An Ohio-based company, Fiberstars (Nasdaq: FBST) has developed a way to combine lightbulbs with fiber-optics to create lighting systems that consume far less energy than traditional fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. EFO’s (efficient fiber optics) unique non-imaging optics transfer light efficiently from the source to EFO Opticore® fiber. One 70 watt EFO lamp delivers the candlepower of eight 50 watt MR16 EXN Halogen lamps—replacing a total of 400 watts. Fiber optics also do not contain mercury like fluorescents. The Declaration of Independence and Magna Carta are lit by Fiberstars systems because the light source does not emit ultraviolet rays or heat.
Fiberstars' makes EFO-ICE (for commercial refrigerated lighting) fiber optic lighting system for refrigerated supermarket display cases that saves an average of $139 per door annually by reducing electrical consumption for refrigeration and lighting, and by simplifying maintenance. Results of tests showed that Fiberstars EFO-ICE required 1/3 to 1/5 the energy of fluorescent lighting while providing comparable luminance. In refrigeration application it can save one watt of HVAC in every three watts of lighting saved because there is no heat in the light.
Its original product EFO essentially revolves around taming metal halide lights. Metal halide lamps are extremely efficient, capable of putting out 90 lumens per watt of energy. (A lumen is a measure of emitted visible light.) A typical incandescent bulb might produce 15 lumens per watt or less; most of the energy in lightbulbs actually gets converted into heat.
It has mostly sold its EFO lighting systems for use in niche applications, in part because fiber costs more. Las Vegas hotels have bought them to beam special effects onto ceilings and walls.