Červen 2013

Bangor district works on five-year plan

28. června 2013 v 4:59 led par light
Recognizing the need to prioritize spending needs for the future, Bangor School Board members hope to soon approve a five-year plan.

The plan, introduced to the school board last week, is expected to have three main priorities: Replacing sections of the roof at the middle/high school, expanding school security systems and reducing heating/cooling and energy costs.

The list of things needing to be replaced or upgraded was put together recently by the district's Buildings and Grounds Committee.

"I guess the big thing for us is to get that five-year plan put together and show it to this board," Superintendent Dave Laehn said.

School board President Dave Vetrano, who chairs the building and grounds committee, said the list will be for more expensive items, with departments able make decisions on improvements costing less than $2,000.

He said the committee can look every year at what can be taken off of the list and what should go onto the list.

"So we start documenting everything that we really need to do," Vetrano said. "Big ones, not so big ones, so we can get some things on a rotation and every year update that plan."

While Vetrano called the list "comprehensive," Laehn said the roof, security and energy efficiency are by far the main priorities.

Laehn said the middle/high school, which was built 15 years ago, has some "trouble spots" on the roof, and that areas will be replaced section by section.

"To do it all at once is just so cost prohibitive," Laehn said. He said he's not sure what the repairs will cost.

No money for the repairs has been set aside in the upcoming budget, so he expects work to be done further into the future.
The district is in the midst of updating its security system, at an estimated cost of $25,000.

Cameras have been added in the middle/high school, and school now has a controlled access entrance.

There are plans to add security cameras to the elementary school and the bus parking lot area.

Laehn said there also are plans to replace the lighting in the elementary school an outside the middle/high with more energy efficient LED lights.

Also, he said the district needs to update its heating/cooling system, so that when only certain sections of the schools are used in the summer, only those sections would need to be cooled. More information about the program is available on the web site at indoorlite.

Excuse me, your lace is showing!

27. června 2013 v 5:36 led par light
A NUMBER of lingerie labels - both local and international - is joining in the fray. In Malaysia, La Senza is known to constantly offer fashion-friendly lingerie every season (an example is the brand's latest "Get Your Neon" collection, which is inspired by 2013's bright colours), while homegrown brand Petite Fleur is recommending its shapewear for formal evening functions.

Elsewhere, the state of undress was more overt. At Agent Provocateur's launch in Suria KLCC recently, a number of KL's beau monde was spotted upping the sex ante by appearing in skin-baring lingerie that would have no doubt left little to imagination. The flagship boutique is the British brand's first in Asia, offering a provocative and highly covetable range of lingerie alongside its other trademark products such as nightwear, swimwear, stockings and fragrances.

"It's not my first time wearing innerwear on the outside; I love it, I think it's very cheeky," chirped Sarah Lian. The actress, clad in a matching Agent Provocateur bustier-and-skirt set bedecked with lace and see-through panels, looked flawless despite the mall's merciless fluorescent lights.

Lian, however, claimed that she has her style limits. "Malaysia is still a conservative place, and you won't see me strutting around with a bra ... unless, of course, it doesn't look like a conventional bra."

Also present was television host and producer Xandria Ooi, who is also a big fan of donning outfits that are intended for the boudoir. Looking every bit like an Asian Dita Von Teese, Ooi paired her Agent Provocateur lingerie - a corset with a hint of lacy bra and sheer black stockings - with a modish Karl Lagerfeld blazer and playful, ruffled shorts. "Why would you keep all these beautiful, expensive lingerie in the bedroom? It should be shared with the world!" she cooed.

"I don't think our lingerie was originally designed to be worn on the outside," says Graham Markwick, head of business development of Sharaf Retail, the Dubai-based sole franchisee of Agent Provocateur. "But because of its beautiful craftsmanship, I think a lot of our costumers began seeing them as fashion pieces instead. Because our brand stands for empowerment and confidence, we naturally attract women who are both empowered and confident; she wouldn't let anyone dictate what she wears."

One such femme fatale is comedian Joanne Kam, who proved with her DIY corset-like top - fashioned ingeniously from a bodysuit, a diamante-studded bra and a mesh blouse - that one doesn't have to be whippet-thin to look amazing in a state of undress.

"When I look at lingerie, I don't see it as something to please a man; I look at it as something to incorporate into my wardrobe," says Kam. "For instance, you can always pair a diaphanous teddy with a jacket and heels for cocktail hour ,or you can even pair a lace corset with a long skirt to turn it into a formal evening dress."
Kam has also noticed a trend of late.

"There are women who turn up at my shows wearing corsets with tight jeans and heels ... and these are not young girls mind you, but women in their late 30s and 40s, who look amazing despite their age. It's all very empowering, " she says. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.indoorlite.com.

New LED flood light for mining from Hella

26. června 2013 v 5:50 led par light
Hella Inc. has introduced the first LED floodlight designed specifically for the mining industry. Based on a proven expertise and success in developing advanced LED lighting technology, the new HELLA HypaLUME LED flood light is designed to withstand long periods of use in rigorous applications across an extreme temperature range from -40 °C to +50 °C with no decrease in light output.

This revolutionary LED flood lamp incorporates 56 high powered LEDs to produce an output of more than 20,000 lumens. The LEDs have a color temperature of 5700K, providing a near daylight environment and ensuring high color rendering. They are coupled with three specialized optical distributions to effectively meet all lighting application requirements.

The Hella HypaLUME's LED driver electronics ensure that the light output remains stable over a wide range of voltage variations (18 to 52 V). Consuming a mere 240 W at 24 V DC, the lamp has a luminous efficacy close to 100 lumens per watt and provides a usable light level equivalent to a 400-W metal halide unit. It is available in three models: flood, close range, and long range illumination.

HypaLUME is protected from reverse polarity and short circuit faults, and sealed and tested to IP6K9K. A UV stable, high impact and chemical resistant, Grilamid lens protects the LEDs from environmental damage. The specially designed LED driver board, molded fins for heat dissipation, and LED alignment ensure advanced thermal management, drawing heat away from the LEDs to maintain the extended life guarantee of five years.

The HypaLUME LED lamp comes pre-wired with 1.8 metres of double insulated, marine grade cable. The LEDs are fully sealed and require no servicing. A variety of bracket options along with a wide range of aiming options are available, including a 50G mobile equipment bracket, a 15G fixed lighting bracket, and pole and cable suspension mounts.

Typical applications include excavators, shovels, crushers, blast-hole drill rigs, workshops, wash bays, separation plants, underground tunnels, loading bay, fixed light towers, warehouses, coal handling, processing plants, conveyor lines, and continuous miners.

HELLA Mining also provides a complete technical support service, applications engineering, and ongoing consultation to meet specific customer needs and requirements.

Research like this is key to making LED lights even more usable in the home. Now they are mainly marketed as replacements for halogen bulbs, because of their white light. If they are advanced so they produce a warmer light, then they could be used in regular lamps and lights around the home for ambient and mood lighting.

They offer a wide range of different types of LED downlights, from cool (4000k) to warm white (2700k). They use a colour chart that helps you to pick which kind of LED light is best for you, so you don't unwittingly buy a colour that is too bright for the room. Cool whites work best in white or blue rooms, or in commercial settings, such as a bathroom showroom, and warm whites work best with warmer colours such as orange or yellow.

As technology continues to advance, mainstream users will eventually be able to have LED lights in warm, candle-like light, and will enable to use LED lights in every room in the house. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.indoorlite.com.

Lambeth Council Launches New Bulb Recycling Scheme

25. června 2013 v 5:55 Led ceiling light
Today, Councillor Walker, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, officially launched a new recycling scheme for low energy light bulbs and batteries.

Working in partnership with recycling specialist Recolight, Lambeth has installed specially designed containers where old low energy light bulbs and batteries can be recycled. With 19 sites across the borough Lambeth now has the most comprehensive collection service for light bulbs anywhere in the country.

Lambeth successfully bid for a Government grant to fund the costs of the containers and they will be emptied free of charge by Recolight. All the light bulbs collected will be sent for recycling at approved treatment facilities.

Modern low energy light bulbs typically last over six times as long as, and use a quarter of the power of, an equivalent incandescent bulb. Most importantly, low energy light bulbs save energy and reduce costs. In order to generate their energy saving properties low energy light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury which can be damaging to the environment. It is therefore important to ensure that they are recycled rather than thrown away in the household rubbish.

Launching the scheme, Councillor Walker said, 'These containers from Recolight will provide a much needed service and support Lambeth's commitment to continue reducing and recycling waste.'

Recolight's Customer Service Manager, Lyndsey Smith, said; 'This is an important and exciting partnership which will open up vital new channels for the public to recycle their old low energy light-bulbs. People want to recycle their old bulbs but are often unsure of where the nearest facilities are. These containers will be visible to thousands of residents every week, and we hope that this will help make a difference to recycling in the local area.'

New energy saving lamps in traffic lights are set to reduce the county's carbon footprint and help save money.

The Lincolnshire Highways Alliance is currently installing over 1,400 new low-energy LED light systems in traffic lights and at pedestrian crossings across the county to make them more 'green', which will save around 60,000 a year over 10 years.

The project is being paid for through the Lincolnshire County Council's Salix fund, an interest free loan to improve energy efficiency.

Tim Clark, traffic signals manager, said: "The new LED light systems will be up to six times more energy efficient and will reduce carbon emissions by 300 tonnes every year."

"The light systems are the latest technology on the market and we are installing them in about a third of the light signals that exist on our county's entire road network. We started replacing the lamp units in March and hope to complete the work by September.

"We would like to upgrade them all, but at some sites the technology is not compatible, but we will install new LED dimmable as standard at all new sites."


Crime spike as lights are switched off

24. června 2013 v 5:37 LED downlight
A money-saving initiative to dim or switch off street lights has been blamed on a spike in crime.

East Sussex County Council wants to save 885,000 over three years by reducing energy, maintenance costs and light pollution.

But a residents group said the new regime had led to more burglaries and car crime.

Christine Bowman, of Telscombe Residents' Association, said: "We have experienced some petty crime, such as damage to cars, and we've put it down to people having the opportunity to get away with it in the dark. There have also been various burglaries and break-ins."

The new lights are set to be installed in Eastbourne this year and Hasting next year. Dick Edwards, of Hasting Residents' Association, said: "In many places street lighting is already inadequate and doesn't meet minimum standards."

"There is the question of security and safety and I think turning the lights down would be strongly opposed."

Godfrey Daniel, Labour county councillor for Hastings, said: "The important thing is that the county council takes on board peoples' concerns."

The council said LED lighting was a viable alternative.

Rupert Clubb, director of economy, transport and environment, said: "We have been forced to make very difficult decisions in order to make significant savings. All changes to street lighting have been carried out in consultation with Sussex Police to ensure that, while we achieve the necessary savings, our county remains a safe place to live and work."

But police blamed unsecure homes and cars for recent crime in Peacehaven and Telscombe - not changes to street lighting.

Sergeant Jenny Abura said: "A number of cars and houses which have been broken into were insecure so we are asking people to double-check their security. "

We have recently arrested a number of people for various offences.

"One recent success was charging a 46-year-old man with two counts of burglary. The number of reported crimes in the district has reduced by 8 per cent in the last year."

The steps they had built, though, are wide and so prominent that they create a focal point for the yard. They also break up the otherwise continuous horizonal lines of the walls.

At the top, they, too, built a gate. Theirs is black metal, flanked by brick and stone pillars that are inset with glass blocks that light up at night.

"At night it's a whole different look out here," Rich Gulasy said.

The lagoon-style, 20,000-galloon pool was installed last fall. It has multi-colored LED lights that illuminate the water at night.

The yard has numerous seating areas - one atop the first tier of the retaining wall and others all around the back of the house. Among the furnishings are a grill built into a rock wall and a "fire table" - a table with a fire element in the middle.

The Gulasys moved to their property in 2009, and the yard is finally finished - just in time for daughter Christine's high school graduation party this spring. Life events have a way of moving projects along. Read the full story at www.indoorlite.com web.

Start-ups dominate major market opportunity

21. června 2013 v 5:37 led par light
Lack of interest from major corporations has opened up a huge solar energy market for small start-ups in the developing world, according to a recent report from Lux Research.

Off-grid solar installations in places like India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia and Sub-Saharan Africa have gone from zero to 4 million in less than a decade with almost no thanks to major national utility companies or large corporate interests.

Entrepreneurial business people from the United States, Europe and some local start-ups in these developing regions have created a lucrative business model selling thousands of off-grid systems to local villagers. But now some are employing the same pay-as-you go model that launched a telecom revolution in the developing world, said Steve Minnihan, Lux Research analyst and author of the report.

"They've built a model that has nice recurring revenue with large growth potential," Minnihan said.

Big companies have looked at these start-ups' successes.

"About 99 percent of them say that's fascinating and they need to think about getting something going there themselves," Minnihan said. "But, ultimately, they end up thinking it's too low-margin and too low volume to be worth their time."

These startups are providing complete kits to remote villagers with low-cost solar panels, inexpensive lead-acid batteries, a few wall outlets for phone charging and a few light-emitting diodes.

"Solar advances have certainly been essential," Minnihan said. "But what has been really essential here is the LED technology. The LED and its long lifetime is really what has helped this service take off."

Since LEDs last up to 20 years, it's easier for small companies to sell a service with them. They can install the lights and walk away without having to replace bulbs every couple years. That's something new that came along with the led tubes and allowed companies doing business in the developing world to transition their model from selling whole systems to selling power and light on a pay as you go basis, almost like a large utility would.

Some of the biggest players in the space have been getting notoriety lately. FlexEnclosure, Egg Energy and Simpa Networks are getting a lot of venture capital funding for this kind of work, Minnihan said. But they're a bit newer to the model than some more-established and less notable companies like Barefoot Power, SRE Solutions and Mera Gao.

While all of these start-ups pursue these continuing revenue streams in the developing world, Minnihan said they will also have plenty of more conventional opportunities in some of these countries as well.

Solar plane to help ground energy use

20. června 2013 v 5:14 led par light
The plane parked outside the airport looks more like a giant exotic insect or maybe an outsized toy.

When it's in flight, there's no roar of engines. It's strangely quiet. And as it crisscrosses the U.S., the spindly plane doesn't use a drop of fuel. Day, and even night, it flies on the power of the sun.

It's that fact that has the U.S. energy secretary, and the plane's two pilots and fans around the world, so excited.
The one-man craft called Solar Impulse has been flying cross-country in short hops as part of a 13-year, privately funded European project that is expected to cost $150 million.

Ernest Moniz, who heads the U.S. Department of Energy, praised the effort at a news conference Monday in Washington, where the plane landed early Sunday morning. Moniz said it highlighted a cleaner energy future for the nation.
"It's also a poetic project," said Bertrand Piccard, one of the pilots. "It's about flying with the sun. It's about flying with no fuel."

It's not that the experimental plane is going to change the way the rest of us fly, Moniz said. But it may change the way we drive and the buildings we live in sooner than we think.

The lightweight technology will pay off on the ground far more readily than in the air. This project should lead to cleaner appliances, greener cars and more energy-efficient building, said Solar Impulse CEO Andre Borschberg, who also is one of the pilots.

In an in-flight interview Friday, Borschberg said this experiment isn't about aviation being cleaner. Airplanes only produce 3% of the world's heat-trapping gases, he said.

"The potential is on the ground, the potential is not in aviation," he said. "On the ground, the potential is huge and is readily available."

Perhaps as early as 2015, an updated version of this solar plane will be flown around the world. Last year, the same plane flew from Switzerland to Morocco.

When he first came up with the idea a decade ago, Borschberg said he was told by experts: "Your project is impossible."
Now instead, Moniz said, Solar Impulse is highlighting four high-tech green energy fields that his office is trying to promote: solar power, better batteries that allowed Solar Impulse to fly at night, lightweight materials and integrating everything.
They'll pay off on the ground quickly, Moniz said. Take the lightweight carbon fiber and lighter solar cells. Once applied to rooftop solar panels, that will bring down costs for houses because much of the problem currently is the size and weight of the panels, he said.

Solar Impulse carries more than 11,000 solar cells-10,746 of them on the long wing that stretches 208 feet. Although it has the wingspan of a jumbo jet, the entire plane weighs just 3,500 pounds (1,580 kg), the size of a small car. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.indoorlite.com.

Valoya claims additional benefits for LEDs in horticulture

19. června 2013 v 5:52 Led ceiling light
LED grow-light manufacturer Valoya has announced that horticultural research focused on growing tomatoes under artificial lighting at PlantResearch in Made, Netherlands has revealed additional benefits attributed to solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. The study revealed that the pollinator bumble bees, which are necessary for crops such as tomatoes and strawberries, are very active under SSL whereas with legacy high-pressure sodium (HPS) sources, the bees are only active when there is also some level of natural light.

The advantages of LEDs in horticulture is not a new topic. See the links to the right for some articles we've published. By matching LED light color to the peaks in plant photosynthesis sensitivity, researchers have demonstrated superior crop production relative to HPS. Moreover, LED lighting can be applied in strings or curtains between crops getting light to all areas of a plant, while reducing the energy used for artificial lighting.

The PlantResearch study, however, focused on a new benefit with bee activity. As you near the polar regions of the globe, greenhouses with artificial lighting are a requisite for crops due to short outdoor growing seasons and the lack of sufficient natural light on short winter days. Still, the crops need bees.

The study compared HPS lighting with Valoya's LED lights using what the company calls the AP67 general growth spectrum for plants. That option is available in all of the company's grow lights and has 18% of the energy in the far-red area and no UV radiation.

The LED lighting provided two bee-centric advantages. Bees in a hive became immediately active when the LED lighting was turned on at 4:00 AM, at which point there was no natural light. The researchers captured the activity with high-speed cameras.

In the HPS case, the bees remained in the hive when the artificial lights were illuminated. The bees only became active 4 hours later when natural light hit the greenhouse. Apparently, bees have trichromatic vision and can see three areas of the light spectrum but not the typical HPS spectrum.

The researchers also noted that the HPS lights produce heat, and bees often hit the fixtures accidentally and are killed. That problem doesn't exist with the LED lighting.

"We are currently researching and developing all aspects of our lights, including impact on both invited and uninvited insects," said Lars Aikala, CEO of Valoya. "From other trials we know that aphids have a lower reproduction rate under our LEDs compared to HPS and red-blue LEDs; now we know that our lights are bee friendly."

Purdue horticultural professor Cary Mitchell also released new research recently about LED lighting for tomato farming. Mitchell is pursuing the research with the belief that the produce should be grown near the consumer as opposed to being shipped from faraway places such as Mexico. Local LED-lit farms could reduce the cost of shipping and provide better products to the consumer because the fruit could be picked ripe rather than green.

In a recent study with tomatoes, Mitchell reported that HPS and LED lighting provided similar yields. But the LED-lit operation reduced energy usage by 25%.

Mitchell believes that yield can be increased by lighting with vertical LED strings that deliver light to the lower portions of the plant. Mitchell will test that theory and also plans to conduct taste tests to compare tomatoes grown under LED lighting to those grown under natural light. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.indoorlite.com.

New-Generation Street Lighting Still Getting No Respect

18. června 2013 v 5:47 Led ceiling light
They save money in the long run, will last longer and provide more light. So why do so many people hate the new streetlights Arlington officials insist on installing?

The question was raised again at the June 15 County Board meeting, and even board members themselves acknowledged the contentiousness surrounding the installation of new LED streetlights in place of venerable sodium-vapor lighting.

"We have received complaints from many parts of the county," said County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. "Clearly, adjustments need to be made."

The latest to rebel: Residents of Columbia Heights, whose complaints about the new streetlights were mollified, somewhat, after county staff briefed the local civic association.

Complaints come on many fronts: The lighting is too bright; it has a harsh, cold, white hue (described by some as what you'd expect in prison); and it overpowers curtains and drapes, forcing its way, unwanted, into bedrooms and other interior rooms.
"I understand why folks are unhappy," said County Board member Chris Zimmerman. His Douglas Park neighborhood recently saw the installation of new LED lighting, including a streetlight directly adjacent to his home.

"They do cast kind of an eerie glow," Zimmerman said, adding that the higher intensity is "certainly noticeable in my house."
County Manager Barbara Donnellan, while acknowledging complaints have been widespread, didn't have any solutions directly at hand. She said the technology was "evolving," but also pointed out the positives of the replacement project.

Swapping St. Petersburg's streetlight bulbs to more efficient LED lights would conserve energy and could save taxpayers millions. It is also a good way for the new owner of Progress Energy Florida to show that its community engagement isn't limited to its home state of North Carolina. Duke Energy said Monday that it anticipates offering just such a savings plan, days after City Hall said it has been getting mixed signals. That's a positive sign.

St. Petersburg pays its streetlight bills based on a Tallahassee-approved utility tariff, spending about $4.7 million a year. Changing the city's 30,000 bulbs to LEDs could reduce energy costs by as much as 40 percent, or $1.8 million, City Council chairman Karl Nurse said. But he said last week Duke had been less than receptive to cutting the city's costs.

Duke has allowed the cost-saving switch before, in the Raleigh-Durham area. But the incentive in Florida could be different. The switch to LED lights in St. Petersburg could end up spreading to all of Duke Energy's Florida service area, reducing a reliable stream of income.

The company told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Monday that it is planning to file a rate reduction with the Florida Public Service Commission this summer regarding LED usage for streetlights. The best news will be when the rate filing passes all savings back to local governments. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.indoorlite.com.

Windy conditions ground lanterns for Mott Park festival in Flint

17. června 2013 v 7:59
Members of the community gathered in Mott Park to release paper lanterns into the night sky but two mishaps kept the event grounded. Nonetheless, about 100 people filtered in and out of the park around dusk for the event.

First, windy conditions forced organizers to use helium balloons with RGB led instead of paper lanterns with fire, as they would have posed a risk of fire if they were blown astray. And then the back-up balloons became untangled from where they were tied down and floated away prematurely.

Eric Hinds, one of Flint's resident artists and the organizer of the event, said it was unfortunate that the lanterns weren't able to be released, but noted that the materials for the paper lantern were still ready to be used on a less windy night. He added that he received useful community feedback about possible future events that could be held at parks.

"I want to do it again next year," Hinds said. "I've learned a lot from doing it this year."

Hinds said he wants to work with more artists in the future and see it become a well-known festival.

"I want to just see it grow as much as a possible," he said. "As many people as I could fill this park up with, I could."

Plus, the lanterns weren't the only part of the night, as free hotdogs and watermelon were served, local artists painted and interacted with the public and a children's art table with markers and construction paper was set up.

Hinds emphasized that events like this that draw residents to the parks are vital for communities and neighborhoods. While all 67 parks in Flint fall under the jurisdiction of the Flint Parks & Recreation Department, Hinds said all of them are near Flint neighborhoods and the Flint residents who live near these parks need to have a stake in them.

"The community members really have to come together and we have to start taking ownership of our parks again," he said. "We have to be the ones that take care of them. We have to be the ones that get the community events going in the parks because if we don't, there isn't anyone to do it."

Hinds added that he wants to hear ideas from the community about similar events that can attract residents to its parks.

"It's cool to be able to come up with a project idea like this and see so many people as receptive as they are and get everyone out here," he said. "The main reason that we're all out here is to get everybody's ideas on how best that we can utilize our open spaces and our parks and all of that information goes right back to the planning commission."

The project, which was funded through grants, cost $1,500, Hinds said.

Flint resident Vanita Singleton came to see the lanterns and brought her children as well. She said she wants to see more events that are free and community and family focused, like this one.

"We need more family oriented stuff in the Flint area," Singleton said. "I would like to see more stuff like this in the Flint area every weekend going on all summer."

Singleton said the event was the first time she had been back to the park since a fatal shooting took place on its tennis court. Events like this, she said, show the park's positive attributes and that "it's getting better."

Kent County Council considers switching off 70,000 streetlights

13. června 2013 v 5:32 Led ceiling light
Thousands of streetlights across the county are set to be switched off as part of a drive by Kent County Council to cut spiralling energy costs.

Within a month, work will get under way to pull the plug on 3,000 streetlights - and if there are no complaints after a year-long trial, they will be removed altogether.

But a more far-reaching proposal now out for consultation could see another 70,000 of Kent's 120,000 lights switched off for long periods during the night as part of an initiative county transport chiefs will save the taxpayer 1m a year.

That could mean lights being dimmed between midnight and the early hours of the morning.

The move will trigger concerns that it could lead to more crime and accidents, but KCC insists that other areas who have already embarked on a switch-off say neither has happened.

And it says no lights will be switched off in town centres, areas with CCTV, antisocial behaviour areas, at busy road junctions, roundabouts or accident blackspots.

The politician in charge of Kent's roads says that having lights on for long periods when they are not needed had become "an incredible luxury" and the council was only proposing doing what most people did in their own homes.

Cllr David Brazier (Con), cabinet member for highways, said: "We are taking a safe and sensible approach. We want to ensure we make the best use of Kent taxpayers' money.

"We propose switching off lights when they don't need to be lit. This is the most effective way of saving energy, very much like a householder turning off lights at night when going to bed."

He added: Rising electricity costs are a reality and will continue to go up year on year. Next year we face a bill of 6.4million for street lights and the associated carbon tax.

"A considerable amount is spent on lighting streets in the early hours and we believe we can save around 20% - that's more than 1million - by turning lights off when they don't need to be lit. These proposals would save 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions."

Plans to reduce the operating hours of 70,000 others would involve them being fitted with timers, meaning they light at dusk before go off at about midnight. They would then come back on in early morning.

Kent County Council's director of highways John Burr acknowledged that opinion was divided over the issue, describing it as "our Marmite project."

At the same time, the consultation on the year-long trial had indicated many communities supported the idea.

He said: "If it becomes clear that crime or accidents have gone up where we have switched them off, then we will switch them back on again. But there is no concrete evidence from statistics that levels of crime are affected by whether the lights are on."

The county council has already discussed its proposals with Kent Police, local councils and 12 transportation boards, where local councillors discuss transport issues. Read the full story at www.indoorlite.com web.

Project assures Penn Street a visibly brighter future

9. června 2013 v 5:05 led par light
Penn Street is slated for $1 million in upgrades this summer that will include new and brighter streetlights from Second to Eighth streets.

It also will include replacing the gap-toothed crosswalks at Penn's intersections with Second and Third, replacing the bouncy bricks with plastic grids like the crosswalk at Eighth and Penn.

Both projects will get underway at the same time, likely August or September, city Public Works Director Charles M. Jones said.

And he said both are funded by federal highway grants, not local tax money.

The city had been waiting for approvals from PennDOT. Jones said the final OKs are expected soon, and the city will seek bids later this month.

Our City Reading, the nonprofit organization of retailer Albert R. Boscov, paid for the engineering design of the new streetlights and got the federal grant to pay the estimated $600,000 cost, Jones said.

The sidewalks will get 20 new poles and new fixtures in the six-block section, which will match those installed in the 800, 900 and 1000 blocks two years ago.

Also, about 100 existing lights will be retrofitted with new fixtures providing more light at less cost, Jones said.

He added that the new fixtures are not LED dimmable, and won't match those installed on Second Street from Entertainment Square to Reading Area Community College.

A dozen trees will have to be removed to make room for a few new poles, although three new trees will be planted, he said, and some existing trees must be trimmed to ensure the light gets to the sidewalk.

But Jones is happy to be able to rip out the brick crosswalks at the Second and Third streets intersections.

"The bricks drive us nuts, because they keep popping out," he said.

The bricks have been popping out nearly since the crosswalks were installed in 1991 for the Gateway Project.

Each time, the city fills in the hole with macadam, but Jones said the crosswalks are in bad shape.

The project, expected to cost $400,000, will repave each of the two intersections just far enough to include the crosswalk areas: three at Second and four at Third.

While the macadam is still hot, crews will inlay the plastic grids to form 8-foot-wide crosswalks.

The city tried the grid system at Eighth and Penn a decade ago and liked the way it held up, although it's now showing signs of wear. That grid is a series of wagon wheels, and the new grids will be as well.

But Jones said new PennDOT regulations require it to have straight white lines on the outside to show the crosswalk limits, so those lines will be included in the new grids.

The crews also will bring the handicap ramps at the two intersections up to new standards, Jones said.

McTish, Kunkel & Associates, Allentown, has been awarded a $59,206 contract to monitor the projects.

Statewide energy campaign aims for $10M in savings

7. června 2013 v 5:30 Led ceiling light
Nicholas Corsetti of National Grid says that his company has the potential to save their customers $10 million by 2014.

How?

Through the Rhode Island Energy Challenge Find Your Four!, a statewide energy efficiency campaign that will challenge all Rhode Islanders to save energy in their homes through simple actions such as unplugging items when they are not in use or using RGB led.

The campaign, which was launched at a luncheon Wednesday at Roger Williams Park Casino in Cranston, is a partnership between National Grid, Opower (a Washington, D.C.- and San Francisco-based company that promotes energy efficiency) and SmartPower (a non-profit aiming to help Americans make smart energy choices).

The Rhode Island Energy Challenge is a first of its kind challenge because it is community-based, both online and in the community.

"People are going to be able to go online and see their energy usage versus their neighbors," explained Matt Ray, outreach manager for SmartPower. "Then they can challenge their neighbors."

National Grid and SmartPower were on hand to help those at the event start finding ways to lower their energy cost. National Grid is providing sign-ups for free home energy audits through the EnergyWise program. A representative from National Grid will come to examine all the areas of one's house for energy use and provide a printed report of recommendations to save money on energy.

They will also provide information on rebates and loans, should the home require expensive improvements such as insulation and air sealing.

Just for having the audit, the homeowner will also receive compact fluorescent light bulbs and advanced power strips for free.

And it is not just individual residents who can get in on the fun. The campaign encourages businesses, non-profit organizations and even municipalities to create custom challenges. Those employers or officials can invite their employees/constituents to sign up for Find Your Four! and race to be the first to get 5 percent of their residents, members or employees to reduce their energy consumption. Citizen's Bank and Banneker Industries in North Smithfield are two businesses in the competition and Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light and People's Power and Light are two non-profits.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and North Smithfield Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton were at Wednesday's event to announce their towns' intention to take part in the challenge. They are the only municipalities to do so thus far.

"We are committed to helping all of our residents, citizens and businesses alike, save on energy costs," said Fung. "And believe me, Cranston intends on winning."

The friendly rivalry could be seen as Hamilton explained how her town is already incredibly committed to the environment with one of the largest green and clean days in the state, among other environmental causes.

"It's already part of the culture," said Hamilton. "I do echo the sentiments, but I gotta tell you Allan, we're gonna get there first."

All joking aside, Fung said the 5 percent goal was reasonable and he was committed to helping his residents become "energy champions," the honor bestowed on those who find their four.

"I can personally say I am committed to finding my four," said Fung. "Saving money - who doesn't like that?"

For the Rhode Island Energy Challenge, Ray said that the "four" participants need to find are four simple actions around the house that can reduce one's energy consumption.

He said it can be as small as unplugging the charger from the wall as opposed to just disconnecting it from one's phone or laptop.

"It's the small stuff. The stuff you may not think about," said Ray. "We'd love you to do more than four, but the goal is four."

Brain Keane, president of SmartPower, said many homeowners may not realize the biggest energy drain in homes. He said it used to be the refrigerator because it needed to be on all day, every day, but that is no longer the case.

"It's the flat screen TV," said Keane, explaining that most flat screen TVs still use energy even when they're off. "It's about $100 a year per TV."

SmartPower provided a list of some easy actions and savings they can result in.

Washing laundry in cold water can save 63 kwh and $9 a month. Having a programmable thermostat and lowering the temperature between 6 and 8 degrees at night and when no one is home will save $16.50 each month. Also, turning off lights, appliances, stereos and computers when not in use will save customers $9 a month.