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When electricity turned the light bulb on it changed the future, for the better. The lightbulb enabled a cleaner and healthier light. Emissions from combusted fossil fuels are toxic. The innovation game never ends — with new discoveries, rules can change quickly, with nanotechnology, this rate of innovation is currently accelerating.
Nanotechnology will change many things — as all industries come up with their "better light bulbs", how safe and useful are these products? Something so simple — turning on a light switch, or programming your lights automatically — how far we have come with innovation.
The basic light bulb is a good example of green changes to come — but how safe are these changes? Nano has benefits, but sadly Government of Canada is in the back seat on safety. Nano products are already in Canada's market but how many have been tested for long-term safety?
Thomas Edison is often cited as the light bulb guy, but scientists and designers together screwed in the first cost-effective light bulb. Technology on paper is different than technology can survive in a competitive market. Sometimes manufacturing determines the best idea, hopefully, or it's out of business. Evolution works.
Canadian duo, Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans, are the real McCoy's of light bulb legends. They designed the best* technology, but failed to reach manufacturing, and economy of scale**, in serial production, and went out of business***. Thomas Edison swooped in bought their intellectual property and quickly swished out of Canada, and the rest is swishy US history. Today, foreign companies love bottom feeding on Canadian tax-funded science, and brains. Should Canada keep a percentage of intellectual property rights on the technology the taxpayers help create? Fuel cell technology in use by US Pentagon was created in Canada? How ROI did Canada get on our investment in science?
The technology of filament design enabled mass production of light bulbs, yawn. Edison's design wasn't viable in the free market. Design matters. Without Woodward & Evans, Edison wouldn't be the light bulb guy. Since green matters these days, the original Edison concept is constantly being improved. The material that enabled the mass production of light bulbs, to be cheaper, drives the exact same innovation today we see today. Better materials — better products. Greener materials — greener products?
Today, the evolution of Edison's light bulb has resulted in many new flavours to choose from — incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, and the light emitting diode are just a few. The LED light is the reigning champ in light bulbs, right? I think they are superior to the CFL and fluorescent technology.
I wrote about the toxic design of the CFL light bulbs years ago and how the Stephen Harper Government was wrong to subsidize with green tax credits. Seems that the evaluation of product safety was not high on Stephen Harper's radar? When we do a complete analysis of the CFL light bulb, we see that it has excessive e-waste and fails to deliver labeled performance specifications. Saving energy isn't important when its damages exceed the savings.
Should Canada test products to screen out the "big losers" before they pollute our country and our Canadian market? How can local products compete with toxic foreign products on cost and manufacturing environments? Hint — they can't. How can local companies compete in a Canadian market that allows corporations, guilty of child slavery, to operate legally in Canada? Hint — they can't.
The winning technologies in light bulbs will now evolve with nanomaterials. Using nanomaterials to rethink the incandescent light bulb is showing brilliant results. One advantage of nanomaterials is potential efficiency increases. Applying nano and applying some new physics, the incandescent bulb is now an electrical efficiency champion!
The old incandescent technology was about ~3% electrically efficient, meaning ~96% of energy is lost as heat energy. The current leader, LED, boasts a repeatable long lifetime and is ~15% efficient. Since LED can last 5 times longer making only 1 LED replaces 5 incandescent bulbs. We all see that basic incandescent technology can't compete. Divest!
The ~15% efficiency of LED is now faced with a monster leap with nano and incandescent. This new concept incandescent boasts 40% efficiency with high quality "warm light". Can LED compete? Yes, the LED scientists at █████████████ are probably going to apply more nanomaterials to see if they can beat 40% for cheaper. Innovation never sleeps. Can ██ nano LED compete with nano incandescent? Will ██ buy everything and laugh? Will new ██ technology defenestrate both nano LED & nano incandescent? Stay tuned, ██ is!
With 40% electrical efficiency, these new bulbs should be replacing street lighting, indoors, stoplights, etc. Everyone will buy the new stuff when then price becomes competitive with current product pricing.
So, now let's change the game completely — it's called getting "disruptive". What if a light bulb could be a better than WiFi? What if the new bulb contained LiFi? Green ideas are everywhere!
Nano design will change products, some for the better. Science can give us many new tools, but we need to be smart about which should be used. Some don't add value to a healthy green economy and environment.
* — at the time.
** — a common issue in Canada. Good science, not so good not science parts.
*** — many companies in Canada fail to make good science a reality. It's not easy.