In spite of the strenuous objections from those with libertarian leaning, I was looking forward to the gradual ban on higher powered incandescents. Reason being, this spurs innovation and also guarantees economies of scale. And that in turn would end era of the transitional CFLs sooner rather than later. Browsing though the light bulb shelves at Lowes and Home Depot has become fun again. All good.
I think one very important ingredient in LED development will be to make that power supply circuit as sparse as possible. And it's gratifying to see this happening.
True enough, but HCL comes into its own in the LED era. Incandescents and fluorescents can't behave as flexibly as LEDs with respect to control of color (and spectrum). Also, the inherently directional light of LED sources is easier to direct precisely where it's needed, to the benefit of humans, other creatures, and dark skies.
Agreed, we're going to see increasing focus on the driver side of LED lighting. When luminaires are tested to destruction, often it is the driver that fails first. While we know how to predict the useful lifetime of an LED, the same is not (yet) true of a driver.
The first LED lighting for general consumer use was strictly replacement, built to screw into light sockets. I am starting to see more imaginative use of what is a fundamentally different light source, but it seems like there is room to really diverge. Can we build them into walls, maybe with electronic steering of the beams? Can we paint them onto surfaces and have them change colors as our moods dictate? What else might we want to do with them?
Larry - I think you've hit on the really revolutionary potential. A big part of the need for the Edison base was simply the frequency that bulbs needed to be replaced. When significantly greater life span is reliably avaialble, the game changes. They can be put in essentially innacessible places and can be used in ways that incendescents never could.
With LEDs working on their own driver circuits at some DC voltage levels, with many of the modern appliances working on inverters that convert AC to DC and aganin back to AC at a desired frequency , I think it is now time to relax those Frequency norms on the grid elelctric supply ( 50 or 60 hz +- 2% ).
Does it really now matter at what frequency the grid electricty is supplied? May be I am missing something!
One performance specification that held back CFL's acceptance was their poor ability to correctly illunimate the full spectrum of color in our houses. Our spouses fought CFL's in the living room because they made the living room look like it had jaundice or some liver disease. LED's are capable of overcoming this - after all the most accurate color rendering of computer images is obtained on LED backlite displays, not florescent backlite displays.
Knowing the color temperature of a light source (measured in degrees Kelvin) is not sufficient to select a good light bulb. The measurement of how wide a color spectrum a light source can accurately display or illuminate is the Color Rendering Index, or, CRI. The closer to 100 you get, the better the light source. CRI's in the low 90's are considered the minimum for good color illumination. I'd like to see all manufacturers of interior lighting sources, no matter what kind, required to specify the color temperature and CRI on their packaging. This would allow we the consumers to select the best light source and also up the competition among manufacturers to produce a better product.