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A brighter future is in the offing for LEDs (light-emitting diodes) as more and more homes, industries and businesses are replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lights in a bid to establish energy efficiency and cut down electricity costs.
Although there is only an 8% demand for smelting aluminium and 12% for lighting in Australia, an 85% reduction in electrical usage is a breakthrough.
Lighting efficiency is measured through the number of lumens emitted per watt by the lighting source. If your electrician replaces your common incandescent bulb producing 13 lumens per watt with an LED bulb emitting 80 lumens per watt, there is indeed a big difference.
There have been speculations that CREE, one of the leaders in the industry, is planning to acquire Philips’ Lumileds division. The company’s product, sold at $10 on the US market, is said to be eyed as a replacement to the old style 60W globe for its ability to produce 85 lumens per watt.
On other developments, German researchers made a breakthrough by reducing energy losses by half, from 10% down to 5%, with the use of semiconductor materials. This new innovation will affect not only laptop and mobile phone chargers but also LED lights.
Moreover, the US Department of Energy’s SSL (Solid State Lighting) programme has the potential to cut lighting energy usage down to a third in 2020 by replacing the incandescent bulb with LED lights producing 250 lumens per watt. This means increase in wall plug efficiencies.
Rooms that usually require 60 watts of power to have sufficient lighting will now only need 3 watts and still have the same effect with the use of a LED bulb with 250 lumens. With this technological advancement, the 19% global demand for electricity will have a dramatic decrease of 75%. The same goes with the use by businesses worldwide. With the help of a commercial electrician, a building establishment can save on energy bills with LED replacements.
Since the lighting sector in developed countries needs to restructure electricity supply, LEDs’ efficiency can be a boost to achieve their goals for better lighting at reduced energy costs. With reports that rooms in households can now have ample lighting with just 3 watts, the 1.5 billion world population without electricity will be able to light their homes within 5 years at a slight marginal cost.
As lighting efficiency increases, so are the efficiencies of solar photovoltaic panels and batteries. With both institutional and non-institutional grants, Australia can focus on its own research on achieving increase in lighting efficiency. In fact, upgrades in new lighting technology are already in the planning stages to cut costs across Australia.
Is the LED revolution looking at a brighter future? With the technology’s unlimited applications and overall effect on industries, households and the environment, it definitely is.