Cheaper, More Efficient LED Lighting On The Way

Dave – What actually is an LED?

Colin – An LED is a solid which when you pass a tiny electric current through it, it emits brilliant light and I brought along a children’s toy here and this is a pig. And with one finger, I could just press this lever on this pig and you get bright light emitted from this pig, and if I stop pressing, I’ve actually put enough energy into this that bright light continues to shine now. So, they’re extremely energy efficient.

Dave – So, far better than the conventional light bulb where you’re just heating up a piece of wire and I guess wasting a lot of energy.

Colin – Far better than conventional lighting. If I may add just a slight correction, a conventional light bulb is actually only 5% efficient, 95% comes out of heat, right? A compact fluorescent lamp, these so-called low energy light bulbs, they’re about 20% efficient. So, they’re 80% inefficient, even these so-called low energy light bulbs.
(Source: The Naked Scientists)

Conventional incandescent bulbs are around 5% efficient ~ that means they’re throwing 95% out as wasted heat. Think of that in terms of your leccy bills. The fluorescent “energy efficient” bulbs get up to around 20% efficiency. LEDs can achieve up to 70% efficiency but the bulbs are horrendously expensive as they have to be grown on synthetic sapphire wafers.

I buy LED bulbs but at more than a tenner a pop… ugh..

The new tech behind these LEDs is that they’re grown on a silicon wafer, which is piss-cheap compared to sapphire. Think £20 per wafer instead of £500.

So, from approximately the start of 2014, expect LED bulb prices to plummet and the world to get a little greener as we waste less electricity on lighting.

RingoLevio – Skyjack

Indie in the ’80s wasn’t the monolith it’s being sold as now, it was more than just The Smiths and The Cure. There were millions of weird little bands like this, popping up with great pop songs.

Looks retro now but I remember seeing it and lusting after the tech in the vid: Apple ][e (6502 processor!) with a Greengate DS3 sampler. AND THOSE HI-TECH GRAPHICS!

Ahh, the Channel 4 Chart Show Indie chart, back when Channel 4 weren’t idiots and indie music was actually on independent labels. 😛