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Biomimetics: Efficient Lights and a Lesson from Fireflies

Evolution News

Following on from our post the other day, “Human Designers Struggle to Match Biological Designs,” here’s another illustration from the field of biomimetics.

Light bulb technology has come a long way in recent decades, with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) supplanting tungsten bulbs, with their wasteful heat, in many applications. Still, engineers would like to increase the efficiency of bulbs further. A simple trick used by fireflies turned out to dramatically increase the light output of a test bulb designed by Belgian physicist Jean-Pol Vigneron, after he became intrigued by the display of fireflies one night on a field trip in Central America.  A video clip shows how the story unfolded, as the BBC News explains “How fireflies inspired energy-efficient lights.”

Congratulations to Vigneron for his design smarts. Imagine the smarts of the designer who came up with his original inspiration.

Image credit: Victoria Borodinova, via Pixabay.