Mount Rushmore Introduces Unique Lighting System

The more than two million visitors who travel to Mount Rushmore National Memorial each year will now enjoy an enhanced night time viewing experience, thanks to an innovative new lighting system with an LED light source that was recently installed at the memorial.

The new system accomplished this though several key features that improve efficiency and light control, including:

-Advanced optic controls that highlight the aesthetics of the monument, while ensuring light is not spilled into the night sky and natural wildlife area
-A custom control system that allows park rangers to precisely highlight each of the four presidents depicted in the mountainside carving, creating an even more inspiring presentation
-Reducing energy consumption by 90% when compared to the previous lights

Visitors will experience new opportunities to enjoy the night sky; focused lighting will enhance habitat for nocturnal wildlife; and enrich potential for new interpretive programming. The good lighting practices that have been initiated will result in energy efficiency, elimination of lighting spillover, enhanced visitor experience, and protection of cultural resources.

With the new lights in place, Mount Rushmore National Memorial has now joined other famed landmarks that also feature customized lighting systems, including the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and the East Span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Excerpt from KDLT 

New quantum dot hybrid LED is cost-efficient and color-effective

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are prevalent in everything from digital clocks to solar panels, traffic lights, electronic banners and signs, Christmas decorations, as well as smartphone and tablet displays. However, LEDs are created using organic materials that can be costly for researchers. The end result of the manufacturing process is that LEDs cost more for the consumer. While LED lighting systems last longer, are more energy-efficient, and provide an improved color gamut above that of fluorescent lights, the price is the technology’s greatest drawback.

A new, cost-effective quantum dot (QD) hybrid LED could enable LED lighting system adoption on a mass scale. University of Hiroshima (Japan) researchers created the new light-emitting diode using silicon quantum dot solution and a polymer solution on top of an indium-tin-oxide (ITO) glass ply that was used as the anode for the LED. The silicon quantum dot solution was placed in the bottom of a glass vial that sat on a rotating stage. It was synthesized through pulsed laser ablation (PLA) with Tokyo Chemical Industry Co.’s 1-octyne solution (10mL) over several eight-hour periods.

After the 1-octyne solution was removed and the silicon quantum dots solidified, they were then submerged in either 1) 2-propanol or 2) o-dichlorobenzene. “The color of Si QD solution is a transparent yellow but a white-blue PL is observed during the UV excitation,” the team wrote in its report.

The study is the first of its kind to produce silicon quantum dot LEDs by way of a solution-based process and marks an advancement of LED technology, seeing that the use of organic film as the electron transport in past LED production resulted in a decreased photoluminescence and an inaccurate color reproduction. The solution-based process described here was done at room temperature and pressure, resulting in a more cost-efficient process by which to manufacture LEDs. Fluorescent bulbs are cheaper than LEDs, with a box of fluorescent bulbs costing no more than a few dollars, but consume more energy and lead to higher energy bills. LEDs are more expensive up-front, with some costing as high as $70 a piece, but conserve energy and money later on.

Excerpt from extremetech

LED bulbs gain on CFLs in lighting market

Consumer choices in light bulbs for their homes have changed significantly over the past few years, and they appear to be doing so again.

Compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, the market leader since most incandescent bulbs were phased out in 2014, are gradually giving way to LED lights, those semiconductor devices best known for their use in traffic signals and electronic appliances.

A new survey commissioned by the lighting product manufacturer Osram Sylvania shows LED light bulbs gaining on CFLs as consumers increasingly buy them and find them preferable.

“LED awareness and use is changing,” said the company’s seventh annual “Socket Survey,” which was conducted earlier this year by the firm KRC Research. “While in past surveys LEDs fell behind other types of bulbs, the 2015 survey reveals that now more are aware of LED light bulbs and purchasing them for their homes.”

CFLs remain the bulb of choice for most consumers, despite complaints about their light quality (they illuminate gradually) and the small amount of mercury that they contain.

Fifty-three percent of those polled reported having bought CFLs for their homes in the past year, compared to 41 percent who had purchased LED bulbs.

But survey results also indicate that CFLs may lose that lead in the not too distant future. The spiral lights were the preference for 37 percent of the respondents when they buy bulbs again, with LED lights were just behind, at 35 percent.

Among non-LED users, CFLs are the top choice for replacement bulbs (45 percent), with only 18 percent indicating they would purchase LED bulbs an alternative. However, among LED users, 44 percent would most likely buy LED bulbs again.

“This indicates a loyalty to LEDs once Americans are a user, but hesitation at initially switching,” the survey said. “One possible explanation for this hesitation to switch to LED bulbs could be price – nearly one of three of non-LED users do not think the initial cost of LED bulbs are worth it.”

Interest in LED lights is likely to grow even more as consumers look closer at the efficiency and expected lifetime of the bulbs compared to CFLs and those disappearing incandescent bulbs.

Government statistics put the annual cost of using a 60-watt-equivalent LED for three hours a day at $1.02, compared to $1.57 for a CFL and $7.23 for an incandescent bulb.

It all adds up, especially when you consider that LEDs are expected to last years longer than CFLs.

Excerpt from USA TODAY