Mainstream applications of LED's are moving beyond holiday light strings! LED lighting has long promised to be an energy efficient replacement to incandescent and fluorescent lighting. This week three articles caught my eye that show how LED's are on their way to delivering on that promise. It looks like there are exciting improvements happening in the market, bulb technology, and architectural design applications:
The market for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) should grow dramatically over the next decade, passing compact fluorescent lightbulbs as the biggest emerging lighting product, according to a new report. LEDs — a light source made from semiconductors — will account for 46 percent of the $4.6 million commercial and industrial lighting market by 2020, says the report by Colorado-based Pike Research. LEDs currently make up about 2 percent of the market. A shift toward LEDs among commercial customers and municipalities, rather than homeowners, will drive this transformation, the report says, since businesses will be more likely to invest money upfront if they benefit from long-term cost-efficiencies. LED lights burn for 50,000 hours, and are twice as energy efficient as fluorescent bulbs and up to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. “As energy efficiency becomes increasingly important... governments and organizations have looked to lighting as the ‘low hanging fruit,’” the report says. The biggest obstacle for LEDs is cost: Bulbs currently cost $50 to $100, compared to $2 to $10 for fluorescents. But long-term efficiency will make the investment worthwhile, the study says.
(via Yale Environment 360)
The prospects of replacing today’s inefficient incandescent light bulbs with long-lasting, low-power LEDs are increasing.
Two of the lighting industry’s three biggest manufacturers, Osram Sylvania and Philips, plan to sell energy-efficient LED bulbs this year that can replace a 60-watt bulb, the most commonly used incandescent lamp.
The third company, General Electric, will sell an LED equivalent to a 40-watt bulb this year, but it will not have a 60-watt replacement ready until 2011.
(via The New York Times)
Daylighting is one key to keeping our mental states balanced when we’re indoors, but sometimes it’s impossible to bring sunlight into interior places. Luckily, one innovative designer is experimenting with LED lights to create fake sunlight reflections on interior walls. Using over 3,000 LED lights, which give off the natural color of sunlight, Daniel Rybakken is designing lighting fixtures in the shapes of parallelograms, which give the impression of sunlight coming in through a window and reflecting off a surface. This light trickery, although totally artificial, might be just the thing to bring outdoor cheer into a gloomy indoor space.(via Inhabitat)
For more on LED lighting at Worldchanging see:
Image of LED holiday lights courtesy of Flickr photographer slworking2 under the Creative Commons License.
Images of Daniel Rybakken's architectural lighting designs via Inhabitat.