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Working By the Light of Your Calculator

CFLs may be the best energy-efficient lighting solution now. But there are drawbacks, from the bulbs’ use of mercury to their light-up lag time. So what’s the future of low-energy lighting? The U.S. Department of Energy thinks it may be solid-state lighting.

Solid-state uses semiconductors, instead of filaments (as with incandescent bulbs) or gas (as with fluorescent), to create light. The result is a light-emitting diode, or LED (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has plenty on the science behind just how this happens).

LEDs aren’t just for calculators and watches anymore. They’re now used in applications such as traffic lights and under-cabinet lighting. But the Dept. of Energy sees a day when most regular home lighting will be LED and has announced a $20 million contest to usher in the household solid-state age.

The DOE predicts the development of an LED that will use just 10 watts to produce the same light a 60-watt incandescent bulb does – higher efficiency than a CFL, among other advantages.

Tell us what you think – how could LEDs change your cubicle world?

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“Working By the Light of Your Calculator”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    I think I would welcome a new form of lighting at work. I am so sensitive to fluorescent lights and have even had one removed from above my desk. They flicker and bother my eyes tremendously. I would also be happy to try out LEDs at home because they are better for the environment.