09/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Purdue LED Breakthrough: Five Times As Efficient, Way Cheaper

Better, Cheaper LEDs
The incandescent lightbulb that wastes 90% of the electricity as heat is dying, we all know that. But a new breakthrough in solid state lighting might also kill compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) faster than some expected. Scientists at Purdue University have figured out how to manufacture LED solid-state lights on regular metal-coated silicon wafers (more details below). What this means is: much lower costs.

10% Reduction in Total Electricity Use
And since about 1/3 of U.S. electricity is used to produce light, this is major. "If you replaced existing lighting with solid-state lighting, following some reasonable estimates for the penetration of that technology based on economics and other factors, it could reduce the amount of energy we consume for lighting by about one-third. That represents a 10 percent reduction of electricity consumption and a comparable reduction of related carbon emissions," said Timothy D. Sands, professor of Materials Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering states at Purdue.