Lumiette’s Bulbs Are Still Fluorescents, but They’re Flatter, Brighter and More Efficient

When South Korean company Mirae Lighting (Mirae) ran out of money before it could start manufacturing its flat panel lights for backlighting LCD TVs, Cupertino, California startup Lumiette, Inc. (Lumiette) bought Mirae’s patent portfolio covering the lighting technology and manufacturing methods in the hopes of selling the flat lights for ordinary residential lighting purposes.

The patent portfolio includes pending patent applications Pub. No. 2006/0279215 and 2007/0247070 (‘070 application) directed to flat fluorescent lamps.  Though the lamps work essentially the same way as standard fluorescent bulbs, the difference is that the electrodes 140 are external to the channels 111 on electrode sections 111a, so the bulbs can be made very thin, four millimeters thin to be exact.

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According to this greentech media interview with a Lumiette employee, the bulbs also include a reflection layer between the flat glass back panel and the formed glass in front, which reflects light forward and boosts efficiency.  Because the system efficiency is so much greater than in standard fluoroscent bulbs (about 90% versus 60% range), Lumiette’s flat panel lights last longer than fluorescents. 

Lumiette also claims that its lights are as bright as LEDs but at a substantially reduced cost.  It’s good to know that substantial energy efficiency doesn’t always require radically new technology but can be achieved with incremental changes to existing technology.

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Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.