KAUST Researchers Innovate To Reduce The Environmental Impact Of Lighting



Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are working on innovative solutions to enhance  efficiency levels in light bulbs and lamps, which have been identified as one of the world’s largest users of electricity.

Showcasing KAUST’s work at the Saudi pavilion at the Qatar Sustainability Expo held in conjunction with UNFCC COP18 in Doha, Qatar, Ahmed Ben Slimane, a KAUST PhD student in electrical engineering explained how more than 20% of the world’s electricity is currently used towards powering lights.

“With lighting being such a heavy consumer of electricity, there are obvious environmental and economic benefits from increasing the efficiency of lighting and so reducing resulting CO2 emissions” he added.

Lighting comes in many different forms; from gas-state bulbs found in homes, to LEDs and lazers. The KAUST research team are looking into new uses of semi-conductors in LEDs to not only increase the amount of light they emit but also reduce the amount of electricity consumed.

Normal lightsused in everyday life are measured in terms of efficiency at around 60 lumens per watt and LEDs at 150 lumens per watt.  KAUST researchers hope to achieve 300 lumens per watt in LEDs through an innovative use of Gallium Nitride on Silicon within the light itself and preventing light escaping throughdesign and packaging flaws.

“We anticpate that our designs will be in the market within two years for use in homes and industry and there has been a real desire from the Saudi population for more energy-efficient lighting” said Ben Slimane.

“We have also experienced many interested enquiries from international visitors at the Qatar Sustainability Expo about the progress Saudi Arabia is achieving in the field of sustainable technologies” he added.