|The EcoSmart line of LED bulbs marketed by the Home Depot, with the MR-16 at bottom right.|
Mention “new lighting technology” and what leaps to mind is probably a compact fluorescent curlicue. Shaped like a soft ice cream cone, it is viewed as a replacement for the ubiquitous 60-watt incandescent light bulb, which looks almost like it did 90 years ago.
But a profusion of light-emitting-diode lamps is about to hit the market, many of them in applications that are awkward or impossible for compact fluorescents.
LED’s are still mostly specialty items sold on the Web. But by the end of this month, the 2,200 Home Depot stores around the United States will stock seven types, including two substitutes for the classic incandescent bulb, one of which my colleague Leslie Kaufman reported on recently.
But those are “not the most compelling use” of LED technology, according to Zachary S. Gibler, chief executive of the Lighting Science Group Corporation, which makes the lamps that Home Depot will stock. Replacing a standard 60-watt bulb, an LED will produce roughly the same amount of light per watt of electricity as a compact fluorescent; its only advantages, he said, is that it is fully dimmable and lasts a lot longer.
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