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Green Sustainable LED Lighting… in a Bag July 12, 2010

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Designers Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Rogan, Loomstate, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Lutz & Patmos, and Loeffler Randall have joined forces with Nairobi tailor Joseph Muteti to create a line of handbags that supply both light and power. Each bag features a solar panel with a high-powered LED light and a USB connection one can use to charge a cell phone. They are being auctioned off on eBay until July 15th, with the proceeds going towards the Portable Light Project.

loomstate bag with solar charger and LED lightloeffler randall bag with solar panel and LED light

Fashion plates should appreciate how each bag reflects the personal style of its designers. I, for one, am really digging Loomstate’s nautical theme. Cute! And while I’m not a huge fan of leather, Loeffler Randall’s slick carry-all is versatile enough to go with jeans and flats or with an LBD.

Pardon my girling out on this. Cutesiness aside, Portable Light has a really great mission to bring sustainable power to people in developing countries. Through photovoltaics and solid state lighting, they are empowering these underserved people, especially women, with the ability to read, support cottage industries and facilitate community based education and health care. And by using energy-efficient LED lighting, they are setting a great example for both the needy and, well, people who feel the need to spend a ton of money on designer bags.


(Earth)Healthy Competition June 23, 2010

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According to CBS News, the average American consumes about 13,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. (To put that into a little perspective, that’s twice the usage of an average person in England.) And 22% of that energy is devoted to lighting. Furthermore, Americans are also increasing their electricity usage by 30% a year.

To meet the growing demands of the country, the United States Department of Energy is sponsoring the L-Prize contest, which offers $10 million (and probably a lucrative federal buying deal) to whoever makes the most energy-efficient light bulb which creates the best light. LED light manufacturers are way ahead of the game, since LEDs use considerably less electricity than standard incandescents and burn way cooler. (95% of an incandescent bulb’s electricity usage generates heat; the resulting 5% creates light.)

philips led waves light bulb L-prize

image via

Philips has put forth the first submission to the L-Prize contest, with a bulb design that uses 80% less energy than an incandescent and half the energy of a CFL. At $40, it’s supposed to save homeowners $300-$600 on utilities and last up to ten years.

While I applaud the efforts of Philips, these specs aren’t exactly groundbreaking in the LED industry. I’m looking forward to seeing what innovations other companies produce, more in the name of sustainability and less for the $10 million cash prize.

via cbsnews