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Silicon-based LED Bulbs

If you are concerned with light efficiency at all, you know that LED bulbs are the future of lighting.  They are more efficient than both incandescents and CFL’s.  ESL bulbs are currently giving them a run for their money due to the high initial cost of LED’s, but Bridgelux thinks the new silicon- based LED bulbs they are working on will change that.

Currently LED’s are manufactured with costly materials such as sapphire or silicon carbide, and currently many companies are trying to scale those materials in order to drive down the costs, but the public is still sitting at $30-40 a bulb.  At that cost it takes a few years, considering you don’t break a bulb, to break even.

This week, Bridgelux said it used eight-inch silicon wafers to make components that achieved 135 lumens per watt.  This means they have reached commercial-grade performance with silicon for the first time. It will take a few years to improve production to make the process more streamlined and commercially viable, but Bridgelux anticipates a reduction of costs by 75%.

Bill Watkins, Bridgelux’s CEO says, “This is a game-changer around the whole cost structure,” Watkins says. “We think we can get to $5 bulbs.”

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