LEDs Light Up Europe, As Bulb Makers Switch

An Italian village goes LED, and Philips makes a multi-billion bet
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2007 2:10 PM CST
LEDs Light Up Europe, As Bulb Makers Switch
Visitors walk by the latest street lamps using the energy efficient LED, or Light Emitting Diodes, during an exhibition about energy saving technologies in Beijing Sunday, June 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)   (Associated Press)

Europe is going low-e with LEDs, presaging a trend about to spread worldwide. The Italian village Torraca, for example, just switched all of its streetlights for light-emitting diode fixtures, and Dutch electronics giant Philips has snapped up an American firm in a plan to push similar changes in the states. LEDs use an eighth of the power of incandescent bulbs, the Economist reports, stay cool, and can last for ten years.

The company Philips bought for $2.7 billion, Genlyte, is its 5th major acquisition recently in the lighting business, and moves it to no. 1 in sales of illumination products in the U.S. Clean, increasingly powerful LEDs are bringing revolutionary changes to interior design, since they can be implanted directly into walls and furniture, allowing the integration of lighting into decoration, reports the Economist. (More LEDs stories.)

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