2012: The Year LEDs Come of Age?

by | Dec 20, 2011

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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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