To the editor:
I just finished your article "Let there be solid-state light." I
totally agree. Fluorescent is only a temporary solution with many problems.
I developed my first drop-in replacement to an incandescent LED light bulb back
in 1972 for Burroughs Corp. Since that time I may have designed, manufactured
and supplied a few million LED light bulbs. These LED light bulbs [ranged] from
the tiny grain-of-wheat [bulbs] used in miniature lighted push-button switches
to LED light bulbs.... Each year, the LED bulbs I am supplying are already reducing
3 to 5 megawatts of energy over [the] previous year because the LED bulbs built
correctly almost last forever. Millions of my LED bulbs are still working [after
nearly] three decades.
President and CEO
Let there be solid-state light
by Nicolas Mokhoff
(03/26/2007 9:00 AM EDT)
The Lighting Efficiency Coalition wants the U.S. marketplace to transition
fully to energy-efficient lighting products by 2016. Leading the charge is Philips
Lighting Co., the world's largest manufacturer of light bulbs and lighting products.
The coalition claims the market transformation will save consumers and businesses
approximately $18 billion annually on electricity bills while saving an amount
of lighting energy equivalent to the power generated by 30 nuclear power plants
(at 1,000 megawatts) or up to 80 coal-burning power plants (at 500 MW).
In addition, energy-efficient lighting would avoid power plant emissions of
more than 158 million tons of carbon dioxide and 5,700 pounds of airborne mercury.
The coalition wants us to replace our inefficient incandescents--the design
Edison came up with a century ago--with fluorescent equivalents. You can be
sure Philips is accumulating inventories of these one-for-one replacements,
which cost more to buy but purportedly cost far less to operate over time.
I've soaked up my share of fluorescent light during a career spent at a desk.
Of course, I prefer sunlight to the glaring artificial light we are forced to
endure during the workday. Now, if some have their way, we will have to endure
the same glare in our homes. Then there's the suspected health hazard--the radio
waves that "flicker" from fluorescent bulbs. Add those to the countless
other "minuscule" radio waves emanating from our cell phones, wireless
notebooks and other wireless paraphernalia.
To be fair, the Lighting Efficiency Coalition is pushing for government and
utility incentives that would encourage consumers and businesses to replace
their traditional light bulbs in steps, starting with compact fluorescents and
eventually moving to light-emitting diodes. I say we wait for LEDs to become
practical replacements for incandescent bulbs in the home.
There are many problems to be solved before solid-state sources convincingly
emulate the "warm" light of an incandescent and the efficiency of
the fluorescent, but we ought to be focusing more effort on using electronics
to meet our lighting challenges and less on using mercury and phosphor to make
light. Government initiatives should encourage the development of efficient
solid-state lighting solutions to narrow the price gap with incandescents.
One way to advance this debate is to weigh in on blogs such as www.ecogeek.org,
greentopics.blogspot.com and jacklewis.net/weblog.
And don't forget to read our own greensupplyline.com.
Contribute to the discussion. We can all use a little "enlightenment."