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More Efficient Lighting Not Necessarily Meaning Less Energy Consumption, Paper Says

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Two Sandia University researchers, Jeff Tsao and Harry Saunders have recently underlined what you may never have thought of LED lights. Historically, when a new, more energy-efficient lighting source had been invented, people didn’t use less energy, but instead used more light to do work.

The first time the idea broke through in 2010, it had been misinterpreted by the media. This second issue of the article is now correcting and clarifying that misinterpretation, which refers to LED lights and their energy efficiency. In 2010, it was interpreted that lighting efficiency actually meant no improvements at all, because reductions in neither overall energy usage nor overall lighting costs would occur.

Actually, the article meant that the productivity would increase because of the better lighting. This would, in turn, lead to more energy consumption, just because the electricity to power those LED lights would cost less – it’s the same rebound effect seen in economics.

After all, we’re not in the middle ages anymore and we can truly say we don’t suffer from the lack of lighting. The Edison bulbs do their job just fine, and it’s been like that for over a century now. It’s just that the economy and the diminishing energy resources dictate that we should use more efficient lighting, without having us thinking of our own irresponsible consumption behavior. The same goes with electric cars, planes, etc.

We usually spend all we have just for the sake of expansion, that’s the harsh reality.

[via phys.org]

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