As we end 2014 and look around, we find that we are surrounded by lights everywhere, every day. We wake up with them, have them around us throughout the day and go to bed with them. Sometimes they stay on all night when we forget to turn them off.
We seem to take lights for granted. When we get used to having it, we don’t think about a more efficient light unless somebody or something jogs our consciousness.
U.S. lighting alone guzzles half as much energy as all the cars on American roads.
So as we make light bulbs/fixtures more efficient, energy consumption across America will fall and we as consumers will save a few dollars every month which we will spend on something else.
Now with most states offering lighting rebates through their utility companies if we will only switch out the old high energy users to the newer energy efficient bulbs. LEDs or Light Emitting Diode technology has been around a long time but now they are in the consumer market place with bright light that uses about 70% or more less energy than the existing older bulbs.
Today we are finding LED light bulbs that are capable of creating 130 to 200 lumens per watt. It is expected over time to reach as high as 600 lumens per watt. So a 15 watt LED tube when replacing a 32 watt fluorescent tube will use less than half of the energy and will last more than twice as long. The price of these tubes and LED fixtures are consistently lowering to make them more acceptable to the consumer.
So as this lighting technology continues to expand, develop and become accepted throughout the U.S., our energy consumption will continue to be reduced.
An incandescent bulb can stay lit for about 1000 hours. Fluorescent tubes generally last at least 25,000 hours. LEDs can last in excess of 50,000 hours. That means the bulb can stay on for nearly six years straight.
The largest obstacle that most consumers in the commercial and industrial market place have in replacing their old fixtures is the attitude, why replace what is still working. What isn’t taken into account, is that these old fixtures have ballasts and tubes that occasionally go back and then the cost of a person to change them out, taking that person from another job that they are doing. Secondly, today’s rebates help pay for a portion of the retrofit of changing out the old to the new. Once completed, you have no maintenance for a least five year and in many cases over ten years.
Ann Arbor, Michigan was the first U.S. city to replace all of its light bulbs with LEDs. After the project was completed, electricity consumption for public lighting fell by half. That was a reduction of 2,425 tons of CO2 every single year.
Other cities that have either switch or are switching to LED lighting include Tianjin Economic Development area in China, Raleigh, North Carolina, Detroit, Michigan, Austin, Texas and Toronto, Canada.
The price of LEDs are consistently coming down and some in our catalog are now comparable to that of the fluorescent. The question to the consumer is when you are going to make the conscious effort to reduce your energy usage and save more than 50% on your energy costs.