Solutions for an Energy Dependent Society

You’ve probably heard of light emitting diodes (LEDs) – but have you ever considered using them?

Solid-state lighting provides an environmentally friendly option with an added bonus: it’s cheaper in the long run.

A study conducted by Engineering and Public Policy researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that LED technology efficiently converts electricity to visible light, which reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. In addition, solid-state lighting is mercury free, unlike traditional fluorescent tubes. Every year, more than 500 million fluorescent tubes are discarded in the U.S., releasing about four tons of mercury into the environment.

Carnegie Mellon Professor M. Granger Morgan, Ines Margarida Lima De Azevedo (E’09) and Fritz Morgan (MS’96) recognize that despite the benefits of LEDs, consumers are likely to stick with what they know. Therefore, smart policy systems will be needed to help people transition to more sustainable illumination systems. The team also recommends the development of nationwide illumination standards for new residential and commercial construction projects.

The study was published in the March 2009 edition of IEEE Spectrum Magazine. Read the press release for more information.

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