About a month ago, I was contacted by Tim LeMaster regarding the After-Lite product. The After-Lite is essentially a plastic-based disc that fits to the bottom of an energy-saving light bulb. When you have your lights on, the disc “charges up”. When you switch your lights off, the After-Lite disc carries on glowing, giving you free light!
Tim is a professional inventor, and has been so for 25 years. As an expert in photo luminescent technology, he’s been working on a range of innovative safety products for low light and dark conditions. To put it in context, Tim’s company FOTOLum developed the photo-luminescent vinyl patches that the New York City Fire Department wear on their uniforms… as a matter of their department safety policy!
The After-Lite uses what Tim calls a Crystal Energy Cell. The cell (or disc) can charge up in just a few minutes, and gives enough light to easily see what you’re doing in a room. Tim sent me some of these discs to play with, and they’re a really interesting eco-friendly gadget! The cells are designed for US style energy saving light bulbs, but after a little bit of tweaking, I got them to neatly fit a modern UK style light bulb.
I personally found that the cells charge up in just a few minutes, and will carry on glowing for several hours. Although the light output decreases with time (as you’d expect with anything that glows in the dark), I found that the cells were still glowing about 10 hours later.
The After-Lite is not designed to replace bulbs, it’s merely offered as supplement your lighting. If there are situations when there’s a sudden power cut, the cells will just glow and offer a simple to install emergency light source.
Another use for this product is as a child’s night light. Since young children are often afraid of the dark, and rather than keep your lights on overnight, the After-Lite cell will start glowing as soon as the light is switched off. This glowing light should be plenty enough to give a child peace of mind, and it doesn’t cost a single penny in energy!