LEDs Play Role in October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Chicago Skyline in Pink

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is hard not to notice pink ribbons and lights and even NASCAR race cars and NFL players sporting pink for breast cancer awareness.  If you live near a major city, you probably have noticed a building or landmark lit up in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October.

Landmarks and even hotels around the world turned pink for October including Montparnasse Tower in Paris, Mexico City’s Angel of Independence, buildings at Haifa University in Israel and even Jumeirah Group, a global luxury hospitality management group and a member of Dubai Holding, turned hotel facades pink in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mallorca and Shanghai.

LEDs help building managers take part in these types of events because they are easily programmed to turn a certain color or pattern. Here’s a sampling of the buildings and landmarks taking part in many of the campaigns worldwide, many of which are lit up with LEDs.

Philadelphia, PA — One of the most thorough and organized landmark lighting events took place in Philadelphia with more than 100 buildings sporting pink lights. During the month of October, the city skyline has been pink. One building even featured a pink ribbon in light.  You can view a video of the “Lights For The Cure” Skyline Tour.

Philadelphia’s Famed Boathouse Row

Chicago, IL – Chicago also shined pink for Breast Cancer Awareness in October.  Organized by the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, 140 buildings in the Chicago area turned pink.

London, UK – Historic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, and Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square London went pink in support of Breast Cancer Campaign’s Action Month.

The Tower of London illuminated pink for Breast Cancer Campaign’s ‘Turn London Landmarks Pink’ for breast cancer awareness month

New York, NY – Leveraging a new LED lighting system, the Empire State Building turned pink from October 14 to October 16.  The famed George Washington Bridge also turned pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama declared the month of October to be National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a presidential proclamation and turned the White House pink. The White House has become pink since 2009 for the yearly October event.

The White House Turned Pink

Happy Birthday LED! LEDs Turn 50!

Nick Holonyak created the first visible-spectrum LED in 1962. Photo: Courtesy of Nick Holonyak/GE

50 years ago on October 9, 1962, GE scientist Dr. Nick Holonyak, Jr., invented the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode (LED) while his colleagues were working on a laser using light in the invisible IR spectrum.  According to Holonyak, he was mystified that his colleagues were using invisible IR light. “If they can make a laser, I can make a better laser than any of them because I’ve made this alloy that is in the red-visible,” said Holonyak. “And I’m going to be able to see what’s going on. And they’re stuck in the infrared.”

GE scientist Dr. Robert N. Hall was working toward realizing a semiconductor laser in the infrared with GaAs (Gallium arsenide), Holonyak aimed for the visible with GaAsP (gallium arsenide phosphide). On October 9th, with GE colleagues looking on, Holonyak became the first person to operate a visible semiconductor alloy laser, the device that illuminated the first visible LED.

His colleagues at GE at the time dubbed the device ‘the magic one’ because its light, unlike infrared lasers, was visible to the human eye.  Holonyak was confident that he was onto something big.  In a GE interview, he remembers feeling that he was onto something big when ‘the magic one’ first lit up.  “I know that I’m just at the front end but I know the result is so powerful,” he said.  “There’s no ambiguity about the fact that this has got a life way beyond what we’re seeing.”

Today, LEDs can be used for a range of lighting and industrial applications from simple indicator lights to LED street lights, LED light bulbs for the home, office and commercial applications in retail including Home Depot, IKEA, Starbucks, Target, and Wal-mart, and even to regional grocery and convenience stores like Food City and Wawa.  LEDs also are used for display and backlighting in stadium TVs to consumer HDTVs and today’s smart phones and tablets like the iPad.

For Further Reading and Viewing

GE Video Interview, Nick Holonyak, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKkzBVNozjI

Solid State Technology, GE News Release, LED Inventor Nick Holonyak Reflects on Discovery 50 Years Later, http://www.electroiq.com/semiconductors/2012/10/10/led-inventor-nick-holonyak-reflects-on-discovery-50-years-later.html

LED 50th Anniversary Symposium,  http://www.led50years.illinois.edu/

Wired, How Lasers Inspired the Inventor of the LED, http://www.wired.com/design/2012/10/holonyak-laser-led-inventor/


Marriott HQ Greens Up with LED Make-Over from GE Lighting

Marriott’s new LED signage at their HQ in Bethesda, MD

Companies of all kinds and sizes are getting greener – to help the planet and to save money.  GE Lighting, founded by the father of the incandescent bulb, Thomas Edison, recently helped convert Marriott International headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland to LED lighting from top to bottom and inside out.  The famous lodging company had three goals for the project: enrich lighting quality, heighten employee security and improve energy efficiency. The retrofit project covered both the interior of the building and exterior. When the corporate campus-wide lighting is complete, Marriott anticipates that they will use 860,000 fewer kilowatt hours (kWhs) of electricity and save more than $120,000 in combined energy and maintenance costs a year.  You can view a video case study of the project here.

Marriott is not alone in retrofitting their corporate campus for the aesthetic, security and energy saving benefits. According to market research firm Strategies Unlimited, the commercial and industrial LED lighting segment was the largest LED in lighting segment in 2011.  Strategies Unlimited forecast revenues to grow to $1.2 billion in 2016, following a CAGR of 13%.

GE Lighting began the Marriott project with a comprehensive audit of Marriott’s existing lighting systems including photometric analysis with 3D renderings of the new system and forecast Marriott’s energy and maintenance savings.

Project Highlights:

LED lighting at Marriott’s outdoor parking and parking deck areas

Parking areas: LEDs now illuminate Marriott’s outdoor lots using 230 Evolve LED Area Lights, while a combination of LED garage light fixtures, LED flood lights and T8 fluorescents provide light for the parking decks and walkways. Marriott estimates the savings to be 280-watts per outdoor lighting fixture reducing energy use by 580,000 kWhs a year, equating to $70,000 in utility cost savings. In addition, new dimming technology will help control and reduce light output to 40 percent while the parking deck is vacant and adjusts to 100 percent when motion is detected saving $11,000 in energy (88,000-kWh reduction) each year.

LED lighting in the foyer at Marriott’s HQ

Interior:  Marriott’s eight-floor, 900,000-square-foot headquarters is now a showplace for LED lighting.  GE replaced 1,000 65-watt bulbs with 7-watt LED lamps in all hallways. The 58-watt difference delivers nearly $18,000 savings (150,000-kWh savings) in electricity expense over 261 working days.  In the multi-story foyer, special scaffolding is required to reach fixtures. In the past, Marriott would change the lights just about one to two years on average at a cost close to $3,000.  GE replaced 12 90-watt bulbs with 20-watt LED lamps. Rated for 50,000 hours of life, GE’s LEDs could keep the scaffolding away for up to seven years.  Management found the halogen and CFL lighting in Marriott’s auditorium inadequate for Marriott’s advanced dimming system. While the halogen lights could be darkened, the CFLs could not. GE installed dimmable LED lamps producing a fully dimmable system with higher light levels and more light uniformity as well as $2,300 in energy savings.  The building’s lower level that includes a daycare and cafeteria got special LED light panels (troffers).  These 2’x2’ fixtures produce a perfectly even glow and while off appear completely free of a light source to blend in with the ceiling, enhancing the aesthetic of Marriott’s employee space.

Finally, the project will retrofit the ‘Marriott’ sign at the Bethesda headquarters entrance with Tetra® PowerStrip LED lighting, improving maintenance cycles from two to three times per year to once every five to 10 years.

For Further Reading:

GE Lighting Solutions, GE LED lighting brings new radiance, energy savings to Marriott headquarters, http://www.gelightingsolutions.com/lighting-news-releases/ge-led-lighting-brings-new-radiance-energy-savings-to-marriott-headquarters

Marriott – GE Lighting Solutions Case Study Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucdxI_Y41-8

Target Sets Sights on Saving Money with LED Refrigeration Displays

Target, the US national retain chain, installed automated LED lighting in refrigerated display cases.

A recent report from market research firm Strategies Unlimited examined the LED lighting market and highlighted a few bright spots in the LED market: retail display lighting, outdoor area lighting and commercial and industrial lighting markets are expected to grow by 62%, 13% and 12%.

The report authors singled out refrigerated display lighting as an important part of the retail display market since it is increasingly used in emerging markets around the world where a new middle class and urbanization will drive demand.

Most notably in the US, national retail chain Target has deployed LED lighting in the refrigerated display cases in grocery departments in 500 stores with the help of GE Lighting solutions. The motion activated LED lighting units turn on when customers are in the vicinity.  Target expects to cut its energy use by 60 percent with GE Lighting’s LED refrigerated display cases.

The commercial and industrial LED lighting segment was the largest LED in lighting segment in 2011.  Strategies Unlimited forecast revenues to grow to $1.2 billion in 2016, following a CAGR of 13%.  In the US market, this may be helped by the US Department of Energy “ban” on fluorescent T12 lamps covered in an earlier blog post.

For Further Reading or Viewing

LEDs Magazine, LED lighting market holds steady in 2012, http://ledsmagazine.com/features/9/9/8

GE Lighting Solutions, Target lights up with LEDs (video case study), http://www.ge.com/audio_video/ge/innovation/target_lights_up_with_leds.html

Clearlysapphire.com Blog, Deep Dive: LED Tubes Gain Traction, http://blog.clearlysapphire.com/?p=247

LEDs Magazine, Target supermarkets will install GE LED lighting in refrigerated cases, http://ledsmagazine.com/news/7/4/12