Matsushita Electric Works says it has developed eco-friendly lamp

TOKYO, July 8, 2008 (AFP) – Japan’s Matsushita Electric Works Ltd. said Tuesday it had developed a fluorescent lamp that does not use mercury or a gas-discharging process. The enviromentally friendly device, which uses processed silicon, could be 50 percent brighter than a conventional fluorescent lamp while consuming the same amount of electricity, the company said in a statement.

Conventional fluorescent lamps use mercury for discharging gas to allow a phosphor to light up.

But the new device can make xenon gas emit vacuum-ultraviolet light causing a phosphor to fluoresce, the statement said.

Matsushita Electric Works said the new device could join light-emitting diodes and organic electroluminescence devices as new light sources.