Beginning to See the Light?

As Suzanne LaBarre reported last month, many local governments are taking a chance on LEDs to improve the energy efficiency of their cities’ infrastructure. But they’ve already run into problems with high up-front costs and foot-dragging utilities (to say nothing of the steep road LEDs’ more experimental cousins, organic light-emitting diodes, still face).

The New York Times’s Bits blog notes this morning that as far as the technology has come in recent years, there are major hurdles ahead for light output. (Oh, and lots of the down-market versions are simply garbage.) To help standardize LED performance, the U.S. Department of Energy has introduced the Lighting Facts metric, an assessment of light quality, color, and energy use that comes in a nutritional-label-style package. It should warn specifiers off some of the junkier products. Even so, it’s hard to shake the feeling that while LEDs might be a good choice for Times Square, they’re still a ways off from lighting your office.

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