From Incandescent to LED: Massive Carbon SavingsThursday 28th May 2015 02:47pm
When Thomas Edison brought the first practical incandescent light globe to our homes over 100 years ago, the world was rightly amazed by this cutting-edge technology. And although some people were nervous about electricity in the home and preferred gaslight or candle light, it was clear from the start that electric light was here to stay. But gradually, over time, scientists started to wonder if the incandescent globe was the best way to light the world. The globes were fragile, they had short life spans, and they consumed quite a lot of power, making running costs high. Instead of converting all the power into light, they converted some of it into heat, which was released into the environment. Surely there was a way to make a globe which would use less energy and produce more light?
Saving The Planet
Enter the team of scientists who came up with blue light emitting diodes in the 1990s. LED lights convert electricity directly into photons of light instead of the mixture of heat and light generated by wasteful incandescent globes. Their work was so revolutionary that the scientists involved, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics 2014.
Of course, they didn’t get the prize just because the new lights save us money on our electricity bills. The real revolution here is that LED lights can be powered by simple, inexpensive solar panels, so households in the poorest parts of the world, where many families live off the electricity grids, are now able to light their homes safely and cheaply. Now their children can study in the evenings, and of course, using electric lights rather than wood fires reduces dangerous indoor air pollution and fire risk.
Most homeowners in Australia today keep an eye on their household finances and increasingly, a careful eye on their carbon footprint, as well. Saving energy on lighting is one of the easiest ways to reduce green house gas emissions. Australia prohibited the sale of incandescent globes some time ago, and you can see why when you look at the figures. LED lights use a tiny tenth of the power that incandescents used, and their carbon dioxide emissions are also ten times smaller. Because we still get some of our electricity from power plants that burn oil and other fossil fuels to produce the power, reducing our electricity usage is vital in the battle to save the environment. Add the fact that the typical life span of an incandescent globe was only 1,200 hours, while an LED globe will keep shining for 50,000 hours, and it’s obvious why they are flying off the shelves in lighting stores.
Although LED lights are more expensive than the old technology, they’re coming down in price all the time, and you’ll probably find that they pay for themselves within a year. Shopping for lighting online makes the process much easier, and if you check out the selection of LED lights at Lighting Illusions, you’ll find the perfect globe for every lamp and light fitting in your house.