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Old 08-25-2010, 02:26 PM
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Default Replacing Light bulbs with LED may not reduce energy consumption.

This was in todays science newsletter:

LEDs promise brighter future, not necessarily greener

A study looked at the reaction of civilization to prior efficiency increases in technology. The main focus is on light use, but the same can be applied to many other technologies like cars, freezers, air conditioning,...
The authors looked at light use and its efficiency in correlation with energy availability and energy consumption.

Quote:
"Over the past three centuries, according to well-accepted studies from a range of sources, the world has spent about 0.72 percent of the world's per capita gross domestic product on artificial lighting," said Tsao. "This is so for England in 1700, in the underdeveloped world not on the grid and in the developed world using the most advanced lighting technologies. There may be little reason to expect a different future response from our species."
The bottomline is: Every new increase in efficiency did not lead to a reduction in energy consumption, but to an increase in the overall light output. In the case of light bulbs this means that replacing conventional light bulbs with LED ones will not as it is often assumed reduce the energy consumption by light, but in the long run it will increase the usage of light. Simply put - as light is getting cheaper, there is less need to save on using it. People may start to leave the light on on the porch or in the staircase out of convinience, safety concerns or to keep indoor plants healthy.
Of course the future is hard to predict, but that trend in the reaction of society to improved efficiency is visible in the past 300 years, according to the study.

Quote:
Researcher Jerry Simmons points out, "More fuel-efficient cars don't necessarily mean we drive less; we may drive more. It's a tension between supply and demand. So, improvements in light-efficient technologies may not be enough to affect energy shortages and climate change.
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Last edited by auroraglacialis; 08-25-2010 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:06 PM
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Speaking for myself only, I know that if some really cheap LED lightbulbs came along, I'd just leave them on all day.

That said, I leave my lights on all day already, so that'd mean reduced consumption
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:58 PM
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At least LED bulbs have a very long lifetime so people won't need to get new ones all the time. Less resources spent on the manufacturing of the bulbs.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:36 PM
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I can see where they are coming from. But I for one turn the light off whenever I leave the room. And during the day, there not on.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:14 PM
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Seems obvious enough, I guess. If a light was free to run, you'd leave it on all day, but even cheaper lighting means people are less likely to just turn it off if they're out of the room for 5 min or so too, I guess
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:20 AM
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Well - speaking for our house here, since there are LED lights, there is a light running 24h in the staircase now. The benefit of it is, that in this staircase without windows, there are now plants. So that is exactly the point of that article - there comes more light out of it for the same price. For people, the price is acceptable, so they just enjoy the more light.
The point is however, that this means, that increased efficiency will not really decrease consumption as it is often claimed. So if people talk about reducing CO2 output by changing all the light bulbs by energy saver bulbs or LED lights - they may not be right in the long run. And as I said, this rather applies to other things as well - I dont see, that the energy consumption of this civilization will decrease significantly - there may be a chance for a leveling or a slight decrease though, especially if energy gets more expensive.
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Last edited by auroraglacialis; 08-26-2010 at 09:22 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:02 AM
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All are lights get turned odd when we are not in the room. We do have some LEDs outside for tree lights (that get turned on at like 8 and off at midnight) and two porch lights that stay on through the night. Unfortunately all are inside lights are high powered halogen lights, but we plan on phasing them out to LEDs. We don't normally worry about bulbs burning out, so I doubt we will act differently with LED lights. Also we are switching from pure gas/oil power to 100% wind power soon.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:19 AM
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LEDs may not necessarily lead to reduced consumption but further breakthroughs and developments of it's kind will as there is a very obvious limit to how many hours per day we can leave a light on. The only way we could keep up the same amount of energy consumption with increasingly efficient lighting is by compulsively buying and using lamps.... Which is actually sort of funny to picture.

I think the more important thing LEDs do is offer people a cheap and easy way to be greener. There are lots of people out there like me who would love to grow their own food, install solar panels, and create a water system that recycles water from their sinks and laundry machine but who are poor and living in an apartment where this is not even remotely feasible. It helps us do our part and it can help keep the spirit up. After all at least us poor people are doing something. It's also like metal water bottles or Brita filters; they're easy changes towards a greener life that you can usually sell friends and family members on. Not only is this obviously good because they're now living slightly greener but it encourages them to think in more eco-friendly terms - I've seen it happen and it's a wonderful thing when it does.

All in all the LED isn't an answer, just a tool which can be used towards positive ends.

PS, before anyone asks why I have internet if I'm so poor, I need it for work. I'm a substitute and I sign up for jobs online.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:22 AM
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Need I say more...

Besides, residential energy consumption is only about 15% of the total and only 20% of that is lighting... AND efficiency can only be raised by so much - the problem in the end is not efficiency but overconsumption.

Indeed it helps to "keep the spirits up" and to give people the feeling that "they are doing something", they can feel "green" and shed some of the guilt that was laid on them - still, 85% of the energy goes not into residential stuff!
I'm not saying not to use LED lights - we do so at our home. But I'm just saying that one should not believe, that this makes a great impact (even if ALL people do this). People should not fall to the illusion that they have done a great thing by using LED lights and that this frees them of their duty to go far beyond that to help the planet.

Cheap lighting WILL allow poorer people to have more light and to use a tiny bit less electricity, it will allow average people to have a lot more light or use a littel bit less electricity - maybe it will allow companies to light supermarkets and stores cheaper - maybe it will allow them to build huge glowing and shining commercial signs or decorations to attract customers for cheap...

People just tend to use new technologies not to reduce their impact, but to increase life quality. Just as every advance in hard disk technology does not lead to people using less hard disks, but to put more and more data on them. I do that - I used to have one with my important data on it. Later I had my mp3 collection on it, even later I put videos, youtube-clips, tv recordings and huge archives of stuff on it - So I still have 3 HDDs in my PC as before, I did not reduce them, I just increased the amount of data I decided its worth storing as storage became cheaper. Just as with software - Imagine running a Windows 7 on a 10 year old laptop to browse the net - wont work. It requires more computing power which is cheaply available. Use Ubuntu and the old laptop is fine (though it may not look as nice and have not as many gadgets)
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Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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