Coming Soon – Affordable Consumer LED’s

Scientists at Cambridge University have developed a new LED light,  that one will cost under $10.

This new LED –  smaller than a U.S. penny – will last for 60 years, well beyond the lifespan of standard light bulbs or even compact florescents (CFL’s), and will retail for $3.00 each. 

With the ever-growing popularity of LED lighting – from streetlamps to Christmas decorations to commercial outdoor lighting – a team led by Colin Humphreys has discovered a way to produce white LED’s from gallium nitride. Available for decades, this semiconductor has until now been expensive to produce as it’s grown on wafers of sapphire. Humphreys’ team has found a way to grow it on silicon wafers, for ten times cheaper. 

“We are very close to achieving highly efficient, low-cost white LEDs that 1can take the place of both traditional and currently available low-energy light bulbs,” says Humphreys.

Among this discovery’s many advantages, these energy efficient LED’s will last 100,000 hours, necessitating a change only every 60 years. a breakthrough beyond LED’s previous capabilities for longevity. 

They also don’t contain mercury, as opposed to CFL’s, and will be dimmable, an appealing characteristic to consumers.

Researchers anticipate the first affordable LED’s will be available as early as 2011, though a complete roll-out may take several years longer.

3 Responses

  1. I don’t agree about affordable LEDs being available only in 2011. I’ve been buying a GREAT LED called the VIVID bulb and on the web you can find it cheaply. Be SURE to get the 36 LED VIVID if you buy it, not the 18. The 18 doesn’t give off enought light. The 36 LED VIVID gives off plenty of bright light. I love it. I found the 36 LED VIVID at http://www.Eaglelight.com for only $9.99.

    I have bought some more expensive LED bulbs too, but I’ve already made up the cost in my electric bill savings. The LEDs save me more than 70% on my electric bill.

    I’ve tried a lot of other LED lights to replace my CFLs and incandescents. Other than the VIVID, my favorites are the PAR20 LED, the 36 LED VIVID C.Crane bulb, and one called the Pharox, which is a fantastic replacement bulb because it looks just like a regular light bulb and has a soft, warm glow to the light.

    I’ve been trying the PAR30 and PAR38 LED bulbs to replace my brighter bulbs. They’re still more expensive than I want to pay.

    Good luck to you and please let me know which LEDs you like and where you get them.

    BTW, the customer service at http://www.eaglelight.com was very good too – they actually answered my phone call with a lot of helpful information.

  2. I am very excited about LED technology but I must say my experience with the product has been lackluster for general lighting. They just don’t have the light output or fullness of spectrum that incandescents or for that matter CFL’s. My understanding from industry people is that the technology isn’t there yet. But the sooner the better.
    -Dr Z

    • I understand. One thing to remember, tho. All LED’s are not alike.
      They come in different wattages, so check before buying.
      The technology is catching up to consumer demand, so the brightness
      we’re used to isn’t too far away. Stay tuned.

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