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LEDs Make Inroads into Commercial and Home Applications

led7-16-091As light-emitting diode (LED) lamp manufacturers and researchers continue to develop products with greater performance, businesses including retail stores are starting to realize the energy-savings benefits of the technology. In addition to new product enhancements, LED manufacturers are also offering recycling programs to keep them out of landfills.

One of the most prominent installations is the recently reopened Wal-Mart Superstore in Leavenworth, Kansas. The Wal-Mart store is touted as the first retail store to feature LED parking lot site lighting, based on specifications developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Retailer Energy Alliance.

The Superstore will serve as a test site to determine the viability of expanding LED parking lot lights at Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

The specifications for the LED lighting were sponsored by DOE and were developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and retailers nationwide to address energy-efficient lighting opportunities.

LED parking lot lighting is a new technology that has potentially enormous energy savings, reducing energy needs by more than 50 percent and maintenance costs by more than 80 percent, compared to traditional parking lot lights, according to DOE and its national laboratories.

For home use, Sharp Corp. is introducing nine new LED lamps for the Japanese market that deliver high energy efficiency, long service life and mercury-free lighting.

In addition, the model DL-L60AV LED lamps offer the same standard screw-in base and fit into the same sockets as traditional incandescent lamps, and feature an adjustable color function that enables users to change the color of the white light emitted from the lamp using an accessory remote control, which Sharp touts as an industry first for an LED lamp.

Users can select from seven different shades of white ranging from a pleasing warm white to a cooler daylight white to match the weather, the season, time of day, purpose, or other preferences, said Sharp. This model also features a built-in dimmer function to adjust brightness.

The LED lamps deliver a brightness of 560 lumens, and feature a service life of 40,000 hours.

In addition to delivering new products that offer energy efficiency and lower cost, LED lighting manufacturers are also making sure that their products are properly recycled by businesses and home owners.

As an example, Renaissance Lighting, based in Herndon, Va., has launched a LED fixture recycling program to keep its products out of landfills.

In addition to being 80 percent more energy-efficient than incandescent lamps and 30 percent more efficient than compact fluorescent lamps, Renaissance Lighting said  its luminaires are nearly 100 percent recyclable from its reflector to mounting frame to LED light engine.

Users can return the luminaries to Renaissance for a binning process, then it will be shipped to Potomac Metals Inc., a privately held independent scrap metal recycling company based in Sterling, Va., for recycling.

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