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LED makers get smart to rise above price war and growth cliff

By Maria Sheahan FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lighting companies like Philips and Osram are scrambling to develop more advanced technology as a price war for LED bulbs threatens to eat into profits and bring on a period of low growth as the long-life bulbs become more common. The market for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is growing rapidly as companies, hotels and shops switch from incandescent light bulbs, which are being banned in countries around the world, to these more efficient and durable lights.

Recalls this week include dolls, computer batteries, LED lights and bulbs

A line of electronic dolls sold at Wal-Mart with a circuit board that can overheat are among this week's recalled products. Others include faulty LED lights and bulbs. Here's a more detailed look: DOLLS

China smog fears spur call for ban on New Year fireworks

BEIJING (Reuters) - Warnings of heavy smog over central and eastern China this week have prompted the country's weather forecaster to call for a ban on the fireworks traditionally let off at Lunar New Year, state media said on Wednesday. Chinese New Year, which begins on Friday, is marked by riotous displays of fireworks thought to bring good luck, but which turn cities into a semblance of war zones and blacken the skies with thick smoke for hours on end.

1 Dead, more than 120 hurt by New Year's Eve fireworks in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Jan 1 (EFE).- One person died and at least 120 were injured, the majority with burns, in the traditional setting off of fireworks to celebrate the arrival of the new year in the Argentine capital, police and health care authorities reported. A 65-year-old women choked to death on a piece of food while she was drinking a toast to the new year with her family on the outskirts of Santiago del Estero, some 1,100 km (about 680 mi.) north of Buenos Aires.

Dubai dazzles in global 2014 party

Dubai attempted to smash the fireworks world record as it ushered in 2014 with a bang, as a wave of pyrotechnics swept around the globe to celebrate the New Year. The Middle East hub was hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the largest-ever display, pledging to set off more than 400,000 fireworks. People crowded in the streets below took pictures on their mobile phones as the salvo lit up the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower at 830 metres high.

Global fireworks party welcomes in 2014

The world welcomed in 2014 with a series of spectacular firework displays as a wave of pyrotechnic extravaganzas swept around the globe to celebrate the New Year. Some 2.3 million thronged Rio de Janeiro's iconic Copacabana Beach for a raucous celebration about 24 tonnes of fireworks launched offshore lit up the sky. Europe joined in the party with a giant salvo in London, after Dubai attempted to break the work record for the biggest-ever fireworks show and Sydney got the ball rolling ahead of Asia with a dazzling display.

Global fireworks party welcomes in 2014

The world welcomed in 2014 with a series of spectacular firework displays as a wave of pyrotechnic extravaganzas swept around the globe to celebrate the New Year. Europe joined in the party with a giant salvo in London, after Dubai attempted to break the work record for the biggest-ever fireworks show and Sydney got the ball rolling ahead of Asia with a dazzling display. In London, huge cheers went up as parliament's clock tower chimed in 2014, as people packed the banks of the River Thames to watch the pyrotechnics at the London Eye observation wheel.

Sparkling Sydney kicks off global 2014 party

Sydney kicked off New Year celebrations with a dazzling fireworks display, the first in a wave of pyrotechnics to usher in 2014 from Hong Kong to world record-chasing Dubai. Seven tonnes of explosives lit up Australia's biggest city, with fireworks shooting off the Opera House for the first time in more than 10 years as part of the December 31 extravaganza, focused on the Harbour Bridge.

Despite more gadgets, electricity usage in US homes is falling to levels last seen in 2001

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The average amount of electricity consumed in U.S. homes has fallen to levels last seen more than a decade ago, back when the smartest device in people's pockets was a Palm pilot and anyone talking about a tablet was probably an archaeologist or a preacher. Because of more energy-efficient housing, appliances and gadgets, power usage is on track to decline in 2013 for the third year in a row, to its lowest point since 2001, even though our lives are more electrified. Here's a look at what has changed since the last time consumption was so low.

Despite more gadgets, electricity usage in US homes is falling to levels last seen in 2001

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The average amount of electricity consumed in U.S. homes has fallen to levels last seen more than a decade ago, back when the smartest device in people's pockets was a Palm pilot and anyone talking about a tablet was probably an archaeologist or a preacher. Because of more energy-efficient housing, appliances and gadgets, power usage is on track to decline in 2013 for the third year in a row, to its lowest point since 2001, even though our lives are more electrified. Here's a look at what has changed since the last time consumption was so low.
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