Haitz Law in action over the past decades.

Just like Moore’s Law has been predicting improvements in the semiconductors used to make computer processors for decades, Haitz’s Law (see above) predicts an exponential improvement in the semiconductors used in LED technology. The beauty is that we’re almost there – see my LED reviews – so for LEDs to overtake other lighting technologies and become the dominant way we produce light, Haitz’s Law only has to hold for a little while longer, not decades…

Haitz Law states that: Every decade, the cost per lumen (unit of useful light emitted) falls by a factor of 10, the amount of light generated per LED package increases by a factor of 20, for a given wavelength (color) of light.

It looks like compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) will have turned out to be just a transition phase, like a fossil of a half-fish, half-terrestrial animal. It wouldn’t be surprising if in a few years the majority of lights sold by the $30 billion lighting industry were LEDs, and this would be a great step forward for the environment (LEDs last many years, they use little power, and they don’t contain mercury).