LEDs –Life Enhancing Diodes

led

Prince Phillip is a big fan and wants all of us to be. Buckingham Palace has had a full lighting lift.

…the palace has installed the lighting in chandeliers and on the exterior, where illuminating the entire facade uses less electricity than running an electric teakettle.

A long article in Saturday’s NY Times, and carried by the SF Chron and others, takes a look at a small hopeful sign.

Studies suggest that a complete conversion to the lights could decrease carbon dioxide emissions from electric power use for lighting by up to 50 percent in just over 20 years; in the United States, lighting accounts for about 6 percent of all energy use. A recent report by McKinsey & Company cited conversion to LED lighting as potentially the most cost effective of a number of simple approaches to tackling global warming using existing technology.

The switch to LEDs is proceeding far more rapidly than experts had predicted just two years ago. President Obama’s stimulus package, which offers money for “green” infrastructure investment, will accelerate that pace, experts say. San Jose, Calif., plans to use $2 million in energy-efficiency grants to install 1,500 LED streetlights.

Thanks in part to the injection of federal cash, sales of the lights in new “solid state” fixtures — a $297 million industry in 2007 — are likely to become a near-billion-dollar industry by 2013, said Stephen Montgomery, director of LED research projects at Electronicast, a California consultancy. And after years of resisting what they had dismissed as a fringe technology, giants like General Electric and Philips have begun making LEDs.

So, yipee! They’re still hard to find for the house, and when you do they’re mighty expensive — though not as expensive as sea water creeping in over your hardwood floors. Watch for them. Demand them!

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