Fireflies have been the source of inspiration for scientists and research groups working on developing better lighting devices for a sustainable future. Using this technology alone, a team of researchers at Syracuse University debuted zero-energy lights, which we showcased last year and now an international team of scientists are using nature’s technology to develop LED light bulbs which produce more luminescence using the same amount of energy.
In all types of fireflies, the bioluminescence is emitted through the cuticle of their exoskeleton, however, a part of the luminescence is reflected back to the source reducing the glow. A similar problem occurs with the outer coatings of LED light bulbs. The scientists later discovered that in the Photuris genus firefly, the roof-shingle-like scales have optical properties that boost the amount of light that gets out.
Gizmag notes that using this information, the researchers deposited a light sensitive material on a standard LED bulb and used a laser to etch a profile onto the coatings on LED bulbs, similar to the scales in the firefly. The results were astonishing as the bulb was able to emit about 55 percent more light using the same amount of energy that it normally does. The researchers believe that simply following nature and observing it more carefully could help in the production of greener products that put a tab on energy consumption.