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. (Read more LEDs stories.)