Ronald McDonald is Going Green

A McDonald’s in Cary, NC has more in mind than making great hamburgers.  In early 2009, the franchise in the Saltbox Village shopping center demolished its building in hopes of starting from the ground up to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

The store now saves on energy by using 78 percent less electricity for lighting.  It is 97 percent lit with LED lights, covering the kitchen, hallways, restrooms, dining areas, entryways, and even the drive-thru.  It also conserves water with low-flow toilets and planned landscaping with native plants.

The U.S. Green Building Council granted LEED certification in January, making the Cary franchise the first McDonald’s in North Carolina that has “gone green.”  In fact, there are only two other LEED-certified McDonald’s in the country, located in Savannah, GA and Chicago, IL.

In a recent Lighting Roundup, we mentioned a few articles predicting 2010 will be the year for LEDs to explode on the commercial and residential market.  Perhaps restaurants seeking LEED certification with more energy-efficient lighting will become a trend as well.

The Pegasus Lighting Roundup for Feb 15 to Feb 19

In lighting news…

Vancouver is setting the stage for more eco-friendly Olympics in the future by using LEED-certified buildings, energy-saving light bulbs, and hydrogen-fueled buses during the events.

In lighting tips…

The Washington Post had a great article this week called “Is your kitchen glaring at you?” The point is that fluorescent lighting fixtures can create a morgue-like effect.  Layers of light are essential for kitchens.  Under-cabinet LEDs, pendant lights, and track lights also create a more pleasant environment.
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The Pegasus Lighting Roundup for Feb 8 to Feb 12

In lighting news…

75 percent of Americans are unaware of the impending federal phaseout of incandescent light bulbs that will start in two years, according to a study by GE Lighting. Check out our blog post explaining the energy efficiency standard changes if you missed it.

A company that develops organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology put a date on the expected market availability of light-emitting wallpaper: 2012.  LED-powered wallpaper uses a chemical coating to produce a glow that mimics natural sunlight on the walls.  It may be considered an alternative to light bulbs in the future.

Evans Wadongo, named a 2010 CNN Hero, distributes solar-powered LED lanterns to rural homes in Kenya with the help of a nonprofit organization.  The money the Kenyan villagers save on kerosene and firewood will reduce poverty and hunger.  This is an amazing story.
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Record-Breaking Development in LED Lighting

Cree, Inc. announced last week that they developed a white power LED that produces 208 lumens of light per watt.  Why is this record-breaking? Single white power LEDs were thought to be limited to 200 lumens per watt efficacy prior to this development.  To help put this into context, standard fluorescent lights can only produce 100 lumens of light per watt at the very most. So, this new Cree LED product produces twice the amount of light possible for fluorescents.  By the way, conventional 60-100 watt incandescent light bulbs produce just 15 lumens of light per watt.

Cree clearly continues to develop LED lighting products that will start to render incandescent light bulbs obsolete in the near future, helping to push the market toward more environmentally-friendly lighting.  This announcement signifies that LED performance will continue to improve past industry expectations with further research and development.  While this product is not yet available on the market, lab-level LEDs from Cree in the past have taken only twelve months to be commercialized.

The Pegasus Lighting Roundup for Jan 30 to Feb 5 2010

Read on to find out about these captivating photos created with LED lights…

Starting today, we are now going to post a regular Pegasus Lighting Roundup of interesting lighting information we came across during the week.  It will provide a short recap of articles to help keep you informed.  Hopefully, it’ll be an easy way for you to scan through any topics you might want to learn more about.  So, without further ado:

In lighting news…

The remodeling business is expected to grow this year, ending the economic slump caused by the housing downturn.  Industry experts at the International Builders’ Show remarked that the increase in existing-home sales due to low prices will help the remodeling market.  Other contributors to the boost:   aging baby boomers are beginning to adapt homes to their needs.  Also, there’s a clearly rising trend to incorporate green initiatives in homes.

OLEDs are expected to be the next big thing on the market for display lighting of any kind (computer monitors, TVs, cell phone displays, etc).  Why are they so great?  They’re extremely energy efficient, can be made unbelievably thin, and provide superior color quality.  This article explains why they’re not on the market yet: their efficiency technology is still developing, the cost of creating them is sky-high, and their lifespan is lacking.  However, five years from now, we may see OLEDs making things like glowing wallpaper possible.
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New Product Development in Light of DOE Standard Changes?

Since a number of commercial lighting products will be eliminated from the market in 2012 with the new Department of Energy standards, similar substitutes will be sought out.  There are currently a number of energy-efficient alternatives to the banned fluorescent lights that are equally equivalent in performance, like T8 and T5 lamps.  However, direct alternatives for the incandescent lights are limited.  Besides infrared-coated halogen lamps, there are not many substitutes.  Even some of the infrared-coated lights will be eliminated with the new standards.  Manufacturers will be faced with the push to develop a new product with improved efficiency over the next three years.

Just a few days ago, the DOE awarded $37 million in stimulus funds for research and development to advance the LED market and improve manufacturing technologies.  Perhaps the industrial lighting companies that received the money will create more viable substitutes for the soon-to-be-banned incandescent lights.

As the Department of Energy continues to enforce stricter standards for commercial lighting, we will make sure to provide you with the latest products in energy efficiency.  We added an energy-efficient lighting section to our website last August to make it easier for you to find information as the industry changes.