If Cyberlux has its way, you may end up telling your grandchildren stories about the “old days” when light bulbs actually burned out and had to be replaced. The company's light-emitting diode (LED)-based product line offers task-lighting and other fixtures with anticipated life spans longer than a typical mortgage.

In terms of technology, old LED fixtures manipulated red, green, and blue diodes to create white light. With the development about 15 years ago of a diode that produces white light, the industry has turned its attention to quality and performance. “Demand for solid-state lighting is being driven by the fact that new products now match the light output of traditional fluorescent, halogen, and incandescent lights,” says Mark Schmidt, Cyberlux president and chief operating officer.

Homeowners are now turning to LED fixtures for their energy efficiency and long life. Schmidt says that testing has shown high-end LED fixtures to lose only about 10% of their effective light output over a 15-year period. For task and accent lighting, which is the focus of the company's new Aeon line, homeowners can put their fluorescent-tube-installation days behind them. Rated for 75,000 to 100,000 hours of use, an under-counter task light could last more than 50 years. LEDs also are more energy efficient because light, not heat, is the primary product.

Beyond kitchen and bath; LEDs may soon be used more widely.
Beyond kitchen and bath; LEDs may soon be used more widely.
Beyond kitchen and bath; LEDs may soon be used more widely. While Cyberlux works to make Aeon light fixtures widely available, several other products on the market use LEDs in less traditional ways. Recognizing the “colorful” history of diodes, bath manufacturer KWC America is incorporating red and blue LEDs in its Canyon faucet style. As the water changes from cool to warm, the diodes glow accordingly, giving a visual cue of the water temperature. Also, the Eve faucet features a white LED band that illuminates the sink area making it easier to see during sink-based tasks, and creating mood lighting.

For Toto USA, Kohler, MTI Whirlpools, and other bath manufacturers, it's all about mood with tubs featuring LED-based chromatherapy. Lights in the tub transition through innumerable shades, tinting the bath-water for colorwashes that can stimulate or calm the bather.