GE researchers cool green LED light bulbs with jet engine tech

Oct 22, 2010

You might not think much about the light bulbs that are in your home, but there is a ton of research going into methods of making green light bulbs that will not only run longer but also use less power. The amount of energy that can be saved by moving the US from existing incandescent bulbs over to green bulbs using LED and florescent technology is staggering.

A research team at GE has invented a way to cool a prototype LED light bulb using technology employed to cool jet engines. The bulb the researchers made uses LEDs and can produce the same amount of light as a 100W halogen bulb. The prototype LED bulb is rated for 1500 lumens.

The jet engine cooling system used for the bulb has tiny micro-fluidic bellows type devices that provide high velocity jets of air that can be aimed at the LED heat sink. The jets of air allow heat transfer rates more than ten times that of natural convection cooling. That increased cooling in turn allows the bulb to use less LEDs to get the same light output allowing for smaller bulbs that are cheaper to make.

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