IKEA makes the switch to LED bulbs – but Americans still don’t know about them

This week IKEA announced they plan to sell only LED bulbs by 2016, becoming the first furniture retailer in the United States to do so.

A round-up of the stories covering this:

The total annual cost saving (including purchase price and energy consumption cost) of switching one incandescent 40W bulb to a corresponding LED bulb, is about $6.25. – Earth Techling

While the high cost of non-traditional lighting may be prohibitive for some, the company says that it will “be selling the LED bulbs at the lowest price on the market” (IKEA’s cheapest LED bulb currently starts at $9.99). – The Verge

But what most Americans (about 73%) don’t know is that LED bulbs last 20 years, incandescent bulbs, by contrast, last only about a year. – Daily Finance

IKEA said the effort fits in with its phase-out of plastic bags in 2007 and incandescent bulbs in 2010. – Market Watch

 

Continue reading IKEA makes the switch to LED bulbs – but Americans still don’t know about them

A stunning light installation for 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco

For the 75th anniversary of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge the city is installing a world-class art installation. It will feature 25,000 white LED lights strung all across the bridge – some 1.5 miles wide and 500 feet high. And will be on display from February 2013-2015.

An artist rendition:

 

 

The artist is Leo Villareal who creates pieces composed exclusively of light. One of them is on permanent display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.:

 

 

Continue reading A stunning light installation for 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco

5 energy saving tips, what are yours?

Yesterday, Google released it’s electricity usage and the numbers are fantastical.

The company uses 260 million watts which is the output of 1/4 of a nuclear power plant.

For each google search we use 0.3 watt-hours of electricity. I’m not sure how much that is but I do like the idea of server firing up when I type in “chad ocho cinco”.

This got me thinking about my last posts discussing how electricity is the main cause of global warming, the follow-up about my local power plant, and the popular solar parking lots.

Electricity is the problem of the decade and any bit of savings we can get are huge. A little research shows that retail prices are shooting up, over 41% since 2000 (3.5%/year), and expected to go even higher.

This website gives electricity prices for each state and here are the winners:

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Highest average price, 2010

  • Hawaii (25.12¢ per kWh)
  • Connecticut (17.39¢)
  • New York (16.31¢)

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Lowest average price, 2010

  • Kentucky (6.75¢)
  • Idaho (6.54¢)
  • Wyoming (6.20¢)

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I hope you live in the one of the cheap states!

 

Without further ado, here are my 5 favorite energy saving tips.

1. Hang-dry clothes like it’s Little House on the Prairie. There ain’t no shame in letting your undies fly in the wind.

2. Shower quicker or turn off the water during the lather phase. It feels weird at first but you get used to it. Remember, every time you touch warm water you are paying to heat it up. Do you use warm water in the hot summer to wash dishes or your hands?

3. LED bulbs require some new knowledge. If you shop for one here is what the package will say, “6 Watt LED Replacement for a 50 Watt Incandescent.” That’s a near 90% reduction in lighting costs if you switch to LED but it’s not yet cheap with bulbs going from $12-30.

4. Fresh Air…my mom raised me on the stuff. Always opening the windows for me to make sure I didn’t get stuffy. Now I need it all the time and that means no A/C for me. I would rather sweat than breath recycled air. Huge energy saver for me.

5. Solar charger for phone. Life is better off the grid and to get started I purchased a solar doohickey. I haven’t plugged in my phone or iPad since. Tip: When buying solar, know that solar panels only produce energy, which means you need a battery pack to store the energy, otherwise you have to plug your phone in when the sun is shining.

 What Are Your Tips?