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Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

Posted February 21, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

At the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington DC, participants cited LED lighting as a top priority for curbing climate-changing emissions and for reducing energy use. A survey of the mayors also identified solar electricity generation and low-energy buildings as other top priorities. Challenges to accelerated deployment of these technologies were also made clear: budget/local funding constraints, high up-front costs, and limited or no federal funding.


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#1

Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/21/2016 7:15 AM

LEDs are great for inside the home, but are not good for the environment when used outside, due to the excessive amount of short-wavelength (UV-Blue) energy they emit, compared to natural light or incandescent light:

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/led_streetlights_save_energy_but_could_have_some_serious_side_effects/

Besides, I think the mayors of US cities - at least the major cities like Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, NY, Phildelphia, etc. - have worse problems to worry about than climate change:

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#13
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/17/2016 12:34 PM

Sounds like nonsense to me. The sun produces a lot more UV light than you will ever get from LED's designed to produce visible light.

When one can obtain the same amount of light (measured in foot candles or lumens) from LED's using fewer watts than required for fluorescent, or other types, that is your carbon footprint reduction.

I saw no reference to UV output in the article. I think you made that up.

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#2

Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 12:27 AM

This is ridiculous . In my old hometown of Newark , a city gutted by riots and violence , the people there need realistic leadership . Leadership that grasps the fact that people need to live in the future . And that doesn't mean using tomorrow's technology . No , it starts with stop feeling sorry for yourself and getting up in the morning and doing your the best . Life is short , and it isn't fair . Once one realized that , you can start living life . Climate change ? lol Attitude change . Start with that .

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#4
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 4:53 AM

Excuse the typos in my post above , but I am very serious about this . I see young people wasting their lives due to self destructive rhetoric . The most precious commodity is time , so I'd suggest they turn off the negative rhetoric about police and racism and get on with their lives . Life is short .

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#9
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 1:32 PM

But, that's the rhetoric that keeps some people 'employed'.

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#3

Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 2:04 AM

In Mumbai, India there is Marine Drive on sea beach. It was constructed in British time. It has curved portion and lighted by street lights. It was called Queen's Neckless. It had earlier Sodium lights (yellow in colour) but were replaced at huge cost by Led lights of blue colour to save energy and reduce heating. There was huge hue and cry by many poltians who wanted original yellow colour sodium lights back. Finally Court decided for replacement of Led lights with original lights of yellow colour. What a waste of money.

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#16
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/18/2016 11:41 AM

There should be some great deals on some "Lightly" used LED lights, at some point in time, in Mumbai….

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#5

Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 6:59 AM

Really?

Hey, I'm all for making the environment better, but if the leadership of these cities is so blind to the murder rate and despair in some of these cities, all the lights in the world won't make them see reality.

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#6
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 9:42 AM

But it WILL make it easier to see the murder victims.

If they're in an area that gets the new lights.

Which means an area that is already well-lit for safety.

So, no, it won't really help anyone who needs to see better to see better, or to see reality.

This will make the people with 'more money than sense' in the rich neighborhoods feel better about themselves, but for everyone else in the city, it means nothing.

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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 9:51 AM

Slightly off topic but, a Google search did not return a good hit on my question.* How does the carbon footprint of LED light bulbs compare to fluorescent or sodium vapor bulbs? Got to consider this too when deciding what is "green".

*My Google search, no matter the wording, got me lots of favorable hits on LED bulbs in use - nothing on the manufacturing aspect.

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#8
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 1:17 PM

LEDs last longer, so the city uses last gas to drive out to the pole, climb up, and unscrew the bulb as often.

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#11
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 1:36 PM

See my new post 10. I missed a key word in my question.

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#12
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 5:54 PM

Well, I was just trying to inject some levity. :-)

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#10
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

02/22/2016 1:34 PM

Sorry - I missed something - what I asked is very easily obtained. What I meant to ask is:

How does LED light bulb manufacturing carbon footprint compare to fluorescent and the various sodium vapor or mercury vapor bulbs?

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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/17/2016 12:44 PM

I believe the footprint of the energy used to manufacture the various lamps is insignificant compared to the amount of energy used to operate one of those lamps for an hour or two.

The carbon footprint is a function of how much energy is needed to operate these lamps, not to make them.

To make this easier to understand, I have two 12 Watt LED bulbs that are a direct replacement for my two 32 Watt fluorescent lamps. The light output is very similar as far as I can tell with my logarithmic eyesight. Spectral content is good, if not better.

Payback is about 14 months or less depending on what you are paying for the electricity and bulbs.

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#15
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/18/2016 8:12 AM

It is never that simple. The by products of manufacturing for 2 different items can be extremely different as far as "green" is concerned. Note that Singapore is taxing the Tesla E car much higher than most normal combustion engine driven car, based on emissions, because of the process used to power them. Turns out the generation of electricity is far worse than emissions from burning petroleum products.

So what is the carbon footprint of the manufacturing? That has to count too. Let's look at the entire process to be sure what we are actually saving in carbon emissions.

Perhaps I should have said entire waste process products produced. Which production process is greener? LED, fluorescent, or standard incandescence? I don't want to find out we've been going heavily into LED manufacturing and have it turn out we have a pile of waste that is far worse than some CO2.

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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/18/2016 12:01 PM

Yes, end of cycle costs muct be figured into the entire production schedule. There was an old joke that Toyota developed the Prius so that they could ship all of their hazardous materials out of the country as Car Batteries, and let others figure out what to do with them at the end of cycle. As an aside, the new process for incandescent bulbs, regarding much higher efficiencies, is interesting, as I believe the last remaining manufacturing plant in the U.S., of such bulbs was shuttered in 2010. As a result, the replacemnt bulbs are all made in China (CFl and LEDS), and , if a plant to build the new incandescent bulbs is opened, it will also be in China. Thank you Federal Government and the Enviros… Anothe huge loss of jobs…IF we ever have a Trade War with China, think of the amount of damage they could do on the Economic front...

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#21
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/19/2016 8:25 AM

Yes, but think of the damage they are now doing to their own environment. That's the prevailing attitude these days. Run out all manufacturing to stop pollution and we'll have a better environment for everyone to live in....off government hand outs apparently, because the service industries can only generate so many jobs.

Don't look now, but I think China is pushing for that. They've been playing cat and mouse games with out naval vessels and air craft lately.

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#18
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/18/2016 12:50 PM

Good point. Being "green" is not just about the carbon footprint. Putting it all in perspective is very much a part of what it means to be "green".

There was an article in Scientific American magazine (funny name because it really isn't either Scientific or American) about how toxic LED's are. And being "green" would imply that we must do everything with non toxic materials, but that simply isn't realistic. Yes, LED's have very small amounts of toxic materials but they are well sealed in hard plastic cases. To get to them, one would have to crush and ingest massive quantities of those. Neutrinos are probably more dangerous.

Most of the chemicals on the market have not even had an MSDS performed with respect to long term exposure effects and until that is done, we might just be worrying about a non-issue.

Making any other kind of lamp requires consumption of natural gas (for melting glass) and some electricity for running the equipment and processing chemicals used in the design. Mercury is required for fluorescent lamps and the opinions vary widely with respect to the dangers of mercury contamination. Philips used the ignorance about the dangers of mercury as a marketing tool because very few people realized that it was actually a terroristic ruse to gain market share. There is far more exposure to mercury in the environment than most people realize. Most of it comes from volcano's and fossil fuel, neither of which people about.

Recycling of fluorescent lamps as a "green" effort is a sham and totally misleading. It is an artificial industry created out of fear and it accomplishes nothing.

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#20
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/19/2016 8:19 AM

Yes, LED's have very small amounts of toxic materials but they are well sealed in hard plastic cases. To get to them, one would have to crush and ingest massive quantities of those.

Yes - don't you love California's labeling these days? I am waiting for them to put a hazardous sticker on forks and spoons made of stainless steel - chromium and nickel in them in significant percentage of weight you know. We already have to report to EPA any stainless steel that goes to a landfill because of those 2 metals, that are never going to leach out of the metal matrix. Well, if someone pours some HF acid over them, then....

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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/19/2016 11:50 AM

If you have ever read the disposal instructions for a broken Fluorescent, your head would spin…Make sure you have a Tyvek suit and appropriate filter mask, among other things…Then wrap the remaining pieces appropriately, and start lookikng for a hazardous waste disposal company to pick it up, or site to deliver to...

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#23
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/20/2016 12:02 AM

I've looked at many articles and most conclude that this rush into banning the incandescent bulb , and trying to switch rapidly from coal to solar and wind generation , was a premature strategy driven by Leftist environmental fanaticism . But who are they kidding , it's all about the almighty buck .

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#26
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/20/2016 11:29 PM

Leftists have incorporated their environmental fanaticism into the PC playbook , and this new generation is taking it hook line and sinker . Critical thinking has been replaced by an agenda driven playbook . Anyone ever read 1984 ?

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#24
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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/20/2016 7:33 AM

It just goes to show that even the most leftest paranoid wing-nuts get to publish their views from time to time. To make it worse, you must generally pay someone to treat your expired fluorescent lamps as hazardous waste. All they do is to crush it up and put the remains in a landfill and they have the gall to call that recycling.

About the only thing that is useful from "recycled" lamps is the aluminum base on each end. The rest is unreasonably expensive to separate. If the crushed glass is remelted, the power coating causes the glass to crack due to thermal expansion rate differences.

Consequently, "lamp recycling" is not a real industry. It is a political bunch of nonsense designed to keep lawyers at bay.

By the way, if you are worried about the tiny amount of mercury in these lamps then I suggest you hold your breath indefinitely. The mercury released from burning fossil fuels and that which volcano's spew out makes the fluorescent lamp industry contamination out to be insignificant.

Fear is much easier to sell than truth!

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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/20/2016 12:46 PM

Much of the recycling industry in bogus. They restarted a handing sorting process at a plant in Los Angeles, as it was much more efficient in sorting out different items than a mechanized system, that was supposed to be the impetus for saving tons of money and increasing efficiency. Turns out that a lot of areas end up combining all the bins (Including green waste, garbage and recycling), and putting it all in a dump, when costs and time start getting in the way. (Via my trash collector) I recycle because I don't like to pollute. It saves space in landfills, extends their effective lives, and allows many more products to be produced second or third hand, rather than reach their end of cycles. I feel that pollution is a bigger threat to humanity than carbon, or dioxide, or even the combination of the two! Pollution can make drinking water unsafe, but the addition of a little CO2, makes it fun to drink..….

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Re: Mayors Call on Technology to Help America's Cities

05/18/2016 1:04 PM

Singapore is taxing the Tesla E car much higher than most normal combustion engine driven car, based on emissions, because of the process used to power them. Turns out the generation of electricity is far worse than emissions from burning petroleum products..
That flies in the face of advancement. Why tax electric vehicles when the power plants are the root cause of the problem. Everybody wants improvements in cars but nobody gives a damn about how our power is created!?! Really? I think Singapore must have their priorities messed up.
It seems that the power generation people are about to experience a rude awakening. Bring on the solar energy plants and put those power generation guys out of business! Coal burning power plants are living on borrowed time.

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