Price and Power Subsidies Yes, the price transition that is gradually happening will help make consumers see the benefits of both savings and efficiency. I am also seeing displays in building supply and hardware stores that include power company subsidy on certain lighting products. This includes some very decorative pieces -- much more appealing than original designs.
Re: An important consideration Jeremy, the impact of strikes in the 1970's in the UK and Ireland is pretty well documented and the subject of a great many TV documentaries. The root cause seems to have been a shift way from a labour led economy. In the UK this era had it's height with the advent of the 3 day working week as oil and coal, steel and good stopped flowing. Things got pretty bad and the goverment fell.
Re: Educating the consumer Agreed. Educating the consumers so they'll know what to expect and what they're getting will go a long way, especially when it comes to products like these that come with many marked advantages over alternatives that are currently preferred.
Re: Educating the consumer "Education" is a misnomer, IMO. It's not about education. That word has a negative connotation. After being stung, you need consumer buy-in. It's a sales process, not re-education.
We, as consumers, were educated about the wonders of CFLs. But after years of propaganda and subsidies, consumers saw terrible light quality, garish color rendition, flickering, premature death, and extra costs to remove or replace dimmers and lighted switches.
Even to the uneducated consumer, the CFL has a clear inability to drop in as a "replacement" for a generic incandescent bulb for things like outdoor lighting, garages, closed fixtures.
Sometimes money savings is less relevant that having a product that works. Sell the consumers a working product first. The cost justification is through money saved on short-term utility bills and long-term replacement schedules.
Re: An important consideration Are there articles or an account of what happened during that time period? I'm very interested in what the strike was, what caused it, and what the impact was on the citizenry.
Knowing that energy workers striking caused citizens to burn their furniture for warmth as an outcome, seems pretty intense, and such an event would be well to be remembered. Something the entire social system could learn from, I would suppose.
Re: Educating the consumer One of the main problems I'm seeing is the proliferation of different fittings. In my house we have ES, SES, BC, SBC, MR16, MR11, GU10 and G4 bulbs. Plus a few oddities! When I was a kid we only had BC bulbs on our 240v supply of course.
When we first turned on our new kitchen lights we realised we had 1kw of tungsten lighting.. The LEDs in there now use around 100w and feel good.
Educating the consumer The thing that I think is missing from the LED market right now is educating the client. It's the same problem with solar. Yes, it looks shockingly expensive when the casual consumer just happens to see it at the local hardware store. prohibitively expensive even. But what if instead of advertising the cost, manufacturers advertised the cost savings. So say, instead of saying: LED light bulb: $10! Why not: "LED light bulb $10, lasts 10x longer than regular $5 bulb. That makes sense and people can understand the savings. If people understand that by buying marginally more expensive bulbs they will be significantly cutting down on their energy bills and also replacing those bulbs less frequently, they will not balk as much at the prospect of buying them.
Rule number one for any manufacturer of a new/innovative product. educate your client.
light and shade Having sold LEDs at my last job in renewables sales work I have to say LEDs are great, I can't argue with that. However where I live we have orange lamps on our street which are easy on the eye and don't keep me up because the light is not harsh like the white light of LEDs. I am worried because they are starting to replace them with the LEDs and the light is so garish. I think that filters are going to be needed to ensure that the perception of 'warm light' is still something we can enjoy. And i haven't even mentioned the problem of light pollution.
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