Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Math Changes on Bulbs

Modern LEDs, While Expensive, Save Companies on Labor

How many workers does it take to change a light bulb? Not as many as it used to.


And that is what's making the difference in getting companies like Wal-mart store Inc., GNC Corp. and Caesars Entertainment Corp. to shell out for advanced new lights.

Bulbs built around light-emitting diodes—semiconductors that produce bright light when zapped with electricity—last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs, meaning fewer ladders blocking frozen-food aisles or unsightly scaffolds towering in hotel lobbies as workers change blown-out bulbs. With energy savings not yet enough in some cases to cover the higher cost of the new bulbs, it's lower maintenance costs that are getting sales across the finish line.

"If you think about a 20- to 40-foot tall parking lot light pole, you need a bucket truck and electrician to replace those lamps every two years. Now these will last us 10 to 12 years," said Charles Zimmerman, Wal-Mart's vice president for international design and construction. "The big payback number is on the maintenance."

Consumers can get by using compact fluorescent bulbs in their lamps. But for specialized commercial applications like refrigeration, parking lots and lobby lighting, the answer is LED, some businesses say.


Getty Images

A TransCore worker removes a street light to replace it with a new LED light fixture in August in Las Vegas.

LED bulbs cost as much as 20 times more than their conventional counterparts. Energy savings are an important part of the economics. Lighting can account for a third of a big store's energy costs, and LED bulbs can cut lighting bills by three-quarters.

A 2009 case study by the U.S. Department of Energy on a Wal-Mart parking lot in Leavenworth, Kan., however, shows energy savings alone may not justify the cost.

The DOE compared LED lamps to a typical parking-lot lights and found the cost of the LED lamps plus energy bills over 10 years were higher than for the older bulbs.

That balance will change as the cost of LED bulbs comes down—they've already fallen 30% since 2009—but for now it's lower maintenance expenses that are allowing companies to recoup the upfront costs in less than three years, a key threshold for bean counters.

"Instead of replacing a bulb seven times a year, now you're talking about not touching a bulb for four or five years," said Eric Dominguez, Caesars Entertainment's director of energy services. Workers then can be shifted onto other tasks, Mr. Dominguez says.

Changing light bulbs has become more complicated than the "How many..." jokes imply, store owners say, particularly inside freezers and signs, which can require technicians. At the 33-story Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco, changing a light bulb can cost about $50. Factoring in the long life of the bulbs, the hotel made the upfront costs of switching to LEDs work, said Harry Hobbs, the hotel's director of engineering.

"It allows me to be more efficient with the use of that labor," Mr. Hobbs said.

LEDs have evolved from their start as the tiny indicator lights on devices like coffeemakers to illuminating cellphone screens and billboards in Times Square. Wider use in general lighting for homes and businesses has been held back by high prices, poor light quality and bad colors.

That's starting to change. LED prices are falling at a time when businesses and municipalities are in the market for cost-cutting technology amid tight budgets and rising outlays on energy. The DOE predicts LED bulb prices will drop by around 30% a year until 2015, meaning by the end of the decade such bulbs will cost a tenth of what they did last year.

A recent report by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates that LED as a share of the overall lighting market will grow from 10% in 2010 to 40% in 2016 with revenues of €40 billion ($53 billion).

"We're just at the beginning stages of mass adoption," said Steve Briggs, a lighting executive at General Electric Co.

A year ago, Home Depot introduced a LED bulb that gives off as much light as a 40 watt incandescent bulb—but it cost an eye-popping $21. Today, that bulb sells for $9.97.

Home Depot, the nation's biggest seller of light bulbs, says LED sales last year beat their expectation for sales in 2013. A price cut last month caused LED sales to double, said Bill Hamilton, Home Depot Inc.'s electrical merchandising vice president.

Bloomberg News

Light-emitting diode light bulbs are displayed for sale at a Home Depot store in Emeryville, Calif., in June.

As a result of legislation passed in 2007, general-purpose bulbs will have to be at least 25% more efficient beginning next year than those using the standard incandescent technology invented by Thomas Edison in 1879. Most of today's incandescent bulbs will be phased out by 2014 and replaced by more efficient alternatives.

Last month, Wal-Mart opened its first U.S. store lit entirely with LEDs, a 40,000 square foot store in Wichita, Kan. The world's largest retailer will use only LED lights in the parking lots of new stores around the world. GNC Holdings Inc. and Starbucks Corp. have converted all of the lighting in their outlets to LEDs.

USM Services, a unit of Emcor Group Inc. that provides facilities maintenance around the country from removing snow to changing light bulbs, has seen a drop in maintenance needs of customers that have adopted LEDs.

"If the bulbs last longer," said Ivan Dubois, chief operating officer of USM Services, "you're going to have less maintenance to do."

Source for this article: The Wall Street Journal

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lighting the way to efficiency

Compact fluorescents, light-emitting diodes last longer, use less electricity

The days of inefficient light bulbs are slowly coming to an end. Recent tests from Consumer Reports showcased more than 30 different compact fluorescents and light-emitting diodes that can brighten indoor and outdoor spaces.

Consumer Reports’ comprehensive report on CFL and LED bulbs revealed that many problems of the earlier versions have been overcome and these new efficient bulbs last longer and use far less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Shoppers now have a variety of different bulbs to match their needs.

 The label , patterned on food nutrition labels, lists the bulb’s lumens, or brightness; its estimated yearly energy cost; how long the bulb is expected to last; its appearance, from warm to cool; how much energy it uses; and whether the bulb contains mercury.

The label , patterned on food nutrition labels, lists the bulb’s lumens, or brightness; its estimated yearly energy cost; how long the bulb is expected to last; its appearance, from warm to cool; how much energy it uses; and whether the bulb contains mercury.

Consumer Reports put a spotlight on 60-watt equivalent CFLs and LEDs, as those are the most popular.

It usually takes less than a year to recoup the cost of most CFLs because of the bulbs’ lower prices. LEDs can take four to 10 years to pay for themselves because they are expensive.

Also, CFLs now have less mercury. The amount in bulbs tested has dropped 60 to 75 percent, compared with already low levels in 2008, without affecting performance. Nevertheless, spent CFLs should be recycled. Home Depot, Ikea, Lowe’s, and some ACE Hardware stores accept used bulbs.

The best LEDs were as bright as the incandescents they replaced, yet only half were as bright as promised. Consumer Reports found that all LEDs reached full brightness instantly, even at frigid temperatures, providing warm white light. Energy use matched or exceeded claims.

LEDs are supposed to last 20,000 to 50,000 hours, or about 18 to 46 years, when used 3 hours a day. Nearly all the LEDs are still burning brightly after 3,000 hours, and only four of the 100 LEDs stopped working.

Recommended LEDs include the Philips Ambient LED 12.5W 12E26A60 60W, $40 for table or floor lamps; the EcoSmart LED Downlight 10.5W 65W E26 ECO-575L Dimmable, $50, for recessed or track lights; and the EcoSmart PAR38 ECS 38 Bright White 75W 866194 Dimmable LED, $45, outdoor flood light.

Recommended compact fluorescent bulbs include the GE Energy Smart-SAF-T-GARD 60W 78961, spiral, $10; the EcoSmart 60 Watt Soft White 423-599 ES5M8144, $1.50; and the Feit Electric Ecobulb Plus 60W ESL13T/5/ECO, $2, spiral.

How to Choose

Look at lumens. Watts tell only energy use, lumens measure brightness. In spirals look for at least 450 lumens if replacing a 40-watt bulb; 800 lumens or more for a 60-watt bulb, 1,100 lumens for a 75-watt bulb; and 1,600 lumens or higher when replacing a 100-watt bulb. In floodlights look for a lumen count that is at least 10 times the wattage of the bulb replacing.

Don’t confuse brightness with color. The whiteness, yellowness, or blueness of light is measured by its temperature in kelvins. Incandescents produce a warm yellowish light with a color temperature of about 2,700K. At 3,000K to 4,100K range, they give off a cool, bright white light that’s similar to a halogen bulb, and at 5,000K to 6,500K, the bulbs mimic natural or daylight.

Note CRI. In addition to temperature, the Color Rendering Index indicates how accurately colors appear under the light and ranges from 0 to 100, with daytime sunlight at 100. A CRI of at least 80 is recommended for interior lights.

Read the package. As of Jan. 1, 2012, a Lighting Facts label must appear on the packages of most bulbs to show brightness, energy use, estimated energy costs, expected life, light color in kelvins, and, for CFLs, mercury content.

Source for this article: Boston Globe

Time To Change Your Light Bulbs

Time To Change Your Light Bulbs

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Many consumers are still in the dark about the upcoming light bulb switch. Incandescent bulbs are being phased out, starting in a little over a month.

When it's as easy as flipping a switch, most people don't give their light bulbs a second thought. But they'll have to come January first when 100 watt incandescent bulbs will be phased out.

"No, I didn't know that. Uh-oh, I have to stock up then," consumer David Judd said.

The fact is, most consumers don't. According to a survey by Sylvania, only a third of those asked knew that 100 watt bulb was being dimmed.

"It's been over 100 years they've had incandescent light bulbs; now they have to change and lot of them are not ready for that big of a change," Jim Rogers of Ace Hardware said.

And not every one is sold on the alternatives which include CFLs, LEDs and halogen bulbs.

"I like the old ones, just because of the brightness of the light. The intensity of the light is a little different. When you go to turn on energy saving ones, unfortunately it takes a while for them to turn on and get bright and I'm not the most patient person when it comes to that stuff, so I do usually use regular light bulb," Consumer Chad Garnes said.

But once those regular 100 watt bulbs are gone, they're gone.

"They haven't manufactured them, the way I understood it, it's been about a year. So what's left in the warehouse is all there is," Rogers said.

Even after those 100 watt incandescent bulbs are off the shelves come January, you'll still be able to buy specialty bulbs like ones for three-way lamps.

Other wattages of incandescent bulbs will also begin disappearing off shelves for the next two years until they're all gone.

Another problem with the new more energy efficient bulbs is that the base doesn't always fit older light fixtures. The companies that make the bulbs say they're working on that.

Source for article: Keloland

Bill filed to ban incandescent light bulbs

A BILL has been filed at the Senate seeking to ban the manufacture, importation, and sale of incandescent light bulbs in the country in a bid to develop and promote the use of energy-efficient and environment-friendly ones.

Senate bill 3062 or the "Incandescent Light Bulb Ban Act,∏ filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago last week, said the government should prohibit the use of the said light bulbs to make way for more energy-efficient lighting and to promote environmental awareness and conserve resources.

An incandescent light bulb produces more heat and consumes more energy compared to other lighting fixtures. Light sources, such as the fluorescent lamp, high-intensity discharge lamps, and LED lamps are said to offer higher efficiency.

"The manufacture, importation, sale, and use of incandescent light bulbs and other similar lightings and fixtures which does not meet the Minimum Energy Performance Standards shall be prohibited five years from the passage of this Act," the bill read.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as the Department of Energy (DoE) will phase-out the use of such light bulbs in the market in three years upon enactment into law, it added.

Meanwhile, the bill mandates the DTI and DoE to ensure that lighting products should not be less than 15 lumens per watt. It also mandates that Philippine Council for Industry and Energy (PCIERD) -- an attached agency of the science and technology department -- to conduct research on lighting alternatives.

The bill, however, stressed that the use of incandescent light bulbs may be allowed for scientific, research, medical and technological purposes following approval from the PCIERD.

Sellers would face imprisonment of six months to a year and a fine of P50,000 to P100,000, while buyers face imprisonment of one to six months and a fine of P5,000 to P10,000.

The Philippines could have been the first Asian country to ban the use of the incandescent light bulb when then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in February 2008, called for its ban by 2010 in favor of more energy-efficient fluorescent ones. But the plan did not pan out.

The South American countries of Brazil and Venezuela banned the use of incandescent light bulbs on 2005. Meanwhile, Argentina, Russia and Canada are scheduled to phase-out the lighting fixture by next year, while the US and Malaysia will follow by 2014. -- Antonio Siegfrid O. Alegado

Source for this article: B World Online

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Samsung lights up new line of LED bulbs

Will you be buying a handful of LED bulbs with your next TV?

Samsung today announced the availability and pricing of a line of seven consumer LED bulbs some of which have the conventional screw-in bottom. There are spotlights for recessed lighting cans or track lighting, but there is also a bulb-shaped A19 bulb, a "snowcone" style bulb that gives off light in one direction.

"A light bulb is no longer just a light bulb. It's a digital technology made up of LED chips, drivers, and electronics--familiar turf for Samsung," Kevin Dexter, Samsung's senior vice president of home appliances, said in a statement.

Prices start at just under $20 and go up to almost $60 for a bright halogen replacement spot light. Like all LED lights, they are designed to have a life of 30,000 or 40,000 hours, which can be in the range of 20 years depending on usage. Their power consumption is about one-quarter that of incandescent or halogen lights, according to Samsung.

Samsung isn't the only electronics manufacturer getting into LED lighting. Toshiba and Panasonic already make LED lights and Vizio CEO Ken Howe said earlier this year that the company is developing its own line of LED lights at a "Vizio price."

Because they are electronics, LED lighting can be packaged in different ways, such as specialty fixtures that don't have a screw-in connector. But they can also be equipped with networking chips to connect them into a home energy management system.

LED lighting company Lighting Science Group earlier this year demonstrated a network LED that uses Google's Android at Home software, which lets people manage lighting from an Internet connected device, such as a smartphone.

Source for this Article: CNET

LED light bulb price dipped 10% in October

LED light bulb price dipped 10% in October, but market reception is expected to increase.

According to the price survey conducted by LEDinside, the LED light bulb prices for 60W incandescent light bulb replacement underwent a drastic drop of 9% in October; the price dropped by 10% in America and hit a low of USD 24.97, with the average selling price (ASP) declining to USD 38.6. The LED light bulb prices for 40W incandescent light bulb replacement were relatively stable.

LED light bulb for 60W replacement saw considerable price drop

LEDinside indicates that in October, LED light bulb prices the United States took the most drastic dip: the prices of LED light bulbs for 40W and 60W replacements dropped 3% and 10%, respectively. At present, the ASP of 60W replacement products dropped to USD 31.3 with the lowest price hitting USD 24.97, a much more consumer-friendly price compared to those of other regions. The prominent price downtrend attributed to the price cutting strategy of Philips, which triggered other brand vendors to lower their prices and in turn caused the prices to drop vastly.

Prices of brand-name LED light bulbs for 40W replacement plunged to USD 11.6

As for 40W incandescent replacement products, the ASP in October remained stable compared with September. Even though the prices in most areas experienced a drop of roughly 3%, the ASP rise in Europe canceled out the overall decline, resulting in the October ASP remained the same as September.

Interestingly, the prices of 40W incandescent replacement products in South Korea remained relatively low. Due to the continuous price cutting of brand vendors, the lowest price hit USD 11.6, approaching the sweet spot of USD 10 which LEDinside previously predicted.


According to LEDinside, due to the persisting price downturn, the ASP of LED light bulbs fell below USD 48 /Klm, getting closer to the expectations of the consumers. As for the market trend, the market acceptance of LED lights has been increasing.

Therefore, several countries are planning to enact subsidy policies to increase the penetration rate of LED light bulbs. Chinese government has imposed the ban against incandescent lights, and is expected to announce the subsidy policies for LED light bulbs at the end of 2011. As for Taiwan, the subsidy policy is still in discussion, which should be finalized as soon as possible in order to catch up with the global trend.

Source for this Article: Electronics Feed

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why the Lightbulbs of the Future Look So Funny


Ultra-efficient LED light bulbs are all the rage amongst futurist gadget geeks these days. With the eye-popping leaps in efficiency they offer, the latest use-case for light-emitting diodes will change the way we illuminate the world and will probably save the world a little bit thanks to all the energy they save. They also tend to look like props out of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

The new line of bulbs from the German company Ledo is no exception. The three models — the Bulled Modular, Bulled Star and Bulled Classic — contain 11 dimmable LED modules, last 80 years and use 15 percent less energy than their incandescent equivalents. Rather than the chilling blue glare that you might associate with LED lights, the Bulled line emits a warm, natural glow. As for the robotic look, it's all about ventilation, a key hurdle in bringing LED bulbs into the mainstream.

The cover story in September's Wired magazine goes into depth about the challenges that LED lightbulbs present. The nation's energy problem isn't getting any easier, and because LEDs potentially offer the most efficient light source, the U.S. Department of Energy is keen on helping inventors perfect the design. A couple of problems have plagued that process: the relative dimness of single diode and the intense amount of heat they produce. Wired's Dan Koeppel explains the dream:

Though still rather expensive to produce, LEDs are getting cheaper, just as Haitz’s law predicted, due to both technical advances and economies of scale. They’re also getting brighter, which means manufacturers can use fewer of them per bulb, further driving down costs.…

Before we get to that point, or even to viable, affordable home LED bulbs, engineers have to solve a pair of challenges: cooling the diodes, and the shape of the light. Cooling is essential because hot diodes don’t last long. Also, the cooler they are kept, the more wattage they can handle, which translates into more light per diode. Getting an LED to cast a light in a shape that will properly illuminate a room is perhaps an even more difficult challenge. LEDs are point lighting sources; they shine in only one direction. That makes them fine for floodlights or traffic signs. But for LEDs to replace the Edison bulb, the shape of light they emit has to be round.

This is where the Metropolis design comes in. The grooves cut out of the Ledo Bulled bulbs act as ventilation shafts that keep the bulbs cool while also producing the familiar round shape. Wired profiles another company's creation, the Switch, which uses a cooling gel and looks even more like an art deco robot. (We've embedded a view different views of the Switch at the bottom of this post.) Inevitably, the greatest challenge will be to perfect the design to maximize efficiency and also lower costs to be competitive in a market that sells incandescent bulbs for a $1 a piece. While the new Ledo bulbs haven't been priced out yet, the Switch costs around $30 per bulb, but it doubles as home decor. The less flashy Sylvania and Philips Ambientled models to the right will set you back $25 and $40.

But let's be honest. A single LED lightbulb could very well last an entire lifetime, and even if the Ledo bulbs cost $100 a piece, they would pay for themselves in energy savings in no time. Plus, you can't buy the kind of props you'd get from your treehugger friends who come over and ask you why your lightbulbs look so funny. Just tell them you're saving the world.

Source for this Article: The Atlantic Wire

Americans Waking Up to Light Bulb Changeover

The first step in getting people to change the way they consume energy is making them aware that change is afoot. When it comes to lighting technologies, in particular, it seems that consumer awareness is growing.

For the first time, a majority of Americans now know that federal legislation will eliminate “most traditional incandescent lighting by 2014,” according to a new survey conducted by the lighting manufacturer Osram Sylvania.

The poll found that 55 percent of respondents were aware of that fact, up from 36 percent in 2010 and 26 percent in 2009.

“Americans are increasingly prepared for this lighting transition,” said Stephanie Anderson, a spokeswoman for Osram Sylvania. She said the survey also showed that 62 percent of those polled had swapped out a light bulb over the last year to increase energy efficiency.

Still, when it comes down to details, people are less clear about what is going to happen beginning in January.

Only 29 percent understood that it is the 100-watt incandescent lamp that will no longer be manufactured starting in 2012. (While its manufacture will be forbidden, the sale of existing stock will be allowed.)

Under the new legislation, lamps that produce the approximate brightness of a 100-watt bulb can only use 72 watts to do so. In 2013, when traditional 75-watt lamps can no longer be manufactured, their substitutes can only use 53 watts of energy to produce the same amount of light.

In California, the same rules are being put into effect a year earlier.

While only 13 percent of respondents said they were using LED light sources as replacements for regular bulbs, 80 percent of those surveyed said they had heard of them. Only 68 percent were aware that the compact fluorescent lamp, or C.F.L., exists.

For those who want to replace 100-watt standard lamps with energy-saving varieties, consumers can now choose between C.F.L.’s and halogen lamps. While C.F.L.’s use less energy and last longer, halogen lamps will create light that is closer to that from incandescent bulbs.

LED lamps that produce as much light as a 100-watt bulb are not yet available; many companies plan to sell them next year. LEDs that create the equivalent of a 40-, 60- or 75-watt standard bulb are readily available today, although they can cost as much as $40.

Even with the new rules, it is likely that incandescent bulbs will be found in homes years from now. As in years past, the Osram Sylvania survey found that around 13 percent of those surveyed said they planned to hoard standard light bulbs.

Source for this Article: The New York Times

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Edison Bulb with an LED Heart Makes Us Love Incandescents Again

Like an obnoxious great uncle who's overstayed his welcome, horribly inefficient incandescent bulbs are still lingering around because we're just used to them. So Panasonic has designed a new LED Alternative with a visible filament and clear glass that looks like the classic Edison Bulb, while still being remarkably more energy efficient.

There's no word on when you can get your hands on one, or how insanely expensive they'll initially be, but Panasonic's new LED bulb goes a long way to bridging the psychological gap that keeps people buying inefficient incandescents because they prefer the way they look. Using just 4.4 watts of power, the LED filament in this bulb is rated for up to 40,000 hours of use. So if you were to install one just after you were born, you wouldn't have to change it until your 40th birthday, with just a few hours of use every day.

Besides the energy saving benefits, LEDs aren't as harmful to the environment as CFLs, which contain mercury and need to be disposed of properly. And they reach full intensity as soon as they're turned on, making them better suited in places like bathrooms where you don't necessarily want to have to wait for the lights to warm up. The development won Panasonic a 2011 Good Design Award, and hopefully convinced the powers that be that these are certainly worth putting into production. Even if only those of us on the bleeding edge are willing to spring for them.

Source for this Article: Gizmodo

Friday, November 11, 2011

A States' Rights Battle over Light Bulb

Conservatives challenge the federal law requiring incandescent bulbs to be replaced with fluorescents and LEDs
The incandescent light bulb has been around for more than 130 years. But starting in January 2012, it will become a piece of history, pulled off the shelves in all 50 states—unless a group of fired-up conservatives manage to spark a mini-revolution over states’ rights.

In 2007, George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act, requiring light bulbs to be at least 28 percent more efficient by 2014. Three-way bulbs and some specialty versions are exempt, but otherwise the law virtually guarantees that LEDs and compact fluorescents will gradually replace incandescents, starting with 100-watt bulbs in January. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the result will be lower energy bills and less pollution. Some conservatives view it as a nanny-state power grab.

Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman and Presidential candidate, was one of the first national figures to fight for the right to light up a room Thomas Edison-style. In March she introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which sought to repeal the energy efficiency standards. Her bill went nowhere. In July her colleague, Representative Joe Barton (R-Tex.), gave it another try. His Better Use of Light Bulbs Act got 233 “yeas”—a good showing, but not enough to save the venerable bulb.

Washington having failed them, the light bulb brigade is now taking its case to the states. Legislatures in Georgia and South Carolina are considering bills that invoke the state powers spelled out in the 10th Amendment to argue for allowing incandescent bulbs to be manufactured and sold within state lines. Last month in Lansing, Mich.—80 miles from a replica of the lab where Edison perfected the light bulb—the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that would let the bulbs be made and sold in the state. “There’s no reason our citizens should have this choice taken away from them,” says state Representative Tom McMillin (R-Mich.), who introduced the legislation. “Plenty of people like [incandescents], plenty of people don’t like the alternatives.” The lawmakers hope that if their measures pass, Congress will reconsider the energy efficiency rules.

Some of the states, including Michigan, aren’t currently home to a light bulb manufacturer. The three largest light bulb makers—General Electric (GE), Osram Sylvania, and Royal Philips Electronics (PHG) —either don’t make regular incandescent bulbs in the U.S. or will phase them out in favor of technology that meets the new federal standards, according to the American Lighting Assn. “The future is LEDs,” says W. Lawrence Lauck, the association’s vice-president of communications. “That’s what the lighting industry is gearing its investments toward.” McMillin says that if his law passes, the birth of a light bulb industry in Michigan “could happen.”

One state is giving bulb activists hope. In May the Texas legislature adopted a measure almost identical to McMillin’s, despite opposition from environmental groups that argued it made Texas look like it was marching into the last century. Governor Rick Perry signed it into law in June. Unless a court overturns it, Texas light bulb factories—which currently number zero—will be free to light the way, the old-fashioned way.

The bottom line: Politicians in Texas and three other states are invoking the 10th Amendment to defy a federal law phasing out incandescent bulbs.

Source for this article: Business Week

Thursday, November 10, 2011

China plans switch to energy-saving lights

BEIJING, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- China will phase out incandescent light bulbs, a government official said.

Beginning next October, under a three-step plan, imports and sales of incandescent bulbs 100 watts and higher will be prohibited. That will be followed by an additional ban on imports and sales of such bulbs 60 watts and above starting Oct. 1, 2014.

The final phase, which begins Oct. 1, 2016, applies to incandescent light bulbs 15 watts and higher.

Beijing plans to evaluate the program for one year beginning September 2015 and may adjust the last phase depending on the results.

Xie Ji, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission's environmental department said the light bulb plan underscores China's determination to save energy, reduce emissions and curb climate change, state-run news agency Xinhua reports.

Lighting accounts for 12 percent of China's total electricity use.

In its latest five-year plan, which concludes in 2015, China said it would reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 16 percent and cut carbon emissions 17 percent.

The plan to phase out incandescent light bulbs, NDRC estimates, will save China 48 billion kilowatt hours of power annually.

China is the world's largest producer of both energy-saving and incandescent light bulbs, NDRC says. In 2010, production of standard bulbs totaled 3.85 billion units, with domestic sales accounting for 1.07 billion units.

"I think what's important … is that China is joining an international trend," Christophe Bahuet, deputy country director of the U.N. Development Program was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper reports. "It also sends a signal that will inspire others."

However, Bahuet said, the initiative will require a lot of effort at the provincial and local levels to convince the Chinese people to switch to the energy-saving bulbs.

China's move follows similar decisions by Australia, the European Union and Brazil. Incandescent bulbs account for 50-70 percent of worldwide sales of light bulbs, says the Global Environment Facility, an investment organization that funds environmental projects.

Statistics from China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce indicate that currently 40 percent of the country's energy-saving lights meet the required quality standard, with the percentage as low as 20 percent in some areas.

An editorial in Monday's China Daily newspaper warns that Beijing's new plan fails to address environmental problems associated with disposal of energy-saving bulbs, noting that if the mercury from one such bulb leaks and seeps into the ground it could pollute about 1,800 tons of underground water.

Source for this article: UPI

EPA Names Light Bulb Finder as Best Overall App: Apps for the Environment Challenge

The Environmental Protection Agency has selected the Light Bulb Finder mobile app as the “Winner, Best Overall App” in the Apps for the Environment Challenge. Developed by Eco Hatchery, the app makes it easy to switch from incandescent to energy-efficient light bulbs with the right style, fit and light quality.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 10, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected the Light Bulb Finder mobile app as the “Winner, Best Overall App” in the Apps For the Environment Challenge. Developed by Eco Hatchery, the Light Bulb Finder app enables users to easily switch from conventional incandescent to energy-efficient lighting at home. It is available as a free download on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android mobile devices.

“The convergence of mobile technology, energy efficiency and sustainability is a natural fit. Consumers can use mobile apps to get instant, individualized information at home and on the go to make fast, informed decisions. We are excited to receive this recognition from the EPA,” said Andrea Nylund, co-founder of Eco Hatchery.

On Tuesday, November 8th, the EPA presented the "Best Overall App" award to Light Bulb Finder at Apps for the Environment Forum in Arlington, VA.

Based on simple user inputs, the Light Bulb Finder app recommends energy-saving light bulbs with the right light quality, fit and style. It displays financial payback information and uses EPA's eGRID data to calculate environmental impact when users replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient equivalents. Users can buy bulbs through the app or at local stores.

“Lighting accounts for over 14 percent of home electricity consumption, so the potential for saving energy and reducing environmental impact is significant. The typical U.S. household can save over $120 per year on electricity by switching to energy-efficient lighting, but many homeowners are slow to switch because the choices can be overwhelming,” said Adam Borut, president and co-founder of Eco Hatchery.

Consumers have a lot of questions as the market is being flooded with new technologisuch as Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs), Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and halogen incandescents.

“They are confronted with new measurements such as lumens and color temperature, and they are concerned about bulb and light quality, not to mention financial payback,” Borut said.

The Light Bulb Finder app cuts through the confusion and provides instant bulb recommendations for standard and specialty lighting with key financial payback information and carbon footprint information.

“Our goal in developing the app was to overcome the obstacles to action by giving users instant answers, enabling them to make decisions based on their own budget and priorities,” Borut added.

Eco Hatchery partners with utility companies and cities that use the app as a platform for raising consumer awareness of energy efficiency initiatives and resources. When using the app, users have direct access to information on energy-saving resources in their area, such as rebates, recycling services and whole house energy audits.

source for this article: Benzinga