Lighting The Path To A Greener World: Birmingham To Host International Conference

Adoption of breakthrough lighting technology set to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy savings

Birmingham will become the centre of the ongoing 'Green' debate next week, as it hosts euroLED 2007, Europe's largest conference dedicated to a very small technology - LEDs - a lighting alternative that could save the UK millions of pounds in energy usage and significantly reduce our carbon footprint. The show will take place on June 6th and 7th at The National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham.

An LED, or light emitting diode, is a small digital device that can be used to produce light of millions of different colours and brightness levels, but uses significantly less energy than traditional lighting methods, such as the incandescent light bulb. At euroLED 2007, Dr. Geoff Archenhold of Birmingham's Aston Science Park, and Conference Chair of the LED showcase event, will oversee the session "LEDs: The Greener Alternative", where the environmental impact of this breakthrough technology will be debated by an international panel.

"If all domestic 60W light bulbs were replaced with LED-based light sources, the amount of electricity used in residential lighting today could be reduced by up to 80% - the equivalent of eliminating the need for approximately two nuclear power stations," advised Dr. Archenhold. "And the applications of LED lighting are not just in the home: LEDs are replacing lighting in retail outlets, offices, in our cars and on our streets and roads.

"Energy production for all types of illumination around the world creates over 900 million tons of CO2 gas and represents 19% of all electrical energy used worldwide. We estimate that this figure could be reduced by 300 million tons if LEDs were used for all general lighting purposes," added Dr. Archenhold.

Birmingham is already playing a key role in the development of alternative light sources with the Solid State Lighting Research Centre (SSLRC), based at the Aston Science Park, which provides an independent, end-to-end product development and testing service for companies from the West Midlands and all over the world.

"LED technology has been around for many, many years but has developed rapidly in the last six months, resulting in many ground-breaking concepts that come with technical and business challenges for manufacturers to overcome," said Alex Clarke, Head of the SSLRC. "At the SSLRC, we help companies, universities and governments address these problems using our experience and expertise, coupled with some of world's most advanced photonics technology."

Beyond lighting, there are many applications for LED technology, including in vehicles, in street lights, in traffic signals, on mobile handsets and in many forms of signage, and the total market is now estimated to be worth $7.2 billion. It is predicted that the worldwide market for solid-state lighting will be worth more than US$155 billion by 2020 due to the significant demand for energy efficient lighting.

euroLED 2007 will take place at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham, UK, from the 5th - 7th June.

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