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The Tough Business of LEDs

Proving that energy-saving products don’t easily make a good business, Royal Philips Electronics today reported that third quarter profits in its LED-reliant lighting division tumbled by nearly 50 percent. They blamed the profits decline in large part on sales of the diodes. As SmartPlanet has noted, the industry has overproduced the chips and is clearing out inventory at reduced prices. The glut has been caused by a fall-off in the market for flat screen televisions and other displays that use LEDs for backlighting. Philips also blamed the income erosion on a decline in consumer lamp sales, including LED as well as conventionally lit lamps.