Scientists at MIT have figured out how to recycle the energy produced by incandescent bulbs, returning what would have been lost energy and creating light at a fraction of the energy cost.
For instance, a typical living room 60-watt incandescent light bulb used regularly over a year would cost $8.28. Using an equivalent energy efficient fluorescent or ‘CFL’ light bulb would cost $1.66 per year and using an LED would cost $1.38. These new bulbs would cost under $0.72 per year.
What makes them special is the crystalline coating that is put on the glass surrounding the filament. It reflects most of the energy back into the bulb where it is reused to keep the filament lit; in older versions of incandescent bulbs most of the energy was lost as heat. Whereas older bulbs lost about 95% of the energy given off and LEDs lost about 86%, the new crystal-coated bulbs should only lose 60% and maintain a 40% efficiency.
Technicalities aside, people are excited to re-embrace the soft, warm yellow glow of the incandescent bulb and conserve even more energy.