NEW YORK — As our homes consume more and more power, scientists are working on ways to save you some green while making your house greener.
The answer could be in the light bulb. Scientists had a bright idea.
“To convert light that is found indoors in our homes, in our public buildings and so forth into electricity,” says Professor Vincenzo Pecunia of Soochow University in China.
Vincenzo Pecunia and Robert Hoye created devices designed to work like tiny solar panels in your home. They absorb light, turn it into energy, then power everything from remote controls to smoke alarms.
The idea is for manufacturers to put the flexible miniature panels into electronics. From powering sensors that track packages or tell you when it’s time to take your medicine to devices that haven’t even been invented yet.
Scientists say the material is cheaper and greener to make and can even be sewn into clothing.
“You have your solar panel built into the clothing,” says Dr. Robert Hoye of the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. “And maybe you know you have a smart watch or a smart phone in your pocket here for example, you’re using that solar cell to power that smart phone.”
Researchers published their findings about harvesting indoor light in the scientific journal Advanced Energy Materials.