They're efficient, they're environmentally friendly, but LEDs — light emitting diodese — are not popular when it comes to indoor lighting. Consumers just don't seem to like their cold, blue light.
Researchers at the University of Georgia hope to change that.
According to a story in the Athens Banner Herald, physics professor Zhengwei Pan, graduate student Xufan Li, research professional Feng Liu and a handful of other scientists have created the first phosphor that allows LEDs to give off a warm light.
Engineers, the story says, have figured out how to make LED lights warmer, by coating them with several different phosphors, each one emitting a different piece of the color spectrum. The problem is that the phosphors are temperature sensitive.
Pan, Li and their colleagues worked for three years to find the right combination of europium oxide, aluminum oxide, barium oxide and graphite powder, which lets them use just one phosphor. They heated the powders to a very high temperature, which vaporizes the mixture. A vacuum pulls the gas across a surface that catches some of the phosphor.
The deposited phosphor can then be put into a little LED bulb. The blue diode light that then reached our eyes has a more natural-looking glow.
According to the Banner Herald, researchers say commercialization is years away but this is a good start.