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Can Energy Conservation and Environment Health Goals be worlds apart?

Mama Pacha or Mother Earth, has been gracious for billions of years. We have been enjoying the fruits of nature and human-made marvels at a rapid pace. So much so that our mama has begun to shed poisonous tears. Regardless of where you go on the earth, global warming is a problem.

The Glaciers are melting; sea levels are rising. Birds in the sky, animals on land, and fishes in the sea; all suffer the consequences of our degenerative activities. More than ever, now is a dire need to adopt and promote practices that will help conserve the environment while meeting the lighting needs of growing cities and urban landscapes. 

In this blog post, we will focus on two significant concerns: 

First, Energy Conservation, which, by definition, is the decision and practice of using less energy in everyday life. 

Second, Environmental Health relates to the condition of the environment in any particular region, especially regarding pollution levels and ecological diversity. 

What is the need for Energy Conservation?

Lighting accounts for 15 percent of global electricity consumption and 5 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The gaseous discharges of electricity production make up more than double the emissions of global air travel. A worldwide drop in daily energy consumption will help mitigate the growing environmental pollution.

Healthy environment equals Active Individuals

An overnight switch to energy-efficient LED lighting could avoid 801 million tons (Mt) of CO2 equivalent to displacing 684 coal-fired power plants worldwide. Promoting the use of energy-saving technologies to illuminate homes and public spaces is one way to conserve natural resources like coal and petroleum. A cut down in the carbon footprint would mean a drop in the pollution levels, giving us a chance to shape a safer future for future generations.  

How Will the World cope with the growing Energy Needs?

Energy conservation involves several steps, and the first one is awareness. When it comes to a worldwide movement, having scalable technologies offers an upper hand. In this particular case, LED technology is a hot debate. Modern-day lighting fixtures like LED pole lights 

In 2017, Clean Energy Minister (CEM) came up with a partnership of the world's key economies for working towards the deployment of clean energy. It would launch a Global Lighting Challenge (GLC) to generate ambitious commitments from national and subnational governments. The goal was to support public-private partnerships for promoting optimal use of small and less-expensive off-grid energy systems. Apart from the United States and India, which are CEM members, 14 other countries were to participate in the GLC. The Challenge's goal was to generate a pledge for 10 million high-efficiency LED lighting fixtures. 

On June 6, 2017, CEM included the GLC at the ninth Clean Energy Ministerial, in Copenhagen. It had achieved the goal and surpassed it with 14 million high-efficiency LED lights. Apart from this, 12 Chinese companies committed to deploying 3.29 billion LED lamps and 5.77 million LED Street Lights by the end of 2018. Under the Challenge, India observed a record of 1 billion LED lighting fixtures sales and China recorded LED light sales worth 5 billion.

Following the concept of YIN and YAN

GLC was a step towards promoting LED lights that help cut down daily energy consumption in millions of homes across the globe. However, there is still a pressing concern. LED fixtures put out the blue light that scatters more than any other color from the white light's electromagnetic spectrum. The use of LED pole lights, street lights, and other fixtures can disrupt the circadian rhythms of humans, animals, and plants because of 'blue' light in abundance.

American Medical Association's (AMA) adoption of community guidelines on street lighting provides a set of rules that public lighting must follow. Some of the points from the community guidelines are as follows:

  • Direct the street lights to areas that need lighting.
  • Whenever possible, use dimmable and motion-sensing LED lights. It would mean that street lights will only provide a set level of illumination at any given time.
  • Using lights that offer a correlated color temperature related to a warm-white hue is another way to shun the possibility of increased light pollution using LED parking lot lights and street lights, among others.
  • When using LED parking lot lights, public work departments worldwide must ensure that amount of blue light does not exceed the set levels. 
  • Authorities must ensure that modern lighting fixtures do not alter the appearance of our night sky. 
The YIN and YAN concept directs one towards balance, and that's what countries, governments, and individuals must practice.LED lights are an alternative to energy-wasting traditional lighting fixtures. However, one must not forget that overusing any technology can leave dangerous implications.

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