Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been around for a while but their manufacturing cost prohibited their practical use for consumer lighting applications. Since LEDs use about 85% less energy and last 30 times longer than conventional light bulbs, many companies have been interested in the technology. Phillips Lighting among them. According to the Wall Street Journal,
Philips Lighting, part of Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics, sees LEDs as the future. It has spent $4.2 billion in LED company acquisitions over the past two years. Philips has been one of the largest manufacturers of compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, another energy-efficient alternative to incandescent lighting.
Given the cost of producing LEDs is coming down and they use about half as much energy and last five times longer than compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), their use in commercial applications may have arrived. When you consider the cost associated with lighting that is on for extended time periods (and in some cases, all of the time) plus the labor cost associated with changing the light bulbs, LEDs may now be the less expensive alternative.
Resource: WSJ article published Sept. 15, 2008, Bright Future – Thanks to improved technology, LEDs may be ready to take off.