In case you missed it, LEDs have emerged quite rapidly and dominated almost every aspect of the lighting industry. LEDs have quickly become the light source of choice, no, not just for Christmas trees.
Industries that have adopted LED
Automotive manufacturers have nearly, completely embraced LED, not only is it more energy-efficient but the lights themselves run at much cooler temperatures, allowing for plastic components with great reduction in size.
Lighting for marine use has been a challenge since the beginning. The marine environment is one of the toughest on all types of materials. LEDs have no filaments, and are not affected by vibrations, the U.S. Navy recently converted its submarine lighting from fluorescent tubes to LED strip.
After taking much time, and much testing, just recently the aviation world gave the green light to LEDs.
Industries of all types use lighting of all kinds, with incalculable applications. LEDs have revolutionized manufacturing with various sensors, inspection lighting, and UV curing lights for quick hardening of resins and plastics.
Recognizing the need for energy efficiency most appliances now utilize LED technology.
Film and television:
LEDs that replicate tungsten light sources(favored by television and film) are being rapidly adopted into these entertainment industries. Entire television studios have been retrofitted with great success to LED.
High-power LED floodlights are becoming available to replace large area metal halide or halogen floodlights.
Anyone using an iPhone 4 is familiar with its LED flash. Now even “high-end” photographers are using dimmable and programmable LED arrays.
Residential and Commercial Lighting:
One of the negatives (or downsides) of LED lighting you'll hear repeatedly is; cost, consumers used to paying $2-$3 for a four pack of incandescent bulbs unsurprisingly are not lining up to spend $50-$60 per bulb.
Recent reports show LED prices dropped 10% on average in the last four months (http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20120504PD215.html) many industry insiders believe, when a standard 60 W replacement/equivalent LED bulb hit $10 shelf price, mass adoption will begin.
Navigating the LED Minefield
With an almost gold rush like frenzy, many companies have jumped on the LED wagon (bullet train), as with any emerging technology there are fortunes to be made, and lost. Rushed designs with poor thermal management, caused many products to fail long before the expected life of the LED itself.
The Hardest Test to Pass
In the electronics world, one of the most difficult accreditation's to acquire is, Energy Star. This coveted symbol means that your product has passed the strictest energy-efficient and longevity testing available. To qualify for this symbol, your LED product must pass the dreaded LM79 and LM80, a combined 50,000 hours of rigid testing. Energy Star is not available on all models and types of lights such as fluorescent tubes and floodlights etc.