LED nation

Is inventor Dean Kamen a step ahead of the residential and commercial lighting markets? His island, dubbed LED nation, is off the power grid.

12/08/2008


Dean Kamen has created an LED nation, reports the New York Times . He owns North Dumpling Island , a three-acre island off the Connecticut coast that he jokingly refers to as an independent nation. But now, it’s more than that — he calls it “the world’s first LED nation.”

Kamen wanted to take the entire place off the grid, producing his own power through wind and solar. But to do that, he had to reduce energy consumption. So he turned to LEDs, or light-emitting diodes.

With LED lighting typically using about one-fifth the power consumed by standard incandescent fixtures, Kamen figured he could get the power usage down to an amount that would work.

Kamen tapped his long-time friend, Fritz Morgan, chief technology officer of Philips Color Kinetics for help. The two collaborated on removing all incandescent fixtures from the home, the caretaker’s house, and a guest house, replacing them with Color Kinetics products.

The result: they cut the energy consumption used in the house by 70%. And of course, the bulbs won’t have to be changed for years. When you add in the power used for the exterior lights (the house was not previously lit outside), total energy consumption was reduced by 50%, enough to take the island off the grid.





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