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Lane Burt’s Blog

How It All Fits Together: New Outdoor Lighting Standard the Third Strike for Inefficient Lights

Lane Burt

Posted November 4, 2009

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I blogged yesterday on the release of our negotiated agreement with the lighting industry on standards for street lights and parking lot lights that could save consumers over $5 billion annually. We had a press conference yesterday, attended by members of Congress from both Houses and from both parties in support of the agreement. Congress will now happily roll this into legislation and the Department of Energy will get started on a new rulemaking soon after it passes.

This is the culmination of a long journey undertaken to stop burning money on inefficient lights. It started in the 2007 energy bill, where Congress enacted standards on the everyday consumer lamps to eliminate the pear-shaped, incandescent space heater that poses as lamp. That standard could save $18 billion annually by 2030.

Next came the recently completed standard from the Department of Energy (DOE) that I blogged about repeatedly, covering the ubiquitous tube shaped fluorescent bulbs that are in every office building. That standard is the largest energy saver of any in the history of the program. It will eliminate the big tube fluorescent lamps (T12s) in favor of smaller versions that provide the same amount of light and fit in the same fixtures while using less energy (T8s). Net savings over 30 years will be $71 billion (DOE did not calculate annual savings in 2030).

And now we have the final pick of a winning trifecta ticket. With the newest standard for street lights and parking lot lights, we have started on the path towards much more efficient street lights by eliminating the worst products from the market. A new rulemaking from DOE will set the stage for super efficient technologies like LEDs and Ceramic Metal Halide lamps to become the norm where they are most economical - in lamps that run all night. This standard will save another $5 billion a year by 2030.

We now have standards that will bring us efficient lights inside and out. We are going to avoid wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on energy that provides no service and we are going to keep billions of metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Incredibly large numbers that are cause for celebration.


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Ginny SkalskiNov 5 2009 10:51 AM

Hi Lane,
Thanks for keeping us updated about the status of these discussions. It's truly amazing how much energy LED lighting can save, especially in outdoor applications like street lights and parking garages. At Cree, we're trying to do our part to educate the public about the benefits of LED lighting through our new site

Also, I noticed that you're an N.C. State grad! I didn't know if you realized Cree spawned from research started at N.C. State. Please feel free to drop me a line. I would enjoy connecting with you.

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