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Could it be lights out for the traditional bulb?

Jun 2010
Marie Freebody,

After 120 years of faithful service, the incandescent bulb is bowing out in favor of more energy-efficient lighting. All over the world, governments are introducing new rules to phase out the traditional lightbulb. In September 2009, the European Union banned manufacturers and importers from selling clear incandescent lightbulbs of 100 W or above. This ban will be expanded in September 2011 and 2012 to include lower wattages of clear incandescent bulbs. And in the US, the phasing out of traditional lightbulbs will begin in 2012 when, by law, all bulbs must be 30 percent or more efficient than current incandescent versions.

An employee of Osram Opto Semiconductors checks the coated OLED panels for regularity. The focus here is on purity as well as the displacement of different coatings. Images courtesy of Osram Opto Semiconductors.

Solid-state lighting solutions such as LEDs and organic LEDs (OLEDs) seem perfectly positioned to take over where the incandescent bulb leaves off. Today, LEDs already are being used in both functional and decorative light fixtures, where they offer a marked advantage in energy savings. Compared with incandescent lighting, LED-based lighting delivers visible light with reduced heat and, what’s more, its solid-state nature provides for greater resistance to wear, shock and vibration, dramatically increasing its life span.

“LEDs offer a lot of benefits compared with classic light sources. From our point of view as a component manufacturer, the most important, in the medium term, is clearly their relatively high efficiency,” said Dr. Michael Fiebig, who is head of marketing and business development of LEDs and OLEDs at Osram Opto Semiconductors’ solid-state lighting division in Regensburg, Germany. “Whereas a white incandescent lamp converts just 3 percent of the input power into light, the figure for LED components is already around 30 percent.”

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Architectural LightingcoatingsCommunicationsConsumerDisplaysElectroniCast ConsultantsEuro NewsEuropeFiebigHarpe-Goorincandescent bulbJeannet Harpe-GoorLG Displaylight sourcesMarie FreebodyMichael FiebigNewsOLED TVsOLEDsOsram Opto SemiconductorsOSRAM Parathom ClassicPhilips Lighting CommunicationsLEDs

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