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: Dismantling Germany's nuclear industry, piece by piece

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

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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.