A bright idea: LED light bulbs yield big savings in energy | McClatchy
One way the United States could slash its electricity use, dependence on fossil fuels and emissions of heat-trapping gases is really quite simple: better light bulbs. The Department of Energy is backing research and development aimed at getting light-emitting diodes into common use in homes and businesses at a price that saves money. Hurdles remain: Costs are still high, the quality of what’s on the market varies and not all the technical issues have been worked out. Energy experts are confident, however, that this new lighting is the future and that energy savings will be enormous.
Lighting consumes 22 percent of electricity in the United States. The DOE predicts that solid-state lighting — which uses semiconducting materials to convert electricity into light, and includes LEDs — has the potential to reduce energy use for lighting by one-third by 2030. That’s the equivalent of saving the output of 40 large (1,000-megawatt) power plants, the greenhouse gas emissions of 47 million cars and $30 billion.