We wrote earlier about the Light Up the World Foundation and their efforts to spread the use of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) as a cheap and energy-efficient means of illumination in the poorer parts of the world. Today's NYT notes the growing hipness of LEDs and how more and more designers and architects are using them for reasons of style:
"Everyone is looking for an excuse to ditch the incandescent light bulb," said Mr. Vos... "And it is about time. We are using extra energy for nothing."
"But his project demonstrates both the advantages and the drawbacks of replacing incandescent light, a technology that has not changed substantially since Thomas Edison developed his first successful bulb in 1879.
"Despite its enormous number of light fixtures, Mr. Vos's apartment uses no more electricity than four 100-watt incandescent bulbs would, he said. ("And what kind of fun can you have with just four light bulbs?" he asked.)
"But offsetting the frugality is the staggering cost of the installation. Mr. Voss estimated that he spent $50,000 to create the apartment's lighting system."Right now it's something that's only for the rich and famous," said Mr. Vos."
$50,000! Mr. Vos clearly hasn't gotten the memo about DIY LEDs. There's a whole movement of people out there wiring the things together in their homes.
Excellent! Thanks for posting this. Now I have to go check out Radio Shack on this... I honestly never thought of this, and I have these solar pannels and batteries sitting around... :o