Nicole Scherzinger lights up the red carpet in Twitter LED dress

Nicole Scherzinger took center stage and really shined at the launch of the new 4G network – EE. The X factor beauty wore the first ever Twitter dress covered in 2000 LED’s.

She took to Twitter to promote the event: ”I’ve been asked to wear the UK’s first ever twitter dress tonight for the @EE Launch Party @BatterseaPowerStation #tweetthedress So EXCITED!”

Fans were urged to Tweet Nicole with there messages appearing live on her dress. Is this revolutionary fashion statement the first of many LED inspired outfits? We can just imagine Posh and Becks walking the red carpet wearing LED outfits promoting their brand. We here at IstoriaLED cant wait to see what innovative designs they come up with!

- Nick IstoriaLEDImage

The 50 things that will save the planet

Great article written by The Guardian on 50 ways to save the planet, have a read and see what steps you can take to help…

The top 20: What the panel prescribes

Dramatically improve the energy efficiency of electrical goods
Religious leaders to make the environment a priority for their followers
Encourage the widespread use of solar power throughout the world
Secure a meaningful post-Kyoto treaty on reducing the emissions that contribute to global warming
Encourage households to generate much more of their own power
Introduce tax incentives to “buy green”
Tackle the rapid growth in aviation emissions
Wean ourselves off dependency on petroleum
Encourage individuals to buy less non-essential “stuff “
10 Dramatically improve public transport
11 Aim for a “zero waste” culture
12 Install “smart energy” meters in all homes
13 Introduce a measure of economic success that includes the environment
14 Fully harness Britain’s huge potential for generating renewable energy
15 Seek alternative, less damaging sources for biofuels
16 Bury carbon dioxide from power stations underground
17 Encourage hydrogen fuel cell technology in cars
18 Implement government policies to control global population growth
19 Reach international agreement on preserving rainforests
20 Create better incentives to improve energy efficiency in the home

Read the full list and start to make a difference today

Baltimore turns to LEDs

Demonstrating the huge benefits of using LED lighting is a key part of this blog. Nothing highlights these benefits better than showing real life examples of where LED has gone on to make a real difference, both financially and environmentally.

A recent example of this can be found in The Baltimore Sun which describes how the largest city in Maryland is replacing 70,000 sodium vapour streetlights over the next three years with energy saving LEDs.

The newspaper has reported that the project will help Baltimore save $1.9 million on its annual electricity bill plus $275,000 per year in maintenance costs because they don’t have to be replaced as often as the old bulbs. From an environmental standpoint, the conversion will also help cut down on light pollution.

LEDs - BaltimoreSo far, the first phase of the project is about 80% complete, with 8,000 new LED lights in place. The next phase will involve swapping out lights owned by the local utility, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

“I’m getting positive responses from citizens. The streets are brighter,” Ted Atwood, director of Baltimore’s Department of General Services, told the Sun. “You have the efficiency of the light and you have less light pollution because you can focus the light better and have less light spilling out.”

Some have criticised the way LEDs focus the lights, believing they will be less effective in illuminating some sidewalks which could present a public safety issue. According to City Councilman, Robert W. Curran, “They don’t seem to be as effective as the vapour lights”.

Despite these rather typical growing pains, however, many other Maryland municipalities and agencies are making the switch. That’s because estimates from the Clinton Climate Initiative says streetlights can account for as much as 60% of a municipality’s electric bill. They also last about twice as long.

A recent analysis by the Department of Energy found that LEDs have the smallest environmental footprint among lighting technologies.

For that reason, they are often at the centre of corporate and government energy efficiency projects, such as a major office retrofit completed in New York by Ernst & Young earlier this summer as well as a remodelling at the iconic Empire State Building. Additionally, retailers can make use of LED spotlights such as GU10 LEDs and MR16 LEDs to save money and be environmentally friendly.

empire state building LED

LED lighting – A major player at the Olympics.

The use of LEDs at the London 2012 Olympics played a paramount role in overall logistics and the execution of the Opening and Closing ceremonies. Here we look more in depth at five areas where the use LEDs made parts of the Olympics stunning and practical as they were.

1. The Olympics Rings

As one of the highlights of the Opening ceremony, the visual effects of the rising of the Olympic rings symbolising the Industrial Revolution was stunning. To create this 14,00m of LED lighting was used. The spectacle was able to go forward due to the sustainable nature of LEDs. The games were contracted to be eco-friendly.

2. Light displays amongst the stadium crowds

LED- lit seats in the Olympic stadium allowed for lights to change colour, forming dynamic visual displays of form, pattern and text. The use of 9-LED modules on each Olympic seat was the base for these acclaimed lighting extravaganzas. In total, 14, 00 lamps were supplied to make this achievable.

3. Tower Bridge

As previously mentioned on the blog in May, LEDs were used to ignite Tower Bridge. The bridge was lit in gold a total of 29 times following every success of a British athlete or team claiming the top position. In the long term, the use of these LEDS here are set to cut current energy usage by a whopping 40%.

4. Dove bikes at the Opening Ceremony

The “dove bikes” were created by Paul Hughes who works for a company specialising in extreme sports displays. Tiny LEDS were sown into the fabric wings of the riders dressed as doves. Lights could be operated using a switch wired to the handlebars allowing riders to switch off their lights in the event of any technical mishap.

5. Olympic Park

The colossal 246-hectare Olympic Park was illumined at night by 25,000 Tetra PowerMAX LED modules and Tetra LED Drivers. The use of LEDs created a unified aesthetic for the park using light levels of 15 or 30 lux with a colour temperature of 3000K. Light levels will be dropped to 15, 5 or 2 lux following the end of the Paralympics.

The use of LEDs undoubtedly contributed hugely to the eco-friendly approach of the Olympics. This allowed the games to not only follow the contract but be visually delectable and on current lighting trend. Home owners and retail companies can also utilise LED lights in the form of AR111 LED bulbs or GU10 LED lights to be eco-friendly.

How much energy do LED streetlights actually save?

LED systems are increasingly being adopted around the world in a variety and increasing number of ways. They are being increasingly used in households and for bigger government infrastructure projects.

For several governments around the world the energy savings have inspired large projects aimed at replacing old inefficient streetlights with modern LED lighting. But how much energy does implementing this kind of technology actually save?

LED streetlight

The Climate Group has recently released the findings of a two-and-a-half-year study which examined the use of LEDs in major cities, and how consumers view these lighting systems.

Titled “Lighting the Clean Revolution: The Rise of LED Street Lighting and What it Means for Cities”, the report is aimed at policymakers and city lighting managers who want to further explore the potential of LED technology in urban areas.

Piloting 15 separate schemes in 12 cities across the globe — including New York, London and Kolkata — the company found that in some cases, LED technology accounted for an 85 percent reduction in energy costs.

The LED lighting systems under trial indicated that those with a lifespan range of 50,000 – 100,000 hours provided the best return on investment for lighting urban areas and cutting costs. Furthermore, the rate of failure after providing 6,000 hours of lighting was far lower than traditional lights — at only one percent.

The programme also indicates that citizens of pilot cities prefer LED lighting, citing social and environmental benefits. In Kolkata, London, Sydney and Toronto, between 68 and 90 percent of respondents indicated that they approved of city-wide LED rollouts.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group said:

“This report clearly highlights that LEDs are ready to be scaled-up in towns and cities across the globe. We are now calling on Governments to remove policy obstacles and enable a rapid transition to low carbon lighting.”

If you have any questions or are considering reducing your energy bills through LEDs please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

LED lights – the lighting of the future

LEDs have existed for decades. Whilst ten years ago you might only know them for lighting up the back of your watch or in flashy toys, LEDs have come a long way and are currently dominating lighting technology. From your home, to your car and now your TV screen – LED technology has revolutionised lighting in many technologies and products.

LEDs in your home

Traditionally, incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs have been used for lighting but are notoriously energy inefficient. CFL bulbs (compact fluorescent lamp) are fluorescent bulbs that were first used as energy saving alternatives to traditional bulbs. LEDs are now superseding CFLs as the leading energy saving light technology.

Until recently, LEDs have been too expensive for many residential applications or personal buyers. LEDs are now affordable for many families and when you consider you can save up to 85% on your lighting bill in your first year alone, you can often see a return on investment after 12 months.

CFLs were also often derided for their slow warm-up time; it often took a couple of minutes for a CFL bulb to light at full power and people compared them unfavourably to incandescent bulbs that would reach full power instantly.

LEDs are a fantastic alternative to incandescent or halogen bulbs as they offer the same light temperature, brightness and wattage and can shine at full strength immediately. Combine this with their unparalleled lifespan and energy efficiency and you can see why many people are turning to LEDs in the home. Although the initial cost to buy an LED bulb may still be high, the savings you can make over its lifetime more than pay for the initial investment.

LEDs in businesses

LEDs are also increasingly used in businesses. Shops, restaurants and offices are often required to have several lights on all day at the same time – this is very different from how a house or family uses lights. Having inefficient lights on at the same time all day can lead to significant electricity bills!

Increasingly businesses are turning to LEDs to cut energy waste and save money. Whereas CFLs were sometimes not bright enough for specific retail uses, LEDs offer a fantastic light quality, temperature and brightness meaning GU10 LED bulbs, AR111 LED bulbs and MR16 LED bulbs can be used for shop displays and lighting without compromising the shopping experience.

LEDs are not only beneficial for their light quality; their energy efficiency means they do not generate nearly as much heat as traditional halogen bulbs. An enclosed room that utilises halogen spotlights can heat up be several degrees meaning businesses may need to spend additional money on air conditioning to cool the temperature down. Furthermore, for food stores or eateries, raising the ambient temperature can cause issues for keep the produce fresh. LED bulbs can help solve this issue.

LED’s to save $100bn over 5 years

LED bulbThe ‘Opportunities for Power Components in LED Lighting’ report by IMS Research claims that the widespread adoption of retrofit LED lamps will create global energy savings worth $100bn over the next five years.

Right now LED lighting for general use is not widespread but the rapid uptake of retrofit LED lamps will result in a potential market of more than 4 billion units by 2016, the market research firm expects.

Although LED adoption is often driven by legislation it is forecast to accelerate as consumers become more aware of the long-term savings that are possible when compared with competing lighting technologies.

LED’s to save Planet Earth $billions

“The environmental impact that global adoption of LED lighting will have is colossal,” says report co-author and senior market analyst Ryan Sanderson. “Lighting accounts for approximately 19% of the world’s energy use at present,” he adds. “IMS predicts that in 2016 around 15% of all lighting will be accounted for by LED, which would reduce global energy consumption of lighting by around 20%.”

Retrofit LED lamps use a fraction of the power of incandescent lamps to provide an equally good if not better luminance. The report forecasts that in 2012 alone the use of retrofit LED lamps in place of incandescent lamps will result in energy savings of more than 30 gigawatt hours. By 2016, with widespread adoption of retrofit LED lamps, these savings are forecast to reach more than 300GWe. It is calculated that the five-year cumulative total will be more than 800GWe, worth more than $100bn.

“To generate the 800GWe of energy in 2016 years you would need to run more than 50 nuclear power stations at full capacity,” says report co-author and market analyst Jonathon Eykyn. “At a time when the world is struggling to balance the use of more sustainable power sources with the need to provide access to low-cost power sources to support economic growth, LED lighting could be a large part of the solution,” he adds.

Reducing your bills

The benefits of using LED lamps to the general consumer are reductions in average household energy bills, says IMS. To buy and power a lamp for four hours a day for a year, it costs the average household $20 for an incandescent lamp currently, but it would cost $16 for an LED lamp (a saving of 20%).

An LED lamp has an average life expectancy of 30,000 hours (30 times longer than an incandescent lamp and 3.75 times longer than a CFL lamp). If the savings were calculated over the lifetime of the lamp, LED lamps become the cheapest solution, notes IMS.

For example, a typical house with 15 lamps would save more than $5100 over 20 years by switching from incandescent to retrofit LED lamps. These savings will increase as the cost of LED lamps continues to fall significantly, especially over the next five years, forecasts the market research firm.

The Table below, provided by Istoria LED breaks down the cost savings to give you a clear understanding of the savings that can be made

Incandescent Halogen Fluorescent LED
Purchase price $2 $4 $4 $20
Electricity usage 60 W 42 W 13 W 9 W
Lumen 660 570 825 900
Lumens/Watt 11 13.6 63.5 100
Lifespan (hours) 2000 3500 8000 25000
Bulb cost over 10 years $22 $28 $12 $20
Energy cost over 10 years – @15cents/kWhr $197.10 137.97 $42.70 $29.57
Total $219.1 165.97 $54.71 $49.57