LEDs in Action
Switzerland’s largest LED lights installation can now be found, perhaps fittingly, in its largest city.
That is after LED lighting solutions designed by Dutch electronics company, Philips, were used to renovate the Hardbrücke Bridge in central Zurich, adding a new dimension to the surrounding areas and drastically reducing energy costs. Continue reading
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) is a non-profit organisation that has tasked itself with providing free, impartial advice on energy saving practices.
Back in 2009, they received government funding to run trials of LED lighting – in order to show once and for all that LEDs could deliver on their promises of reducing energy consumption and cost. Continue reading
Our universities are amongst the finest in the world. Historical seats of learning, they have been beacons of enlightenment, some for hundreds of years.
But in these times of spiralling energy costs, are they doing everything they can to combat wastefulness and profligacy, and to instil high environmental ideals in the minds of their students?
A Surprising Development
On first examination, it would appear that the answer to this question is no, however, one of our more ecologically-aware institutions appears to be adopting a more forward-thinking and pragmatic approach to the thorny issue of illumination, and it may surprise you to discover which one it is!
One might imagine that the older the learning establishment, the more historically entrenched would be its thinking. Thankfully, this is not always the case as, founded in 1209, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the fourth-oldest surviving university on the planet, yet it is rolling out a whole host of forward-thinking green initiatives, intended to demonstrate a real commitment to solving environmental issues.
What’s The University’s Problem?
The Cambridge University Green Challenge, and it encompasses every building on the University’s operational estate. It has been estimated that 4.78 Megawatts of artificial lighting currently exists across the estate and, if used for 10 hours daily, will consume approximately the same amount of energy as around 5,200 households; roughly 10% of households in the entire city of Cambridge.
Under the University’s innovative and forward-thinking Energy and Carbon Reduction Project, older, less efficient lighting will to be replaced with new more efficient LED lights (Light-Emitting Diodes) over a wide variety of buildings and locations on the University’s estate.
What’s The Solution?
The new LED lighting will also be fitted with integrated 'SMART' controls, which will act as light and motion sensors. This feature will ensure that the LED lights are switched off when the rooms aren’t in use; one of the major factors in energy wastage.
In the past, lighting across the University estate has been replaced on a fairly disorganised, as-required basis. Replacing lights, where viable to do so, on a building-by-building basis allows for consistency; the benefits of which include consistent user behaviour, easier maintenance as well as improved aesthetics and comfort.
What’s The Impact?
As an example, the Department of Pathology has recently had the vast majority of its lights replaced with environmentally-friendly LED lighting. The energy-saving resulting from this is already being observed, with an average percentage reduction of 71%. This is predicted to save the department around £8,000 per year.
Obviously, this may only take into account the huge energy-savings that are due to the new LEDs’ energy-efficiency. Whilst these are undoubtedly substantial, the true benefits will only really be noticed in the mid and long-terms, as LEDs have a much longer life-expectancy than the traditional bulbs they replace.
This means not only far fewer replacements, but also greatly reduced costs in terms of labour and man-hours.
With LED lights boasting an average lifetime of 50,000 hours, the University can expect its faculty and students to be illuminated for 17.12 years...that’s a LOT of lectures and seminars!
German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has conjured up a rather ingenious approach to advertising its new range of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and it involves LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology. Continue reading