Light-emitting diodes—technically, semiconductors that glow when a current runs through them—may already play a role in your house as the numbers in your digital alarm clock and the light source behind your flat-screen TV. You might even have LED puck lights for bright, direct undercabinet lighting. But today, manufacturers are turning out overhead lights that use LEDs, along with multidirectional LEDs that are housed in bulb-shaped coverings and suitable for lamps and everyday fixtures. They last a whopping 25,000 to 50,000 hours and use even less energy than CFLs, so experts think they'll make major inroads into the replacement-bulb market.
The Titlows are installing these low-profile, surface-mount LED panel fixtures from Philips
on their kitchen ceiling, which is less than 7 feet high.