I heard that one of the things making LEDs inefficient is the fact that, since they're encased in plastic, half the light is refracted back in off the edges of the plastic. That's a 50% reduction in efficiency..
Why can't we just put LEDs inside glass bulbs (or, for that matter, plastic bulbs) like we do incandescent lights? That is, nothing contacting the surface of the diode.
Another idea: why are we using many small conventional-sized LEDs to make up light sources that actually put out a decent amount of light? Why don't we just make single LEDs with longer and/or wider diodes to put out more light? Maybe put them in larger zig-zag patterns?
Not that I would buy LED lighting anyway, until the QLEDs come out.
I also heard something about using salmon sperm to intensify LED light, something about trapping photons within the polymers or whatever. I'm not sure how I feel about us sexually violating salmon for our energy-efficient lighting purposes, but I don't see a reason why we can't synthesize the critical, uhh, ingredient in our labs. Once I mixed a bunch of soap with a little bit of hot water and let it cool for a while. ..That stuff was pretty damned gooey.
So here's the ideal solution:
* Quantum Dot LEDs
* Encased in a vacuum
* Widened/elongated actual diodes
* Synthesized polymers or, alternatively, a lot of soap, water and time.
There, ridiculously energy-efficient natural light at the color temperature of your choice.
I suspect that what would be even better, though, is thermally isolated, adjustable-temperature, actual blackbodies..