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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory unveils LED lighting lab to public

Posted on December 28, 2012 Category: Energy-Efficiency Articles

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently unveiled its LED lighting lab in Richland, Washington, to the public for the first time, according to Sustainable Business Oregon. The lab is the first of its kind designed specifically to experiment on LED lights in a controlled setting.

"There are huge potential savings that are possible with this technology," Marc Ledbetter, a researcher at PNNL, told the news source. "We can save on the order of 250 billion dollars over the next two decades. What it means for the average consumer is that it's now technologically possible to purchase a lamp that you can put in your will, that you might be able to, at some point, have an heir take on."

The purpose of the research and experiments at the lab is to continuously push the limits of LED lights in exploring their substantial advantages in energy efficiency over traditional incandescent bulb types. According to The News Tribune, incandescent bulb types typically shine for 750 to 1,000 hours before burning out, while compact fluorescent bulbs may sometimes last for 6,000 to 10,000 hours. In contrast, the LED lights undergoing testing have been burning for more than 21,5000 hours without any signs of dimming thus far. Researchers at PNNL have estimated that the LED lights will work at 98 percent brightness once they have passed the 25,000 hour mark.

The two PNNL test chambers were built at a combined cost of $1.3 million, with a computerized robot test embedded within. The lights have been lit for 24 hours a day for several months now, kept at a steady 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the news source reports.