Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Vision Science Facility' aims for lighting revolution

Date:
September 29, 2010
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
A new lab at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is helping to bring these tiny but brilliant devices into your home, to help save both energy costs and the environment.

Still image of LEDs from Vision Science Facility video.
Credit: Image courtesy of NIST

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."

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


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "'Vision Science Facility' aims for lighting revolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163421.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2010, September 29). 'Vision Science Facility' aims for lighting revolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163421.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "'Vision Science Facility' aims for lighting revolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163421.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins