Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Efficient lighting pt 1

While some time ago, I began a discussion of LED lights, I think the time is here to begin discussion of efficient lighting in general. Part of the reason for this is that electricity (including batteries) went up about 40% in the last two years, with another 30% rise expected in the next two years.

I began experimenting with LED lights a couple years ago, and found that the technology had matured to the point where they were useful in flashlights, or other battery powered applications. In addition to flashlights I also bought headlamps, lanterns, puck lights, and a reading lamp. The only light to fail out of these was the reading lamp. It was also the only one to run on household electric power, instead of batteries.

For applications that run on household electric power, I recommend fluorescent lighting. The advances made in this field a couple of years ago, and now becoming economical are terrific. In addition, the cost factor in batteries (battery power tends to be about 2000 times the cost of household electric power) makes the economics for the two situations quite different.

None of the lights I have bought are cutting edge, and I don't recommend buying cutting edge technology (living on the cutting edge is a good way to bleed green). However, they are fairly new, and most of the time I bought stuff that had been on the market for only a year or two.

I will, of course, have to write more on this subject, but there is plenty of time. The cost of good lights is going down, and the cost of electricity shouldn't be going up for a few more months.

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