Since Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb 120 years ago, there have been perhaps two dramatic changes in lighting technology – fluorescent lamps in the 1920s and high intensity discharge sources, like sodium or metal halide lamps in the 1950s and 1960s.
But now a US company called Fusion lighting has come up with a technology based on sulphur, which will directly compete with fluorescent and other technologies used for lighting large areas.
The Fusion Lighting technology uses a 1KW magnetic driver, which is distributed along light tubes up to 120m in length and generates radio frequency energy centred on the 2.4GHz band.
By chance, the exciting developments being seen in wireless LANs based on the IEEE 802.11b standard and Bluetooth technology occupy the same frequency band and are therefore liable to be suffer interference from the new lighting technology.
The 2.4GHz band is unlicensed and is already quite congested with the problem being exacerbated by microwave cooking devices.
Fusion Lighting’s technology is twice as efficient at producing high quality white light as other systems. It produces no ultraviolet or infrared emission and operates at only 25% of the cost of fluorescent lighting. The light emitted by the sulphur technology is very close to natural sunlight and will certainly be adopted by energy conscious users wishing to light large areas.
The problem is that with the lights on, Bluetooth and 802.11b communications are degraded and in the worst case completely lost.