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Congressional Briefing: Local Governments Make the Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Nov 09, 2009


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With energy-efficient technology becoming a government priority, cities across the country are investing in greener lighting sources. The Optical Society (OSA), in conjunction with the House of Representatives’ Research & Development (R&D) Caucus, is hosting a Congressional briefing next week to discuss how solid-state lighting, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), can significantly reduce the amount of energy used for residential, commercial and street lighting.

Lighting uses 22 percent of the electricity and 8 percent of the total energy spent in the United States, according to government reports. A panel of experts will discuss current and future LED technologies, why municipalities across the country are switching to them, cost savings associated with LEDs and the role of government in LED-related research. The briefing is free and open to the public.

WHAT: Congressional Luncheon Briefing, LEDs: Cities Investing in a Greener Future
WHERE: B340 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
WHEN: Thursday, Nov.12, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
WHO: Andrew Brix
Energy Programs Manager
City of Ann Arbor, Michigan
Topic: Ann Arbor: An LED City

James Brodrick
Solid-State Lighting Program Manager
U.S. Dept. of Energy
Topic: Solid-State Lighting Program Overview: Moving SSL from Lab to

Mathew Sommers
LED Design Manager
GE Lumination
Topic: Green Lighting, Inside and Out: LED Lighting Examples

Alex Fong
Senior Vice President, Life Sciences & Instrumentation
Gooch and Housego

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes investing in energy efficient technologies and reducing the cost of high-performance lighting products a priority. Continuing advances, with the support of federal funding for energy efficient technologies, can accelerate progress toward creating a U.S.-led market for high-efficiency light sources that save more energy, reduce costs and have less environmental impact than conventional light sources. LEDs use half the energy (or less) and last 10 to 12 years longer than conventional bulbs. Additionally, LEDs contain no mercury, unlike compact fluorescent light bulbs. Studies suggest that a complete conversion to the LEDs could decrease carbon dioxide emissions from electric power use for lighting by up to 50 percent in just more than 20 years.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Reporters wishing to attend the briefing should RSVP by Nov. 10 to Angela Stark, or +1 202.416.1443.

About OSA
Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit

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