Twenty-two percent of America's power is used to create light. But a well-kept secret is that over half of that light comes out of bulbs that you've likely never seen up close, and certainly haven't ever bought.
They're the high intensity discharge (HID) lights that give the world's supermarkets and Wal-Marts that brighter-than-sunlight feel.
While HID lights are pretty efficient, especially when compared with incandescents, they have a few pretty serious problems. They take about 10 minutes to warm up, and they can't be dimmed. And, of course, no one would complain if they were a bit more efficient.
Well a startup called HID Technologies has developed a new digital ballast for HID lights that fixes all of those problems. The new technology could cut energy use by HID lights by 40%. Altogether this tremendously unsexy technology could save gigawatts of power.
The power would be saved by allowing stores to dim lights on sunny days (in concert skylights), allowing lights to turn on instantly (so they wouldn't have to stay on all the time), and simply because the new technology makes the lights more efficient, with a 320 watt new HID lamp being roughly as good as an old HID lamp.
Of course, it's a change that none of us will likely even notice, but in the end, that's the best kind of environmental innovation.
written by Olivier, September 01, 2008
written by Sean Kidd CEM, September 02, 2008
written by tracy, September 05, 2008
written by Nate, September 25, 2008
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