LED light bulbs are on their way to becoming the norm for home lighting.
But LEDs have applications way beyond the home.
VR reports that Delta Airlines, for example, has just pulled a surprise move—committing to upgrade its entire fleet of planes to energy efficient LED lighting within the next three years.
My initial reaction was to write a headline about how "LED lighting will lead to greener flying", but then I checked my hyperbole. True, less electricity used means less fuel burned, but the VR article estimates that the fuel efficiency improvements are likely to be in the region of a "0.0XX%" boost. (Still, apparently that amounts to $50,000 per plane per year.)
I should also note that part of the incentive for the airline is fewer maintenance hours, meaning more time in the air—meaning more fuel burned—so I won't be able to fly back home to the UK with a clear conscience just yet.
Still, I have been in a glass-half-full mood of late, so I am going to read this as an immensely positive sign: From airplanes to street lights to innovative LED/daylighting hybrid systems, LEDs and other efficient technology is now being adopted on a mass scale—not because it makes for a good Earth Day press release—but simply because it makes economic sense.
As I heard a decidedly capitalist-sounding warehouse owner exclaim behind me in a restaurant the other day:
"Why wouldn't I want LED lighting? The payback time is 3 years, and then it's just free money."
Who doesn't like free money?