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?

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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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LEDs Change Thinking About the Light Bulb

Philips sells a range of energy-enhancing lights, including the goLITE BLU, a panel of blue LEDs.

Philips sells a range of energy-enhancing lights, including the goLITE BLU, a panel of blue LEDs.

Lights are no longer just for lighting.

With the development of LED lamp technology, the lowly light bulb is doing more than turning on and off. A lamp can be the centerpiece of an environment meant to improve health, moods and even food.

LEDs can create light in multiple colors, generate less heat and use a fraction of the energy of older types of bulbs. And LEDs can be controlled remotely from a PC or smartphone app, as programmable as a television. Continue reading

New LED Bulb Stays On In Power Outages

We have all experienced it, the dreaded power outage. One minute the family is enjoying their favorite TV show, and the next everyone is sitting in the dark and wondering what to do now that the tech toys are nothing more than paper weights. This is surely a major annoyance, but in some parts of the continent, it is much more than that. In locations with frequent severe weather, power outages are much more common occurrences and can last for much longer periods of time. What lasts half an hour at your house can last for hours, or even days, in remote locations or in instances of major storms. Never mind the bored and whiny kids and defrosting freezer: the lack of light makes every task at hand that much harder and more dangerous to complete; At least until now. A project found on Kickstarter is just the ticket to make power outages that much more bearable, even if they seem to last and last.

Innovative LED bulb has battery inside to allow it to keep working even in a power outage.

Innovative LED bulb has battery inside to allow it to keep working even in a power outage.

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What’s Best, LED or Incandescent Lights?

Q. I’m replacing the lights in my home before putting it on the market. Is it better to install LED fixtures, if it’s true that incandescent bulbs are being phased out? 

A. From a sales perspective, high-efficiency LED lighting is a nice perk, said Ron Lense, an associate real estate broker at Douglas Elliman in Manhattan. But it may not significantly affect your selling price.

Steven Miric/Getty Images

Steven Miric/Getty Images

“Everybody loves going green,” he said. “They just don’t necessarily want to pay a lot of extra money for it.”

LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular, he said, and if you install it now, “you’ll be ahead of the curve.” Just be cautious about the fixtures you choose, “because this is emerging technology that is quickly changing.” Continue reading

Organic LEDs, The Next Generation of Office Lighting?

According to estimates from New York’s Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), about 40 percent of electricity in the US is consumed by office buildings. One upstate company, OLEDWorks, is developing technology that could help to lower this consumption.

Credit: Some rights reserved by Greg Marshall

Credit: Some rights reserved by Greg Marshall

The company’s developing organic L-E-D technology, or OLEDs, as a more efficient alternative for lighting the nation’s office spaces. Continue reading