Other breakthroughs have occurred through the intersection of technologies. The greater efficiency offered through new ultra-energy saving lights produces multiple benefits, not the least of which is freeing up energy that could be used for other purposes. By switching to highly energy-efficient LED lighting, for example, a 100,000 m2 manufacturing facility can save €0.8 million in energy costs, 2.4 GWh in energy consumption, and 627 tons of CO2 annually. The freed-up electricity is enough to power the production of 54,000 pairs of jeans or 371 tons of recycled paper every year.
The potential for zero-energy buildings continues to gain attention with more commercial building upgrades featuring LED lighting networked with other managed systems. Managing and connecting LED systems along with other services that include HVAC, space allocation, and other systems can reduce the energy consumption of a commercial building by 80% and result in a significant reduction of carbon emissions.
Each step towards the use of renewables and energy conservation represents a gradual progression for mitigating climate change. However, the stability and resiliency of world economies requires greater, more sustainable actions. Achieving sustainability goals can only occur through international commitments to reducing energy, continued technological innovation, and through consumers, businesses, and municipalities embracing energy efficient technologies.
Save energy and keep the lights on
Some municipalities have tried to save energy by turning their lights off altogether, but this is not a viable solution for several reasons. Streets need illumination at night for safety, schools need light so that students can learn, hospitals need light for treatment and recovery, and public and commercial buildings need light so that people can perform their jobs properly and productively.
LED lighting with the right controls can maximize the energy-saving potential of digital light with dimming schedules and lighting behaviors that deliver light only when and where it’s needed. As the infographic below illustrates, the energy-saving potential of switching to efficient lighting is enormous without plunging the city into darkness.