Jan 8, 2011

The numbers on LED Light Bulbs and world energy reductions....

Ryo Chijiiwa was kind enough to share his experience with LED and CFL bulbs.
Even better, he provided my favorite things... how it applies to what is available, cost and global and local benefits.

He started it, so I thought I would add my personal experience with them as well.

My comment and some more from the post
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In WI I have very few CFL that have even lasted 3 or more years. Four burst in bath/kitch rooms with kids and pets making mercury cleanup a HazMat clean up.

Last year Menards, costco and walmart all carried 40-60watt LED equivalents for $10-16 (yes under $20 ;-) I ended with the Menards models (rest were dim or junk).  (See picture at above for make and model - 40 watt equiv)
They use less than 4 watts.

I slowly replaced bad CFls and went to 4watt LED's around home.

In below 30'F (4 months in WI) the LED's are brighter and last longer than CFL.
(Picture below shows LED outside in bright snow conditions.)

At sub $15  and with the health and safety problems with mercury in CFL's ... LED has a bright future.

More than saving money and changing a light bulb
...our energy usage also went down because we reduced the amount of total lights in our house by half. When we lost power for three days a simply 600watt power inverter was enough to run our main area lights,wireless router, laptop and frig from our car battery. So it's as much a safety as a energy.
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Our future depends on understanding basic math

In the U.S. use of renewable energy continues to increase but not at a pace that is keeping up with usage and in India and China the numbers are alarming. While every nation plays a game saying they want to use renewable energy this has only increased our fossil fuel use.

Ultimately the ONLY way to reduce energy consumption is to REDUCE... just easy math that's hard for a modern world to comprehend.
chart of the day, coal-fired electricity generation by region, nov 2010
The architecture2030.org program further exemplifies some points Ryo Chijiiwa made applied to buildings. How simple energy reductions can eliminate 80-90% of our fossil fuel use WHILE our population grows.

Sadly, reducing, recycling and living with what you need.... is not as sexy, political or media hype like "Al Gore" crying and polar bears dying... so you will not see it on CNN or FOX.

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More is more, less is less
Retailers often try to get consumers to buy more stuff by offering lower per-unit costs when purchased in bulk. While buying in bulk may lead to real savings, such deals can also be a pitfall that leads to excessive consumption and spending. The question to ask is, "Do I have to alter my behavior, in order to take advantage of this deal?" If the answer is "yes", it is best to stay away from bulk purchases. For example, let's say a grocery store has a deal on ice cream, such that if you buy 2, you get 1 free. The question is "Would I eat more ice cream if I bought 3?" If the answer is "yes" (and let's be honest now), just buy one, because one is still cheaper than two, in absolute terms. On the other hand, if you're dealing with something like toilet paper where abundance probably won't lead to higher consumption, buying in bulk might actually save you money. HTML clipboardhttp://www.scoodi.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/217x188_sos_banner002.jpg
The same applies for lighting. If you can get away with less lighting, it will save power and money. Don't let the illusion of better "value" trick you into consuming more unless that is really what you want, because you will pay more for it. Using one "100W" CFL bulb for 5 hours a day over 5 years will cost an estimated $38.18, while a "40W" LED bulb used for the same duration will only cost $16.29, even when factoring in the cost of the bulbs. Yes, you get less lighting, but you get less for less, while more costs more.

Lighting accounts for 12% of domestic electricity consumption in the US, and I would argue that that makes it a ripe target for reduction. While current trends are towards improving efficiency, Jevon's paradox warns us that efficiency may in fact increase consumption. If that is true, it seems to me that the true path to reduction is, well, to reduce. That is, rather than merely swapping 60W incandescent bulbs with "60W" CFL bulbs, consider using "40W" bulbs.

Instead of having area lighting consisting of 5 or 6 bulbs, consider having 5 or 6 individual lamps located strategically, so that only localized areas that actually need lighting are lit at any given time. Or, for that matter, turn those lights off entirely, and go to bed early. Artificial lighting can interrupt our natural circadian rhythm, leading to sleeping disorders and other maladies. So going to bed early and getting some extra sleep can save your health and the planet.

Now that's what I call a good deal. - Ryo Chijiiwa