Lighthouse Lamps Through Time

“The ingenuity of man is truly amazing and this can easily be seen in the odd collection of techniques used for the illumination of lighthouses across the centuries. Lighthouse illumination began with simple wood fires and progressed through generations of other methods.”

“Even the oil lamp began in simplicity and evolved into a machine with multiple wicks, clockwork oil pumps, specialized chimneys, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other variants. This story will take you through the history of illumination methods in lighthouses.”

Read more: Lighthouse lamps through time, Thomas Tag.

Smart lamps can use more energy than incandescent lights

smart-lamp

“Combining wireless communication, intelligent controls and light emitting diodes (LEDs), smart lamps offer end-users features like colour tuning, dimming, changing lighting scenes, remote control, motion sensing control, daylight control and other features. But these features require energy even when the lamps are not providing light, but are instead waiting for a wireless instruction from a smartphone or remote control unit. Tests conducted on a limited number of smart wireless LED lamps reveal that these products can have substantial standby power use – which, depending on hours of use, can even be higher than the energy consumed when the light is switched on.”

“Domestic light sources… typically operate 1-2 hours per day. The smart lamps producing 200 to 1000 lumens of light tested in this project had an average standby energy consumption representing 51 % of the total daily energy consumption when these lamps are operated one hour per day. That corresponds to an overall efficacy of 9 to 51 lumens per watt, meaning some smart lamps had the equivalent performance of incandescent lamps [16 lumens per watt]. If the lamps are switched on for two hours per day, standby energy represented 35 % and the efficacy is approximately 16 to 64 lumens per watt, much lower than the non-smart LED lamps already on the market today.”

Read more: “Solid State Lighting Annex: Task 7: Smart Lighting — New Features Impacting Energy Consumption” (PDF). Summary. Picture: Lucid. Thanks to Noel Cass.

The Full Moon Theatre

moonlight theatre

Under good climatic conditions and using specific technology, the full moon can be a powerful source of light.

Using technology inspired by solar energy concentrators, the “Full Moon Theatre” lights its performances using only moonlight. Moonbeams are collected, concentrated, and focused on stage.

The original Full Moon Theatre was built in Southern France and their plan is to create twelve Full Moon Theatres worldwide.

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“Gravity Powered” Lights (and How to Make Them More Powerful)

gravity powered lights

The GravityLight uses a sack of sand or stones to gradually pull a piece of rope through a dynamo mechanism which generates electricity to power an LED. It is a cheaper and more sustainable option than a solar powered light, which requires not only a solar panel but also a battery. The product is aimed at the developing world and its makers raised 400,000 dollars at indiegogo.

The technology could be further improved by including pulley mechanisms that were used to operate human powered cranes and lifting devices in pre-industrial times. This would allow a person to lift heavier weights and thus power more powerful lights.

To be precise, the light is not powered by gravity. It is muscle-powered, while gravity stores the energy and fulfills the role of a battery. Hat tip to Bernd Vleugels.

Low-tech Bulbs for Dark Slums

Watch the video. Thank you, Joe Blogs and Lalon.

Environmental Impacts of Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

leds environmental impact

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are advertised as environmentally friendly because they are energy efficient and mercury free. However, the material content of the LEDs, which generally include group III-V semiconductors, presents its own set of potential environmental impacts. The rapid growth in the LED industry implies that, ultimately, LEDs will contribute to the solid waste stream, and could impact resource availability, human health, and ecosystems in much the same way as generic electronic waste (e-waste) from computers and cell phones has generated concern in recent years.

Potential Environmental Impacts of Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs): Metallic Resources, Toxicity, and Hazardous Waste Classification (pdf).

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