Light-Emitting Wallpaper to Replace Light Bulbs?

Image: EcoFriendly Tips

Energy-saving lightbulbs may reduce carbon output, but there’s something twice as efficient in the works: Wallpaper. A Welsh startup has received more than $500,000 from the UK government-backed Carbon Trust to produce light-emitting wallpaper. The Financial Times reports:

The (Carbon) trust has given a £454,000 grant to Lomox, a Welsh start-up company, to accelerate the development of its “light emitting wallpaper”. The material, which uses organic light emitting diode or OLED technology, runs on very low voltages and is twice as efficient as today’s energy-saving bulbs.

It could reach the market as soon as 2012, said Ken Lacey, chief executive of Lomox. Other companies are investigating OLED technology, either for flat displays or for room lighting but have not succeeded commercially because of high costs and short operating lifetimes.

Patents filed by Lomox overcame both problems, Mr Lacey said. Manufacturers would apply its light-emitting chemical on to wallpaper with low-voltage electrical connections: “It gives a very natural, sunlight-type of lighting with the full colour range.”

This invention is both useful and game-changing. It reminds me that the next wave of brilliant startups may well come from the sustainability sector. As management guru C.K. Prahalad stated in the Harvard Business Review, “sustainability is the mother lode of innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns.”

What other game-changing, useful inventions are in the pipe?

Written by Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.