A pair of researchers at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science seem to think they're well on their way to building a better LED -- one that's not only brighter than existing LEDs, but more energy efficient and less expensive to boot. According to Physorg, the team's biggest success so far is red phosphorescent LED (or PLED) that delivered a record-breaking 18 lumens per watt (compared to an average of 12 lumens per watt with current red LEDs). The key to that, it seems, was to simplify the LED as much as possible, which they did by adding a polymer powder and liquid mixture to a "previously top-secret material" developed by Canon. The resulting "paint-like product" was then used to coat a layer of glass, with a charge then added to get the whole thing going. From the sound of it, these new wonder LEDs should be making their way into consumer products sooner rather than later, with Canon (naturally) reportedly already having licensed the technology and the first commercial products expected in "about three years."

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