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While I’ve raved before about Philips’ L-Prize LED lightbulb it is about to have its socks blown off!  Enter the LIFX via an already successful Kickstarter project launch.  The LIFX will be one of the first major “Internet of Things” product that makes a significant impact on a large scale.  With the ability to have every LED light bulb networked, dim-able, and controllable by your favorite smart device it will change the game of current home automation and lighting energy consumption.

lifx-wireless-led-light-bulbThe Kickstarter product video gives you a good initial picture of what to expect from networking each and every lightbulb of your home.  It lightly hints at one of the major benefits – time savings.  The video demonstrates the ability to control the LIFX via the device you have but what we will see as we continue down this path is a blending of the control that the LIFX brings combined with the motion sensing of something like the Wemo or another proximity or biometric sensor.

While the different colors of the LIFX are neat they’ll provide the ability to have the perfect lighting in any situation.  LIFX uses a master/slave concept to connect to your home router via 802.11n and then onto all the other LIFX smartbulbs via IPV6 802.15.4 mesh network.  And once LIFX hits the streets the LIFX Software Development Kit (SDK) will croudsource some major innovations in automation!  Want the house setup to simulate sunrise and sunset – do it!  As far as the fading night light – awesome.  Have the ability to fade it off for the little one to fall asleep while ensuring the child is afforded the great sleep that a very dark room provides.  Need to walk through the house light your entire path before hand.

One thing is sure – these wireless lights are going to be a significant game changer for home lighting, home automation, and lighting energy consumption.

[via Kickstarter]

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I’ve been much more interested in reducing energy, saving electricity and improving energy efficiency in homes from the moment I first heard Amory Lovins speak at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) in the mid 2000’s.  From his inspiration I started reviewing my own life and focused its energy expenditures.  I started with household light bulbs.  In the pursuit to reduce our home electricity use and save on electricity and utility costs I immediately purchased numerous CFLs and started ensuring the old incandescent bulbs were removed and replaced.  What I found was that I was on the early end of the Technology adoption cycle and that many of these bulbs could not be used with dimmers, didn’t give off a similar warm light that the incandescent bulbs provided (which my wife hated!), and although the energy expenditure was less the early CFLs still left something to be desired.

Enter the Lighting Prize (L Prize) by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).  Wanting a Thomas Edison like transformation of illumination DoE set forth a challenge to competitively develop a new and exceptionally well crafted and tested LED light bulb.  Philips was the lighting contest winner.  They produced an exceptional product which is now known as the Philips 10-Watt Lighting Prize (L Prize) Award Winning 60-Watt LED Light Bulb.  The L Prize Light Bulb appears to have corrected the major issues that I experienced with the early CFLs.  However the useful lifetime of more than 25,000 hours, compared with 1,000 to 3,000 hours for the  incandescent products these highly efficient bulbs are intended to replace.   Yet the Philips L-Prize is still debuting as a $60 Philips light bulb.  But even in the couple of months since the bulb’s announcement and release the price has dropped on average 10% and is near an average of $50 for the Philips Bulb.

I’ve found the Philips 10-Watt L-Prize Award Winning 60-Watt LED Light Bulb in a couple key places; this will help you get the best deal!

Direct from Amazon ($49.97 +Free Shipping)
HomeDepot ($49.97 + Free Shipping)
BulbAmerica ($49.95 + Free Shipping on orders over $50)
EFI ($49.95 + Shipping)  Plus Check out their Product Rebates by State on the right side of their page.
EarthLED via Amazon ($53.99 + Free Shipping)
Bulbs.com ($59.99 + Free Shipping)

Don’t forget to fill out and send in this Rebate for an additional $10 off.

I ran a quick comparision of a 60 watt incandescent and the L-Prize Bulb.  I’d with a few advantageous assumptions in the L Prize’s favor (made by their comparison tool) I’d recover the investment cost in approximately 1.1 years.  Either way I’m looking forward to getting one and testing it out (and see if the wife notices any differences!).

L Prize Comparison Chart

[via Lighting Prize]

I’ve watched this film. You can get it on Amazon, Hulu and probably Netflix as well but I happened across this preview for the actual theatrical preview, and it reminded me when I watched it a couple of years ago.

This film is about what should be done to make a dramatic change in the direction the planet is currently headed regarding its sustainability of human life. What is possible versus the extremely slow changes we are making with renewable energy and the elimination of fossil fuel use (vice our Nation simply getting off foreign oil).  One must also understand that it is acceptable to have used oil as we have.  The economics of our history, culture, and society make that acceptable.  But I feel and believe that we’ve reached a point in which we should focus true and wholehearted effort to shift away from its use as soon as practicable.

Some would say that we could have solved this problem in the 1970s when the oil embargo and fuel prices rose to unprecedented levels. While I don’t necessarily believe we could have solved this completely (mostly due to technology restrictions) I believe we could have invested better and placed ourselves in a preferable position than where we remain to date.

So rather than being in a position to have plenty of funding to invest in much of the endeavors that will inevitably be put forth in this film we have sent an extraordinary amount of our American dollar to another part of the globe in order to put limited funding into mass transit, allow our roads and bridges decay to collapse, and do significant damage to our air, water and land quality. At this point we have reached the deficit level where even programs, such as mass transit are facing significant funding challenges in areas like Pittsburgh.  This hampers wise transportation options but also severely affects the lower parts of the income spectrum.

While I have enjoyed the academic year in Pittsburgh the city faces strategic environmental challenges compounded by the economic issues of a city still very much recovering from the fall of its steel industry several decades ago.  Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) faces a city “Grand Challenge” in their water and sewer networks that must be improved to meed Federal minimum requirements.

Have you made it a habit to look at the environmental conditions where you are living?  How do you integrate sustainability into your life?

[via Fuel]