Every year, I haul out the holiday lights from their peaceful slumber. Part of the process has always been to plug ‘em in and see if they still work—inside, before braving the cold. Invariably, half—just half—of the old strings of incandescent mini-lights would work consistently. As a result, more and more strands were ending up in a landfill until I made the change to LEDs about three years ago. Now, the colors are brighter and the whites are warmer. LEDs are more efficient, too. But the best part is that, so far, every strand I bought lights up completely. I’m not adding to the landfill, I can string more lights end to end, and I’m saving energy. I’m also adding more sparkle to the season.
It’s gratifying, when we put so much effort into an event, to have industry leaders tell us it is a “must-attend” in their book—especially at a time when every travel dollar needs to be fully justified. That has been the case with three annual workshops managed by Akoya for the Department of Energy’s Solid-State Lighting Program. This summer, we were especially pleased to welcome attendees of the Market Introduction Workshop to our headquarters’ city of Pittsburgh. One aspect of the workshop – an evening guided bus tour of LED lighting installations – gave us a chance to introduce 50 visitors to the remarkable Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Shadyside business district, and the GNC World Headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh.
Jason Wirick, director of facilities and sustainability at Phipps, provided a behind-the-scenes view of LED selection and use, both in the conservatory and in the about-to-open Center for Sustainable Landscapes. Although Phipps’ use of LEDs includes a variety of retrofit lamps and new luminaires in both interior and exterior settings—and is expected to result in significant energy and maintenance savings—lighting is only a part of Phipps’ big-picture story. Particularly for the new Center, the design team used an integrated process as they worked toward the “Living Building Challenge” to meet or exceed the three highest green standards and achieve true sustainability in the built environment.
At Phipps, tour attendees were joined by Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto and Stephen Quick, project director for Carnegie Mellon University’s LED street lighting research study, who talked about the process and challenges involved in Pittsburgh’s ongoing conversion to LED street lighting—and about the development of the city’s lighting code. Councilman Peduto then led attendees to the site of the original LED street light pilot installation at Walnut and Bellefonte Streets in the Shadyside business district just as the lights were coming on for the evening. The city has converted about 10 percent of its street lights to LED so far and is seeing significant energy savings despite the relatively low electricity rates in the region.
The final stop brought the tour to the GNC world headquarters at 6th and Wood Streets, where Art McSorley, vice president of retail operations and construction, provided an overview of LED use in GNC stores, and showed attendees a window display comparing HID and LED PAR lamps. GNC has used LEDs in storefront signs for years and has installed around 45,000 LED PAR lamps in stores nationwide, resulting in 2011 energy savings of over $1 million.
If you plan to be in Pittsburgh, download the self-guided tour flyer to see these and other installations, including CMU’s Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solid-State Lighting Program includes market development support to ensure appropriate application of SSL products and avoid buyer dissatisfaction and delay of market development. This week, DOE holds the seventh annual SSL Market Introduction Workshop in Pittsburgh, enabling participants to share the latest insights, updates, and strategies for the successful market introduction of high-quality solid-state lighting products. This workshop is one of three annual DOE workshops designed to explore all aspects of the rapidly evolving SSL market. Annually, Akoya helps coordinate these workshops throughout each stage of the event—from planning to wrap-up—and provides a comprehensive communications package.
The Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting Manufacturing R&D Initiative works to develop government-industry partnerships focused on cost reduction and quality improvements of SSL products, and on supporting SSL manufacturing efforts in the U.S. This week, DOE holds the fourth annual SSL Manufacturing R&D Workshop in San Jose, CA, enabling participants to gain a cutting-edge perspective on manufacturing issues related to LED and OLED lighting. This workshop is one of three annual DOE workshops designed to explore all aspects of the rapidly evolving SSL market. Annually, Akoya helps coordinate these workshops throughout each stage of the event — from planning to wrap-up —and provides a comprehensive communications package.
LIGHTFAIR® International, the world’s largest commercial lighting trade show and conference, has become increasingly dominated by solid-state lighting products over the past few years. The Department of Energy will be on hand at LIGHTFAIR this week to provide unbiased information and tutorials so that users and potential users of SSL can understand the issues with this emerging technology. As DOE shares its perspective and resources with thousands of LIGHTFAIR attendees, Akoya will be there to help coordinate and support the DOE team.