The Carbon Trust has awarded a 454,000 grant to a company developing technology that could see light-emitting wallpaper appearing on the shelves by 2012.
Lomox Limited was awarded the grant based on its work with organic LED technology, which has a wide range of potential applications. The two-year-old company, based in North Wales, claims it can have the first commercial lighting products using the technology ready by 2012.
When applied to a film it could be used to cover walls as a light-emitting wallpaper, potentially replacing the need for traditional light bulbs. and Lomox says it could use the same technology to create more energy-efficient television screens.
The company also says the technology requires a low operating voltage of just 3 to 5V, so it could potentially be run on solar power or using batteries in areas where electricity is not available such as with traffic signs.
Lomox says its light-emitting organic LEDs are long-lasting and reasonably affordable to produce two of the traditional stumbling blocks when working with OLED technology.
"Lighting using Lomox OLED technology consume significantly less energy and emits less CO2 than conventional lights," claimed Ken Lacey, Lomox chief executive. "Lomox OLEDs are more efficient, cost effective to produce and do not suffer from the oxidation defect of other polymer OLEDs, providing substantially longer lifetimes."
In awarding the grant, Mark Williamson, director of innovations at the Carbon Trust, said: "Lighting is a major producer of carbon emissions. This technology has the potential to produce ultra-efficient lighting for a wide range of applications, tapping into a huge global market."
Lighting in buildings accounts for a sixth of all electricity use in the UK. Lomox's system promises to be around 2.5 times more efficient than energy-saving builbs used at present.
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