It's becoming increasingly clear that the (very near) future of lighting is solid-state. Light Emitting Diodes are already among the most energy-efficient illumination technologies. Now researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have devised a way to boost the light output from white LEDs by up to 60% without changing power requirements. How do they do it? A specially-shaped lens prevents "backscatter" photons from being reabsorbed by the diode. The main downside is that it makes the LED larger; it's as yet unclear how much of a problem that will really be, however. Commercial application of the idea should be hitting the shelves within a couple of years.