By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Energy
Americans could save a collective $120 billion if they ditched fluorescent and incandescent lights for those using light-emitting diode, or LED, technology, according to a new report.
A recent U.S. Department of Energy report on LEDs reveals that the widespread adoption of the technology over the next 20 years could save 1,488 terawatt-hours of electricity, which at today's (declining) prices, is worth roughly $120 billion.
To put it in perspective: in our connected, power-hungry age, the energy savings of solid-state lighting is the equivalent of 24 new power plants.
Or for the environmentalists out there: the savings would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 246 million metric tons of carbon.
According to the report, approximately 7 percent of electricity use in the United States is the result of lighting in homes and businesses, a figure significantly less than years past thanks to the transition from incandescent to flourescent lights.
Here's an excerpt from the report (.pdf):
Solid-state lighting (SSL) has the potential to revolutionize the lighting market through the introduction of highly energy-efficient, longer-lasting, versatile light sources, including high-quality white light. Previously relegated to colored-light applications such as traffic signals and exit signs, SSL products are now successfully competing with conventional technologies including incandescent and fluorescent lamps in general illumination applications. [...]
SSL technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, with improvements being achieved in efficacy, light quality, and operating life. In addition, manufacturing improvements and market competition are putting downward pressure on retail prices, benefiting consumers. As industry and government investment continues to improve the performance and reduce the costs associated with this technology, SSL will become more competitive with conventional light sources and can be expected to capture increasing shares of the general illumination market.
Of course, it all starts with regulatory actions by the federal government, driving inefficient products out of the market.
Once SSL technology hits that magic point of parity with what's already on the market -- from initial price and operating cost to maintenance over the lifetime of the product -- the savings will start to roll in.
Mar 17, 2010
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Yes, we agree LED will have a bright future too, believe we will reduce the cost soon that available for home use. http://www.fosintl.com/
LED lights are now being used on aircraft to replace traditional filament-based lights, mainly because of their low power requirements and longevity. If they're bright enough for aircraft, eventually they will be bright enough for your home.
...that the eco-zealots in states like California tax flat panel TVs, computer monitors and laptops because they've got mercury in them, but then mandate the purchase of CFLBs.
Right on Mr. McGrew. . . and there are also other technologies in development that could avoide the mecury bearing CFL's (what the hell were they thinking) that people say "well it's only a little bit"
Government regulation really does not help, what helps is money and availability! If LED bulbs are available and cost what CFLBs do they will win the day. As it is now, I have only seen them as very expensive and only on the web! All the govm'nt regs in the world won't make them be sold!
...that it is government regulation that has been forcing technologically inferior CFLBs on us. Soon we'll be filling our landfills with mercury-laden CFLBs as we will be required to replace those with LEDs. Perhaps we can encase them in all those lame low-flow toilets that took 2 or 3 flushes to work that they forced us to buy.
Government regulator action can have either a positive or negative effect. It is very difficult to know a head of time and is often influence by lobbyists or special interest groups. It is much more effective (even form the metrics of carbon emission if you like, although not a very good one) to have the market place determine by the free vote of the consumer which technology is work utilizing. Government assistance can come in the form of grants, tax rebates, patent protections etc. for the inventors or industries without discrimination against any. To some degree this exits today but can be more easily improved since it does not favour any one actor and since there is no need for the government to know which will succeed or should succeed a head of time, removes government form making such risky future predictions.
Andrew, I guess you will approve government regulations on what particular foods you are personally allowed to eat and when you are allowed to eat them and how much. Of course this is to reduce carbon emissions in the production of food. Just imagine how this government control in your life would benefit me and others. I'm sure YOU wont mind the intrusion and control. Think of it a more efficient way to personal health care by mother government in the 2.0 war is peace world.
Just to clarify: most renewable and alternative energy shifts in the U.S. have been the result of regulatory action by state and federal government -- not by people's preferences.
Again all comments are just titles, where are the actual comments? "Of course, it all starts with regulatory actions by the federal government, driving inefficient products out of the market." Why is everyone in favor of Federal regulations to achieve something? If the price is right for what one gets, then the consumer will jump on the bandwagon without being FORCED to. We have too much regulation already for no good reason.
How many government employees, with awsome pay, incredible pensions, unequaled health insurance, and total job security, does it take to screw in a light bulb...