I was lucky enough recently to be invited to be a judge for the 2004 Lightfair New Product Showcase, and I can tell you that LEDs remain the 'hot technology,' if the number of new LEDs and LED luminaries submitted is any indication.

From what I saw, the output and color characteristics of the LED source continue to improve rather dramatically, and I would anticipate this trend to continue. This should open it up to ever more applications. Fixture manufacturers are just starting to tap into its potential. Will they become as commonplace as the incandescent light bulb? This is still unknown. It wasn't that long ago we were all wondering if fiber optics was the wave of the future. While that technology still holds promise, it didn't take off as some had predicted. The cost of energy and other economic factors will also weigh in greatly to answer this question.

Lastly, as to price point, I am optimistic on that issue as well. When a product truly becomes mainstream, prices fall dramatically. Look at wireless phones, computers, DVD players, etc. We are beginning to see this trend now with HDTVs. I can't wait to see where this little light source takes us.