LEDs or Light Emitting Diode bulbs have been around for quite some time but, it is only now that they are being developed into workable solutions. One of the biggest hurdles in the past has been a lack of support by big name light bulb manufacturers like Philips now businesses like Philips are now major contributors to its development. The momentum is in favor of LED lights not only because they last longer but also because they are easier to integrate into existing and new architecture design. Within the next ten years we will be seeing LEDs become smarter and coupled with green development projects, end users will be able to save bundles in their energy consumption.
The Slim Style bulb
Even before we start seeing all future homes lit up with LEDs we will see LEDs evolve into smaller, brighter and more energy efficient technologies. The first wave of these can be seen in the Philips Slim Style bulb. While it looks like a lollipop and is about the size of one too, it costs just about $6. This clearly shows that the price barrier has been broken by the technology.
Philips has also added amber LEDs. These are are designed to mimic the often warm glow associated with a dimming incandescent light.
Philips has said that an upcoming wave of LEDs are going to be brighter with 60watt and 40watt versions planned. Interestingly, all this brightness is going to be packed into a more compact form factor. This means that we will no longer see bulbs hanging around like we do now.
LEDs will become even cheaper
If you think that LEDs are cheap today wait another two years. Most estimates put the price at around $2 a bulb by 2017. This means that prices will be on par with compact fluorescents of today. But they will be more efficient and last longer. And people will end up saving more in the long term.
Chipped and ready to connect
One overlooked and perhaps an underappreciated aspect of a light emitting diode is that it’s a solid state diode i.e. a chip. This opens up the possibility of these lighting technologies communicating with each other and even being a part of a larger network. So, in the near future we will see networked lighting products similar to the upcoming Philips Hue.
The future of LED lighting will become a part of our daily lives. We will not have to think about turning our lights on or off. It will be part of a connected system. The lights will detect when we enter the home and turn on, it will detect when the sun is going down and increase the brightness. Integrated systems will also mean that the lights in our driveway will light up once our cars pull up to the driveway. Plus, all of this will not be expensive or impossible to implement.
Architects are soon going to make sure that the LED lights are no longer visible. There will be no single source of light but rather an entire room will be lit up evenly. This will require that lights be built in a sequence through various portions across the home. So, depending on where you are the lights in that part of the home will light up and the parts nearest to you will be dimly lit. They will also be integrated with your smoke alarm and thermostat. In the event of a fire, the lights may turn red. Or they may turn amber when there is a potential problem in a certain area.
- LEDs have a long life and durability. People will no longer need to worry about changing light bulbs.
- LEDs are cost efficient
- Easy to integrate into existing and new designs. They are coupled with more and more green development projects
- LEDs are used with safer manufacturing materials. LEDs contain no hazardous materials, at least none are found at the time of writing this article.
The future of LED lighting is secure. We should be seeing smart homes and green architecture including LEDs in everything from early warning systems to regular lighting within the next 10 years. At the end of the day, excellent energy efficiency is going to be the reason why LEDs are the future.