Fireflies make LEDs better

Written by Patrick Jong Taylor

RedSharkFuture of LEDs

Cheap, long-lasting, and green: LED lights have become indispensible for many video professionals. And, thanks to the friendly firefly (and some scientists), they are about to get much better

First reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists, a group of South Korean scientists achieved a breakthrough in LED technology by examining one of nature’s wonders.

Through careful study of the firefly’s radiant abdomen, Ki-Hun Jeong of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science discovered that the insect’s nanostructure was very similar to the construction of LED bulbs, with one small, yet important difference. Unlike the smooth lantern structure of a LED, a firefly’s exoskeleton has ridges that allow greater transmittance of visible light wavelengths.

The scientists then fabricated LEDs with a honeycomb lattice similar to that of the firefly with nanopillars.

Massive improvement

The result? A 98% improvement in emittance, which doubles brightness or efficiency, depending on how you look at it. While these tests simulated the wavelength (i.e. color) of a firefly’s light, the nanostructure could easily be adapted to other, more useful wavelengths. Additionally, this innovation could make the production of LEDs less expensive, by eliminating the need for anti-reflective coating.

As this breakthrough filters down to readily available products, expect those big LED lights you use in the field to be brighter, cheaper, and eventually powered by some spare Duracells.

Tags: Technology

Comments

Related Articles

24 May, 2020

Sensors need better technology, not more resolution

 

The Sensor of the Future

Replay: This was first published in 2013, but the discussion about sensor technology is as relevant as ever. Just how can...

Read Story

27 April, 2020

Maxon Cinema 4D S22 first release from the new subscription model

Maxon has updated Cinema 4D, the company's acclaimed VFX, 3D modelling, animation and rendering software, to version S22. This is the first release...

Read Story

27 April, 2020

LaCie Rugged drives are the perfect storage you need when going gets really tough [Sponsored]

There can't be many more extreme environments to be in than the Arctic tundra during a full white out blizzard. This is the sort of environment that...

Read Story