One of the biggest developments in lighting our homes, businesses and streets involves the use of light-emitting diode (LED) technology.
LEDs convert electricity directly into bright, white light far more efficiently than other lighting options, and Americans are taking notice. The number of LED lamps and fixtures installed in the United States has increased tenfold over the last two years—from 4.5 million units in 2010 to 49 million units in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These installations, which include common indoor and outdoor applications such as recessed lighting and streetlights, are expected to save about $675 million in annual energy costs.
During the same period, the cost of an LED replacement bulb has fallen by about 54 percent. By 2030, the DOE estimates that LED lighting will account for almost 75 percent of all lighting sales, saving enough energy to power approximately 26 million U.S. households.
LED fixtures are also being tested on farms across America to see how they hold up to the dirt, dust, heat, humidity and other harsh conditions. Thanks to their durable construction, LEDs may offer farmers a way to save on both energy and maintenance costs. With a rated life of 35,000 to 50,000 hours, LEDs can last up to 33 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, four to eight times longer than linear fluorescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps, and more than twice the time of high-intensity discharge lamps.