An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in collaboration with colleagues at the École Polytechnique in France, have been able to prove the theory behind LED 'droop.' LED droop is the term for how LEDs emit less light when the amount of current being pushed through them goes above a certain level. 'The cost per lumen of LEDs has held the technology back as a viable replacement for incandescent bulbs for all-purpose commercial and residential lighting.' Now that we understand what causes this, we should start to see research go into technology to circumvent LED Droop. 'LEDs have enormous potential for providing long-lived high quality efficient sources of lighting for residential and commercial applications. The U.S. Department of Energy recently estimated that the widespread replacement of incandescent and fluorescent lights by LEDs in the U.S. could save electricity equal to the total output of fifty 1 GW power plants.'" A pre-print of the team's paper is available at the arXiv.