Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated in the US to spotlight environmental responsibility. Earth Day is today (April 22) and in celebration of Earth Day 2013, we’ve put together some information from the Department of Energy about the environmental benefits of LED lighting. The DOE is under mandate from Congress to accelerate Solid State Lighting (SSL is another name for LED lighting). With more than 80% of LEDs based on sapphire substrates, this is good news for the sapphire industry.
SSL is rapidly undergoing improvements to technology and pricing (see Tipping Point 2: Finally, A Sub $10 LED Light Bulb) and has superior energy efficiency. The DOE estimates that, over the next two decades, it could save the country $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption used by lighting by nearly one half, and avoid 1,800 metric tons in carbon emissions.
From the graphic below, from the DOE’s recent report, Energy Savings Potential of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications, you can see how each sector will contribute to the energy savings due to lighting. The graphic is illuminating on two fronts. First, there’s a 19% savings in 2020, but there’s a 46% savings in 2030. Second, residential lighting and commercial lighting that’s lighting interiors of business, government and other organizations, show the greatest potential for savings. For example, the commercial sector contributed 60% of lighting electrical service in 2010, but by 2030, the DOE expects energy savings potential to be 35%. You can find the discussion about it and a larger image online here.
For Further Reading
Department of Energy, Energy Savings Potential of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications, http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/ssl_energy-savings-report_jan-2012.pdf
US DOE, SSL Lighting Basics, http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ssl/sslbasics_whyssl.html