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View Full Version : Which kind of lighting is "greener" overall?


irrig8r
12-06-2007, 02:39 PM
Do your customers ask about the environmental impact of their new lighting?

"Green" is being used a lot in marketing these days... it's a vague concept for most, but it seems to me everyone would probably (in theory) like to be "greener"...

Or do I just have a skewed view because I'm here hugging trees and crunching my granola on the left coast of California?


How about the consumption of energy over the life of a system when using higher voltages?

LEDs vs. incandescents vs. fluorescents vs.?

How about the carbon impact? Transporting goods manufactured overseas?

How about the environmental standards in North America vs. those in Asia for dealing with hazardous chemicals?

How about the mining and smeltering of aluminum vs.copper vs. brass (copper + zinc) or bronze (copper + tin + lead) compared to the manufacturing of composites?


What got me thinking about this was a thread over at www.landscapeconstructionsite.com regarding sustainable landscapes. That plus it's rainy today and I've been doing some homework looking at lighting websites.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-06-2007, 04:37 PM
I know I will get called names for this... but oh well.

I have often though about these very same questions Gregg. On the surface we can say that our systems are more "green" because of the reduced electrical consumption, more efficient delivery of light, use of LEDs etc etc. but if we really break it down, our products are not very green or environmentally friendly at all.

Copper ore mining and refining is one of the dirtiest industries on earth. The leachate from the waste ponds is toxic and the chemicals used in extraction and refinement are just horrible. Brass and Bronze refining and casting is another issue. There is a reason that so many states will not allow this production to go on. Then there is the issue of the chemicals used in patina finishes. Joey said it himself... the EPA doesnt like it at all and thus they have their finish applied offshore.

Then there is the worldwide shipping connundrum.

How much energy (BTUs) do you figure it takes to mine and process the ore, ship it, craft the fixture, ship it, inventory the product, ship it, deliver the product and install it? I would bet would blow our minds if converted into a figure like a gallon of gasoline.

Now, I want to stop thinking about this... it bums me out.

Lite4
12-06-2007, 04:51 PM
Ok, here comes the bigger picture for all you guys. The "think green" crowd has systematicly reduced our country to a nation full of serfs. The majority of all of our manufacturing has been outsourced overseas in the name of environmental friendliness, when in reality we are doing the planet a bigger diservice by doing this. No one in the world regulates their waste nor is more conscience of polutants than the USA. By moving all our manufacturing overseas we are creating more waste, toxins and harmful byproducts that are going out in the air, the ground and our oceans. Do you think China cares about how they manage their wastes and toxins and the impact on the environment? No way, but they are also fast becoming the new world superpower because we have transfered all of our wealth to them in the name of doing it cheaper because it is too expensive to do it here. And just why is it cheaper overseas, because they don't have all of the business strangling regulations over there to try to regulate waste and bi-products. The greeners have not only ruined our country economically, but they are also to blame for the increase in 'non-regulated' waste overseas which will impact us, make no mistake about it. If we are not pulling it out of the ground and producing and manufacturing it ourselves it is not "wealth". All we are doing is trading the same money back and forth for services. This not how to sustain a nation. Ok, off the soap box.

JoeyD
12-06-2007, 05:11 PM
You can always fashion lights out of wood. Nate back in the day used to build his own custom lights out of wood. Pretty green but also very time consuming.

We as manufacturers need to be concious of what we are doing and how it is effecting the environment. I myself wish there was more we could do in terms of manufacturing our copper and brass products. China is the worlds largest recycler believe it or not. SOmetimes this is a good thing, sometimes it is bad. It's great from a recycling standpoint but it is bad if you get a recycled brass fixture that rusts becuase it has too much iron thrown into the melting pot.

But I can not agree more that we as industry leaders need to contiue to look at ways of making our production more "GREEN"

Lite4
12-06-2007, 05:25 PM
China is also the worlds greatest polluter. But Hey, you know what if you are going to make an omelet you have to break some eggs.. so to speak. No wonder they own us as in US.

irrig8r
12-06-2007, 05:28 PM
James, Well it looks like we can discuss this w/o resorting to name calling. Cool. Still a couple guys that might want to chime in though...

Re: copper mining/ processing: how does it compare to aluminum? And does the fact that the fixture will last at least 3 times longer make a difference?

Or how about the notion that if we use LEDs we can install systems with smaller gauge wire, thereby using less copper... (for that matter same with Unique's hub system to a certain extent)


Tim, get up on that soapbox more often. You have some interesting ideas.


Joey, 10 V systems... what can you tell us? Where are you guys going with this idea, and how does it fit into this thread?

My thoughts are

JoeyD
12-06-2007, 05:36 PM
10v system willl be somehting we discuss in the future.........but we could discuss our new 24v system!!! LOL.....what will the 1838 guys say now! mmmMMMUUUUUUAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH..........in my best count dracula voice

Lite4
12-06-2007, 05:37 PM
Joey, speaking of wood lights. Have you ever seen these? I have used them a few times in the past for specialty jobs. The picture does not do them justice. These babies are built tough and the craftsmanship is excellent. The cedar smell when you open the box is a nice plus too.

www.idahowood.com

JoeyD
12-06-2007, 05:40 PM
Thanks Tim but I got enough wood!!

LOL.....

Seriously, they are nicely crafted. I have seeen them before.

irrig8r
12-06-2007, 05:47 PM
China is also the worlds greatest polluter. But Hey, you know what if you are going to make an omelet you have to break some eggs.. so to speak. No wonder they own us as in US.

Well, of course, by reducing the threat of China from a political point of view, we helped awaken a sleeping giant.

All those years of bottled up free market yearning unleashed in a very short time... starting in about 1978.

I can remember when Deng Xiaoping said "To get rich is glorious." and saying to myself, "hmmm... something big going on there."

Lite4
12-06-2007, 05:58 PM
You are absolutely right Gregg!

Lite4
12-06-2007, 06:02 PM
Joey, I understand but what if you are stranded in someones back yard for days on end, can you use a Unique fixture for firewood if you needed to? We have to be thinking about personal survival here.

JoeyD
12-06-2007, 06:10 PM
Damn it your right Tim. Good thing my transformer will have miraculously combusted by then thus starting a nice warm fire!!!! LOL

Lite4
12-06-2007, 06:45 PM
Whew, Thank God for those Hot transformers on dry wood houses. Otherwise we would really be in a pickle.

pete scalia
12-06-2007, 07:28 PM
Well, of course, by reducing the threat of China from a political point of view, we helped awaken a sleeping giant.

All those years of bottled up free market yearning unleashed in a very short time... starting in about 1978.

I can remember when Deng Xiaoping said "To get rich is glorious." and saying to myself, "hmmm... something big going on there."

You guys are probably too young but during the cold war era we were bootlegging brass and copper lights out of the USSR till Ivan Kuturcockoff put and end to it. Those were the days my friend I thought they'd never end.

irrig8r
12-06-2007, 07:47 PM
You guys are probably too young but during the cold war era we were bootlegging brass and copper lights out of the USSR till Ivan Kuturcockoff put and end to it. Those were the days my friend I thought they'd never end.

Now you've gone and done it Pete.

Besides making me laugh and spit out my politically correct green tea, narrowly missing my keyboard, you and "Ivan" are probably gonna get this thread deleted...

JoeyD
12-06-2007, 08:35 PM
You guys are probably too young but during the cold war era we were bootlegging brass and copper lights out of the USSR till Ivan Kuturcockoff put and end to it. Those were the days my friend I thought they'd never end.


I nominate this POST OF THE YEAR!!

Pro-Scapes
12-07-2007, 08:15 AM
You can always fashion lights out of wood. Nate back in the day used to build his own custom lights out of wood. Pretty green but also very time consuming.



Im sure I speak for many here... This we gotta see some pics of

JoeyD
12-07-2007, 10:06 AM
Im sure I speak for many here... This we gotta see some pics of


They are in his book. It would take me a while to dig these photos up. he does have a few of them in the book though.

Pro-Scapes
12-07-2007, 10:17 AM
i have not had time to get that far yet

JoeyD
12-07-2007, 10:20 AM
Billy if you try and read that book cover to cover you are going to drive yourself nuts. Flip around and check stuff out!!

NiteTymeIlluminations
12-07-2007, 10:36 AM
Good topic, even though it got thrown for a loop a little. There are so many aspects to all of this you know. Nobody has discussed fluorescents and the mercury levels, etc...

then you got green, you talking about light loss, dark sky, for the air, energt consumptiion...there is so much...I look at it this point, if you are thinking about it you ar doing something and every little bit helps.

I have become sucha greenie over the past year; i have been out of the country 12 times and have seen what other countries are doing and how backwards we are in the states. We think we are doing something but honestly there are products out there that arent even offered in the states because the mfr knows we wont use it. there is no demand for products. then the idea goes back to that its up to all of us one by one to demand change and how we do that. No pilitican is running this wold, we are!!! We are!!! forget them idiots in DC, if we all contacted Philips and said we want those funky bulbs that use 1/10 of the energy are low in polutants and come with boxes to send back to them to recycle the bulb when it blows they would bring it to the states!!!

Then when designing Low volt systems think...okay where am I wasting wattage...all that wire is killing the efficiency of my system...so I need 25feet of wie on every light? what am i doing throing that extra wire away...

light loss going toward the sky or even worse ocean? holy cow...i cant even type theres too much to think about...I know i'm nuts but thats my job now a days!!! its all of our jobs...we are doing good and there's more we can do...

then there's china....ughhhh...