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Saturday, July 8, 2017

LED light that creates more energy than it uses?

(This is from 2012 but it's still interesting to see if this technology became a product.)

With incandescent bulbs, only 10% of the energy used is converted the light, the rest is converted to heat. Current LED diodes, (as opposed to "LED bulbs" which can contain many diodes) use only about 17% of the energy of an incandescent bulb and do not create much heat, which is good for heat-sensitive applications. For example, when I used standard (incandescent) bulbs in my outside yard light, and winters got to -20F ambient temperatures, the heat from the bulb would eventually crack and destroy the bulb itself from the sheer difference in temperature and the speed at which the bulb heated up. This was long ago and we moved to fluorescent bulbs at the time.

What if there was an LED bulb that produced more energy than it used? MIT researchers claim they have a bulb that creates energy as it uses it. It is 230% efficient, and seems to defy the laws of physics. But how to harvest that energy?

They researchers had a theory of using less voltage.
As you may have guessed, significantly lowering the input power creates a very weak LED bulb. In their tests, the MIT researchers succeeded in generating about 70 picowatts of light from 30 picowatts of energy — an efficiency of 230 percent! 
Artugo Verdugo comments on the Inhabitat story:
From what I know, this LEDs are more than 100% efficient because they are using electricity+environmental heat to produce light. That means that a large portion of the power being used comes directly from the environment.
At this point, neither 30 nor 70 picowatts will light any LED, but it's an interesting observation.

(I seriously doubt the LED produced light visible to humans but perhaps this concept can be multiplied by using 100s of LED emitters.)

Inhabitat, 3/24/2012. Retrieved 7/6/2017.
Gizmodo article. Retrieved 7/6/2017.
The journal article. Feb 27, 2012. Retrieved: 7/6/2017.

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