The future of lighting is in light emitting diodes (LEDs) but the world has been slow to adapt. LEDs have been a usable technology for around 40 years, according to Al Ulman of Pacific Green Lighting Systems, but they are just now limping into home use and barely breaking into the commercial market.
In fact, LEDs are more efficient and longer lasting than Edison’s tried and true incandescent bulb. They also give off very little heat compared to bulbs.
Lloyd Yamamoto, the owner of Lloyd’s Kahului Chevron (130 W. Kamehameha Ave.), is one of the first to make the jump to LEDs for their station’s overhead commercial grade lighting.
“We will be retrofitting our 480 watt fixtures with 80 watt Green Machine Light Engine (GMLE) LEDs,” says Lance Yamamoto, the station’s manager. “Lloyd anticipates a 83 percent savings in electrical usage. Plus we qualify for a Going Green rebate from Hawaii Energy.”
It’s hard to imagine that the little light green spots that are just a few millimeters across will give off enough light for a gas station at night. But a drive by the station after the retrofitting shows incredibly bright light from these tiny circuit boards.
Ulman says each of the small circuits represent 20 watts of American-made Phillips LEDs, and each light will be retrofitted with a piece of sheet metal that has four of them. The existing electric wiring is simply hooked up and the lights are a go.
According to Ulman, the LED’s biggest nemesis is moisture and that can be an issue in Kahului where the salt air can corrode. But Lance Yamamoto says they will be sealing the light fixtures to prevent any problems.
“Green Machine Light Engine LEDs are manufactured in the US,” says Daniel Dull, owner of Pacific Green Lighting Systems. “We are an LED company first, not a lighting fixture company that has started to sell LEDs.”
GMLE manufactures LEDs in Santa Clara, California and is partnered with Philips Lumileds and National Semiconductor, both of which are located in Silicon Valley. The LEDs they manufacture come with a seven-year warranty.
For more information on LEDs call Pacific Green Lighting Systems at 874-2591.