Friday, January 04, 2008

Shedding Light on LEDs

I've just learned that CBC radio runs a daily business show, The Business Network, at 5:45 a.m.! (Make up your own CBC joke here.)

Some of the “guest columnist" contributions are pretty interesting. Fortunately, you can read these “columns online,” categorized either by date or by author, at

Reading at random, I discovered an interesting by Duncan Stewart, Director of Research for Deloitte Canada and an occasional contributor to the Financial Post. The title, “2008 will be a good year for the LED.

Why should you care about light-emitting diodes? Because they're energy-efficient, they last nearly forever, and they're taking over the lighting industry.

LEDs, says Stewart, “are 20 to 30 times more energy-efficient than standard incandescent lightbulbs” – and seven to 10 times more efficient than compact fluorescents. And prices are falling: “as a result of various semi-conductor improvements the price of them has come way down.”

“As an investor,” says Stewart, “I think this whole LED area in 2008 is going to be an absolutely fascinating area. The problem of course for investors is finding the right ones to play. Intellectual property matters a lot, there's a lot of lawsuits in this area, and some of the companies that are good at it aren't exactly pure plays.” If it’s an investment play, and the field is so muddy, you can bet there are still lots of entrepreneurial opportunities here, too.

To read Duncan’s original column, click here.
You can also read the comments from listeners/readers. Some of them seem very well informed. They offer interesting insights into the development of LED technology and the problems with commercialization.
You might also check out the website of Victoria-based Carmanah Technologies, one of Canada’s top success stories in the LED field. (They also suppplied the photos.)

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