Can Interior Designers Save The Planet?

Can Interior Designers Save The Planet?

Sounds like a preposterous idea but is there some truth in this question? As some of you know, I launched a campaign a year ago – www.seethelight.org.uk to promote the significant contribution that a switch to LED lighting can make to alleviate climate change. Seemingly, lighting manufacturers are keen to promote the energy saving benefits of solid state lighting and designers are content to discover the aesthetic attributes of the new lamps. Yet, few are motivated to voice the ‘Big Picture’ paybacks that are truly significant for the health of our planet.

You don’t need to be radically green to believe in the power of LED lighting to support a global switch. As designers, architects and specifiers, we are among the key influencers that will hasten the transition to low energy lighting in UK homes and workplaces. So I thought it would be of useful to list some eco reasons why it is important to promote a change to LED. No mention of money saving advantages and without reference to an improved quality of light. Simply the argument based purely on the environment.

The Big Green Picture
  • Lighting accounts for more than 15% of the world’s electricity consumption – more than the electricity generated by all the nuclear power stations in the world – and around 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions*
  • An overnight global transition to highly efficient LED lamps could avoid 735 Mt of CO2 emissions, equivalent to displacing nearly 250 coal-fired power plants around the world.
  • Typically an LED lamp uses 10% of the power used by conventional incandescent lamps. Lighting constitutes 20% of the electricity used by a typical UK household and the savings are even larger for business. The reduction of this magnitude has a huge cumulative effect.
  • Recent projections calculate that the UK could save up to £1.4 billion per annum if we all embraced LED as a light source. Enough to switch off many coal powered stations on our domestic grid. In fact, that would save the equivalent of the energy consumption of Wales.
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Eco-experts see the switch to LED Lighting as a ‘Killer App’ because it offers the consumer a ‘no-brainer’ opportunity. No other environmental measure requires a low capital outlay, offers such a short payback and an immediate cost benefit. All this and a chance to fundamentally reduce emissions in our fight to reach climate change targets.

www.seethelight.org.uk offers a simple electricity calculator for home users.

www.integral-led.com/energy-savings-calculator-guide Integral as a manufacturer offers a calculator that keeps track of the carbon and cost savings as you select the replacement LED lamps you need for your home or workplace (without a buying obligation).

http://globallightingchallenge.org newly launched the initiative at COP21 by the Clean Energy Ministry seeks the goal of deploying 10 billion high-efficiency bulbs globally.

I encourage you to use this ‘Big Picture’ view when discussing lighting schemes, in harness with cost saving andimproved light quality arguments when reviewing LED lighting options. Remember, Orange Lighting is on hand to provide guidance on all aspects of a switch from incandescent to solid state lighting.

* Global Lighting Challenge

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