HOW many inventions does it take to change a light bulb? More than you might think. Around the world, many people are switching from traditional incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, which require less energy to produce a given amount of light, and therefore save money and reduce carbon emissions. But CFLs themselves may soon be overhauled by light emitting diodes (LEDs), which are even more energy efficient and have the further advantage that they come on instantly at full brightness, unlike CFLs, which can take a while to warm up. Advocates of LEDs note that the technology is versatile enough to work in almost any situation, from stadium lighting right down to the tiny light on your phone that flashes to indicate a new message.