FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Smart Lights

Recent advances in the application of light-emitting diode (LED) and solid-state electronics for lighting may lead to the development of "smart lights" that can adjust themselves to specific conditions and even communicate with one another.

A recent article in Science magazine describes how smart lights can save energy and money (using only 3 watts to deliver the light equivalent of a 60-watt conventional bulb), deliver optimum light quality at different times of the day, provide the best type of light to grow plants indoors, and even communicate with other devices through rapid bursts imperceptible to the human eye. For instance, brake lights on a car could send out a signal to the car behind it to slow down.

Don't look for smart lights to hit the market anytime soon, though. Researchers are still learning how to deliver quality LED light through all points on the spectrum.

Sources: Eurekalert, Genius Now