Steven DenBaars, a professor of material science at the University of California spoke at the SEMI Nanoforum this week. He was talking about LED lightbulbs, which he expects to become economically feasible as replacements for regular lightbulbs in about two years, a shift that “could pave the way for massive electricity conservation.”
The current price of LED lightbulbs is about $60, but prices are dropping about 50% per year, which will make them cost about $20 in two years. While $20 still sounds like a lot, an LED bulb lasts about 100,000 hours and uses only about 5% of the energy of an ordinary light bulb.
“”At $20 the payback in energy occurs in about a year,” DenBaars said. The rapid return on investment will occur in places such as stores and warehouses, where the light is on through much of the day. A year after that, LEDs will be even more economical for more places as costs continue to decline.” Approximately 22 percent of the electricity consumed in the US goes to lighting.