Actually, Tim, there's one little point that get in the way of your otherwise good (?) argument. After people spend less on electricity, the utility goes ahead and asks for a rate increase. Don't laugh now - this actually happend in Wisconsin. Then, even better, when the utility sends out the bill with the higher rates, they tell you how you can be more efficient and save money! (so they can ask for another rate increas....)
Amazing, though, how many people actually believe this type of argument? I have had more than one discussion with a certain co-worker who is mesmorized by the local gas pump prices. A penny or two this way or that will really get him going. And if it's higher there then at the next town over, look out. BUt the fact is I drive over 30 miles to work each day and I have to drive it. The price of gas doesn't really dictate how much I drive. It does, however, dictate how much money I have left over to spend on other things.
I am curious about the ways that LEDs will be used to make our lives better in other areas. Christmas lights are cool but how will they continue to improve out lives. For instance, I know at one time there was a push in thde trucking industry to use LEDs. Laws determine how many running lights are required on the vehicle, but moving to LEDs can increase efficiency and thus decrease cost to the trucking company.
How come no one's talking about the moral hazard implied by more efficient lights? See, if people know LEDs save energy, they'll use more of them and could wind up with higher total energy consumption.
This, by the way, is the same argument that Steve Forbes once used to argue against higher fuel economy standards for cars: people will just drive more, leading to greater total consumption. Yes, he actually wrote that in his magazine. I immediately dashed off a letter congratulating him on (perhaps unintentionally) solving the fuel crisis: clearly, the way to reduce gasoline use woud be to mandate LOWER mileage for vehicles. Curiously, they didn't print my letter.
Driving around and looking at lights this season, it was clear that LEDs having taken a big leap forward. The range in different types of lighting made a big difference in the quality of the displays this year.
We switched over to LEDs this year. The display looks great and being able to hook strand cut down the amount of extension cords that I needed for the display. Additionally, We have not had a tripped circuit breaker this season.
I'm also impressed by the wide range of lighting produced by the LED lights. Looking through these slides really shows the versatility in presentation. So as well as energy savings and long life, the LEDs are also providing a really assortment in presentation.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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