LED Lights: The Next Green Thing
April 29, 2011
At this business in rural Colorado, as in sophisticated, urban, Ann Arbor, Michigan – LED lighting is changing the math of energy demand, and looking very good while doing it.
Just in the last few years as its technology advanced, LEDs are now used in real lighting such as traffic lights and brake lights/tail lights (take a look at those dotted brake lights in many of the new car models). Unlike conventional light bulbs, LED lamps use less energy and are more efficient, safe, and durable. So far, LEDs still cost more upfront (just think about how much you pay for a LED flash light vs. a flash light with a standard light bulb). However, the energy savings in the long term can result in tremendous savings; not even mentioned is the reduction in CO2 emissions. Furthermore, with their directional light beams, LEDs used for outdoor lighting can reduce light pollution since we can direct more light to the streets rather than towards the sky!
Ann Arbor’s first pilot project replaced all the “globe” street light bulbs in the downtown area. It is indeed a successful project. Per the City, the initial installation will save the City over $100,000 per year in energy costs and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 267 tons of CO2.