Lighting Solutions Group: Grand Challenge

A $1 LED light bulb 20 times more efficient than incandescent
LED image

Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb brought artificial light to the world and revolutionized modern life. However, 90% of a traditional light bulb’s energy is wasted as heat, and today over 1/5 of all electricity consumed is for lighting. Now, a new generation of lighting technologies, most notably light-emitting diodes (LEDs), promises to keep the lights on while leaving a drastically smaller energy footprint behind.

In addition to changing our bulbs, LEDs will play a key role in shaping a more secure energy future. The Department of Energy estimates that LEDs could reduce total U.S. energy consumption from lighting by 46% in 2030, saving enough energy to power 24 million homes (equivalent to 50 one-GW coal power plants).

The Institute’s Lighting Solutions Group, has achieved a 72% efficient LED that produces 150 lumens of light for each watt of power (lumens per watt – lm/W). The group’s current goal is a $3 bulb that produces 280 lm/W. The Institute’s researchers are bringing this goal within reach and helping to usher in the next lighting revolution.



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