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RF Lighting

New for October 2006! RF lighting is one of the newest applications of microwaves. Also known and the "sulfur light bulb", this technology was first developed in the late 1980s by startup company Fusion Lighting of Rockwell Maryland. The basic premise is to place a small amount of sulfur in a bulb, then excite it using a 2.45 GHz magnetron (the same type of microwave tube that is used in microwave oven). The result is a highly efficient, long-lasting, high intensity lamp with pleasing colors, and very low harmful UV radiation, which might be described as the perfect industrial light bulb except for one perceived flaw... it could leak just enough energy to mess up your satellite radio reception, at least that is what XM and Sirius proposed when they tied up the technology in court. Also, magnetrons tend to be noisy because they require a cooling fan. So after something like $90M has been spent, the sulfur light is in limbo, and Fusion Lighting has been out of business for some time. Who knows, with the advent of wide bandgap semiconductors, maybe a solid-state sulfur lamp is in your future!

Come see Michael Ury in our Microwave Hall of Fame! If anyone knows how to contact him, we'd love to have him tell the RF lighting story in his own words!

Here's a web page with tons of info on sulfur lamps.

Here's a picture of a sulfur light bulb.

RF Lighting

Here's an image from one of the patents...

RF Lighting

 

Author : Unkonwn Editor

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