Flat Fluorescents?

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If you used them for ten hours a day constantly, they’d last you 16 years, give or take a few weekend parties.

I am talking about the flat fluorescent sources from South Korea’s Mirae Lighting – a company that built a factory for backlighting 32″ HDTV’s right after the desire for the 32″ model pretty much stopped.  The factory, apparently taking about 30 million bucks and several years to build, was fully equipped to make backlighting for 32″ tv’s when everyone was now buying 42’s and 52’s.

Bummer, huh?

Well, not particularly for green-minded folks – the product that Mirae made and sold to a company called Lumiette (co-founded by the then Samsung executive Noel Park) who wants to mass produce and sell their new innovation on Mirae’s misfortunate delays called the FPL, or Flat Panel Light.  This lamp was once a backlight for flat panel TVs, and now it is an efficient, long life lamp.

From the article at Green Tech Media:

Next year, Lumiette — which effectively bought the technology and underlying patents — will see if there is a second act in the lives of illumination technologies. The Cupertino, Calif.-based startup wants to mass produce the thin, florescent lamps which it calls Flat Panel Lights (FPLs) as alternatives to incandescent bulbs, florescent tube lighting and even arrays of light emitting diodes. Investors include chairman William Miller, the former CEO of SRI and former provost of Stanford University, and David Aslin, a venture partner with Nexit Ventures. The first products are expected to start rolling off the line in the middle of 2009.

These lamps are different than normal fluorescent lamps because the electronics are actually outside the lamp – when a regular fluorescent lamp starts to fail, it’s typically the electrodes wearing down.  The FPL’s electrodes are on the outside of the lamp because – well, the lamp is four millimeters thick.  Yeah, four.  And flat.

This flat lamp is reported to project about 97 percent of its light forward.  How efficient is that?!

Check out the article at Green Tech Media.