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Environmental concern increases pace of lighting technology revolution

Light emitting diodes can play crucial role

Prometheus Books

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IMAGE: 336 pages (illustrations) • ISBN 978-1-59102-462-0 • Hardcover: $28 • Publication: May 8, 2007 view more

Credit: Prometheus Books, 2007

Amherst, NY--Following the wake-up call of the movie An Inconvenient Truth, governments and large corporations like Wal-Mart have started to look at ways to reduce energy consumption. Changing to energy-efficient lighting is one of the easiest ways to do that. In the US (California), Europe (UK), and Australia, within a few years it will no longer be possible to buy an incandescent light bulb. Today, the talk is of using compact fluorescent lamps to replace incandescents. But the light that compact fluorescent lamps produce is harsh, the lamps cannot be dimmed, and they contain toxic mercury.

Bob Johnstone, author of the new book BRILLIANT! Shuji Nakamura And The Revolution In Lighting Technology ($28, Prometheus Books) proposes, "Tomorrow, as the power of light emitting diodes rises and their price drops, LEDs will become the light fixture of choice in homes, offices, and everywhere else."

Johnstone says, "The trend to light emitting diodes is clear and big lighting manufacturers know it. Witness the recent acquisition of LED specialist TIR Systems by giant lighting company Philips."

LED technology is ready for widespread implementation, which could help reduce energy consumption for electric lighting by up to 80 percent.

BRILLIANT! tells the story of Shuji Nakamura, a gifted Japanese engineer who came out of nowhere to stun the world with his announcement that he had created the last piece in the puzzle needed for manufacturing solid-state white lights. The invention of revolutionary new light sources--blue, green, and white light-emitting diodes and the blue laser diode--had eluded the best minds at the top electronic firms for twenty-five years. Nakamura won the world's biggest technology award--the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize--for this invention, which promises to make Edison's light bulb obsolete.

However, IEEE Spectrum notes that BRILLIANT! "...is much more than a Nakamura biography, for this is also an insightful first look at several key players in a solid-state lighting industry that is already grossing more than $4 billion annually...Brilliant! is a superb introduction to this dramatic story of high technology in action, which continues to this day."

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MEDIA NOTE: Author Bob Johnstone (Australia) is available to talk about recent legislation regarding the use of incandescent light bulbs, the compelling story of scientist and inventor Shuji Nakamura, the potential applications and impact of LEDs, and more. Contact Prometheus Books publicity at publicity@prometheusbooks.com or 1-800-853-7545 for author contact information or to request a review copy of BRILLIANT! Shuji Nakamura And The Revolution In Lighting Technology (ISBN 978-1-59102-462-0).

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