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Researchers Create New Cheap, Shatterproof, Plastic Light Bulbs

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the light-up-your-life dept.

Power 296

hattig writes "US researchers say they have developed a new type of lighting that could replace fluorescent bulbs. The new light source is called field-induced polymer electroluminescent (Fipel) technology. It is made from three layers of white-emitting polymer that contain a small volume of nanomaterials that glow when electric current is passed through them. The developer is promising cheap, hard-to-break, mercury-free, highly efficient bulbs from 2013."

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I am having a vision of the future... (3, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#42168069)

A vison of the future is coming to me... I see... Angry old people...Muttering in the aisles at wal-mart...calling their congressman...bitching at dennys...about... what?...I can almost hear it... yes! They're complaining about the phasing out of of the CFL lightbulbs in favor of these new ones...

Everything is cyclical, I guess...

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (2)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 2 years ago | (#42168171)

There are always drawbacks. There is less reason for the inventer to show the drawbacks. Call me a cynic, but I'll hold my excitement for them until we see all the ups and downs. Who knows, maybe those old people will be right.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168223)

"Long lasting" is the phrase I noticed is missing from their list. This sounds like the kind of beautiful, perfect light source that loses half it's lighting power after six months.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (3, Informative)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#42168285)

Last sentence of TFA:

He also has great faith in the ability of the new bulbs to last. He says he has one in his lab that has been working for about a decade.

Which of course doesn't mention the stability of the light output over time or the similarity of this one to the production model, but it's at least theoretically possible.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42168317)

Temperature sensitivity and reaction to incoming light are two things I'd be concerned with. Outside of that, these do sound a bit too good to be true...

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (0)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#42168757)

how about melting plastic?

Surely that's great for your health. It's not like it's known to cause lung cancer or anything. Or that we should try to make as little as possible from plastic, considering it is (in it's cheapest forms) manufactured from oil, right?

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42168853)

Get off my carpet!

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (2, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | about 2 years ago | (#42169385)

Incandescent bulbs keep looking better and better. I was using CFL's before congress basically mandated them because they last a long time, but hate the fact that they create mini superfund sites every time you break one. The polymer described does sound like it has the potential to be toxic as hell if it burns.

New technology is great but it would be even better if congress would stop shoving this stuff down our throats.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (4, Funny)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 years ago | (#42169583)

Well given how you've managed to reach your own conclusions based on no evidence, the reasoning for the imposition should be self-evident.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42169387)

Outside of that, these do sound a bit too good to be true...

So did VCRs, affordable computers, cell phones, the end of polio, my having an eye operation that cured my lifelong nearsightedness and my age related farsightedness...

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168321)

Or the color, and warmth of the light.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#42168731)

Prototypes should always work perfectly.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (3, Informative)

Creepy (93888) | about 2 years ago | (#42169179)

I was going to say most LEPs (light emitting plastics) last decades, but they do fade over time. One I was looking into to replace neon said to expect 60-70% brighness after 10 years (but I think 4 hours of use a day, so 12 hours or 24 hours per day would be 3-6x worse). One of the major drawbacks to the LEPs currently available is they are not very bright, so it sounds like Fipel solves that.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#42168395)

Is issue isn't if the Old People are Right or Wrong, but their reasoning for their decision.

Often the argument is driven by a nostalgic emotional attachment, and not by any rational measuring of the advantages vs disadvantages.

A lot of people miss leaded gasoline, because they miss the sweeter smell it gave off, vs. the harsher unleaded gasoline smell. Is a slightly better smell while filling your tank worth having hazardous chemicals in the air, and a residue that can get on your hands that is harmful as well?

Or those people who often buy unpasteurized milk on the black market. Because they claim it tastes better and has nutrition. Does the difference in taste and a minor improvement in nutrition outweigh the serious illnesses you can get from it?

If you go across hating everything, you can always nitpick and hang onto that one redeeming feature no matter how minor it is. Or you can jump on the bandwagon and say everything that comes out is immediately superior. Or you can just be balanced and actually stop thinking you are an expert in everything, and try it out, and/or read about it from many sources and judge for yourself if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (2)

SumterLiving (994634) | about 2 years ago | (#42168457)

My reason for bitchin about this is because I'm old. Why the hell do I need a light bulb that last 10 years? Heck, 6 months might be over kill in my advanced state of "age".

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168995)

It could be an extra item for your will. "I bequeath my long shining light bulbs of the future to my next of kin."

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (5, Insightful)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 2 years ago | (#42168847)

I see a flicker from florescent lights. CFLs and bar style. Bugs the crap out of me. Had to switch to torchiere style lights so it at least bounces off the ceiling first. They cause me headaches over a long period of time. I switched a lot of my lights I use most commonly to LEDs around the house and it helped. Point being, sometimes people don't hate something because it's different. Haven't bought an incandescent bulb in years, because I'm energy conscious, but I can see where others might not want to subject themselves to headaches because someone else says they can't buy the bulbs they like.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169073)

I've seen a lot of people make that complaint, but how many of them have survived independent tests of that flicker?

And given that there are solutions, from a faster flicker, to a DC conversion, to simply bitching at your electric company to fix their equipment (yes, I know somebody who had a problem with incandescent flicker because of that), I'm not sure it's a problem that can't be solved in other ways.

Though honestly, switching to LEDs is hardly a true burden. Yeah, it hurts in the beginning, but when you don't have to change the bulb for years, it works out, even if you don't notice the savings on your electric bill.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (5, Informative)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 2 years ago | (#42169245)

For TL tubes, you can get dimmable electronic ballasts which convert the power grid frequency to something in the 10 kHz range. I have one hanging over the dining room table, and it's wonderfully silent and flicker-free. The only drawback is the price (~$40).

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169311)

You realize that incandescent and led lights also oscillate? Incandescent pulses with the AC but it's mitigated by the thermal capacity of the fillament. And LED strobe at around 500hz or higher.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (5, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#42168909)

The bulb backlash is driven mostly by a political divide. The US is very much a two-faction country, politically - the liberals and the conservatives, represented by their respective political parties. Environmental causes have long been seen as a very liberal thing, so those on the conservative faction feel they are obliged to downplay the issue and oppose any solution.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#42169555)

I'm fiscally conservative, and see conservation as a smart financial move. However, it has to be practical as well. How will these lights perform in cold weather? All my interior lights are CFL, but outdoors I've switched half of them back to higher-wattage incandescents than before (because the lower wattage units are not as available now) because once the temperature falls below 55F, CFLs take a very long time to reach full brightness.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#42169731)

It's political not because it saves energy and is good for the environment all around, but because those fuckers on the hill are making sweeping legislation without caring for the poor that can't afford the bulbs. Mass production and R&D funding is providing improvements along with dropping the price, but essentially it was a giant corporate tax to bootstrap their industry. There was absolutely no reason for this transition shock. There was better ways of handling this, but the millionaire politicians didn't care as they could afford said bulbs.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (2)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#42169805)

That divide is also a bunch of BS pushed by the pro-business wing of the GOP, many conservatives have no problem with environmental protection, in fact one of the stalwart conservative groups, the NRA is one of the largest funders of environmental conservation projects on the planet and helped pushed through a voluntary tax on hunting related items that goes to fund federal conservation projects. I'm fairly liberal but I'm also a card carrying NRA member because I believe in both their protection of the second amendment and their conservation work. Another example is the Boyscouts of America, hardly a bastion of liberal thinking you'll find that they have more than a few members concerned about environmental issues and pro-conservation.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (3, Interesting)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42168983)

Is issue isn't if the Old People are Right or Wrong, but their reasoning for their decision.

Often the argument is driven by a nostalgic emotional attachment, and not by any rational measuring of the advantages vs disadvantages.

A lot of people miss leaded gasoline, because they miss the sweeter smell it gave off, vs. the harsher unleaded gasoline smell. Is a slightly better smell while filling your tank worth having hazardous chemicals in the air, and a residue that can get on your hands that is harmful as well?

Or those people who often buy unpasteurized milk on the black market. Because they claim it tastes better and has nutrition. Does the difference in taste and a minor improvement in nutrition outweigh the serious illnesses you can get from it?

If you go across hating everything, you can always nitpick and hang onto that one redeeming feature no matter how minor it is. Or you can jump on the bandwagon and say everything that comes out is immediately superior. Or you can just be balanced and actually stop thinking you are an expert in everything, and try it out, and/or read about it from many sources and judge for yourself if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

I think the milk is a bad analogy. It only affects the person consuming it, unlike low power light bulbs or leaded gasoline. If someone wants to eat something that is potentially hazardous, that's their business.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169079)

Is issue isn't if the Old People are Right or Wrong, but their reasoning for their decision.

Often the argument is driven by a nostalgic emotional attachment, and not by any rational measuring of the advantages vs disadvantages.

Wow; that's some magical insight into the older mind; and by the way, why do younger folks always think they perfectly understand older folks, but refuse to accept that the reverse might be true? It's not like the older folks used to be younger or anything...

But back to the issue at hand, the older crowd is still human, so there is certain to be some faulty reasoning based on emotion rather than logic in the older crowd (gee, you'll never catch a young person doing that, will you?). However, it's really a lot more likely to be at least partially based in the "been there, done that" syndrome. By the time you have a few decades as an adult under your belt, you've seen that the hot new thing which is going to revolutionize whatever generally turns out to be a bust, and the few things that do deliver don't need a lot of hype or legislative help to become ubiquitous.

So yeah, put down the older folks because they're just not capable of the kind of fact-based rational thought which is your only mode of operation, but you might want to consider that sometimes, just maybe, they really do know something that you don't.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42169103)

A lot of people miss leaded gasoline, because they miss the sweeter smell it gave off

I never heard this before, and I'm not buying it. When I started driving all gas was leaded, and it all stank. It's also all toxic, just with one fewer toxin (and fewer mentally retarded kids; that's what lead does).

The reson that folks bitched about unleaded gas the lower octane, and some older cars (particularly high powered cars) needed to be de-tuned to run unleaded or holes would burn in the pistons (the lower the octane the faster it burns) and some had problems with intake valves, as the soft lead acted as a kind of bumper.

Run that 92 octane leaded gas in your new car and you'll burn out your exhaust valves, because it will still be burning when the valve opens.

Or those people who often buy unpasteurized milk on the black market. Because they claim it tastes better and has nutrition.

I don't drink much if any milk any more, but I do remember my garndpa's farm and drinking the fresh, unpasteurized milk. It did indeed taste better. Do vegetables not taste different when cooked? So does milk. But I wouldn't want to drink it from one of the filthy factory farms they have today.

Pasteurized eggnog is worthless -- there's an emzyme in raw egg yolk that kills hangovers, and heat destroys the emzyme. When I was a kid, folks made their own eggnog -- but the FDA did a better job and farmers weren't so greedy that they didn't care of their customers got poisoned. Now drinking home made eggnog is almost certain to give you a bellyache and the runs, and maybe even a hospital stay unless you raise the chickens yourself.

That said, I never could understand my mom's dad, who was dead set against getting indoor plumbing. Even after my uncle built a bathroom, Grandpa still went out in the snow to the outhose.

Old people are crazy. But so are young people, just a different kind of crazy.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169531)

Except that I can get a 8 pack of 100 watt incandescent bulbs for like, $4. That same CFL is going to run me $4 for 1. And I can't put it on a dimmer. And it is loaded with mercury. And they don't last for crap.

So, why, again are CFL's better? Get off my lawn!

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#42169597)

> A lot of people miss leaded gasoline, because they miss the sweeter smell it gave off, vs. the harsher unleaded gasoline smell.

I have never heard of this. Some people miss it for the protection the lead gives the valves, and others miss it for the higher octane rating required for older high-compression engines.

> Or those people who often buy unpasteurized milk on the black market. Because they claim it tastes better and has nutrition. Does the difference in taste and a minor improvement in nutrition outweigh the serious illnesses you can get from it?

1. You misspelled grey market
2. It tastes MUCH better
3. If the cows are grass fed and not raised in a factory style setting, it's a non-issue. It's been found that grass-fed cows rarely need to be pumped full of antibiotics since grass itself has medicinal properties.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42168175)

The funny thing about florescent tubes is how recently they became 'controversial'. Essentially all the R&D was in place for conventional hot-cathode tubes by the late 30s, and they were owning the commercial, industrial, and other cost-sensitive bulk sectors. And these were the good shit: Mercury, beryllium, the kind of stuff that wasn't good for you even in the '50s, back when smoking and liquid lunches were doctor-approved...

Once they became symbols of tyrannical envirofascist totalitarianism, though, you'd have thought that they'd started filling the things with nerve gas.(Amusingly, the bulk commercial/institutional users still don't give a fuck. Just stay after hours at any giant cube farm or similar and you'll see the janitors shoving around garbage cans full of old tubes, half of them broken, without the slightest concern...)

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168271)

You're kind of putting the blame for all of this on the wrong people. Yes, the "common man" is bitching about having to use CFL over the traditional lightbulb, but it's the government that now shuts down schools when an old mercury thermometer breaks in the basement. It's the government that makes you put burnt out CFL bulbs in a special bag, on a a special day when it's time to throw them out. When people don't have information, they act on what they know.

Incidentally, I think liquid lunches are still good for you. It was insurance companies and MBAs that kill those.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (5, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#42168319)

It's also the government that has to clean up the land fills and ground water when they get sued for letting people dump so much mercury into them. So their only failure is in not educating the public and not providing better recycling facilities. Also, it's the local governments that have to deal with these problems, while the federal government is the one mandating CFL use.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42168347)

knowledge and available alternatives (or the possibility thereof) change opinions.

As for the commercial/institutional users - they tend to shave every penny they can, regardless of the health and safety of their employees, so how's that say anything other than "it's cheap and not illegal, or enforced to the point where the illegality matters"?

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169753)

(Amusingly, the bulk commercial/institutional users still don't give a fuck. Just stay after hours at any giant cube farm or similar and you'll see the janitors shoving around garbage cans full of old tubes, half of them broken, without the slightest concern...)

Indeed. I was contracting at a big international company in Europe. All got through LOTS of tubes. German subsidiary had to pay big Eco taxes for wasted ones. Solution? Shipped them back to French sister co where they threw them into the trash for pennies.

Vision of the future... More hyped vaporware.... (3, Informative)

elkto (558121) | about 2 years ago | (#42168323)

CFL's suck, they are only more efficient than an Incandescent lamp, which is a fairly easy mark to hit. LED's, though more pleasant to use, are marginally more efficient than CFL's, but not as efficient as a standard T8 florescent lamp (100 Lumens per Watt). Polymer based Electro Luminescence is not new; I am very interested in this efficiency they are talking about (which is painfully missing in the article, 5x more than what????)

Re:Vision of the future... More hyped vaporware... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169097)

CFL's suck, they are only more efficient than an Incandescent lamp, which is a fairly easy mark to hit. LED's, though more pleasant to use, are marginally more efficient than CFL's, but not as efficient as a standard T8 florescent lamp (100 Lumens per Watt).

Depends way too much on the LEDs and "standard" lamp to make a meaningful general comparison; both of them are phosphor-based devices, which gives you a tremendous amount of latitude in trading spectral quality for efficiency.

But I suspect you're talking about dirt-cheap LEDs made with years-old tech and poor QC to boot, or LEDs stuffed into a CFL-like bad compromise design to shoehorn them into an Edison socket, or even both.

100lm/W is not hard with current LEDs if you put them in a dedicated fixture, with lots of LEDs driven more gently and cooled adequately, instead of cramming everything in an incandescent form-factor. They're still kinda silly expensive to do right compared with T8 (thus really only applicable when fluorescents are ruled out for some reason -- for now...), but the main takeaway should be: cramming stuff into incandescent-bulb form-factor is stupid, do it right instead.

I too am looking forward to hard numbers on efficiency and spectral quality. (I'd really like spectrograms. CRI sucks as a metric, but it's better than nothing.)

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 2 years ago | (#42168387)

Hold on lads I've got an idea :)

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

art6217 (757847) | about 2 years ago | (#42168879)

Pehaps they'll miss the unnatural yellow tint CFLs give, to save on the inefficient red phospor (some of the CFLs with the best light are B on the efficiency scale, because they contain balanced amounts of yellow and red).

More seriously, traditional bulbs give off warmth, which some people understandably like, especially in colder climates. And modern halogens are C on the efficiency scale, not bad given their sun--like light. The trick is to use a special glass cover that returns some of the infra--red band back to the tungsten.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#42169337)

If they're free of flicker and buzzing, are instant-on even below 55F, don't cost >$20 each, and are dimmable, I can't see anyone complaining.

The big problem with banning incandescents is that in uninsulated basements, garages, and directly outdoors, CFLs are utterly worthless during the winter unless you plan on keeping the lights on 24/7 to maintain operating temperature - which completely defeats the purpose of high efficiency lighting.

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#42169485)

Oh and one more thing: if they can cover the full color spectrum for proper color rendition and come in an actual white rather than "daylight" that makes everybody look ill or fugly yellow "soft white", they will be better than both CFL and LED lamps as well as incandescent for indoor purposes as well. :-)

Re:I am having a vision of the future... (1)

asm2750 (1124425) | about 2 years ago | (#42169603)

I for one will be happy when the old angry people born before 1980 are dead.

Link is temporarily broken (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168071)

Meanwhile, enjoy this link. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/20557508

and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168073)

I'm sure dropping some darwin-award-eligable teenager from a flying dead cat drone on the light will cause it to break. Or at least I'll watch it at some point on YouTube.

Re:and (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#42168201)

Nowhere does it says they're unbreakable. Even the summary says "hard-to-break". It just says shatterproof, which is very different from not being able to break it at all.

Re:and (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42168357)

It doesn't even mean that... shatter proof means it wont end up in a zillion razor sharp shards for you to step on. It could still be easy to break. Jello is shatter proof...

Re:and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168447)

Nowhere does it says they're unbreakable. Even the summary says "hard-to-break". It just says shatterproof, which is very different from not being able to break it at all.

So these are made out of Vibranium instead of Adamantium then..

404 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168075)

The linked page to BBC doesnt work - has it been slashdotted?

Cheap (1)

ninlilizi (2759613) | about 2 years ago | (#42168077)

Cheap to make maybe.
Doubt they'd be cheap to buy for a long time once the capitilists have gotten hold of them.

Re:Cheap (4, Insightful)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 2 years ago | (#42168187)

Capitalist: Noun

1) Some other guy that is making money, while I sit whining in my mother's basement.

Re:Cheap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168691)

Hello Mitt Romney. Are we in denial again? I thought we talked about this last time in therapy. You know exactly that the US system is deliberately designed to make it impossible for all but a very few to ever get rich. It's not nice to act like "they" are "just lazy" while they are actually struggling to stay alive and already do basically slave work, while you sit in your nice and comfy $5000 armchair in your old boys’ club and think because you inherited a company and fired a lot of innocent people so you could bet on the bankruptcy of their company, you would actually be working for "your" money.

Re: Cheap (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168191)

Capitalism is the only reason *anything* is cheap. Capitalism is when then the market (read you & I) control the price, not a central groverening authority. A monopoly is what you are thinking of. As long as there is competition in the marketplace the prices wil alway be as low as they can be.

Re: Cheap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168335)

As long as there is competition in the marketplace

ah yes, the competition-fairytale again.

Re: Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168683)

10 Steps To Destroying American Society

      1. Rewrite the Constitution and break down its firewalls through Judicial and Bureaucratic fiat.

      2. Concentrate all meaningful power in the Federal Government.

      3. Suppress and Repress the Individual by attacking his Unalienable Rights through laws and constant torment.

      4. Eliminate Private Property through Confiscatory Taxation and Regulation and wage constant war against Business Enterprises and Entrepreneurs.

      5. Control Institutions of Education at all levels and turn them into Indoctrination Centers for the State.

      6. Change the Citizenry by opening National Borders to virtually all comers and changing the qualifications for Citizenship to include mostly poor, uneducated illegal aliens.

      7. Destroy the Private Financial Institutions that have funded the Greatest Production and Accumulation of Wealth for the Most People the World has ever known.

      8. Destroy Capitalism and replace it with Redistributive Policies by Destroying the currency and Replacing it with a new currency or Revaluing the old currency.

      9. Eliminate American Sovereignty through arrangements and agreements with Foreign Countries and International Bureaucracies.

    10. Use American Foreign Policy not to improve American Economic and National Security, but to advance the Notion of One Government Globalism.

Re: Cheap (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42168379)

you and I are the market now? Narrow definition.

The market that controls the prices also includes the supply chain, and too often in capitalism, there's enough bottleneck-control (i.e. a monopoly) at some point in the supply chain, that the customer/consumer has very little to say in the price.

Re: Cheap (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#42168775)

Capitalism is the only reason *anything* is cheap. Capitalism is when then the market (read you & I) control the price, not a central groverening authority. A monopoly is what you are thinking of. As long as there is competition in the marketplace the prices wil alway be as low as they can be.

That explains why AT&T and Verizon are locked in a constant war of giving customers more services for less cost, right?

The problem with the "competition will fix everything" capitalist model is that it eschews reality in favor of wishful thinking.

Re: Cheap (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#42168911)

Um, no, actually you have explained why having many competitors is a good thing. A duopoly or oligopoly is a limited form of competition where bargaining power is collected with the very few sellers. In cases like this, especially where there is a valuable resource being limited, government regulation is very much appropriate.

Capitalism, overall, is a very good thing and is responsible for our standard of living. It does not mean that it should be unchecked despite what our libertarian friends might think.

Re: Cheap (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#42169721)

Yea, in retrospect the government-sponsored duopoly of cellular carriers was probably not the most effective example to open with...

Re: Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168789)

Riiiight... You are talking about that soft-focused fairy tale of "capitalism" and "the free market"... In which you just as much love to believe, as in other fairy tales like "Jesus", Santa, the "American Dream" or the picture of the "evil Muslim (terrorist)" that is so fashionable right now.

Until you wake up to harsh reality, where in the US "market" 99% of the people are mere slaves with barely any rights at all, and big companies staying big because -- oh genius plan -- in the US you don’t vote people into office... you *buy* (aka "donate") them into office. No wonder you need all those delusions to keep going on. Otherwise you'd rampage in the streets and burn Wall Street and Washington down.

Luckily, we over here don't give a fuck anymore. You treated the whole planet like shit. And soon you will be begging, but nobody will listen anymore. So have fun going down the hard way. Booo-hooo.

Re: Cheap (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 2 years ago | (#42169109)

Capitalism is when the market(read you & I) control the price. That is right because you & I do not care at what price that product is made. Nevermind total cost of ownership. Nevermind when the total amount of energy used in its lifetime would make the more expensive one cost far less. Nevermind when the product will break so quickly that the more expensive one would have been cheaper. Nevermind making our foods heathy because it is not our concern how much health care cost. Nevermind how many people we pay at wages far less than the true cost to them because we can not afford universal health care. Nevermind the polution that comes from making this product. Nevermind the cost of disposing the product when it becomes useless. Nevermind supporting the product in the near future so when a cheap part breaks we can sell them a new one instead of repairing the old one. Yes capitalism keeps prices cheap because everyone hopes that they can be treated fairly but at the expense of treating everyone else very poorly.

Re:Cheap (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42168325)

I've heard a lot of concerns lobbed at capitalism from fellow nerds on here, but never that it didn't make things cheap. At the cost of human rights, the environment, natural resource depletion, sure... but cheap.

Re:Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168991)

Yes, human rights [wikipedia.org] , the environment [wikipedia.org] , and natural resource depletion [jstor.org] are sacred cows in communist countries.

Re:Cheap (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42169263)

I'm very pro-capitalism in general, I was just repeating the usual criticisms levied against it around here.

Also, your logic is faulty. There are choices besides just communism and capitalism. In fact, the examples of the soviet union are probably a better example of socialism than communism, which IMHO is a theoretical system only.

Re:Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169395)

I'm very pro-capitalism in general, I was just repeating the usual criticisms levied against it around here.

So you don't actually believe what you wrote? Were you karma whoring or just bloviating?

Also, your logic is faulty. There are choices besides just communism and capitalism. In fact, the examples of the soviet union are probably a better example of socialism than communism, which IMHO is a theoretical system only.

Pot, kettle, black.

Re:Cheap (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#42168799)

What would the incentive to make such a device in a non-capitalistic economy?

I don't think you realize how much cheap stuff we have today in America?

If you look at prices today and that of 60 years ago and adjust of inflation we will see that a lot of the stuff of the past was more expensive then it is today. Heck we have a lot of things that would be excessively expensive back in the day. Our $200 cellphones would have cost millions of dollars for the same power. And they were paying a hefty price for the normal phones which we would be able to get for under $10.00.

It isn't that businesses are making things more expensive it is that we as a culture are demanding more things.
Back in the old days for your monthly bills
Mortgage, Car, Power, Telephone.
Today
Mortgage, Car, Power, Telephone, Internet, Cell Phone, Cable TV, Netflix...

Expected homes of the 1950 would be small 1000sq/ft homes. Once Car for the family, one Telephone and they will only call rarely,
For power they would power lights, heat, the refrigerator, washer and dryer, and a TV. All ran on AC power, and most when not in use were turned off.

If we were to live like we did during the 1950's we would have huge amounts of income stored up more then ever, because we would be living extremely modestly.

It isn't that things got more expensive they actually gotten cheaper, we just got more things.

Re:Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169415)

If you look at prices today and that of 60 years ago and adjust of inflation we will see that a lot of the stuff of the past was more expensive then it is today.

Have you actually done this? I don't mean the kind of "I like the sound of it so it must be true" hand-waving you appear to be engaging in, I mean really done it: looking up actual numbers, finding a realistic baseline for comparison, and comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges (and being honest about things like relative technology levels)? 'Cause I have, and while you are absolutely correct that there is a lot more cheap stuff out there now, for the level of quality of goods which was considered normal half a century or more ago, most of what Americans buy has never been more expensive.

In fact, the average American's purchasing power is in the basement relative to what it used to be. We cover this up nicely by importing fairly inexpensive and very low-quality goods so that people can still feel like they've got lots of "stuff," and making it easy to incur a level of debt which was pretty much impossible until fairly recently, but the fact is that for most Americans, they are spending more and getting less for it than they ever have before.

The Light Bulb Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168097)

I wonder what the lifespan of these bulbs is going to be ...
The Light Bulb Conspiracy [imdb.com]

Re:The Light Bulb Conspiracy (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42168221)

I wonder what the lifespan of these bulbs is going to be ...
The Light Bulb Conspiracy [imdb.com]

The developer is promising cheap, hard-to-break, mercury-free, highly efficient bulbs

Historically the three problems with EL have been color balance (or total lack thereof), lifespan (maybe a year at full power), and surface brightness (like forget "lamps" you'll need to cover the entire ceiling with illuminated panels to get modest room illumination).

What the developer is promising has been off the shelf for at least 3 decades... What I listed is the really hard part.

Re:The Light Bulb Conspiracy (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42168529)

TFA says the life is good.

On the other hand, TFA also says, in comparison to CFLs:

"it is not really accommodating to the human eye; people complain of headaches and the reason is the spectral content of that light doesn't match the Sun - our device can match the solar spectrum perfectly.

Which sounds like BS. Sunlight (at the surface of the Earth) has a nice smooth output of light in the visible spectrum. It drops off quickly as you approach UV, but is otherwise fairly flat. It's pretty close to a black body at 5500 K. I'm very skeptical that they can match the spectral content of the Sun without a black body.

Re:The Light Bulb Conspiracy (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42168917)

A year at full power seems fine. Wouldn't that be like 5 years of useful, typical life ie 5 hrs a night?

Re:The Light Bulb Conspiracy (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42169609)

A year at full power seems fine. Wouldn't that be like 5 years of useful, typical life ie 5 hrs a night?

My 30 or so year experience with EL has been in lighted signs. Basically you cut out a stencil and place it in front of an EL panel, and it looks cool, kinda like blacklit, sorta. Also there was a fad maybe 10 years ago with EL nightlights. No, a year of life is not cool for those apps and makes people pretty unhappy until they switch back.

Even 5 years is pretty sad compared to all but photoflood bulbs.

Re:The Light Bulb Conspiracy (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#42169035)

Ballmer in his inimitable way said DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS and it applies to Fipel, too.

The concept guy, Dr. Carroll at Wake Forest Univ., who put together the physics and shows a prototype is possible, will now be superceeded by designers and developers of products who will have to show a valid cost - benefit analysis and overall usability.

This is the type of university and private development that makes the world move forward. It is a perfect example of why the government should not predict and pour money into say "CFLs" or "LEDs". Governments rarely make a good monopolistic decision when it comes to goods in the marketplace (including healthcare).

Great! (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about 2 years ago | (#42168105)

That is certainly some illuminating information right there! Looks like things are going to brighten up for the lightbulb consumer market.

I'd Light to see that.... (0)

realsilly (186931) | about 2 years ago | (#42168125)

/sorry for the bad pun.

there's something you never see (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42168147)

Wow, these must be cheap and simplistic if they ended the article with an actual intended release date! That's something you never, ever, ever see with solar panels, magical vehicle engines, and quantum computers. Definitely not....exceeding 90% likely to be vaporware lol.

Re:there's something you never see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168363)

solar panels,

funny, in my country a report has just been released indicating solar panels are cost-competitive even when dropping all subsidies now, those subsidies will be dropped soon ...

Re:there's something you never see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168385)

Wow, these must be cheap and simplistic if they ended the article with an actual intended release date! That's something you never, ever, ever see with solar panels, magical vehicle engines, and quantum computers. Definitely not....exceeding 90% likely to be vaporware lol.

You are in the wrong place. If you want to know about things with a specified release date you should go down to your local store and ask. They will have all the information you need on things that will be available to you in the next three month.
Slashdot contains a lot of vaporware by necessity. That is because it deals with things that are in the early research or development stage and quite often such things get scrapped before they reach the consumer.

Stories like this belongs to slashdot. The things you seem to enjoy is what we call slashvertisments and slashdot is not even a good place to look for them.

Shatterproof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168151)

Great, how what the hell am I supposed to break and jam into people's eye sockets during a fight? A beer bottle? Lame.

Re:Shatterproof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168253)

there's still the lamps/shades themselves...

Re:Shatterproof? (1)

jjsimp (2245386) | about 2 years ago | (#42169165)

Could always go Jamie Lee Curtis, in Halloween, on somebody with a coat hanger.

What is white emiiting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168243)

Just thought I would ask...

Re:What is white emiiting? (1)

Anonymous Cowled (917825) | about 2 years ago | (#42169677)

What is white emiiting?

Perhaps it's related an olde English discovery?

Lord Percy Percy: I've done it, my Lord! I've discovered how to turn things into gold! Pure gold!
Blackadder: You have? Show me!
Lord Percy Percy: [takes lid off melting pot, and Baldrick, Percy and Blackadder are bathed in a green glow] Behold!
Blackadder: Percy... it's green.
Lord Percy Percy: Yes, my Lord!
Blackadder: Now, look, Percy, I don't mean to be pedantic or anything, but the color of gold... is gold. That's why it's called gold. What YOU have discovered, if it has a name, is some... Green.
Lord Percy Percy: [removes lump of Green from pot] Oh, Edmund... can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of purest Green?

Oh No (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168307)

Another example of government regulation killing ^h^h^h^h^h^h driving innovation.

I knew not jumping on the CFL bandwagon was right! (2)

FofE IT Guy (1464431) | about 2 years ago | (#42168353)

In fact I'm still using kerosene lamps 'cause I didn't put no trust in that 'lectric light bulb. Now I can jump right past the incandescent era, the cfl era and even the led bulb and have my new house made of glowing plastic embedded with nano particles.

All kidding aside this opens up the possibilities of building this into products in new and innovative ways...

At long last. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168433)

A house that looks like a set from TRON will be within everyone's reach.

Depends on where they are made. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168475)

All CFL's that I find in the stores are "Made in China" if they are made in the US and are as they claim, I'll gladly try one out; and if they have no problems I might even replace all the bulbs in my house. For now I am stuck with CFL's which I'm afraid of. If you break a CFL it is very dangerious. If you are not suppose to vacum how do you get it out of the carpet?

Re:Depends on where they are made. (1)

jjsimp (2245386) | about 2 years ago | (#42169251)

For now I am stuck with CFL's which I'm afraid of. If you break a CFL it is very dangerious. If you are not suppose to vacum how do you get it out of the carpet?

Full Hazmat suit. Plastic down on all furniture and carpet not affected. Cut out the affected carpet section and seal in approved Hazmat Container. Then after finished transporting Hazmat container to disposal site, full shower while removing Hazmat suit and clothes.

It it *actual* white, ore fake white? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168613)

Because I don't want a three-thin-lines spectrum piece of shit. It fucks up plant life, circadian rhythms and your skin.

Otherwise, EL light is nothing new, and forming a bulb out of it is pretty pointless, when you can already make it into any shape you want, and there are much better shapes than a simple bulb.
But generally, I approve of EL. The technology is nice. As long as they get rid of the annoying high-pitched sound of the transformers. (Even more annoying to dogs who can get really weird and cranky from the constant annoyance.)

not even close to reality (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | about 2 years ago | (#42168625)

An expensive conducting polymer loaded onto glass coated with ITO which "points the way" toward a usable device is nowhere near the vision articulated in the summary.

Link to more detailed article (-1, Flamebait)

Snard (61584) | about 2 years ago | (#42168649)

Re:Link to more detailed article (1)

Snard (61584) | about 2 years ago | (#42168753)

D'oh, I really should read the post more carefully - I somehow missed the link to that article which was already present.

My apologies for the useless post (and this useless reply - which wouldn't be necessary if /. allowed me to delete my own comment.)

Still no Wikipedia article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42168663)

Must be really new tech. I still can't find a Wikipedia page for Fipel.

Future technology (1)

mevets (322601) | about 2 years ago | (#42168737)

The coolest thing is that these things are from 2013; the developer reached into the future and brought some cool tech back in time.

Too late, LEDs are here. (4, Insightful)

Artemis3 (85734) | about 2 years ago | (#42168769)

This is no longer needed. Some countries are phasing out even CFLs in favor of LEDs, for example China by 2016 won't allow sale of units over 15w. LEDs are already "shatter proof" and they don't carry any gases inside ("solid state").

China will ban imports and sales of certain incandescent light bulbs starting October 2012 to encourage the use of alternative lighting sources such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), with a 5-year plan of phasing-out incandescent light bulbs over 100 watts starting October 1, 2012, and gradually extend the ban to those over 15 watts on October 1, 2016. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/05/us-china-light-bulbs-idUSTRE7A40MV20111105 [reuters.com]

I have a couple of 10w (4x 2.5w pcs) LED flood lamps, they are too strong for direct lightning but pointing them up allows the light to reflect and diffuse back down nicely. They come up instantly and there is no flickering. Unfortunately they get a little too hot at the base because of the AC/DC transformer, thankfully i'm not enclosing them but overheating could be a problem for others. Perhaps we should adopt some form of DC power distribution inside the house to keep away this conversion from the lamps (and so many devices use DC anyway).

Have you seen white LED street lamps? I have, and they work perfectly. They are also instant (instead of minutes) and the light lets you see many more colors at night. They are about 80w to 100w, instead of the usual 250w, and happen to last 10x more.

Re:Too late, LEDs are here. (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42168835)

LED lights are still pretty pricy, so if this technology can bring the cost of the lamps back down towards what incandescents cost, there's a use for it. Also, if it's actually "white-emitting" that will be a big improvement since CFLs ain't. Doubt it though.

Have you seen white LED street lamps? I have, and they work perfectly

I've seen a lot of partially-failed LED street lamps, which is how I know that the technology hasn't really been refined yet.

Display backlights? Wall-mounted panels? (5, Interesting)

Mal-2 (675116) | about 2 years ago | (#42168831)

It seems to me a light source that is inherently flat would be ideal for a display backlight. It probably won't make them much thinner than they already are, but it could make them less complex to produce and possibly more repairable (by replacing aged backlights).

Also, being able to attach these directly to walls and ceilings rather than mounting brackets or cutting holes for lamps would allow a wider placement of light sources than is currently practical. I'd probably have (at least) one on every wall plus some on the ceiling, to make sure that I could get an ideal spread of light sources for whatever work I might be doing.

Government regulation (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 2 years ago | (#42168927)

You mean they actually came out with better light bulbs? I thought government regulation of light bulbs was going to destroy the industry and cause untold damage! You'd have thunk!

Cheap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42169041)

Given that these things include ITO (indium-tin-oxide) and an Ir-based polymer, I'm curious as to how "cheap" these things are likely to be.

Not that the technology isn't interesting... or that they may be reformulated to use less exotic materials. But that's not mentioned anywhere.

But at what cost? (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about 2 years ago | (#42169209)

Only $500 each but guaranteed to last 500 years. Even tho in reality hold up for about 15 minutes. Here we go again.

Lumens per watt? (5, Insightful)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | about 2 years ago | (#42169373)

A "normal" A19 soft white bulb is about 14.5 Lumens per Watt.
A typical CFL is around 55 Lumens per Watt
A good LED bulb is around 90 Lumens per Watt (and they're getting better)

Fipel bulbs are "Highly Efficient".
Anyone have an idea what that is in Lumens per Watt?

So anyhoo... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42169611)

Cheap? I'm old enough to remember the electric company giving out free lightbulbe in exchange for your burnt-out ones. It encouraged electricity use.

Then came the usual corporate-government ripoff partnership where business interests used a left-wing (think: Theodore Roosevelt, Republican) concept of anti-competitive behavior. Phillips sued and a judge, not Congress, decided it shall be illegal.

Most of you are confused by his post because you were trained in a meme-world based on a traditional left-right political axis, rather than a control-vs.-freedom axis, with anarch and dictatorship, facets of the same disease process, on one end, and a free yet secure state on the other, where neither thug nor government offical may seize yer stuff.

This has the additional property of good explanatory and predictive power.

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