Menomonee Falls company receives $2.4 million to improve LED lightsFederal money will help a Menomonee Falls company try to build a more efficient LED.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Federal money will help a Menomonee Falls company try to build a more efficient LED.
LEDs are light-emitting diodes, which can be seven times more efficient than conventional lighting and last up to 25 times longer. The upfront costs for the consumer are higher, however, than when buying most light bulbs. The Eaton corporation has been trying to reduce manufacturing costs for LEDs, and has just won a $2.4 million grant from the Department of Energy. Kathleen Hogan heads the DOE's energy efficiency program. Hogan says she expects Eaton to work on improving the LED's heat transfer.
“If heat builds up around the bulb, it can interfere with the efficiency, so one of the things you want to build the bulb is so that heat can be shepherded away from the lamp itself,” she said.
Hogan says Eaton has to match the federal grant dollar for dollar with its own funds. She defends the federal spending as supporting one of the best ideas in LED efficiency, but one with a high enough risk that the private sector won't take it on by itself.