LED lighting can be off the grid and FREE
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After my article yesterday on LEDs a new generation of lighting I had a nice email from Jeff at EternaLeds.com Jeff Detailed how his company had progressed through similar issues of low powered LEDs with poor quality of light. They are now providing an excellent range of LED lights for the US market (110-120 volt) that provide genuine retrofit replacements for incandescent and CFL units. Eternaleds provide genuine replacements for the 25w, 35w, 50w and 100w light bulb. It would be great to see a supplier like this in the UK. Any offers? Amongst other items they also sell the new water cooled LED and decorative lighting strips.
Your mains electricity is too powerful
[quote] Jeff’s email got me thinking: All LEDs currently only require between 3 and 4 volts DC and yet we are all locked into a mains voltage electricity supply. In the United states and other regions this is 110 -120 volts AC while here in the United Kingdom its 220-240 Volts AC. With this high mains voltage it’s like using a fire hydrant to fill a milk bottle! True we can use electrical circuits to ‘transform’ and reduce the voltage but this is often a waste of power and sometimes there is more energy lost in the reduction circuit than used by the LED itself to produce light. Now that’s crazy and defeats the whole point of economy and ecology. I have used power circuits that claim to be 95-97% efficient, but I still measure plenty of heat off these boards. All heat is wasted power. In addition, to this energy loss, we are still divided by national voltage supplies and tied to the mains grid for lighting. Think about it … would you use a 6 inch high pressure water hose to fill your drinks bottles?
A low voltage lighting supply
All my own research and development on LED lighting is done on a low voltage 12 volt bus, generated from solar PVs, as I can’t see the point of using a mains feed transformed for LEDs. This proof of concept demonstrates clearly that every home could run all their lighting for free from solar or other microgenerations. If politicians opened the way for microgeneration- LED market, the technology could easily fill this gap, prices of materials and manufacture would tumble and a huge debt would be paid back to the environment.
12 – 24 volt lighting systems have a whole stack of advantages
- Low, safe DC voltage
- No electrical shock hazards
- Less fire risk from circuits and wiring
- Easily stored in accumulators and batteries
- Ideal for use with microgeneration like wind and solar
- Universal voltage bus can be used globally
- Portable power supplies
- Less energy lost in voltage conversion for lighting
- Provides self contained, independent, off grid supply
Lots of other benefits… but I will detail these in a later article.
Light for life!
Sure, on a large scale, there are some technical challenges but that can be engineered successfully. Everyone is a winner. How would you like all your lighting for free, generated from readily available renewable sources like sunlight and wind? How would you like to say “good-by to power cuts/ power outages ?” How would you like to enjoy “light for life” and forget about changing a light bulb for the next 11 to 20 years!
Mmm, maybe not everyone wins: I’m certain the CFL producers would have to change their products and there would be a substantial loss in electricity sales. There is a usually a certain political fear and reluctance associated with consumer independence.
In my series on LED lighting, I’m going to focus on off the grid lighting derived exclusively from microgeneration like wind and solar power. You will see videos and pictures of real LED lighting in our home that is not only superior in light quality to my old CFLs, but is run from totally free electricity derived from solar microgeneration.
Thanks for your email Jeff from Eternaleds, for those who like a quality consumer product that’s plug and play, this is a good site to visit.
If you want to go it alone follow my series of articles here where I’m going to combine some of the best resources of DIY LED technology. Be prepared to get your soldering iron out and learn some interesting things about low voltage electricity and LED lighting.
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