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taking window blinds to the next level

Traditional window blinds are critical in terms of energy efficiency, they keep the heat out of your building by serving as a barrier to the sun’s rays. Blight, an innovative company recently displayed their new illuminating solar blinds concept, which combines flexible solar cells into venetian blinds to collect energy during the day and provide light during night. Typically blinds have a wide surface area and soak in the sun all day, why not turn the sunlight that hits windows binds into something useful? that’s exactly the problem the company plans to solve with Blight. They’re adding a little bit of technology to an old concept of window blinds to make them more useful in our everyday lives. How does it do it? Well the solar cells harvest sunlight and turn it into electricity which is stored in a small battery. At night charge is given off the battery into a electroluminescent foil that illuminates the room. Electroluminescent foil is a fabric that provides ultra low energy light sort of a a soft diffused glow when it is combined with a electrical current. I’m not sure how bright the light would be from electroluminescent foil since it only provides a glow. Would it be a practical to light up a room or is it more for show? What do you think about the...

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philips light blossom concept

I think this cool concept by Philips, called the light blossom is a sneak peak into the future of outdoor lighting. This lamp not only looks like a giant flower but acts like one too, the ‘solar petals’ of its ‘bud’ open slowly and start to produce power from the sun and wind. As the sun shines Light Blossom’s solar petals they continuously track the sun as it moves across the sky. When the wind blows the Light Blossom moves its petals to an upward half-open position, which allows them to catch the wind and generated clean power. The intelligent street light can be used off grid or even connected to the grid which feeds electricity back into the community. They call it an intelligent lamp because at night the energy efficient LED bulbs only shine full power when the Light Blossom senses motion of someone walking by. When no one is around, Light Blossom glows at the minimum level required for safety in its ‘stand-by’ mode. now that’s a smart lamp! what do you think about Philips concept of the future of...

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solar powerd attic fans

Last week we discussed at the East Los Angeles Skills Center’s Solar photovoltaic class that the air conditioner is a major contributor to your overall electric bill. Helping your air conditioner run less is the key to dramatically reducing the number of kWh (kilowatt hours) you consume per year. During summer months your attic temperatures has the potential to soar to 150 degrees Installing a solar attic fan can help you remove the heat before it reaches inside your home which has a direct effect on the number of hours your AC will turn to keep you cool. This is a great example of how a small solar panels can make a great impact on your electric bill by helping you become more energy efficient. It’s always more cost effective to reduce and then produce clean energy and a solar attic fan is a cost effective method to reduce your AC as much as 50%. What do you think? Are solar attic fans a good way to produce negawatts...

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dirty ac filter = wasted energy

I was at the East Los Angeles Skills Center’s solar panel installation class this week and the substitute teacher, Attila a 30 year veteran in the heating and cooling industry started a conversation about energy efficiency. The class agreed that air conditioners (AC) are typically the largest load on an electric bill and make up most of the annual kWh (kilowatt-hour) usage for a building. Air conditioners require maintenance and if your not cleaning your AC’s air filter every month then you’re not only exposing yourself to poor air quality but you’re wasting a lot of energy too. When your AC’s air filter is dirty it results in the AC working harder which is the reason why many units run inefficiently and end up costing you lots of money. Attila, brought up a very good point based off his tenure in the heating and cooling business, that majority AC air filters are never cleaned thus resulting in higher electric bills a larger environmental impact. When is the last time you cleaned or replaced your AC air filter? Do you think keeping the filter clean will help you save money on your electric...

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led grow lights in high demand

The people who use the most electricity are more likely to make investments in technology that reduces their consumption. Indoor growers all over the world are feeling the pinch of raising electric costs and are flocking for alternatives to lower their bills. Until recently, indoor growers had no options but to use inefficient and ancient lighting technology to grow their plants. Often not only would the cost of running the lights add up, but since these inefficient high pressure sodium lights create a lot of heat, many times the light itself has to be air cooled which adds to the electric costs of operating the lights. LED (light emitting diode) technology has recently dropped in price and advanced in terms of efficiency which has attracted many indoor growers to consider swapping out their old energy sucking gas based light bulbs for the next generation in lighting technology LEDs. The advantages of LED grow lights is not only that they cost only a couple dollars in electricity to run all year but they don’t emit much heat which allows the indoor grower to put the light source closer to the pant, increasing yields. LED Grow Lights deliver energy that plants need in the exact spectrums that are most effective to induce healthy and consistent plant growth. The GrowLED system allows you to target individual wavelengths (Blue, Red) or combine both to create the most effective growing environment for your plants, Some of the best responders to the light LED output include Tomatoes, Peppers, Basil, Lettuce, Violets, Orchids, and Roses. Food producing plants respond particularly well allowing you to have fresh produce in your house year round at a low cost. What do you think about LED lighting technology? Do you think its about time we replace incandescent and other forms of old inefficient lighting technology and convert to more efficient LED...

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how much is spam emails costing us electrically?

Computers are one of the largest consumers of electricity in the world. In fact, Google is the largest energy consumer in the world, since to run their search engine business needs a vast empire of servers that run 24/7 to meet the demands of the information age. But how about spam? I’m talking about those junk emails we get all day. Not only do these pesky emails limit our productivity but they waste tons electricity according to a study published by McAfee. According to their study worldwide spam emails waste enough electricity to power 2.4 million homes which is equivalent to 33 billion kWh (kilowatt-hours) consumed. But how does Spam email waste electricity? You have to first understand how email works, when you send a message it has to go through the network, which is a series of wires, switches, router and servers connected together. As your message travels through the internet (the network) its requiring those components to consume electricity, follow me here? All this wasted electricity cause by spam acutally increases our carbon emissions thus having a significant negative impact on our environment. What do you think? Is spam really contributing to the energy crisis or is this just “green washing” to sell more spam filter software? You be the...

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