TED Conversations

Kevin Jacobson

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The bio bulb.

We are going to enter an energy crisis were fossil fuels won't be able to sustain are cities needs anymore and pollution will run rampant, even more so than it is now. So, you know what I say? Do something about it! When you think About the light bulb, you probably don't think of it as a "gas guzzler", but imagine if all the light bulbs in the world were to all of a sudden vanish. Think how much electrical demand would just drop. As silly as that sounds, it may be possible, Well, if my idea were to ever gain funding and research. My idea is this: take advantage of bio-luminescent bacteria to obtain electricity-free lighting. If you had a glass tube that was filled with a nutrient supply and colonies of these luminescent bacteria, you could light the world without electricity. Of coarse, as far as I know, bio-luminescent bacteria don't emit wight light, so maybe this could be a genetically engineered species. Since these are bacteria, that wouldn't be very hard. What do you think?

Topics: Lighting
  • Aug 30 2012: Considering the amount of light bulbs consumed in the world and the high efficiency of bioluminicense, it looks a big business oportunity.
  • Aug 22 2012: This really a very good idea. But I think that the luminescence in the initial stages may not enough to light a room. But initially it can serve decorative purposes.
  • Aug 19 2012: My first thought is that it sounds expensive and messy.

    At what cost?
    How much energy will it take to produce these bulbs?
    How do you resupply the nutrients? How often?
    In my experience bio-luminescence is not bright enough for reading.

    I suggest you do some research into these questions. If it can compete with LED bulbs, you might have a profitable product.