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2012: The Year LEDs Come of Age?

This may be the year that solid state lighting comes of age, according to Doug Bailey, vice president of marketing at integrated circuit manufacturer Power Integrations.

Writing for Electronics Weekly, Bailey says that industry figures have been discussing the emergence of solid state lighting for almost a decade. While the industry has solved many of the initial technical challenges, the lights have sometimes failed to perform well. Many LED streetlights in China malfunctioned after only a few months, Bailey says.

But he says that 2012 will be “the year of the diode,” when the technology gains maturity and businesses begin accepting it in earnest.

He says the need for energy efficiency measures in Japan following that country’s tsunami has triggered a huge expansion of LED lighting production. Prices have also fallen with Asian investment in components such as sapphire wafers and lower than expected take-up of LED TVs.

According to Chad Hall, founder and a vice president of sales at Ioxus, Inc., there has been a recent influx of devices containing LEDs. In Asia, in particular, LEDs are used for a variety of functions, including sidewalk, walkway, pool and decorative building lighting.

Last week the House of Representatives voted to delay enforcement of new light bulb efficiency standards until at least Oct. 1, as part of a last-minute budget deal to keep the government operating through the rest of the fiscal year, and the Senate is expected to follow suit. Republicans have vowed to press for a full repeal of the rules.

Picture credit: H.B. Hotban

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4 thoughts on “2012: The Year LEDs Come of Age?

  1. LEDs tend to be more health friendly than fluorescents, that emit UV radiation right against people’s eyes. As many evolutions in the industries, LEDs are welcome.

    However, in every bulb package there should be a label with minimum information on (eye) health side effects of these products.

  2. No disagreement that LEDs are better than any alternative, except in price. And their price will decline in the future.

    Just don’t lose sight of the fact that many CFLs are better for your eye health than many incandescents that they replaced; by emitting less UV radiation than those incandescents.

    Until LEDs do decline in price enough to become atttractive to the bulk market, CFLs continue to be the best lighting choice, and they are safe.

  3. Doug, the info I have is that CFLs and other fluorescents emit UVs, and incandescents do not emit UV, because of the bulb construction.
    However, bulbs should be sold with this information, UV output, on a label.

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