8 July, 2011 10:01
If you’ve watched the news recently, you may have heard the controversy surrounding China’s export restrictions on a number of resources, including rare earth elements. What may not be fully clear is how this affects you as a consumer of electronics, and lighting products in particular. We’ve put this together as a quick overview to let you know what’s happening, and what to expect going forward.
First, let’s look at what rare earth elements are, and what they’re used for: Rare earth element is the common name for a set of 17 chemical elements. They are critical in the production and operation of a wide range of consumer electronics, and are also used in the phosphors that create light in a number of different light bulb types, including fluorescent, LED, and mercury vapor.