Photo credit: matthewvenn
Today's New York Times has a special section on innovation in technology, and among the things they see in their crystal ball is LED and OLED lighting systems for the home. Just around the corner, just about within reach.Benefits of LED and OLED lighting
Among their charms, LEDs and OLEDs have a nearly unlimited ability to be fine-tuned, allowing for things like improved light quality and focused directional light, and, perhaps most notably, are much more energy efficient than their incandescent and compact fluorescent counterparts.
Bringing the LED/OLED technology to market
The technology has been on the horizon for awhile now -- we've seen a sprinkling of LED bulbs and lamps, and have been tracking the development of OLEDs (that's organic light emitting diodes) with interest -- and, as with many technological innovations, they're a little buggy and a little (or a lot) spendy early in their development. But they're getting some help; according to the article, "the Department of Energy is financing projects to overcome technical and marketing problems that have prevented the technology from successfully challenging more conventional incandescent and fluorescent lighting."
A few obstacles keeping LEDs and OLEDs from wide use
Still, there's a ways to go before we can expect to have an LED bulb in every socket, or an OLED in every panel or light box. Cost and light diffusion are two obstacles keeping the technologies from flooding the market, but that's slowly changing; LEDs are finding their place as a replacement for halogen bulbs, and better diffusers are making them more viable as incandescent and CFL replacements. When will this happen? The crystal ball is a bit murky on this one, but it appears that the future of LEDs and OLEDs is brighter than ever. ::New York Times