Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Entrepreneur Removes Home From the Power Grid with the Help of LEDs

Eric Taub of the New York Times posted an interesting story this morning about Dean Kamen, the eccentric inventor of the Segway scooter. Mr. Kamen owns a small, three-acre island off the coast of Connecticut where he built his home, and he recently decided to take his entire island off the power grid--that is, produce his own electrical power (in this case through wind and solar).

To do that, Mr. Kamen had to dramatically reduce his power consumption. He accomplished that goal by using LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, to light his home's interior and exterior. Mr. Taub explains that an LED light fixture uses one-fifth to one-tenth of the power of a standard incandescent fixture. As a result of this change, Mr. Kamen was able to reduce energy consumption in the house by 70 percent. As an added benefit, the bulbs will not need to be changed for years.

The downside of this switch is cost. Although the price of LED fixtures are dropping, they are still significantly more expensive than an incandescent fixture. For that reason, it may be years before builders use this technology in spec homes and buildings.

Source: New York Times


Anonymous stone veneer said...

What a great story.

I've been looking into using LED's myself, and was wondering whether it would be feasible to use them to light the entire house.

This article has given me inspiration.

Such a simple idea that could have a dramatic impact if used by enough people.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Miami General Contractor said...

I can really see that happening more often… It’s only a matter of time. LED fixtures prices will drop and have a wider design range.

12:28 PM  

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