The Light Bulb Goes Digital

January 27th, 2010

New Hanover County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers a recent blog post from Michael V. Copeland, a senior writer for FORTUNE Magazine. In the post he examined the growing popularity of LED lights for both residential and commercial use. Below is an excerpt from the article and to read more, click here!

“The $100 billion global lighting industry is undergoing radical change: New office buildings and retail outlets are abandoning fluorescent lighting in favor of LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, those tiny, energy-efficient, long-lasting, and blindingly bright points of light. Giants such as GE (GE) and Philips are shifting production from incandescent bulbs to LEDs. Even the local Home Depot (HD) — which today probably stocks only a couple of LED lighting products — will soon carry a bouquet of LED bulbs, ultimately edging out fluorescents and halogen lamps. By the end of the decade, analysts predict, LEDs will be the dominant source for commercial and residential lighting.

LEDs, which are based on a technology similar to that of computer chips, have more in common in their design and manufacture with your laptop than with the incandescent bulb that Thomas Edison patented almost 130 years ago. As lighting goes digital, the industry is likely to encounter some of the same upheaval that took place when television, music, and other businesses shifted away from analog technologies.

Lighting is dominated by three enormous global companies: General Electric, Germany’s OSRAM (makers of Sylvania products), and the Dutch company Philips. But with LEDs coming on strong, the industry is now opening up to companies such as Samsung, LG, and Panasonic (PC), which have expertise in semiconductors.

‘From where I sit, lighting is undergoing the same transition that the film business did when digital cameras first came out,’ says Chuck Swoboda, CEO of Cree (CREE), a publicly traded LED manufacturer and lighting-systems company based in Durham, N.C. ‘I think the writing is on the wall for older types of lighting technologies. It’s just a question of how quickly we make it happen.’”

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New Hanover County, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes understands the intricacies of filing for Federal Tax Credits when you opt for updating your home with energy-efficient options. But just in case there is any confusion, posted an article today detailing the information. Below is an excerpt and to read the complete article, click here!  

“Many of the federal tax credits apply only to your primary residence and to existing homes. Not all Energy Star appliances qualify, so you have to do some of your own research. All products have to meet specific criteria. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website offers partial lists and answers commonly asked questions.

You can claim 30%, or up to $1,500, for qualified improvements this year and next year in these areas: biomass stoves, windows, doors, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) insulation, metal or asphalt roofs and non-solar water heaters. Note: You can only include the installation costs for biomass stoves, HVAC and water heaters.

The biggest tax breaks come if you install geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines or solar energy systems. You can claim 30% of the costs (including installation), without any cap, through 2016. This credit applies to existing homes, second homes and new construction.”