Lighting Retrofit Saves Mich. Automotive Group $1.4M

car-dealership-energy-manageCGE Energy (CGE) has upgraded the lighting at four southeast Michigan dealership locations. As a result of the change, Golling will see a return on its investment in less than 14 months and save $1.4 million in total energy costs over the next 10 years. Continue reading

Ex-NASCAR Driver Discovers Many Benefits of LED Lighting

Legendary NASCAR driver, owner, and businessman extraordinaire, Richard Petty, has discovered the benefits of LED and his whole team is loving it!

The 100,000 square foot Petty’s Garage, illuminated by LED troffers and luminaires. Specializing in restoring high-performance vehicles, the garage was retrofitted with LED lighting, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in energy use.

The 100,000 square foot Petty’s Garage, illuminated by LED troffers and luminaires. Specializing in restoring high-performance vehicles, the garage was retrofitted with LED lighting, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in energy use.

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Business Loves LED Lighting; Consumers are Catching Up

Wherever you go these days, you see businesses switching their lighting systems from old-fashioned incandescent or harsh fluorescent to bright and shiny new LEDs. The local supermarket, the office where you work, the train station, restaurant or department store—all of these businesses are seeing the benefits of this rapidly developing technology. The light produced by LED bulbs is brighter and warmer and more focused than ever before, and business owners love the savings to their energy bills. But what about consumers?

LED-GE-grocery-commercial-application-G4Report

Businesses, especially retail, are moving to LED lighting. In Japan, market penetration is over 50 percent and expected to hit 90 percent. Consumers are slower to embrace the technology, balking at the high cost of a bulb. But that is changing.

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Outdoor Lighting: DOE Funds More SSL, MaxLite Post-Top LEDs, Cree and Projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will enable LED street light upgrades in five metropolitan areas under the new High-Performance Outdoor Lighting Accelerator program announced by President Obama. In outdoor products, Cree has combined a customized LED and unique optics in an area-lighting fixture while MaxLite has announced new solid-state lighting (SSL) retrofit kits for post-top fixtures. Moving to projects, Cambridge, MA and Honolulu, HI have announced major street-light upgrade plans with the former having already begun deployment. Continue reading

LEDs Turn Out The Light On Incandescents And CFLs

Most people have accepted that it’s all but over for old incandescent bulbs. But CFLs—compact fluorescent bulbs, the titular replacements for incandescents—may be rapidly becoming extinct as well.

Light bulbs have evolved from the standard incandescent (right) to compact fluorescents and now LEDs (left), which come in a variety of shapes -- some quite familiar in appearance.

Light bulbs have evolved from the standard incandescent (right) to compact fluorescents and now LEDs (left), which come in a variety of shapes — some quite familiar in appearance.

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Shine On, You Crazy Lightbulbs

The other day I found myself at a loss in the light bulb aisle of my hardware store. I might as well have been shopping for a carburetor. There were too many options with too many symbols and verbiage that I couldn’t decipher (LED, CFL, halogen, lumens, Kelvin, CRI), not to mention all of the various brands (GE, Philips, Cree, EcoSmart — each with its own packaging lingo). Since when do you need an electrical engineering degree to buy a light bulb?

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

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How Cree Perfected The 20-Year Lightbulb

This North Carolina maker of light emitting diodes aims to kill off the incandescent lightbulb. It’s already doubled its market cap to $7 billion in just one year.

Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda, May 2013. Credit Michael J. Bowles for Forbes

Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda, May 2013.
Credit Michael J. Bowles for Forbes

In the ad for Cree lightbulbs you see snow whipping across a desolate field as a bagpipe creaks out “Amazing Grace.” An announcer holds up a lightbulb and speaks into the camera. “Mr. Edison, today we lay to rest your creation, the incandescent lightbulb. I know you’re not shocked, sir. You knew that it needed an unreasonable amount of energy to do its job and that it had the life span of a lucky bug.”

He fits the bulb into a tiny wooden casket and places it into a hole in the ground. Then we see Cree’s new LED bulb. “The biggest thing since the lightbulb,” we’re told. Continue reading

DOE Announces $10.1M in Round 4 of New Investments to Drive Cost-Competitive LED Lighting

The US DOE has announced $10.1 million in funding to five companies for R&D intended to lower the cost of energy-efficient SSL lighting.

As a response to the SSL Manufacturing R&D funding opportunity announcement made in December, the US. Department of Energy (DOE) has competitively selected five projects for solid-state lighting (SSL) to receive the fourth round of funding. The two-year projectsLED will focus on reducing costs while maintaining quality by improving the quality and performance of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Total DOE funding for the five projects is $10.1 million, while the five companies will put in a matching $10.1 million investment. Continue reading