America is slowly beginning to see the need to become a more energy efficient nation. As this process progresses, a large number of methods have been used to move towards lessening the impact on the environment. Among these methods, many people have turned to lighting management. This includes things like swapping to more energy efficient light bulbs, light timers, or motion activated lighting systems. Using one or more of these methods help people manage their usage of electricity, which therefore, lessens their impact on the environment as well as their pocketbook. These changes are taking place all over the country including Fairbanks, Alaska, but some businesses and individuals have yet to make the switch to more efficient lighting methods. Although it would require a small initial investment, the radiology department at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital should install L.E.D. lights and automatic lighting sensors in their exam rooms and hallways because the bulbs would last longer, it would lower their electric bill, and therefore lessen their impact on environment.
A fairly new technology has hit the market and is revolutionizing the way people light their homes and businesses. Light emitting diodes (L.E.D.s) are the new and improved way to save money and the environment. In comparison to florescent tube bulbs, which are the industry standard in hospital settings, L.E.D. lights can last an incredible 50,000 to 80,000 hours longer. In addition to the type of light used, the amount of use is another important factor. The lights in many hospitals are on around the clock, which would make a system that turns on the lights when its sensors pick up movement and turns them off during periods of inactivity go a long ways in extending the life of any type of light bulb. Another added bonus to using L.E.D. lighting is that they contain no harmful chemicals or gasses. If the radiology department were to implement the use of L.E.D. lights, motion sensing systems, or both, it would be a way for them to lighten their impact on their budget as well as possibly leading the way to energy saving efforts for the rest of the hospital.
On average, hospitals dedicate approximately 25% of their budget on lighting. As mentioned above, florescent tubes are the primary method for lighting within a hospital. Before the development of the L.E.D. light, the florescent tube bulbs were considered to be the most efficient method – providing the most comprehensive lighting at the lowest cost. But now that L.E.D. lights have developed, this is no longer true because they use approximately 75-80% less electricity than florescent lights. This change would create a significant decrease the hospital’s electric bill each month. Even though the radiology department accounts for only a small percentage of the lighting in a hospital, it would still save money and hopefully set a trend for the other departments in the hospital. The first step would hopefully lead to more steps in the right direction.
Another great incentive for installing L.E.D. lights and motion sensor lighting systems is that they ultimately lessen the impact on the environment. Many of the power plants in America burn coal for power and this results in enormous carbon dioxide emissions every year. By limiting the lighting usage in a home or hospital, carbon emissions are prevented from entering the atmosphere. It is estimated that for every annual dollar saved on electricity, eight pounds of carbon dioxide emissions are saved from entering the atmosphere. The radiology department at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital can contribute to saving the environment from being slowly destroyed by carbon dioxide emissions with this lighting change.
The fairly simple task of implementing L.E.D. lighting and a motion sensor system in the radiology department at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital can create several impressive benefits for the hospital and for the environment. L.E.D. lighting technology uses an amazing 80% less electricity than the florescent tube lights commonly used in hospital settings. They contain no toxins or gasses and are far easier to recycle. They also last five to six times longer than florescent tube lights. Because of their lower draw on electricity, L.E.D. lights can be directly linked to the reduction of carbon dioxide emission into the environment. It is thought that approximately eight pounds of CO2 emissions are prevented from reaching the atmosphere for every annual dollar saved on electricity. L.E.D. technology does cost more than other lighting options initially, but the money and emissions saved in the longer run make it well worth it. Small steps like these can go a long way in creating a greener future for America and the rest of the world. Imagine what would happen if every radiology department, and eventually, every hospital and home and business decided to make these kind of changes towards managing their use of electricity more efficiently.
Obama Health Care Speech and Cost Reduction Opportunities. (2009, September 10). Retrieved from http://www.greenandsave.com/green_news/green-expert-tips-opinions/obama-health-care-speech-cost-reduction-opportunities-4937.