Worldchanging has an entire category called “leapfrog nations” – the phenomenon of developing countries making technological leaps forward without the burden of making the mistakes other countries made in their evolution. If Evan Mills’ work at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab pans out, then LED lighting may be the next great leapfrog technology (press release). LEDs are supremely efficient light sources that are getting cheaper and more powerful by the day. With a market as vast as the developing world, the business potential is an enormous as the potential to light people’s worlds:
Commercially available 1-watt WLEDs require 80 percent less power than the smallest energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps and can be run on rechargeable batteries charged by a solar array the size of a paperback novel… Such LEDs could actually deliver more light to tasks than even 100-watt light bulbs.