Created more than fifty years ago, light emitting diodes have progressed steadily and rapidly to challenge conventional lighting technologies. LEDs are energy efficient, colour controllable, dimmable and focused. Impressive gains in efficiency have transformed LEDs into light sources suitable for applications from the smallest scale to the largest.
In conventional cities, lighting accounts for 25% of residential energy use and nearly 15% of commercial building energy use. Cool-running LED lighting can save up to 75% of the energy directly used by existing lighting systems and save even more energy, because heat produced by conventional lighting increases cooling system usage.
Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs generate little waste heat and little eventual landfill. They do not contain the same toxic materials as fluorescent and neon lights and comply with the highest standards of environmental protection, such as RoHS. LED lighting is Dark Sky compatible and directionality solves the light pollution and light trespass problems of conventional sources. Energy savings, long life and low maintenance make LED lighting economically competitive. Like all semiconductor products, LEDs are on a relentless curve to increase performance at a lower cost. The relative advantages of LEDs over other technologies will increase over time.