At lighting trade show, it’s all about energy-efficient LEDs

    A lighting trade show that bills itself the biggest of its kind in the world is at the Convention Center in Philadelphia this week. This year, it’s all about LED lights.

    Fifteen years ago they were found mostly on watches, elevator buttons and industrial control boards. No longer, said Jordon Papanier with California-based LEDtronics.

    “The demand and the applications have exploded because the technology has started to catch up with general lighting applications,” Papanier said.

    Papanier said 10 years ago at this show, they were one of a handful of companies to sell LEDs. Now, he said, it seems like practically all of them do.

    In the past few years, companies have designed LED lights bright enough for general use like street lamps and office lighting, and they’ve gotten better at filtering out that bluish tinge. With federal light bulb energy efficiency standards on the horizon, business for super-efficient LEDs is booming.

    “Everybody’s going green,” Papanier said. “Saving the planet, cutting back on carbon footprints.”

    Lighting giant Philips unveiled the first 60-watt equivalent LED light bulb of its kind at this event last year. This year, they are peddling a new 75-watt version, which uses a yellow filter to create the same color light as a traditional incandescent. It’s set to hit the market this fall. Philips executive Ed Crawford boasts the bulb is 80 percent more energy efficient and lasts 25 times longer than a traditional incandescent.

    “With this light bulb if you screw one into your nursery when your child is born, you won’t have to replace it until they’re out of college,” Crawford said.

    It will cost around $40, but Crawford said consumers will save money in the long run because their energy bills will be lower and bulbs will not have to be replaced as often.

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