From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
Dear EarthTalk: What’s the story with LED light bulbs that are reputed to be even more energy-efficient than compact fluorescents? — Toby Eskridge, Little Rock, AR
Perhaps the ultimate “alternative to the alternative,” the LED (light-emitting diode) light bulb may well dethrone the compact fluorescent (CFL) as king of the green lighting choices. But it has a way to go yet in terms of both affordability and brightness.
LEDs have been used widely for decades in other applications—forming the numbers on digital clocks, lighting up watches and cell phones and, when used in clusters, illuminating traffic lights and forming the images on large outdoor television screens. Until recently LED lighting has been impractical to use for most other everyday applications because it is built around costly semiconductor technology. But the price of semiconductor materials has dropped in recent years, opening the door for some exciting changes in energy-efficient, green friendly lighting options.