Green Sustainable Lighting

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Repost: 20 Eco-friendly Streetlights July 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — greensustainablelighting @ 3:31 pm
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invisible streetlight via LEDWaves LED lightingThere’s an awesome, awesome list up on one of my favorite sites, Ecofriend. In their words, “The rise in the demand for energy and the decline in its supply have made product manufacturers and designers come up with sustainable alternatives that help save energy or run on renewable sources of energy. The street lighting industry has also witnessed the change with many manufacturers unveiling next-gen solar-powered street lights and designers coming up with even better lighting solutions for the future. Boosting this green trend, here are 20 sustainable street lighting systems that can make streets green and safe.”

This is the kind of innovation that really appeals to me. All of the designs incorporate some combination of solar panels, wind turbines, LED lights, and other elements of sustainable energy. Here are the ones that especially caught my attention:

The Invisible Streetlight (upper right) by Johgoh Lee integrates double injection silicon, aluminum and a photo capacitor into a lovely organic leaf design, ideal for wooded roads. It is designed to be invisible during the day and to glow all night long. My main concern? It’s hard to tell from just the pictures, but they don’t seem to be secured in any clear way, so I’d worry about roving thugs stealing these fixtures. But maybe I’m just projecting my own desire to have one of these pretty lamps in my home. 

trash powered streetlight via LEDWaves LED lightingThe Trash Powered Street Lamp (at left) serves the dual purpose of illuminating the streets at night and composting! Designed by  Haneum Lee, it composts organic waste that users throw into a wastebasket and then uses the methane which is released as a byproduct to fuel the lights. Unfortunately, this also strikes me as a “Only in a perfect world” kind of innovation. How many times have you seen random garbage tossed into an inappropriate recycling bin? Again, I kind of just want this for my house. This would save me a walk from the kitchen to the compost heap in my backyard on a nightly basis. (Though I suppose I do need the exercise.) And with energy-efficient LED lights, it wouldn’t require a whole lot of garbage to run itself. Also compost lamppost is just so much fun to say.

light tree via LEDWaves LED lightingFinally, here’s possibly the most functional of my faves: the Light Tree by designer Omar I. Huerta Cardoso (at right). Its tree-like body is lined with nanotube solar cells and aqueducts leading from the water-filled base to seeds at the top. In addition to feeding plant life, the water conducts light from high-intensity LEDs stationed near the bottom. I have to say, the appearance of the tree kind of bothers me (it looks like EVE from Wall-E did it with a tree) but the dual functionality of sustainable LED street lighting and oxygen-providing plant life really wins the package for me.

There are a few more streetlights that I could go on about, but I highly recommend checking out the rest of the list for yourself. I’m not involved in civil engineering, but the possibility of seeing these eco-friendly designs on our streets in the near future is kind of putting me in my happy place.

 

(Earth)Healthy Competition June 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — greensustainablelighting @ 4:29 pm
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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 newswit.com

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

 

Fast Food Joins the LED Revolution June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — greensustainablelighting @ 2:46 pm
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Though I try to be as green as possible, I have to admit to getting the occasional hankering for greasy fast food. Every few months or so I become terribly cranky until I get my hands on a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme doused in Fire Sauce, or the $1 McChicken (far superior to the more expensive chicken sandwiches McDonalds sells, IMO), and don’t get me started on the discontinued Burger King Angry Whopper. I promise I don’t succumb to these cravings very often, and whenever I do I feel terrible about myself and only eat vegetables for days.

That said, I applaud the efforts of several fast food franchises for their efforts to offset their (substantial) carbon emissions with sustainable design. A Burger King in Waghausel, Germany, has installed wind and solar power systems that are expected to reduce energy costs by about 45 percent and cut CO2 emissions by 120 metric tons a year. In addition, they’ve installed interior and exterior LED lights and are using alternative energy sources like waste heat to generate hot water.

mcdonalds LED light LEDWaves

This redesign is part of Burger King’s corporate responsibility program, BK Positive Steps. The company plans to continue with these projects at 75 other sites by the end of 2010.

Also on board with green initiatives is McDonalds. A restaurant in Orange, California collaborated with New York-based LEDWaves to roll out an eye-catching new LED lighting plan composed of neon rope lights and a Flex II track lighting system using LED MR-16 bulbs. This creates a fun, futuristic yet zen ambience that is also cost-efficient. The newly designed McDonalds noted a 25% increase in sales a month after opening!

mcdonalds LEDs LEDWaves

It’s uplifting to see these big franchises doing their part to help the planet. Now I won’t feel so bad about my next chicken nugget frenzy.

Via Greener Buildings and blog.LEDWaves.com.