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Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Transition to LED Lighting

I promise to make an actual blog post about Revit very soon. I find these articles and although they're not directly about Revit itself, I believe they all tie BIM, LEED and IPD together. I was having a conversation with one of my readers today about the blog meandering, and the more I learn, the bigger it all gets. I am very appreciative that my readership gets bigger and bigger every day. Thanks to every one of you, I've had over 132,000 visitors in the past 12 months. I was shocked at that number. Anyway, I just wanted to put it out there that I'm conscious of the variety of my blog posts and don't think I can put this blog in reverse. Any questions, comments or thoughts, please let me know. Maybe you want more of this stuff. I never imagined when I picked the blog name of BIMboom that BIM would really explode into so many diverse yet connected areas. Thanks and on to the blog post:

90% of U.S. residential lighting is provided by incandescent bulbs, which is bad news and good news. The bad news, the authors tell us, is that incandescent bulbs only convert between 0.2-2.6% of the electricity consumed into useful life. This inefficiency should be no surprise, as an incandescent is essentially a little fire enclosed in a bulb. The good news is that they are cheap and generally last less than a year before the bulb burns out. This means that unlike cars or buildings, replacing our "fleet" of residential light bulbs has a relatively short time-scale. But what do we replace with? This spring the NY Times discussed the promise of LEDs, but this week is reporting that the death of incandescents has been greatly exaggerated. The authors of this paper discuss the comparative advantages of solid-state lighting, or LEDs.

Here is the abstract:
Lighting constitutes more than 20% of total U.S. electricity consumption, a similar fraction in the European Union, and an even higher fraction in many developing countries. Because many current lighting technologies are highly inefficient, improved technologies for lighting hold great potential for energy savings and for reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Solid-state lighting shows great promise as a source of efficient, affordable, color-balanced white light. Indeed, assuming market discount rates, engineering- economic analysis demonstrates that white solid-state lighting already has a lower levelized annual cost (LAC) than incandescent bulbs. The LAC for white solid-state lighting will be lower than that of the most efficient fluorescent bulbs by the end of this decade. However, a large literature indicates that households do not make their decisions in terms of simple expected economic value. After a review of the technology, we compare the electricity consumption, carbon emissions, and cost-effectiveness of current lighting technologies, accounting for expected performance evolution through 2015.

We then simulate the lighting electricity consumption and implicit greenhouse gases emissions for the U.S. residential and commercial sectors through 2015 under different policy scenarios: voluntary solid-state lighting adoption, implementation of lighting standards in new construction, and rebate programs or equivalent subsidies. Finally, we provide a measure of cost-effectiveness for solid-state lighting in the context of other climate change abatement policies.
...read the rest of this enlighting article: The Transition to LED Lighting


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