Aluminum Foil Plasma Lamps
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new lighting technology for residential use. According to Gary Eden, one of the researchers responsible for the invention, the aluminum foil plasma lamps are "built of aluminum foil, sapphire, and small amounts of gas, the panels are less than 1 millimeter thick, and can hang on a wall like picture frames."
| Illustration Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
|Cross-sectional diagram of a flat lamp structure based on aluminum foil encapsulated in sap
At less than 1mm thick, aluminum foil plasma lamp panels are 1/6 the thickness of light emitting diodes. Currently, the efficacy of the panels, a measurement of the efficiency of the light source, is at 15 lumens per watt, on-par with that of inefficient incandescent lights. However, researchers expect that their future efficacy after several design iterations will be greater than that of compact fluorescent bulbs. Furthermore, the panels require no ballast, reflector, or thick metal housing. Other advantages of the panels are an array of color choices (depending on the gas used) as well as panel flexibility.
College of Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
306 Engineering Hall, MC 266
1308 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 333-4157