National Geographic: The LED

In its most recent issue, National Geographic magazine tackles energy conservation, stating plainly on its cover that saving energy starts at home. While the feature article focuses largely on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a follow-up article called “Changing Bulbs“┬ácontrasts the differences of various lighting technologies.

Author Linda Kulman dubbs the light-emitting diode (LED) as the “eco-bulb of the future.” With the use of a microchip instead a filament, the LED consumes much less energy than other light-producing technologies. Though, the premium for taking advantage of the LED technology is significantly higher.

Kulman also notes that reviews of the LED are mixed since the diodes only cast light in one direction. Additionally, LED illumination, brightness, and color all range widely.

Finally, Kulman says to be on the look out for a cheaper, more versatile LED in the next few years. Until then, experts say to use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) — if you’re comfortable with their mercury content.

[photo: National Geographic]

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