Nixie Tubes – Old But Awesome Technology

Have you ever seen the trademark amber glow of the Nixie Tube?

Nixie tubes have made a bit of a comeback by Makers and tinkerers of today’s tech — an old-school look with old-school innards using pretty simple technology to create some pretty spectacular results.  Nixie tube clocks, signs, and even Nixie tube wrist watches, as worn by Steve Wozniak:

For those of you nerds out there like me who HAVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WOZ’S NIXIE WATCH RIGHT NOW OMFG OCD LALALALAAAAAA, please check this video out!  Here’s Woz talking about scaring the crap out of his seatmates on flights as he changes the time zone!  The maker of this watch is Cathode Corner, and they are pretty freaking cool!

Ok, ok, enough about the watch.  Now as I was saying…  NIXIE TUBES!  In short, a Nixie tube is a little illuminator/signal tube that looks a lot like a vacuum tube but is actually a cold cathode discharge device with either digits in it or symbols.  If you’ve ever seen the very popular hacker device called a Nixie Clock (or Nixie Tube Clock), then you know what a Nixie tube looks like.  They’re pretty unmistakeable – a lot of vintage Russian gear from the 1960’s and 1970’s are filled with Nixie tubes for some reason.  They make such a beautiful display, it’s essentially a kind of neon discharge tube, but not really:

A side note – this entire article came from me wanting to know the origin of the term “Nixie” in reference to these tubes.  Nixie comes from a name that the draftsman working on the tube signal wrote down on his drafting plate – “NIX1,” for Numeric Indicator eXperimental #1.  As you can imagine, the nickname “Nixie” stuck, and the guy who owned the patent also patented the name “Nixie.”  WHY do I love this kind of knowledge?!

Nixie tubes are pretty simple technology that relies on cold cathode glow discharge technology, which is actually pretty cool!  I’m sure you’ve heard of cathodes (the place where electrons come from) and anodes (the place where electrons flow to) – this is extremely important in understanding how these Nixie tubes work.  The difference between a “hot” cathode and a “cold” cathode is basically in how the electrons move from the cathode to the anode.  Instead of using heat to release electrons from something in a vacuum (like in fluorescent tubes and HID lamps), in the case of cold cathode devices the electrons are released by manipulating the electrical field in a vacuum.  Now before this gets really crazy into field emissions and the Zener Effect (not to mention the Aston Dark Space and Positive Columns and Faraday’s Space and whatnot), it’s probably a good idea to simplify this a bit for brevity’s sake.

So, are you familiar with the way that tungsten-halogen lamps work?  Basically, the gas inside them is from the halogen group (I can still remember the mnemonic – ‘F, Cl, Br, I!!‘) at a high pressure vacuum, and the filaments are tungsten.  Gasses from the halogen group loves them some tungsten vapor fo sho, actually, which is why we use them together.  As the filament burns at incandescence, atoms of tungsten evaporate from the filament into gas (think of it as a metal gas because, well, it is) and they float around in this halogen family gas.  As the atoms of tungsten get near the considerably yet minutely cooler glass envelope of the lamp, they also cool down and are re-deposited on the envelope.  Consequently, this is why and how we are able to make T-H lamps last longer and put out higher amounts of light; the redepositing of the atoms back onto the filament helps lengthen its life by re-coating the filament with “fresh” atoms of tungsten.  This is called the T-H life cycle.

I didn’t explain the tungsten-halogen lamp because the Nixie and the T-H lamp are similar; I wanted to put a picture in your head about how atoms (and smaller subatomics) travel inside of a vacuum environment.  In a really simplified explanation of how the Nixie tubes work, look at this great image of a discombobulated Nixie lamp, courtesy of the awesome people at the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories:

Nixie Tube

See the mesh?  That’s the anode, or the positively charged part.  The numbers themselves, each one in the stack there, is an individual cathode, or the negatively charged part.  Electrons and ions travel from the cathode to the anode (remember ACID and CCD to remember current flow – Anode Current Into Device and Cathode Current Departs).  Inside the Nixie tube, there is a gas – typically one of the Noble gasses group of elemental gasses – that exists in low pressure inside the tube.  When the anode and cathode are given a potential difference in charge, the gas atoms get all angry and split up into negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions.  The ions are attracted to the negative cathode, and the electrons are attracted of course to the positively charged anode.  As these ions go slamming into the cathode, something really interesting takes place — atoms of metal from the cathode are basically knocked out of the cathode in a process called sputtering.  This sputtering of the metal atoms is literally caused by these ions slamming into the cathode.  Imagine breaking a rack of billiard balls with a cue ball — make sense now?

Once the sputtered metal atoms are knocked loose and are flying around, there are also some electrons flying around, too.  The electrons don’t have enough speed or energy to do much with the metal atoms floating close to the cathode (the number itself), so this weird little dark space called the Aston Dark Space (aka the Cathode Dark Space) takes place close to the cathode.  It’s weird, but you can actually see it – look closely at this Crookes Dark Space Tube:

See the dark spaces right at the center?  There is a small round cathode at the middle of that tube, and the dark space occurs right around it.  The larger dark spaces on either side of the bright “ball” of light at the center of the Crookes tube is something else, called the Faraday Dark Space.  Here’s another example, this one a diagram:

What’s cool about this glow outside of the Cathode Dark Space is what happens to make the glow happen — the electrons gain some speed and energy as they travel towards the positively charged anode (the mesh cage in the case of the Nixie Tube), and at a point outside of the Aston (or Cathode) dark space, they have enough energy and speed to cause a strong collision with the metal atoms sputtered away from the cathode.  When this happens, *PRESTO* — we have the release of a photon which causes light!

I think these Nixie Tubes are quite awesome.  Some history on the Nixie Tube’s patent and development:

The early Nixie displays were made by a small vacuum tube manufacturer called Haydu Brothers Laboratories, and introduced in 1955 by Burroughs Corporation, who purchased Haydu and owned the name Nixie as a trademark.  […] Similar devices that functioned in the same way were patented in the 1930s, and the first mass-produced display tubes were introduced in 1954 by National Union Co. under the brand name Inditron. However, their construction was cruder, their average lifetime was shorter, and they failed to find many applications due to their complex periphery.

Burroughs even had another Haydu tube that could operate as a digital counter and directly drive a Nixie tube for display. This was called a “Trochotron”, in later form known as the “Beam-X Switch” counter tube; another name was “magnetron beam-switching tube”, referring to their similarity to a cavity magnetron. Trochotrons were used in the UNIVAC 1101 computer, as well as in clocks and frequency counters.

The first trochotrons were surrounded by a hollow cylindrical magnet, with poles at the ends. The field inside the magnet had essentially-parallel lines of force, parallel to the axis of the tube. It was a thermionic vacuum tube; inside were a central cathode, ten anodes, and ten “spade” electrodes. The magnetic field and voltages applied to the electrodes made the electrons form a thick sheet (as in a cavity magnetron) that went to only one anode. Applying a pulse with specified width and voltages to the spades made the sheet advance to the next anode, where it stayed until the next advance pulse. Count direction was not reversible. A later form of trochotron called a Beam-X Switch replaced the large, heavy external cylindrical magnet with ten small internal metal-alloy rod magnets which also served as electrodes.

I found a lot of really amazing resources on the Nixie tube.  I had to post some of it, this stuff is amazing, and there are a LOT of really big fans!

American Nixies from Sphere Research:

Russian Nixies from Sphere Research:

Thanks to Nature, Dribble, Wikipedia (ions), Wikipedia (electrostatic discharge), Wikipedia (field electron emission), TeslaTech, and Steve Wozniak for being awesome.  

A Guide to the Lamp Phase-Out

I have mixed feelings about this subject, but it’s important to spread the news about what’s going down and how it’s gonna go down with respect to this incandescent phase-out happening in our time.  Sylvania has an awesome guide to this phase-out, showing the whats and the whens of this thing.  Check it out here.  Also, Sylvania’s website has a link to some of the political and law items of this phase-out.  It’s worth a look.

Click on the image, it opens up full-size.  Also, check out the PDF from whence it came.

Lemme just ask you this:  knowing what we know about how the government is handling things right now, do we really want them messing in what we use to see?

Boa Design’s Neoline Lamps

I love designs like this, with some sort of exposed elemental aspect – like the Edison reproduction lamps that have made their way around the world as a lamp of embellishment:

Seriously, I have like seven of these.

ANYWAY (apparently I am rambly today), check out these lamps from Boa Design – the series is called Neoline:

They’re quite beautiful forms, aren’t they?  I would put one of these in my place pronto, they are quite illuminating (WAA WAAAAH) in my humble opinion.

I particularly like the one in the middle, that oval form is just stellar!  Check out Boa Design‘s website, and definitely check out any media you can find on the Czech Selection Design Festival, it just closed, literally – last week, I believe!  Boa Design is Petr Mikošek and Michaela Vrátníková, two apparent badasses of light.  I like it.

 

Switch Lighting’s New Liquid-Cooled LED A-Lamps?

Now, I know what you’re thinking – well, unless it’s hey, I wonder where I put the remote

Switch Lighting has come out with an absolutely beautiful series of lamps that are being tested right now in “several distinct hospitality properties.”  This thing is absolutely beautiful, as are Switch Lighting’s other LED A-lamp designs, holy crap – it’s got panache, it’s got beautiful design, and this cooling liquid inside the dome with the LEDs.  Oh, just check it out – this particular flavor of Switch lamp is the Switch75 (which is a 75W LED lamp, of course, and you can tell from its blue collar!)

Ok, this thing is pretty beautiful, to be sure!  I love the design; just alone, the design is fairly similar to most of the LED A-lamp replacements out there with regards to form.  Heat sink on the bottom, LED dome and some kind of diffuser or magnifier on top, but this one just looks different.  I love how the heat sink continues up into the LED dome, which is filled with a liquid of some sort – I am guessing a mineral oil or some kind of paraffin oil, possibly?  We’ll find out when Switch makes that public!  Something to note is how the LED structure wraps around and attaches to the heat sink – it’s almost as if they used such little material to get the most efficient heat dissipation possible.  If you work with LEDs, you know that heat that they generate is an enemy of their output and life.

More beautiful photos:

Here’s the Switch60 – you can tell it’s 60W because it’s got a red collar:

That thing is just sexy, there are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.  I originally saw this post at a great blog called Jetson Green – and I remembered that, wait a minute, somebody tried this before, I wrote about it!  Now, all things aside, the Switch Lighting lamps and the one I wrote about in 2009 are completely different lamps in every regard.  Check it out – this is the EternaLEDs Hydralux-4 liquid-cooled LED lamp.  It’s only 25W, it’s MUCH different than the Switch lamps, and it’s sitting now in my big box o’ lamps:

It’s just a different lamp, completely – fully glass, the liquid is similar to paraffin oil, and there is no heat sink.  It has a frosted top diffuser either formed or blasted into the envelope of the lamp around the LED element.  The only differences are the liquid and the LED parts, really, but I think it is important to see an early version of the liquid-cooled LED technology.  These lamps are no longer offered at EternaLEDs; I did find an old blog post of theirs though that talks a bit about the old Hydralux-4.  It was also featured in a 2009 issue of Popular Mechanics as one of the Top 12 Must-Have Products.  Crazy, huh?

I for one am pretty excited to see how Switch does liquid-cooled LED lamps.  The nerd in me wants to know info on output and efficacy!  Here’s where I kick and scream and beat my fists until no one gives me the info I need.

Baotou Halts Making Rare-Earths to Spike Prices. WTF!

To quote the dance performance students in my 8am Stage Lighting class, this is “jank.”  (I’m pretty sure that means that it’s f%$#ed up.)

Well, that it is.  This whole thing is certainly jank.  The “this” that I’m referring to is the fact that a Chinese government-linked company named Baotou Steel has been halting production of its rare earth elements since October 20 in order to “balance the market and stabilize supply and demand.”  I think that’s Mandarin for drive up the prices of rare earth elements, because Baotou supplies more rare earth elements than any other company in the world.  China as a whole produces 95% of the world’s rare earth element supply, so really other than a price driving measure, this is pointless.

From a Reuters article on the shutdown and the China state reaction, which seems to be actually driving this MCF:

China has resolved to streamline the chaotic rare earth sector by encouraging consolidation and cracking down on illegal private production, cited as the key reason for the decline in prices over the past few months.  It has imposed a national output cap of 93,800 tonnes for 2011, and has vowed to crack down on producers that exceed their quotas.

It launched a four-month inspection campaign at the beginning of August to ensure that production quotas, pollution standards and consolidation targets were being met.

The industry ministry said in a statement posted on its website last Friday that it planned to “strengthen monitoring and inspections” in the coming months, saying that it would pay particular attention to punishing traders and processors that receive illegally-mined rare earth products.

The region of Inner Mongolia in China’s northeast, the source of most of the country’s light rare earths, has forced a number of small firms to merge with Baotou Rare-Earth , and has also been cutting off electricity supplies to private producers to force them to shut down, local media reported.

With incentives high for private producers, China has traditionally struggled to impose its will on the sector. Total output exceeded the production quota by around 40,000 tonnes last year, and traders also resorted to smuggling in order to get round a strict export cap.

What does this mean, really, and why am I reporting on this on JimOnLight.com?  Well, have you ever purchased an MSR arc lamp or bought anything lighting that has neodymium in it?  Philips’ Reveal lamps are made with neodymium inside the envelope, for example, to get that great high color temperature and whiter light.  Also to be fair, there are tons of other manufacturers who make neodymium light bulbs, and they’re great for people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Yeah.  So the prices for those things and thousands of other things both in our industry and outside of it that use rare earth minerals (oxides, typically) are going to go up.  Great.  Fans of rare-earth magnets as well will be well frustrated by this little market making exercise.

I had to know what kind of rare earths this company produces – I found a JPEG list of their product line on their pretty pitifully designed website (they aren’t web developers, obviously, they’re rare earth miners and steel makers), here’s the Rare Earths section:

Yep, Neodymium Oxide is on there, and it’s a primary ingredient in doping glass for lighting.  It’s technically Neodymium (III) Oxide (for all you Chemical Abstract Society readers out there), and it’s used all over the place.  Get ready for the price to go up.  Neodymium is used to make lasers (it’s a pretty great gain medium around the IR wavelengths (1054-1064)), as well as tons of other stuff that’s now going to get more expensive.

That image shows some of the National Ignition Facility laser filters – all doped with Neodymium.  I’m interested but not excited to see what this does to prices across the lighting and photonics industries.

Neodymium is pretty interesting when in glass doping for lamps – from an article at Wikipedia on Neodymium (a cool read, please do):

A neodymium glass light bulb, with the base and inner coating removed, under two different types of light: incandescent on the right, and fluorescent on the left. This demonstrates the difference in color of neodymium glass under different lighting conditions. These two photos were taken with identical white balance and coloration and no post-processing, except for cropping. (ISO, shutter speed and aperture were changed between the shots, but this changes only exposure and has basically no effect on the color of the pictures.) The only difference is the type of illumination: fluorescent or incandescent.

Ah, capitalism.

Thanks to LightNOW (which is an awesome blog, btw), IndustryWeek, Wikipedia, and the NIF

Cree LED Launches TEMPO – An LED Luminaire Testing Service

You all know me, I’m not really a “press release” kind of guy when it comes to JimOnLight.com content.  When I find a press release worthy of a nod, I try to get some of the commentary in there that made me want to talk about the release in the first place.  This press release from Cree, Inc made me want to know more about this service they’re starting up called TEMPO.  From the press release at Cree:

Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED lighting, announces the commercial availability of TEMPO™ Services, a comprehensive set of quantitative and qualitative tests and analyses for LED-based lighting fixtures and lamps. TEMPO (Thermal, Electrical, Mechanical, Photometric and Optical) Services represent the accumulated advantage of Cree’s extensive experience with customer LED systems combined with the use of calibrated test equipment to give LED lighting manufacturers and end users confidence in LED product designs.

Third-party labs currently provide testing services, such as IES LM-79, which is widely regarded as the most comprehensive LED luminaire test in the industry. However, through years of experience with component LEDs and Cree LED-based lighting systems, Cree has identified many other aspects of end-product quality that are not and cannot be examined by third parties. These aspects of quality include chemical compatibility between materials used in the luminaire and the LEDs, the effectiveness of mixing slightly different color LEDs for enhanced color consistency and TM-21 LED lifetime projections.

Ok, interesting.  What this service provides is an evaluation of a fixture (LED lamp source) by a bunch of standards used by the Department of Energy and Illuminating Engineering Society.  Cree also adds to the service that they have about eleventy billion man hours working with LEDs and creating designs that worked and did not work, and learning from their mistakes.  You know, like Edison said – and I’m paraphrasing here – “I didn’t fail at inventing the light bulb.  I came up with 2,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb.”  I can totally get behind that.  In my head, it’s kind of like taking advice about being an alcoholic from someone who’s never had a drink.  I’d want to know about it from someone who’s succeeded AND failed.

It’s important to look at the standards Cree mentions in their press release regarding the TEMPO service.  IES LM-79, which is the IES’ approved method for “Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products.”  LEDs, for all-intensive purposes, are solid-state lighting products, in case you hadn’t quite yet put that together:

IES LM-79 tells how to test and get reproducible measurements with solid state lighting – things like using integrating spheres and goniophotometers, measuring Luminous Flux, Efficacy, Intensity Distribution, and so on.  It’s a standard for having a standard way to test LEDs. It also talks about power supplies and regulating voltage, thermal conditions for the products being tested, product seasoning and stabilization, and orientation to name a little bit.  The other IES standard being mentioned by Cree is the IES TM-21 standard, which deals with Lumen Depreciation and long-term lamp life estimating.  TM-21 is a long-term version of IES LM-80-08 in a way, as LM-80-08 (the standard for testing Lumen Maintenance in LEDs and arrays) doesn’t deal with long-term predictions.

It’s so exciting whenever I get to break out my IES Compendium!  NO WONDER I’m single!

I pulled a sample report from the Cree TEMPO Service website to see what kinds of things that would be included in their heaviest service, the TEMPO 21 service.  I have to say that from learning what I learned in Sweden about luminaire inefficiency, this would be a pretty awesome service to have if you were a luminaire designer or LED engineer.  Cree’s TEMPO21 provides the following testing:

Thermal & Mechanical

  • Solder Point Analysis (Tj/Tsp)
  • Thermal Imaging With IR Camera*
  • Qualititive Mechanical Construction Analysis*
  • Chemical Compatibility Analysis*
  • X-ray Of Printed Circuit Board (Solder Joint Analysis)*
  • LED Lifetme Estimate (TM-21)*
  • Review Against ENERGY STAR Criteria*

Electrical

  • Driver Efficiency*
  • Transient Analysis (surge, inrush, hot-plug)*
  • Power Analysis (Power Factor, THD)
  • Vf/Current Balancing Of Series-Parallel Arrays*
  • Hi-Pot (Dielectric Breakdown) Test*
  • Dimmer Compatibility Check*

Photometric and Optical

  • Luminous Flux
  • Radiant Flux
  • Chromaticity (includes CRI, CCT, x-y, u’v’)
  • Spectral Distribution (350 nm to 850 nm)
  • Illuminance (ft-cd, lux)
  • Fixture Optical Efficiency (% loss)
  • Fixture Efficacy (lumens/watt)
  • Binning And Color Point Evaluation*

* denotes a test not offered by other third-party luminaire testing facilities

You need to check out a copy of their sample report, which gives the full range of what the TEMPO service provides for your luminaire.  I took a few screen grabs of the report, but it’s free, you should just go and download it:

Cool.  I’m excited to see how this plays out, this kind of analysis really appeals to me and my nerdiness.

GE is Entering the L-Prize with A Cree-Driven 60W LED Incandescent Replacement Lamp

If you follow the L-Prize competition, you would have noticed an interesting entry that GE is going to be making – and is currently in development.  GE (General Electric, NYSE:GE) is entering a 60W LED replacement lamp using Cree LED emitters as the light source.  This is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself – I’m a fan of Cree (NASDAQ:CREE), and it’s nice to see a company like GE reach across the aisle and ask help from a company that is making some pretty impressive strides in light-emitting diodes.  I was extremely impressed seeing their LMR-4 at LightFair, and in reading of the news of the TrueWhite technology kinda blows the mind when you look at LED research and development to date.

Check out an example of Cree’s TrueWhite Technology – it’s a short video, 1:55 – totally worth your time:

Cree and I disagree a little on the death of incandescents, but disagreement is what drives innovation.  I also disagree with my bestie Greg about throwing things off of balconies.  Innovation.

Ok – now think of what GE could possibly be coming up with using some rocking Cree LEDs?  Will it be another one of those “multi-fingered hand grasping at a blob of milk” lamps?  WHO KNOWS!  At least the light coming from it will look good.  Let’s see what GE does about heat dissipation this time.

Oh – as of right now (Tuesday, July 5, 2011), the L-Prize website is broken.  That’s a little concerning, huh – I mean, being that it’s supposed to be a really important honor and all.

You might be asking yourself – self, what exactly IS the L-Prize?  Well, it’s a competition that is basically driven to “spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb.”  Ok, fair enough.  The Department of Energy runs this contest, and the prize for the best 60W incandescent replacement lamp is about ten million buckaroos.  For a PAR38 replacement?  Only five million bones.  Only.

There are requirements for entries into the L-Prize – from the wikipedia article on the L-Prize, since the site ain’t workin':

More on the L-Prize soon, I’m waiting to hear back from them.

Here’s the initial GE press release about their entry into the L-Prize (also located here):

EAST CLEVELAND, OH (June 30, 2011) : GE Lighting engineers and scientists are developing a 60-watt replacement LED bulb that meets the specifications for the Department of Energy’s Bright Tomorrow Lighting (L Prize) competition. GE recently submitted a Letter of Intent to the Department of Energy to enter the competition.

“The objective of our product research and development is simple,” says Steve Briggs, vice president of marketing and product management, GE Lighting Solutions, LLC. “We exist to create advanced lighting solutions based on customer needs and expectations. Our L Prize journey is inspired by the challenge to deliver advanced technology in a form factor that delivers on consumer expectations. We won’t be the first to submit an L Prize candidate but we believe our solution will more closely match consumer preference for an incandescent look and feel.”

GE has collaborated with Cree to accept the stringent L Prize challenge yet deliver a lamp without remote phosphor, which appears yellow in an unlit state. Cree has designed a custom LED component that features Cree TrueWhite® Technology to deliver superior efficacy and light quality. GE lamp designers incorporated the component into an advanced thermal, optical and electrical system to achieve L Prize performance.

The L Prize is the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the most widely used light bulb in America, the 60-watt incandescent bulb. To learn more about the L Prize competition, visit www.lightingprize.org.

The Switch LED A-Lamp – Definitely the Most Unique LED A-Lamp I’ve Seen!

You know, for the most part, I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the designs of the A-lamp “replacement” LED lamps.  I’m not shooting my mouth off saying I have a much better design, but there is something about that diffused white globe atop the heat sink, which looks like a handful of fins.  I actually kinda like the heat sink design, the fins are neat.  If you’ve held one of those suckers when it’s been on for a while, that heat sink is HOT!  Not Jennifer Lopez hot, we’re talking George Bush’s ears while telling the nation that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction hot.  That is HOT!

I just turned onto a new design for the LED A-lamp from a company called the Switch Bulb Company – they are promoting an LED replacement A-lamp with a high CRI, a warm feel, and a pretty decent output.  The difference?  A lens-type “ball” atop the heat sink that shows each element and the heat dissipation gear inside.  It’s actually quite a beautiful design!  Check it out:

Pretty interesting design, huh!  Switch is offering three models right now – the Switch40, Switch60 (PDF spec link), and Switch75 (PDF spec link).  As you can probably guess, these 40, 60, 75 ratings are the replacement quantity of light per power consumption hint-hint to sell the “incandescent replacement” idea.  The Switch40 doesn’t have specifications online yet, but the Switch60 claims 830 lumens at 13 watts, and the Switch75 claims 1150 lumens at 16 watts.  Pretty decent!  That 830 lumens figure is pretty close to an 850 lumen incandescent at 60 watts in terms of efficacy – if you look at an 850 lumen 60W incandescent, the efficacy is about 14.2 lm/W, but the Switch lamp is putting out nearly the same output at 13W, giving a near 64% efficacy!

Switch is showing two general colors – a “warm” at around 2750 Kelvin, and a “Neutral” colored lamp, more than likely a bit higher in color temperature. I’ve requested to get my hands on one of these, let’s see if that happens or not!  I would love to see one up close!

Check out this quick little video:

Light and Optics Work Together to Make LCDTV Possible

My old (and still awesome) friend Derek Heckler sent me this video that you all have to watch – seriously, watch this video! Bill Hammack (from Engineer Guy, also a professor at the University of Illinois) made this video, and I have to say that it is one of the best videos on breaking down the internal working components of light and optics in LCD monitors!

Also, make sure to check out Bill’s videos on Youtube, too – hours and hours of awesome watching there!