LED Lights for a Greener World

January 7, 2013

LED (light-emitting diodes) lights are an emerging technology that will change the way we light our homes and businesses in the next decade. We most commonly identify LED lights as Christmas lights or high-end car head and tail lights. However, LED lights are being looked at by more and more businesses because they provide a green solution to reduce energy consumption.

Why switch to LED lights? LED lights do not contain mercury like in fluorescent lights. They last longer than most light sources, run more efficiently on a lower wattage, and will reduce energy consumption and costs. Although the price point of LED lights are relatively higher than more traditional lighting options, LED prices are set to drop almost 80% in the next seven years with the increase in demand for greener lighting technology.

In 2011, twelve major cities participated in an LED light trial called the LightSavers Trial. These twelve cities were asked to switch their regular street lights in parks, parking areas, and street lights to LED technology. The test cities experienced an astounding energy savings of 50%-70% during the test period. Coupled with smart controls, up to 80% of energy savings was achieved by some of the participants. Durability of the LED lights were also well received, with only six units out of the 533 units failing during the test period. A public survey conducted in a few of the cities concluded that many preferred and wanted their cities to use LED technology over HID lights.

Twenty percent of the world’s consumption of energy and six percent of global greenhouse gas emissions comes from lighting. If more LED light usage were adopted, this technology will be solely responsible for wiping out lighting as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

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