seem that the bygone piece of technology resurfaces after it was declared DOF (dead on its filaments).
Times of Yore versus the Era of Illumination
Edison’s proud and joy, invented in the early 1880’s, has been coined a marvel of technology. The new invention was such a hit back in those days that it got architects to rethink the concept of public illuminations.
And that’s not the end of it. From the crowded and narrow streets, the new invention made its way into factories and eventually, into the humble households. All were joyful into basking in the light of the new incandescent bulb, which was considered a revolutionary invention.
The old incandescent bulb was formed from a glass casing which harbored a paper-thin tungsten filament. The thin metal filament was suspended into an inert gas. Once the bulb is activated, myriads of electrons are unleashed and being to crowd into a narrow space.
In terms, the thin tungsten filament is heated to 4700 degrees Fahrenheit, giving up a warm glow which is visible through the whole spectrum.
But, as great as this invention would be, it had one slight limitation: it wasted a lot of electrical energy. Edison’s bulb, his crowning achievement, consumed a lot of energy in the heat or infrared spectrum.
Therefore, a traditional incandescent bulb would achieve a 3 percent efficiency. This was the main reason why manufacturers had to come up with an idea to boost the lighting potential while keeping energy consumption to a minimum.
Thus, the LED bulb was born, from the ashes of his ancestor. According to certain estimates, compared to the old geezer, a modern LED-based bulb can achieve an efficiency/power consumption ratio of 6 percent.
Bringing back the dead
A team of scientists from MIT knowing that Edison’s bulb resparks nostalgia decided to merge the old technology with the latest technical advances.
And so, the intrepid team of scientists devised a lightbulb, which closely resembles Edison’s invention.
In order to boost the efficiency of the bulb, the think-tanks from MIT managed to create an additional sheath for the tungsten wire. The sheath has multiple layers of metal oxides.
This new illumination gizmo is actually capable of absorbing the wasted heat and infrared light and turning it into visible light. The bulb’s sheath encompasses approximately 90 layers of metal oxides, including tantalum oxide and silica.
Also, the team of researchers had to make some changes to the filament strip. And so, no wanting to go along with Edison’s fancy, the team created a new tungsten strip, which resembles the waves of an accordion.
According to their projections, once the prototype is finished, it will be capable of providing an efficiency versus consumption ratio of over 6.6 percent. But it doesn’t end here. Before the product hits the market, the team want to crank up the ratio to 40 percent.
Edison’s bulb resparks nostalgia and the team behind this resurrection is confident that the incandescent bulb will be popular once more.