U.S. Department of Energy spoke highly of LED

It's reported that the U.S. Department of Energy has named the winners of its eighth annual Lighting for Tomorrow competition, which aims to bridge that gap by showcasing LED fixture design for homes and other small-scale uses such as offices, restaurants and retail stores.

And the focus was on new high efficiency LED designs that could help cut lighting energy use by 25 percent.

DOE has also included categories for replacement bulbs and lighting control devices in 2010.
According to DOE, though LED fixtures may cost more up front, the long term payback is mighty attractive. The economics of LED lighting have already prompted large scale installations and retrofits, such as new LED lighting at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The payback window is also narrowing as the research advances and costs go down. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has come up with a low cost graphite foam to use as a cooling agent for extending the lifespan of LEDs.
 
As technological improvements boost their power, new applications for LEDs are also in store.  In September a Finnish company announced a powerful new LED light that can be used in aviation beacons – quite a step up from the familiar LED novelty toys of the past.

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