Low-cost LED lightbulbs just around the corner?

A new technique means bulbs can be produced en masse for about one-tenth of what was possible before, putting them into the affordable category for most people.

Culture
Gizmodo

The future of household lighting might be on the horizon. I know, it's not as exciting as a new iPhone or cheap broadband, but in practical terms, new low-cost LED lights being developed could fully replace standard incandescent bulbs and halogen tubes in just a few years.

The lights themselves aren't new, but according to Physorg.com, the Cambridge University-based Centre for Gallium Nitride has come up with a new way to manufacture gallium nitride, a man-made semiconductor at the heart of the lights.

This new technique means the bulbs can be produced en masse for about one-tenth of what was possible before, putting them into the affordable category for most people. Right now, at $20 a pop, they're fairly pricey.

It's not just about new technology, though. The LED lights should last longer, years longer, than bulbs in use today. And for the eco-conscious, they're environmentally safer than current lights as they have less toxic materials inside. In addition, they use much less power. A double win.

The question is though, how do they look? Nothing will replace sunlight, but anyone who's worked under halogen knows it's soul-draining, and Tungsten lights just make things look weird. If it's close to natural, sign me up first.

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