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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Lighting

LED Lighting Advances

LEDs could reduce national energy consumption for lighting by 29% by 2025.

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The Department of Energy has estimated that LEDs could reduce national energy consumption for lighting by 29% by 2025. That would save U.S. households $125 billion on their electric bills.

Semiconductor-based LEDs use much less power than traditional bulbs, don't contain mercury like fluorescents, and they last for years, sometimes even decades. Recent years have seen very exciting developments in this area, with Orlando, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Taiwan announcing switches of traffic lights to LEDs. This year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York will even be lit with the technology -- strung along 5 miles of wire!

Philips Lighting

Philips Lighting, as part of a shift toward more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solid-state lighting products, will dramatically increase production at a facility that will double its output of LED lights.

The Singapore facility, which opened in 2007 with 150 employees, will employ 900 people when it reaches full capacity. The company plans to increase the amount of solid-state lighting products it creates as part of an overall goal to help reduce electricity use and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Advances in lighting technology have increased in scale and scope lately, as the world takes action on climate change. Last month, General Electric announced that it would close its incandescent facilities as it planned to stop making energy-intensive incandescent lightbulbs in favor of compact fluorescent and LED products.

And governments large and small have been passing bans on incandescent lightbulbs in recent months, including China's 10-year plan and Ontario's five-year plan to ban incandescent bulbs. Several U.S. states and U.S. senators and representatives have introduced legislation ban incandescents domestically.

LED Lighting Fixtures

North Carolina-based company LED Lighting Fixtures announced that it had created the world's most energy-efficient LED light, one that uses 5.8 watts of electricity to create as much light as a 60-watt incandescent lightbulb.

CEO Neal Hunter told the Raleigh News and Observer that his company is developing a lamp that uses less energy than its current LED fixtures but emits the same amount of light. He said a just-released federal study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology confirms that the product is the most efficient in the world. It uses 5.8 watts of power, compared with 60 watts for an equally bright incandescent bulb.

According to the National Institute report, the new fixture uses less than 9 percent of the energy consumed by common bulbs and less than 30 percent of that consumed by fluorescent lights. LLF's best existing product consumes 15 percent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb and 50 percent of that used by fluorescents.

Hunter said he hopes to debut the brighter and more efficient lamps by the end of 2008. The first buyers will likely be wholesale distributors, followed by consumers off store shelves by 2009.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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