A fluorescent lamp includes a glass envelope; at least two electrodes connected to the glass envelope; mercury vapor and an inert gas within the glass envelope; and a phosphor within the glass envelope, wherein the phosphor blend includes aluminum nitride. The phosphor may be a wurtzite (hexagonal) crystalline structure Al.sub.(1-x)M.sub.xN phosphor, where M may be drawn from beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, zinc, scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, ytterbium, bismuth, manganese, silicon, germanium, tin, boron, or gallium is synthesized to include dopants to control its luminescence under ultraviolet excitation. The disclosed Al.sub.(1-x)M.sub.xN:Mn phosphor provides bright orange-red emission, comparable in efficiency and spectrum to that of the standard orange-red phosphor used in fluorescent lighting, Y.sub.2O.sub.3:Eu. Furthermore, it offers excellent lumen maintenance in a fluorescent lamp, and does not utilize "critical rare earths," minimizing sensitivity to fluctuating market prices for the rare earth elements.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO APPLICATIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this application pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.