Feature Article

LEDs: The Future Is Here

LEDs have finally become an economically viable lighting option, but choosing the best LED products still takes knowledge and skill.

November 29, 2011

This building at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, houses sculpture studios and galleries and received a LEED Platinum rating from USGBC in 2007. Starting in 2009, USGBC will hand the certification process over to third-party companies.

Photo: Peter Aaron, Esto

Though some LED lighting still suffers from many of the problems that plagued early fluorescents, including poor color rendering, inconsistent dimming, questionable quality, and high first costs, the technology has been advancing rapidly. In some applications, LED lighting now provides better energy performance, has a longer lifespan, and requires less maintenance than most of its incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent competitors.

“For general lighting applications, just this year LEDs have started to get to a point where there are some viable options,” says Glenn Heinmiller, principal at Lam Partners Architectural Lighting Design. LEDs may have finally crossed over from boutique products to serious lighting options.