Seeing the Light LEDs Promise Savings, Longer Life

 Lighting in the U.S. alone accounts for approximately 22 percent of all  electricity used, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It is no wonder  that in the current economic and environmentally-sensitive climate a lot of  effort is going towards finding, improving and engineering new and improved  light sources.  

 Among those innovations are light-emitting diodes, better known as LEDs. Despite  the fact that LEDs have been around for decades, with recent improvements they  have become the most promising “low hanging fruit” around for energy conservation in lighting.  

 Using far less energy than even Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)—today’s gold standard for thriftiness—they also promise life spans many times longer than conventional lighting. For  this reason, LEDs are turning up in High-Def TVs, in your local hardware aisle  and in early-adopter condominiums.  

 Savings Outdoors

 Condos looking to invest in LED technology are hoping to see positive results  along the lines of the Palace Pier in Toronto, Canada. This 46-floor condo  complex underwent a $2.4 million lighting renovation in 2008. The traditional  halogen lights in all the interior corridors were replaced with new LED lights.  Usage shifted dramatically from 35 watts of electricity under the old lighting  to only 4 watts after the conversion. It’s predicted that the Palace Pier will use 87 percent less energy and the switch  from halogen to LED will eventually save approximately $40,000 per year with an  estimated 110-ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  

 Along with condominiums, numerous cities around the world are switching to LEDs,  including Boston, which recently upgraded sections of the Boston Common with  LED-powered lampposts on walking paths and sidewalks. The LEDs are proposed to  use less than half of the energy of the previous lights and last three to four  times longer. Boston has also been replacing traffic signals and pedestrian  crossing lights with LEDs at a projected cost savings of nearly $400,000  annually.  

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