Earlier this year, BP released a report which suggested that the UK is the only country in the world whose total energy consumption has declined beneath its 1965 level. This might be partially explained by the fact that, since the year 2005, the country’s industrial output has fallen. But much of the change is surely due to rises in energy efficiency.
City centres across the country have been gradually introducing more efficient forms of street lighting. You might have seen new LED-powered white lights being rolled out near you. But what exactly is the point of them? And why is the technology only just arriving now?
A light-emitting diode is a small discrete electrical component which allows electricity to flow in a given direction and emits light when it does. Technological advances have meant that this technology is cheaper, lasts longer and is more powerful than ever before (while also being more energy efficient). This improvement has been exponential, in keeping with Moore’s law, which states that computing power roughly doubles every eighteen months. This means that we’re approaching a tipping point, where it can be used very cheaply almost everywhere.
LED technology is already ubiquitous. The chances are that you’re within sight of an LED right now – you might even be reading these words from and LED-powered screen. The technology has become so efficient and affordable in recent years that it has found its way into everything to do with lighting – and street lighting is no exception. LED lighting at street level, as well as ultimately reducing the tax bill, helps to make us feel safer at night time, and to deter crime.
Leicester will be among the beneficiaries of the LED revolution, with almost a million pounds being spent on the gradual rollout of several thousand traffic lights and pedestrian crossing units. This has been estimated to save the council more than £100,000 a year in energy, meaning that the project will pay for itself within a decade.
This extra illumination does, however, come at an environmental cost. The amount of light pollution produced in the urbanised world is such that those living in city centres can no-longer see the stars. This problem is so great that children growing up in such areas are barely cognisant of just how many stars there are – until they venture out of the city to find them.
If you’re looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your business, then replacing your older halogen lights with the superior technology is a good place to start. You might also consider upgrading your hot water boiler, or installing a smart meter, which energy giant British Gas number among the most important steps one can take in keeping a home or business as energy-efficient as possible. Not only could such a move reduce your energy bills, but there could be further knock-on benefits in the form of improved customer satisfaction and investor confidence. A good business is one constantly in search of new ways to improve efficiency and LEDs constitute an important part of that mission in the near future! If you are still wondering what else you can do to make your home more energy efficient then it is always worth calling your provider, the British Gas number for example can be found here.