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I always feel encouraged when I read numbers like those reported in Semiconductor Today. They state that in 2007, the light-emitting diode market, specifically that which pertains to high-brightness (HB-LEDs), grew 64 percent, with total sales growing from $205 million (in 2006) to $337 million. While that’s still only a small portion of the overall market, it’s tremendous growth, and indicates consumer and business interest in energy savings and better lighting designs.

And the article goes on to confirm what we already know: that LED technology has improved in performance a fair bit in recent years. What’s more, they’re coming down in price. These two things are likely responsible for the rapid growth in the market, which should only serve to further stimulate growth.

Interestingly, because of LED’s start in colored applications—exit signs, decorative lighting, channel letter signs, architectural lighting, and entertainment applications—colored fixtures have traditionally made up the majority of the market. But as prices fall and LEDs are introduced into regular light fixtures, more and more of the sales will be for white LED lights. In 2007, white LEDs made up 48 percent of the market.

Today, white LEDs are seen in a certain segment of consumer goods: flashlights, headlamps, and other portable lighting options. But as we know, they are also growing in popularity when it comes to outdoor lighting, since many of us desire white lights to provide a clean look to our landscapes and homes.

Interest in mainstream applications, especially those for commercial fixtures, off-grid applications, and more residential designs, will continue to spur growth for LEDs. In fact, “The Market for High-Brightness LEDs in Lighting: Application Analysis and Forecast—2008” report from Strategies Unlimited predicts that the LED lighting market should grow to $1.65 billion by 2012. Now that’s growth!