Residents of Junction City, Oregon were sorely disappointed to see the removal of an exquisite RGB LED lighting system from the area’s historic water tower last Friday. The color-changing lights, which were installed pro-bono by Eugene’s Conrich Electric only six months prior, were a gift from Energizing Junction City board member Danuta Pfieffer. (Pfeiffer, a lifelong resident of the area, was hoping to commemmorate the spot where her husband tried to woo her sixteen years ago.) In addition to footing the bill for the LED lights, Pfieffer also agreed to cover the yearly electric bill, as well as lifelong maintenance through a local contractor.
The city has cited mere “procedural technicalities” as the reason for removing the LED lights – a reason that obviously still has Pfieffer and her fellow solid state lighting enthusiasts in the dark. “We’ve had petitions all over town. Every business, residence, church… love(s) these lights, they’re wonderful. The city wants to take them down, in spite of an entire town trying to keep them up,” says Pfeiffer. The fate of her gift is still unknown, but Pfeiffer has mentioned that they might go to nearby Independence, Oregon.
These are sloppy seconds that any town should be glad to recieve. LED Waves salutes Danuta Pfieffer for her energy saving savvy, as well as the good intentions behind this very generous, very thoughtful gift.
We’ve been following how Japan is dealing with their energy shortage in the wake of the tsunami in March. Troubled by a 20% nuclear capacity shortfall, Japanese citizens are performing their civic duty of cutting electricity use wherever possible. Many businesses have turned to LED lights to bring down energy usage. Since lighting constitutes as much as 20% of the average electric bill, it’s easy to see how every little bulb helps.
These businesses adopting LED lights is not really news to us. (After all, Japanese people are no strangers to innovative energy-savings.) However, it’s uplifting to see that this situation is churning out some new fans of LED technology. Such is the case for Photo Kanon, a well-known photo gallery in Tokyo.
Photo Kanon has a reputation for fine atmospheric lighting, which they previously upheld with halogen spots. Project Manager Kazushi Kon mentioned that he had considered converting to energy-saving LED light bulbs in the past, but was not impressed by the color temperatures in the older models. Once the widespread energy cuts went into effect, the gallery’s first recourse was to turn off a portion of their lights, leaving photos in the dark.
This solution was unfair, both to the artwork and for the artists. The gallery’s business model of allowing both amateur and professional photographers to exhibit their work for a fee provides them with a huge rotating clientele, not to mention lots of visitors. Luckily, the gallery was able to acquire some state-of-the-art LED bulbs that restored the space to its original illuminated glory by the end of March.
These new LED lights have slashed the gallery’s lighting costs down to one eighth of its previous usage, but the best news of all? Their regular customers haven’t noticed a thing. The LED spot lights beautifully complement the photos on the wall, and colors look crisp and vivid. LED Waves welcomes Photo Kanon to the LED Revolution.