There’s been a lot of speculation in the news lately about LED lighting. Research teams are working to improve it, market analysts say it still faces challenges, and the lighting industry in general is scrambling to release affordable products. Meanwhile, remodeling growth is back, according to a report released by Harvard University. Read on to find out more in our Lighting Roundup!
In lighting news…
For the first time since 2006, home improvement spending is on the upswing. 2010’s annual growth will be five percent, and the positive trend is expected to continue in 2011.
GE has developed a new LED light bulb that will last up to 17 years. The global product manager of GE said, “This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid’s bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation.” The bulb supposedly creates just as much light as a 40-watt incandescent, but it only consumes 9 watts of electricity. That means you can save up to 77% on energy costs.
According to CREE lighting, many people attending the South by Southwest interactive media conference (SXSW) knew very little about LED lighting – strange for a group who focuses on sustainable living. This article notes that there was a “green disconnect” at SXSW.
The Department of Energy released the ENERGY STAR criteria for LED replacement lamps. It will go into effect on August 31, 2010. LED replacement products will now be required to be at least as energy-efficient as comparable CFLs, with light output, color, and distribution equivalent to that of incandescent or halogen bulbs. The new criteria are more stringent, meaning it will be easier to distinguish high-quality LED replacement lights from the rest.
A team in the Research Triangle of NC is working to build a prototype for a nanotech light bulb that is energy-efficient, matches the quality of sunlight, and produces minimal heat.
Researchers in Colorado are also working on a prototype for a more efficient and better quality LED. Their product increases the efficiency of LEDs by an additional 20% (the standard ones already reportedly save 80% on energy use).
A market analyst firm says LED lighting has huge potential but still faces challenges to overcome in general lighting. The highly directional nature of LED’s light output is a design challenge when trying to replace an incandescent bulb.
In lighting tips…
What is luminaire efficiency and why is it important? This article on the LIGHTNOW blog is an informative look into the metric.
If you are an ambitious DIY-er, here is a step-by-step guide to walk you through installing surface-mounted, hardwired under cabinet lighting in your home.
The U.S. News & World Report published an article on the 10 Great Green Home Improvements for 2010. Brainstorm ideas on how to save money by considering things like an energy-efficiency audit, improving attic insulation, investing in a programmable thermostat, and sealing ducts.
Lighting designer Eddie Cohen provided tips for improving task lighting in the kitchen. Find out how to get kitchen lighting that sizzles.
Other cool sites…
A car wash that opened in California has installed a customized laser show featuring high-definition video, LED lighting, laser effects, and techno and club music. The best part? It’s called the “Happy Cow Car Wash.”