India

Invisible innovation: healthier, more efficient LEDs

What’s better than a highly energy-efficient light bulb? An energy efficient light bulb that won’t hurt your eyes!

The BASF team in Taiwan has re-invented the LED. The new Sunvue® lights shine brightly with less electricity than standard LED equivalents. Equally importantly, they protect eye health. Harmful blue light can strain the eyes, causing myopia and interfering with perception. Now there is a better choice.

When launching the new lights on the market, BASF invited two primary schools in Taiwan to try them out. Volunteers replaced 3,000 fluorescent LED lighting tubes at two primary schools with Sunvue® tubes. The change was visible: warmer, brighter light. But the true benefits were invisible. The new lights’ efficiency means school energy bills for lighting will fall by 50%. And thanks to chemistry, the blue light was reduced by 50%-75%, giving students a healthier, more comfortable environment to learn.

Light makes a difference – especially for the young, the aged and those with visual sensitivities. Most lighting – including traditional fluorescent and LED – emit harmful blue light. Blue light can contribute to digital eye strain, macular degeneration, myopia and loss of perception.

BASF set out to change that. In 2017, the BASF Taiwan team undertook a project to expand consumers’ choice of light. Working with leading opthamologist Dr. Da-Wen Lu, of Tri-Service Hospital in Taiwan, the team reinvented the LED light. Sunvue® lighting cuts harmful blue light found in sunlight and LEDs substantially. At the same time, it is significantly more energy efficient than traditional light bulbs. In fact, the new lights perform almost as well as sunlight. Sunlight scores 100 on the Color Rendering Index. Sunvue® scores 95.

To introduce the new lighting, 17 BASF employee volunteers donated and replaced about 3,000 T8 fluorescent LED lighting tubes at two primary schools in the Kuanyin District of Taoyuan near BASF’s production site. With support from professional electricians, the volunteers retrofitted classrooms, libraries, and administrative offices. What students and teachers saw was warmer, more natural light. But the real value was invisible. The average illuminance, measured at nine locations inside one of the classrooms, increased by 50%, while energy consumption, compared to previous lighting, dropped nearly 50%. And emission of harmful blue light dropped 50%-75%.

"Quality lighting is essential for school learning environments. By improving the lighting in the classroom, we want to provide a more comfortable reading and learning environment for school children, and contribute to reducing myopia. At the same time, we have developed a technology that can reduce energy use and therefore environmental impact. We also encourage parents to choose proper indoor lighting for kids and pay attention to eye care," said Kin Wah Chay, Managing Director of BASF Taiwan.

New Sunvue® light bulbs, tubes, panel lighting and desk lamps are offered for sale in Taiwan and China. At the same time, BASF continues to strive to make meaningful contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to bring peaceful, sustainable development to people around the globe.