Chinese researchers have LED manufacturing breakthrough that could lead to new white LEDs for indoor use

Chinese researchers are working on a new LED that consists of cheap, inexpensive plastic-like organic materials that could help boost efficiency.  The new "tandem" structure allows it to produce up to 50 percent more light as LEDs used today, including white light that is necessary in homes and businesses.

"This work is important because it is the realization of rather high efficiency white emission by a tandem structure," said Dongge Ma, who is a researcher at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Details about the new LED technology have been published in the latest issue of Journal of Applied Physics, which is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).  LEDs traditionally consumer less power than fluorescent bulbs, don't contain mercury, and last significantly longer than regular light bulbs.

It's believed about 20 percent of all electricity used across the world is currently used to light homes, businesses and other buildings.  For households and buildings still using incandescent bulbs, it's possible 95 percent of the energy flowing through them is being wasted.  

To counter less-efficient technologies, researchers hope to one day be able to develop cheaper, more efficient white LEDs that can be used to help reduce power consumption.  It has been easy to develop red and green LEDs, but creating "natural" white LED lights that can be used indoors has proven to be quite challenging.

Manufacturers and researchers are now racing to try and develop lower-cost LEDs, with companies aiming to lower cost and energy consumption but at the same time not sacrificing the amount of light emitted.

Furthermore, the US Department of Energy previously said LEDs could help reduce the country's national energy consumption by 30 percent by 2025.  If true, that will help households in the U.S. save $125 billion total in power bills per year.

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