Energy Efficient Lighting – LEDs

The innovation of the light emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs began the era of energy-efficient lighting. Let’s explore the benefits of LED lightbulbs.

LEDs are designed to be small and efficient. While at times more expensive than a CFL, LEDs make up for this cost difference in longevity. Of course, as the technology improves, the price of LEDs will continue to drop. With the growing application of LEDs, the standard for their design is also expanding to cater to different lightbulb styles.

Here are some of the benefits of using LED lightbulbs:

  1. Long Lifespan – On average, LEDs last 10 times longer than their compact fluorescent counterparts and far outlasting the standard incandescent lightbulbs.
  2. Durability – With the simplicity of their design, LEDs can withstand more jarring conditions than a standard lightbulb. The fragility of using the filament in an incandescent lightbulb is not a factor in LEDs.
  3. Mercury-Free – Mercury is not used in LED manufacturing.
  4. Energy Efficiency – LEDs last so long because of how efficiently they use energy. Depending on the use, LEDs use only one-third to one-thirtieth the electrical energy of an incandescent or CFL bulb. In comparison, a small LED flashlight may extend the life of a battery by as much as 15 times.
  5. Cost Efficiency – Although we mentioned that LEDs are generally more expensive, these costs are returned over time in battery life and use.
  6. Portable Light – Since LEDs require so very little electricity to run, they are ideal for lighting remote areas or for portable lighting. It becomes more cost effective to use solar panels, for example, in a remote area than to run electrical cables or using a generator. A solar panel will produce just enough energy to run an LED.

Now that you know the benefits of using light emitting diodes, next time, we’ll cover the benefits of using a compact fluorescent light bulb.

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Power Outage Leaves Thousands Without Electricity

A thunderstorm in East Pennsboro has caused a massive power outage all over Cumberland County. Thousands were left without electricity and crews of electricians scrambling to restore power to the grid. Even as these service crews worked at restoring power back to the county, another storm hit and knocked out power to even more homes. It took the utility companies’ days since the first storm hit to recover power to their customers.

Met-Ed reported just a few customers experiencing a power outage at the beginning of the storm but as it rolled through the county that small number became hundreds. This was nothing, however, in comparison to what PPL customers experienced as their coverage area took a massive hit. What started out with one report of a power outage in Hampden Township, soon hit over 70,000 customers. Several townships and counties were affected as the storm watch continued. When the severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were finally called off, it had left tens of thousands of people in East Pennsboro without power.

As the reports rolled in, electrical service crews went out to restore power. Met-Ed and PPL continued to monitor on their websites which areas were still down and which had been brought back up. Down power lines had to be fixed. Trees that had fallen on cables had to be removed. Damaged electrical stations and units needed restoration. Fortunately, for the residents and businesses of East Pennsboro, the utility companies were able to restore in short order after the storm’s passing.

Sometimes power outages happen. Sometimes they are caused by natural disasters and other times not. It’s always good to have an electrical restoration backup plan for your home and business should it happen to you.

Solar Power for Lease to Home-Owners

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to take advantage of solar power. A Staten Island company is helping home-owners take advantage of the summer sun by allowing them to lease solar panels for a fixed, monthly lease payment instead of buying the entire system upfront.

Similar solar panel leasing programs have been around for some time now which is a great sign as home-owners are looking for ways to save money on their energy bills. Staten Island is just one of the places that is promoting these “go green” solutions. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has shared that there are over 100 solar power construction projects on Staten Island since the first system was installed back in December of 2011. About half of these solar panels are leases or power purchase agreements.

The state of New York has also instituted a rebate program for the contractors that install these solar panel systems at the rate of $1.40 per watt. These savings are then passed on to the consumer making the installation of these green solutions even more economical.

How does Con Edison feel about this explosion of solar panels in New York? Apparently, they have supported the New York Sun Initiative and other such solar programs which is putting millions of dollars into the development of more solar energy use. The logic here is that with the help of solar energy in heavily populated areas, it may help lessen the demand for electricity during peak times of the year.

Of course, solar energy is more than practical and economical, it is also environmentally contentious. Installing more solar panels in New York is going to reduce the city’s “carbon footprint” over time. The more solar energy consumption is promoted, the less we will rely on burning natural gas and coal which we all know to be bad for the environment.

It’s time to “go green”.