More light for a better quality of life

Aug 19, 2010

The importance of artificial light to society has long been recognized with the utilization of fire thought of as the quintessential human invention. Now scientists have found that emerging, more energy efficient lighting technologies could be the key to a better quality of life.

New research published today, Thursday, 19 August, in a special issue of IOP Publishing's D: Applied Physics shows that solid-state lighting (SSL), a new technology based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs), has the potential to increase our consumption of and therefore our quality of life.

The team of US-based researchers has provided estimates of our energy and light consumption in the future by looking at past behaviour patterns and have come to the conclusion that SSL -- with its cheap manufacturing and operating costs -- may have an impact not just on but also on human productivity, and that the two impacts are linked.

As the researchers write, "Thus, an increase in the cost of energy associated with lighting, which would normally reduce both human productivity and energy consumption, can be mitigated by an increase in the efficiency in lighting: energy consumption can be held constant while maintaining some human productivity increase or energy consumption can be reduced without a decrease in human productivity."

The findings will be beneficial for governments and local authorities who are implementing legislated regulations in energy consumption or instigating incentive schemes to use more energy efficient light sources.

Explore further: Recycling nuclear waste via advanced reactor design

More information: "Solid-state lighting: an energy-economics perspective", Tsao et al 2010 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 43 354001. iopscience.iop.org/0022-3727/43/35/354001

Related Stories

High-brightness breakthrough

Jun 28, 2005

As a result of cooperation between Philips Lighting, Philips Research and Novaled have announced a new record for the efficiency of high-brightness white OLEDs, a new solid state lighting technology. OLEDs are expected to ...

First global lighting study is released

Jun 29, 2006

The first global survey of lighting uses and costs suggests the world's electric bill would greatly decrease with a switch to efficient lighting systems.

New ballast dimming switch developed

Apr 20, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've developed a simple, cost-effective, energy-saving device designed to "harvest" daylight automatically.

Recommended for you

Recycling nuclear waste via advanced reactor design

14 hours ago

An advanced nuclear reactor under development by Hitachi could help solve the nuclear waste problem, and University of Michigan researchers were involved in verifying its safe performance through computer ...

A super cool roof solution to being hot in the city

15 hours ago

Sydney materials scientists are claiming a breakthrough in cool roof technology with a surface they've developed that will stay cooler than the ambient air temperature, even under the mid-summer Australian ...

Marriage of maths and microalgae a good export

May 27, 2015

A spatial model developed in WA to identify suitable locations for farming microalgae can be applied internationally and adapted to locate other renewable technology infrastructures, according to developers.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gunslingor1
not rated yet Aug 19, 2010
fire thought of as the quintessential human invention.
-humans did not invent fire, fire was around long before us.

Anyway, yes LED light is needed. This is not new technology at all. Industry seems to be resisting the change, as usual.

incandecent lights (old style bulbs) are about 20-25% effecient, the new high efficiency bulbs are about 70-80% efficient, LEDs are 90-99.9%.

That being said, lighting is a very small portion of energy used. about 1/3 of all US energy from power plants is used in industry, to turn motors and keep the process running. Lighting is only around 5% of total energy consumed, the rest is Air conditioning, water heaters, laundry machines, etc..

We should be attacking the largest energy consumers first, not the smallest. Start with industry, we should not unload this on consumers alone.

The government should be setting min efficiency standards on all appliances. Mfrs save only pennies per product for inefficiency. Maximize profit at any cost.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.