Scientists who evidently spend too much time with fireflies have managed to put all that bug-watching to good use: developing brighter LEDs. One problem with that tech is that a lot of the light gets reflected back into the device due to the way photons travel through LED materials, causing them to lose efficiency. But researchers from the University of Namur in Belgium noticed that the misshapen abdominal scales on fireflies act to prevent reflection, letting more light from the luminous insect’s “lantern” shine out. Scientists in Canada took it a step further by doping standard gallium-nitride LEDs with a similar material, and found that light transmission increased by 55 percent. They claimed that such a process could be done to “nearly every commercially available LED,” which could one day bring insect-inspired energy savings to commercial products.
Could Fireflies’ Abdomens Lead to Brighter LED Screens?
Author: Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, Shelly Palmer Digital Living Daily, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards).