The future of lighting

walls of light, LEDs, and glowing trees

James Holloway

The future of lighting: walls of light, LEDs, and glowing trees

The London Eye upgraded to color-changing LEDs in 2006

Light bulbs haven’t been sexy tech since Thomas Edison’s day, but innovation has come to an industry that has seen relatively little of it for a century. Today, the lighting industry is in a remarkable state of flux, and much of it has been driven by government action.

Over the last half-decade, a gradual shift toward more energy-efficient light sources has gathered momentum as nation after nation legislates against the sale of incandescent light bulbs. Venezuela and Brazil started the trend in 2005. Australia and the European Union began phasing out tungsten lightbulbs in 2009. Argentina, Russia, Canada, Malaysia and the United States will have joined the throng by 2014, either by phasing out incandescents outright or (as in the US) by setting minimum efficiency requirements which in effect prohibit most incandescent light bulbs.

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