Today, our nation is facing the urgent challenges of revitalizing our economy, strengthening our energy security, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Like most people I know, I have tried to do my small part to break down those challenges. I recycle/re-purpose as much as possible and work hard at my job so I can pay my bills, provide a home for my family, and save for my daughter’s education and my golden years. Sometimes, I may even have a little bit left over to have some fun — I try to spend the extra bucks locally.
Benefits of LED Lighting
So when my boss asked me if I would be interested in taking on a new role as product champion for our new LED lighting products, I was intrigued. I was familiar with LED technology as I was already selling Electronic Message Centers that use LEDs, but I was not familiar with high-powered LED for lighting, nor did I know anything about the market or the market potential (key to a selfish saleswoman).
He told me to think about what I saw when I looked down upon a city at night while flying in an airplane; thousands upon thousands of lights is what you see. That was the kick-start I needed. I quickly went into research mode to find out everything I could on the technology, the benefits, applications, and current market.
I started my research with the U.S. Department of Energy. Since 2003, the U.S. DOE has invested with industry partners in research and development of solid-state lighting (SSL)—including both light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies. I asked myself - why such concentrated attention on SSL?
The answer is simple: because of SSL's rapid ongoing improvements and superior energy-saving potential. It is estimated that switching to SSL could reduce national lighting electricity use by nearly one-half by 2030 — the annual equivalent to saving 3,000 trillion BTUs, worth $26 billion in today’s dollars. That would equate to the total energy consumed by 24 million American homes today and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 180 million metric tons — the equivalent of taking 38 million of today’s passenger vehicles off the road. DOE is not alone in recognizing the importance of that kind of savings; Congress recognizes it too, which is why the Energy Policy Act of 2005mandates DOE to accelerate SSL technology. (Source: DOE LED Lighting Facts; DOE SSL R&D Program Plan)
The Lighting Revolution
Solid-state lighting has the potential to reduce lighting energy use in the United States by one-fourth. With the promise of being more than ten times as efficient as incandescent lighting, LED lighting will change the way we light our homes and business. We are currently experiencing a lighting revolution as LED lighting is radically changing the lighting market through the introduction of highly energy-efficient, longer-lasting, versatile light sources, including high-quality white light — some say this is the best technology since the invention of the light bulb.
Previously relegated to colored-light applications such as traffic signals, electronic message centers, and exit signs (show photo of our Emergi-Lite product), LED lighting products are now successfully competing with conventional technologies including incandescent and fluorescent lamps in general illumination applications.
Examples of LED Lighting Applications
General illumination applications that may most benefit from the LED attributes described in this document include:
- Refrigerated case lighting
- High bay warehouse lighting
- Parking lot lighting
- Step and pathway lighting
- Roadway lighting
- Parking garage lighting
- Canopy lighting
- Sign lighting
- Accent and flood lighting
LED lighting technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, with improvements being achieved in efficacy, light quality, and operating life. In addition, manufacturing improvements and market competition are putting downward pressure on retail prices, benefiting consumers. As industry and government investment continues to improve the performance and reduce the costs associated with this technology, LED lighting will become more competitive with conventional light sources and can be expected to capture increasing shares of the general illumination market.
I was sold on the potential and thought people like me would be too. I accepted the position and now I am selling and writing blogs about LED lighting and other energy efficient products and solutions. Stay tuned for more in my next blog titled “Top 10 Benefits of LED Lighting”.