Newport Completes Testing on DOE Zero Energy Ready Home

Recently, Newport’s Matt Evans completed the first couple of steps in verifying the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home constructed by Under the Sun Building and Remodeling, LLC.  The home, located in Battenville, NY, is still in the construction phase bumatt blower doort Matt was able to complete the Energy Star thermal enclosure checklist as well as an initial blower doortest.  The home scored 1.16 ACH50, well below the Energy Star standard of 4 ACH50 in version 3.

To learn more about Under the Sun’s project click here to view their blog.

To learn more about the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program click here.

Newport provides administrative and outreach support for the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program. ZERH represents a whole new level of home performance, providing energy savings, comfort, health,and durability unparalleled in today’s marketplace. To learn more about our role in this program, click here.

underthesun

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We Don’t Need No Ban…Consumers Driving the Efficient Lighting Market

You have probably heard about the controversial “incandescent bulb ban”.  The ban, a result of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, basically outlawed the importation and domestic manufacturing of the most popular light bulb in the world.  alternatives, mainly CFLs and LEDs, that were much more efficient than the old Edison bulb.  Slowly phasing these inefficient bulbs was going to help spur the high-irelandbanslightbulbefficacy lighting market and drive a shift in the entire lighting industry.

Well as hard as it is to believe, government has changed its stance and recently the ban was defunded.  One might think this would spell good news for the incandescent, that it Advancements in lighting created might get to live a little bit longer on shelves and in our homes.  However, that may not be the case.  According to many in the industry, we have already moved on and that WE, the average consumer, are driving the bus for the efficient lighting industry.

Mike Watson, Vice President of Product Strategy at Cree, is one of those believers. “What our industry must learn is that legislative priorities and advocacy, as seen this past December, continue to change. What doesn’t change, however, is consumer demand for better lighting alternatives that happen to be sustainable.”  Even with the defunding of the phase-out, the efficient lighting market continues to experience significant growth.  Manufacturers are producing more, retailers are pushing more, and consumers are buying more.

A lot of this growth can be attributed to a lower prices for high-efficacy bulbs and substantial advancements in the technology.  There are now a number of LED options available at your local hardware store for under $10.  LED bulbs are now come in a wide variety of brightness levels (lumens) and color temperatures (kelvin) are highly compatible with dimmers and smart controls.  They are estimated to last up to 22 years and reduce energy consumption up to 85%.  In short, they are better and cheaper than ever before.

It All Comes Down To The Light

Let’s face it, regardleNV Display Box 2ss of what is advertised, we probably won’t buy something if we don’t like it.  So let’s remove all the other factors from the equation and just look at light vs light.

As a part of a residential lighting project for the state of New York, we have asked over 1,000 consumers which light source they prefer over another.  (See our demonstration setup left) Three bulb types (CFL, LED, and Incandescent), all with similar specs (color temperatures, brightness, and wattage), illuminate the three boxes.  The bulbs are hidden from plain sight so that participants were not able to determine bulb type based on shape. No smoke and mirrors here, no fine print, just a good old-fashioned side-by-side comparison.preferred light

59% of all participants chosethe LED bulb, compared to 25% preferring the trusty old incandescent and only 16% choosing the CFL.  Outside of the energy and cost savings, compatibility, design features, etc. it is clearthat people just flat out like LED lights.  True, it is a small sampling, but this trend has been consistent across several events with a variety of audiences indicating that the buzz around LEDs is very real.

Learn more about our residential LED project here.  You can also read a full version of our Consumer Perception report here.

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LEDs Lighting The Way!

Solid state lighting – commonly known as “LED Lighting” in the building industry – is changing the way we think about light and what it can do in homes and buildings.  To stay abreast of the most recent innovations, implementation barriers, and key trends – Newport staff took part this week in the US Department of Energy’s Solid-State Market Development Workshop in Detroit.  Some of the highlights we take away from this conference are:

  • The pace of change for LED technology is unprecedented. This creates challenges…and opportunities for groups who can see the industry’s direction.

    The Evolution of the Light Bulb

    The Evolution of the Light Bulb

  • LEDs aren’t just for big commercial buildings. Key areas where LEDs are expected to play heavily in homes are wireless lighting control systems and using solid-state lighting to affect moods, ambience, and circadian cycles.  And that’s just the beginning….
  • LEDs fit great into the progression towards Zero Energy Homes. The picture below is the “Next Home” by Next Energy, which features a DC internal electrical grid to power LEDs and numerous appliances. The grid is directly fed by the home’s PV system and is also interconnected with the EV parked in front.

    smarthouse

    Next Energy’s “Next House”

Newport is already engaged in related RD&D work on LED lighting and well positioned for additional market analysis and technology integration with our partners.  We are currently working with NYSERDA on an LED demonstration project in the state of New York.  To learn more about this project, click here.

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