Which kind of lighting is "greener" overall?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by irrig8r, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    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.
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    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.
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,182

    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.
  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    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"
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,182

    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.
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    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
  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    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
  8. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,182

    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.



  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Thanks Tim but I got enough wood!!


    Seriously, they are nicely crafted. I have seeen them before.
  10. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    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."

Share This Page