Efficient light management: Enjoying stars, protecting wildlife and improving quality of life
Excessive lighting accounts for a considerable share of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas.As a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors and 2012 European Green Capital, the city of Vitoria - Gasteiz is actively working towards the improvement of outdoor lighting with the objective of increasing energy health conditions are also at risk, notably because of the effect produced on people's sleep patterns.Likewise,light pollutionis responsible for the disappearance of the heritage that starry sky constitutes. In Vitoria-Gasteiz, a city which is home to numerous natural parks, addressing issues such as inadequate light design and over-illumination has thus become a priority, with the city council recently adopting astrategic plan for sustainable lighting.This move is expected to reap efficient by at least 30% and substantially reducing light pollution.Excessive artificial lighting indeed causes harmful effects on the environment and biodiversity, as it can affect the natural behaviour of nocturnal animals and other species. Citizens' substantial economic benefits, derived from saved public spending and preservatio of natural areas, which stand to benefit from improved nocturnal landscape and starry sky.Street security should also be enhanced as a result of these measures, thanks to more efficient lighting systems. As part of the plan, thecitywill seek to raise citizens' awareness of the advantages of improved lighting. As light management is an exclusive competency of the local authority, Vitoria-Gasteiz also intends to take measures aimed at regulating private and promotional outdoor lighting. Vitoria-Gasteiz's actions in this field contribute to the objectives of >>Starlight Cities, one of the Covenant of Mayors-related initiatives
New LED lighting technology embraced by consumers, Total Cost of Ownership saves money over incandescent, fluorescent bulbs
The primary question that has emerged from conversations with potential customers concerns the perception that LED lights are very expensive. This article attempts to answer that question, as well as providing additional details on where these new LED lights can be successfully used around the home or office.First, the price issue: LED lights are, indeed,far more expensive up front than incandescentlights or fluorescent lights. Our high-end 10-watt LED light bulb, for example, currently costs just under $100. It replaces an incandescent 100-watt light bulb that typically costs around $1.So at first, the 10-watt LED light seems to be $99 more expensive.However, lights do not actually work unless they also consume electricity, and thus the real question about the cost of light bulbs must take into account the Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO. What is the TCO for producing 50,000 hours of light with a 100-watt incandescent bulb?As it turns out, a 100-watt light bulb actually uses 101.5 watts of electricity. Over 50,000 hours (which would require replacing it 50 times with a new bulb), it will use 5,075 kilowatt-hours of electricity, costing approximately $500 (based on ten cents per kilowatt-hour). So a 100-watt light bulb actually costs you $500 to operate over 50,000 hours. On top of that, it produces a whopping 10,150 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions which directly promote global warming and climate change. Mercury is also released into the atmosphere from all the energy usage, thanks to the fact that much of the electricity consumed in the world comes from coal-fired power plants that emit toxic mercury into the air.
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Standby Power Explained
The power consumed by appliances that are switched off or in standby mode is often referred to as standby power, vampire power, vampire draw, leaking electricity, or phantom load. A power adaptor, such as those used by laptop computers, with no power off switch of its own is a common source of vampire draw.Another is devices that have remote controls or inbuilt digital clocks.Although the amount of electricity wasted by an individual device when in standby mode is comparatively small,when there are a number of devices in the home that are just sitting there wasting energy in this way then it can add up to quite a large amount.An energy review undertaken by the UK government in 2006 found that over eight percent of all the energy used in theUK could be attributed to devices in standby mode.The power used by a typical appliance in standby mode is around ten to fifteen watts, and sometimes more.Though it does not take a huge amount of energy to power typical standby functions such as status LEDs, remote control receivers, and small displays, when a number of devices of this sort are plugged in and left on all the time, it can account for more than twenty percent of all the power used by appliances in the home.An American study in 1998 estimated that vampire power consumption was responsible for around a twentieth of all the residential electricity usage in America, costing around three billion dollars annually. The sheer amount of energy wasted in this way is equivalent to the combined output of nearly twenty power stations operating at or near full capacity.It is also estimated that, in the average home, around three quarters of the energy used by home electronics devices, such as VCRs, hi-fis, toasters, and televisions, is consumed when those appliances are in standby mode. The only way to make sure that you are not wasting energy in this way is by unplugging the devices or using power strips with separate switches for each appliance.Modern appliances tend to be far more energy efficient than older ones, partly due to advances in technology, and partly due to legislation. In 2006, the UK government outlawed the sale of audio visual equipment - such as televisions and DVD players - that exceeded a power draw of more than one watt in standby mode. Even stricter rules came into play in California in 2005, which limited the amount of standby power that could be drawn by external power supplies to just half a watt.
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