Saturday, June 23, 2012

GE Decks Out New Zealand Landmark in LEDs

GE Decks Out New Zealand Landmark in LEDs

None of my experiences over the past couple of days have included LED lighting.  Except for maybe the baffling puzzle of why my LED reading light keeps flickering.  LEDs aren’t supposed to flicker – especially LEDs which have only been around less than 2 years.  My husband seems to think it’s the on/off rocker causing problems, and he might be right.  It seems that whenever I keep my finger on the rocker button, the light stays bright and true, but the moment I stop manipulating it, it starts to go on the fritz again.  I hope this doesn’t dissuade you from the LED changeover – because this is a blip that has only recently showed up after our move, and seems to have nothing to do with the light itself.

I couldn’t find any US news regarding LED lighting, so I looked around the world (or the Internet, rather) and stumbled upon some work GE is doing Down Under.  In New Zealand, the company is helping to light a landmark.  The country’s Whanganui River is the third-longest river in the country and holds special significance in Māori culture.  At the mouth of the river is a cultural hub full of heritage and tradition.  Also located there is the Wanganui City Bridge.  It’s one of the few road bridges that span the river.

Recently, the Wanganui District Council set out to try different LED light sources as an alternative to conventional technology in order to light the Wanganui City Bridge.  The council is interested in LED, because, as with in most other cases, LED would increase illumination along the important thoroughfare while also conserving precious energy resources.  

The solution includes GE’s 80W R150 LED lamps.  The 14 new fittings have the backing of a local supplier in New Zealand, as well as the support of GE Lighting.  The new lighting will save about NZ$9,000 – or $7,400 USD – in terms of reduced power and maintenance costs over the life of the fittings.  

The lights replace the bridge’s old system of Sodium Lights.

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