At the recent Lightfair Internation in Las Vagas, GE, Phillips and Sylvania all announced LED light bulbs with an output equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb. The Philips and Sylvania bulbs are extensions of current technology but the GE bulb is cooled by "breathing".

A diaphragm embedded in the GE bulb vibrates to create a current of air – pulling cool air into the bulb and expelling warm air across metal fins on the outside of the bulb. GE says that its "Energy Smart" bulb will give the equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb in all directions while consuming only 27 watts and having a life of 25,000 hours – or 23 years if used for 3 hours a day. It is expected to cost between $39 and $49 and to be available in the first half of 2013.

Meanwhile, Toshiba and Bridgelux, a Californian company, have announced that they have developed a technology which should cut the price of LED light bulbs from about $40 to around $5.

Currently, most LEDs are made by depositing gallium nitride on a layer of sapphire. Toshiba and Bridgelux say that they have developed a technique which uses silicon rather than sapphire. The process uses much the same equipment already used in semiconductor labs and the companies believe that a commercial-scale facility could be in production within 2 years.