Researchers at Purdue University have overcome a major obstacle in
reducing the cost of "solid state lighting," a technology that could cut electricity consumption by 10 percent if widely adopted.
The technology, called light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, is about four
times more efficient than conventional incandescent lights and more
environmentally friendly than compact fluorescent bulbs. The LEDs also
are expected to be far longer lasting than conventional lighting,
lasting perhaps as long as 15 years before burning out.
"The LED technology has the potential of
replacing all incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, which would
have dramatic energy and environmental ramifications," said Timothy D.
Sands, the Basil S. Turner Professor of Materials Engineering and
Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The LED lights are about as efficient as compact fluorescent lights, which contain harmful mercury.