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New Lighting Technology Offers Cost & Environmental Benefits

Narrator: This is Science Today. New lighting technology that offers quality, cost and environmental benefits has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis . It's called field emission lamps and electrical engineering professor Charles Hunt says it was developed using non-toxic carbon foam.

Hunt: It looks very much like a charcoal briquette. The difference is, it's porous, so as a consequence it's extremely light. We can make this carbon foam very, very inexpensively.

Narrator: Unlike greenish fluorescent lighting, field emission lamps can exactly match the spectrum of natural daylight while maintaining the energy efficiency of fluorescent lamps.

Hunt: There's some real advantages beyond just the energy conservation and the basic spectral content. We also have advantages of the lack of mercury in our environment, so it's environmentally-friendly.

Narrator: The university is currently negotiating agreements to license the technology for commercial development.

Hunt: People should keep their eyes open for this because it's very likely that other major producers will come forward and start making these lamps as well.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.