The Subtle Circuitry Behind LED Lighting
News from IEEE Spectrum:

Last August, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the first winner in its ongoing competition to encourage lighting that’s more efficient—the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize, or L Prize. The DOE awarded Philips Lighting North America US $ 10 million for coming up with a lamp that’s equivalent to a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb in size and brightness but lasts at least 25 times as long and runs on less than 10 W.

Although lamps that are almost as efficient have been available for more than a year, the prizewinning design is just now going on sale. Like the backlights in modern cellphones and computer monitors, these lamps use light-emitting diodes to generate white light. They offer long lifetimes, pleasing colors, and most important, phenomenal energy efficiency.

Is it now time to throw away the incandescent bulbs still lurking in your light fixtures—and even the compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) you’ve been switching to—and replace them all with LED superlights? With costs often hovering around $ 25 a pop, few home­owners are rushing to take that plunge. But prices are dropping, and performance is improving fast. So it’s clear that the day when LED lamps will dominate lighting in both residences and businesses is not far off.

Why…………… continues on IEEE Spectrum

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