The Bay area startup Bridgelux has unveiled a brand new LED technology that can reduce upfront costs by a whopping 75%. Despite being an environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient alternative to incandescent light bulbs (and cheaper in the long run), conventional LED technology has been slow on the uptake because of high initial costs. Bridgelux changes all of that by growing gallium nitride on larger, low-cost silicon wafers that are compatible with modern semi-conductors.

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More than 200 years after Humphry Davy invented the first electric light (perfected 50 years later by Thomas Edison), lighting has evolved by leaps and bounds. Previous generations of LEDs relied on sapphire to produce non-toxic, energy-efficient lighting. While the technology is remarkable, it is prohibitively expensive for short-sighted shoppers.

Bridgelux LED arrays are the first commercial grade silicon-based products that can compete with sapphire-based LED products. In addition to extremely low operating voltages, they have excellent thermal resistance.

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act passed by the US Government in 2007, lighting manufacturers are required to improve lightbulb efficiency by 30% compared to incandescent light bulbs’ 100 watts or more. By 2014, that law will become even more stringent, so these new LED arrays will better enable a discriminating consumer market to catch up with legislative requirements.

+ Bridgelux