Machine Design

Your next table lamp could light things up with LEDs

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a reflector that boosts LED luminance.

Their omnidirectional reflector (ODR) is a thin-layer coating consisting of a semiconductor, a dielectric material, and a silver layer.

Light-emitting diodes have the potential to use less electricity and last longer than conventional fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. Though they have become bright enough to be used in automotive taillights, current LEDS are still not candidates to replace standard light bulbs. "Only when the light generated is efficiently reflected inside the semiconductor can the brightness exceed that of standard lighting sources," says Fred Schubert, a professor at Rensselaer. "With the ODR, which reflects light at nearly 100%, we now have an LED that may revolutionize today's standard lighting," he adds.

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