September 21, 2014


Innovators: a lightbulb moment for Dyson and son : Innovation runs in the Dyson family, with Jake refining a last-a-lifetime LED light that can illuminate a whole kitchen (Shane Hickey, 21 September 2014 , The Guardian)

The younger Dyson, one of three children of the inventor, has recently unveiled the latest addition to his high-end lighting units designed to save energy by slimming the number of lights required in the home and the office.

It has taken him 10 years to get this far. He set up his design studio in London in 2004 and produced a halogen light, before switching his focus to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are lauded for their long life.

But while other manufacturers were claiming their lights could last for 30,000 hours, Dyson wanted to make one for life. The problem was that the semiconductor chips that produce the light also generate intense heat which damages the chip, reducing the brightness and changing the light's colour.

A cooling system was needed to stop the chips overheating and thus lengthen their life span, Dyson said. The system he developed works much like technology in laptop computers and satellites, extracting the heat from the chip to "calm" it.

The key is heat pipe technology that can move the high heat created by the LED away from the chip. Keeping the temperature of the chip low in turn allows more powerful LEDs to be used, and their brightness, colour and energy efficiency maintained Dyson said.

Each copper pipe in the cooling system contains a drop of water - which heats up inside the pipe, turns to steam and disperses the heat as it moves down the pipe and away from the chip. It allows the LED chip to be kept at about 45C, well below previous temperatures.

Posted by at September 21, 2014 8:53 AM

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