Briefs: Bright future for cool LEDS

Light-emitting diodes (LED), which are replacing traditional light sources in many fields, are beginning to be used in refrigerated and frozen display cabinets and are likely to make a big impact on refrigeration for several reasons. They are more energy-efficient than traditional filament or fluorescent lights. Currently, LEDs can produce 40 lumens per watt, but 100 lumens seems within reach over the next few years. In addition, they become more efficient the colder they run, in contrast to fluorescent lamps which are less efficient with decreasing temperature. The white light produced by LEDs is excellent for lighting products and creates "sale appeal". Their compactness makes more room available for merchandise. Finally, LEDs have a long working life: they can last to 50 000 hours in ideal conditions when a fluorescent lamp is typically rated at 20 000 hours.