Top 5 Benefits of LED Lighting

With LED and solar lighting, it’s easier than ever before to save energy, and improve your environment’s lighting conditions. There is a lot of chatter around the benefits of LED light emitting diodes compared to conventional lighting with good reason. LED’s are far and away the most energy efficient solution on the market and with further improvements to LED design as discussed in our previous blog, it won’t be long before production costs begin to fall, in turn passing those savings on to the public.

It’s not just for indoor fixtures either, solar lights using LEDs have improved dramatically over the last few years, to a point where they are comparable to lights using mains power. These high powered solar garden lights are the perfect example, working off as little as 10 watts for 10-12 hours all from the sun’s rays!

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1. Energy Efficiency – LED lighting is by far the most energy efficient lighting available. LED bulbs can use about 10% of the power that traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs use and about 50% of the power that fluorescent lights use, for the same lighting result. To give you an example, we recommend that you replace your 50w halogen down light bulbs with our 5w LED down light bulbs. A lot of modern homes these days contain a high number of lights and most of them are running for several hours a day. Reducing your lighting power consumption by 90% can save you big $$$ off your electricity bill, especially with the continually soaring price of electricity. It is not just electricity bills that benefit from the reduced power consumption of LED lighting. Most battery operated lights, such as torches and solar lights, are reaping the rewards of LED lighting also. The batteries in a torch will now last around ten times longer with LEDs than with other bulbs and solar lights using LEDs require a much smaller battery capacity to run them through the night.

2. Long Life – LED bulbs have an outstandingly high life expectancy when compared to their lighting counterparts. Typically, incandescent and halogen bulbs run for about 1,000hrs, fluorescent bulbs can last for about 10,000hrs and a quality LED bulb can last for 50,000hrs. That means if you left an LED light switched on, it should continue running for over five and a half years. Unlike fluorescent bulbs, LED lights are not affected by how many times they are switched on and off. The advantage of longer life does not only mean that you are saving $$$ on having to purchase new bulbs all the time, but you are saving the expense of having to physically change the bulb over frequently. In some residential cases and many commercial circumstances, this can reduce the cost of having to hire electricians and equipment required just to change the bulb.

3. Environmentally Friendly – If you are looking for a way to help preserve our planet for future generations, then converting your lighting to LED is a great place to start. A great advantage of LED lights requiring far less power to operate is that it reduces the amount of power needed to be created by natural resources. LED bulbs do not contain any hazardous chemicals such as mercury, unlike fluorescent bulbs. Even with strict disposal guidelines in place for fluorescent bulbs, reports suggest that up to 17% of the total mercury content is released into the atmosphere when a fluro bulb is broken, which can often happen during transportation to a disposal facility.

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LED fluro (CFL) replacement

4. Health and Safety – As discussed above, fluorescent bulbs contain the toxic substance mercury. Mercury is particularly harmful to small children and unborn babies, but anybody who cuts themselves on a broken fluro bulb can be at serious risk. Fluorescent bulbs also emit UV and are known to cause a flicker effect which can be troublesome for people suffering from epilepsy. Learn how to dispose of fluro lights.

Another advantage of LED bulbs being so efficient is that they emit very little heat. There have been a lot of house fires started by the heat emitted from halogen down lights causing the roof insulation to catch fire. You can remove the risks caused by the heat from halogen and incandescent bulbs by switching them over to LED.

5. Durability – LEDs are extremely durable and can withstand rough and rugged conditions. Their resistance to shock, vibrations and impact damage, along with their minimal power consumption, make LEDs very popular for vehicle and caravan lighting. These features also make LEDs very beneficial to be used in any outdoor lighting that may be exposed to the elements.

 

Advancements in Tyre Design push China onto the World Scene

Long gone are the days when people would equate Chinese products with cheap quality goods. Following in similar footsteps to Japan and South Korea before them, who also built their manufacturing base on lower quality consumer goods, and improved their methods and technology over time to become world leaders in their various fields; China is in the process of building a new reputation for itself.

Low cost production has made China an export powerhouse, now the number one manufacturer and exporter on the planet. While this may have begun with counterfeit electronics, machines with cheap parts, technical and lighting equipment of dubious quality etc., this is no longer the case. Many large Chinese manufacturers have seen the benefit in creating higher-quality branded products and building their own reputation around the world to become leaders in their fields.

tyredesignIn no single industry is this more apparent than with Chinese tyres. A host of well-established firms as well as several relative newcomers to the field have seen the benefit in investing in research and development to boost technological innovation and give their brands an edge over the competition. Global tyre manufacturers like Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone have had to suffer a loss in marketshare as an onslaught of Chinese companies push their way onto the growing global market. Fueled by a booming domestic marketing the the ever-developing China and with continual investment back into R&D to upgrade performance, tyre design, and quality, these companies have made a huge impact on the world scene in a veritably short amount of time.

A few of the most notable Chinese tyre brands which you are sure to hear about in the coming years if you haven’t already are: Triangle Tire, who are now in the top 10 tyre manufacturers in the world and Durun Tyre, one of the largest Chinese tyre manufacturers who produce both car and truck tyres and have their DMack tyres used in the World Rally Championships.

These firms invest billions of renminbi each year into further developing their products, marketing, and global reach which is aiding in further increasing their marketshare. Smaller and less profitable tyre manufacturers in countries with higher taxes and labour costs are struggling to keep up with the Chinese powerhouses and their massive production capacities and we expect the Chinese to increasingly dominate the global market in the coming years.

While many foreign brands have moved their manufacturing facilities to China or other countries where taxes, labour and other production costs are cheaper, they are still unable to keep up with the Chinese firms and their massive and ongoing expansions. Several forward-thinking tyre brands saw the threat coming and have built partnerships with Chinese tyre companies to benefit from their growth and investment in research and development.

Well-known brands like Triangle Tire and Durun as well as lesser known Chinese manufacturers such as Windforce, Landsail and Aufine who strongly focus on continual R&D reinvestment are an perfect example of the way China is changing the way the world perceives their products. No longer will Made in China be seen as a negative, and these successful and innovative companies are the reason why.

The New Data is Big Business

Data is all around us. It always has been. However it is only through the development of the digital age that it has really come into focus. Prior to the past decade, data was mostly considered to be laboratory notes and school science projects, but now it is collected and traded as a valuable commodity. Technology and marketing companies are interested in the collection of all information that can be observed and measured, in the hope they may be able to benefit from it through advertising etc. Personal information is a prime target for collection and something big business and governments are collecting and collating for future reference. While almost unheard of in the ‘90s, data is now an important part of the lives of many of us, and it’s collection and usage affects us on a daily basis.

Why is Data so Important?

So why is there so much focus on the collection of data for analysis? Forecasting is one of the major reasons. People always want to know what is going to happen in the future, and by extrapolating data based on up-to-date information reasonably accurate predictions can be made. Data based forecasting is so important that business proposals in the digital era without any data-backed forecasting are usually seen as being incomplete.

dataA time series is a collection of measurements of well-defined items obtained through repeated measurements. For example, measuring the value of retail sales at any particular store each month of the year would comprise a time series. This is because sales revenue is well defined, and consistently measured at equally spaced intervals. Data collected irregularly or only once cannot be considered to be a time series. A time series can be decomposed into three components: the trend component (long term direction), the seasonal component (systematic, calendar related movements) and the irregular (unsystematic, short term fluctuations). The decomposition is important in data analysis, because what we see in a chart doesn’t necessarily happen in real life. For instance, consider the example of turkey sales over a year. If we look at turkey sales around Thanksgiving, we would estimate that sales were much higher over the entire year than they would be in actuality. Alternatively if we only looked at turkey sales in February we would get a lower estimate than the actual number of sales. This is why it is important to look at an entire time series to get a real long-long term picture.

Data can behave in a large number of ways. Depending on the situation it may have a rhythmic behavior or be highly erratic. It may have a stiff and dull attitude, being insensitive to external influence; or it may have a flexible nature and be very sensitive to externalities. It may also just behave erratically without having any major controlling parameters. We’ve discussed how data can affect a business or an organization based on data forecasting. Now we’re going to talk about the second reason why data is important in business. A collection of data can be seen as more than just a time series chart; people also needs to know what correlation can be drawn from data.

Ellison and Marks brought a simple correlation case in a paper entitled Practical Data Analysis: Business Case Studies, in 2013. They showed a case of data set containing measurements taken on customers at an Australian women’s clothing store that specialises in boho maxi dresses and other gypsy clothing. The variables included number of clothing items purchased, total amount spent, gender of the bill payer, and day of the week. They wanted to see what variable or variables had or have the strongest influence to purchases. They also compared the amounts spent between women, and the men who were shopping for gifts for women.

From their study we learned that women tended to purchase more expensive items from the store later in the week, possibly due to its proximity to the weekend, whereas men’s purchases were more erratic and did not follow any sort of pattern. For single purchases males spent more on average than females, however women were much more likely to purchase numerous items of clothing. Over the week the study was conducted several women bought over 5 items at a time including boho dresses, pants, tops and accessories, however this was definitely not the norm. Much can be learned about consumer behavior in women’s clothing outlets by reviewing thisstudy, and all of this information is useful for the owners of the store (and their competitors) so that they can adjust their services to work with the data and increase profitability.

It is not just small businesses that can benefit from data. Big corporations have recently come under fire for their collection of people’s personal data. To the point where some people consider what they are doing to be an invasion of privacy. Corporations profit from the sale of personal information that can be used to target people for marketing purposes, to profile them, and for other more nefarious means. Anybody who has heard or the allegations of Andrew Snowden can attest to that.

The Future of Data

It was not until around a decade ago that a new kind of profession was created. These people are named “data scientists”. A data scientist represents an evolution from the business or data analyst role. These people are familiar with statistical analysis and trend prediction and generally have a background in computer science and applications, modeling, statistics, analytics and math. We are talking about a powerful career where people can essentially predict the future, through forecasting and analysis. A good data scientist will not just address business problems, they can also pick the right problems to solve, ones that will bring the most benefit to the organisation.

The work of a data scientist generally covers the following aspects:

  • Formulation of context-relevant questions and hypotheses to correlate with scientific research
  • Interpret data sets for the production of statistical evidence which could then be communicated in written form
  • Build models based on new data types, experimental design, and statistical inference

Aside to the proficiency in computer science, math, and statistics, a good data scientist must have the curiosity, creativity, focus and attention to detail.

Data scientists are always needed as far as there’s data involve in any operation. Companies that hire data scientist include:

  • Federal, provincial/state and municipal government departments
  • Online marketing companies, especially those involved in advertising
  • Transportation companies
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Insurance, finance, and banking organisations
  • Real estate companies, especially those involved in Managing Property
  • Management consulting companies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Construction companies
  • Retail companies with potential for repeat customers such as hairdressers
  • Utility companies
  • Oil, gas and mining companies
  • Online retail stores selling repeat purchase items such as t-shirts
  • Hospitals and health care organizations
  • Colleges and universities

The list goes on. As long as it remains lucrative for people to collect data, there will be people collecting it. Right now you yourself are probably included in the datasheets of hundreds, if not thousands, of companies and associations. While you may not be aware of it data is all around you. It can be used to benefit your life, your business and your education however it can also be used to do the opposite. Data is the next big thing in business and our consumeristic societies. Numbers are not just numbers, they can speak. It’s up to us to listen.

Even if you’re not doing it, you can be sure somebody else is.

Pushing The Limits With Computing Breakthroughs

Computing power generally follows Moore’s Law which in summary states that computing power will nearly double every two years. This means that systems we have today are exponentially more powerful than what we had just 10 years ago. This is enabling many incredible technologies to emerge across a variety of industries. Here are a few new markets that have exploded due to increased capabilities of computers, servers and specialized electronics.

Data CentreI’m sure you have heard the word datacenter before, but how are they changing? You would assume that the size of these locations would decrease as disk drives are able to hold more and all other surrounding components become smaller, but this hasn’t been the case. Hundreds of new advanced datacenters have been popping up all over utilizing advanced hardware and technologies to create the most efficient form of storing and delivering data, whatever that might be.

This is partly in due to many services moving from older style formats to a web based delivery system such as Blockbuster being replaced by Netflix. You can only imagine the amount of traffic and load that is placed on a datacenter to keep up with the number of shows and movies being watched. Something else that has had a heavy influence on the size and capacity of these locations is the gaming industry which has well exceeded the growth rate of Moore’s Law throughout the last decade.

Games such as Minecraft have enlisted tens of millions of players who spend many hours each week playing the game. This is related to the server industry as most games are now installed on a local computer, but played while connected to a server. One datacenter can easily be packed with thousands of different servers running at the same time hosting everyone’s game. In the game of Minecraft, individual players are given the ability to create their own world through a Minecraft server hosting company. http://apexminecrafthosting.com allows them to have their world available 24 hours a day 7 days a week as the datacenter team works tirelessly to make sure that the services are always available. It is easy to see why these datacenters are becoming very profitable in a competitive environment and being built on a regular basis.

Another driving factor for the rapid development of computing power is almost comparable to the arms race. In today’s age, there is an competition continuing on from what was seen many years ago, but it much more secretive. One of the most important pieces of a military now is intelligence and information. Supercomputing power has allowed for governments to monitor every single bit of communication taking place all over the world while being analyzed by these systems. On the front it is known as the push for the fastest supercomputer in the world, but we all know what lies beneath the surface.

These advanced computers can perform research, development and analysis of advanced problems that would otherwise be impossible to reach conclusions. Currently, China houses the fastest supercomputer named the Tianhe-2. This isn’t all bad news though, as these systems becomes more affordable, they can be applied in more markets such as healthcare. This would enable researches to enlist to the power of a supercomputer to help solve the toughest health related issues in the world.

Looking forward, there is still much potential and opportunity for intelligent systems to be developed to assist in any of these markets. Right now every device needs to be perfectly programmed to perform a specific task, while computing of the future offers a more flexible and intelligent design, which will be able to adapt to the task at hand.

LG Innotek’s Breakthrough LEDs

LG Innotek has been making enormous gains in the world of LED lighting since they started LED development back in 2000. Their first major achievement was the development of a mass production white LED chip in 2004, followed by their patented ultra-slim, world first wafer chip on board LED chip in 2009. Fast forward five years and LG Innotek are again creating world firsts. With the help of an Australian company by the name of LED Arts, LG Innotek’s world class LED chip-on-board devices are now 100% replaceable!

The new COB LED lighting boards are available for LED flood lights, LED spotlights, and LED downlights. The new clip-out, clip-in design means that a qualified electrician is no longer required to change the diodes (just remember to turn off the power).

This breakthrough design is a huge step forward in making LED flood lights, downlights, and spotlights even more affordable for the average home owner. Not only do these lights lower energy usage but with the new design, home owners can replace the lights themselves without the need to buy new housings, further reducing maintenance costs.

LG Innotek’s LEDs are also worth mentioning. The announcement of their new high power LED (mainly used in flood lights and spot lights) saw a 30% increase in lumen efficacy when compared to their previous products. These LED chips put out a whopping 167 lumens per watt, moving LG Innotek into pole position for high power LED production.

As with all lighting products in the past, brighter light is usually accompanied by higher temperatures. LG realised that this high power LED lighting could lead to performance degradation over time and built in their new LED epitaxial growth technology which offers improved heat dissipation than previous products, ensuring the LEDs can maintain their intended lifespan of over 54,000 hours (they passed the US EPA tests with flying colours and were awarded an LM-80 rating).

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Along with the new diode technology, LG began to assess the optical design of their LEDs to ensure the optical characteristics of the flood lights and spot lights in particular met the requirements of the consumer. To do this a range of illuminance tests were undertaken. Various optic designs such as uniformity, beam angle control, and omni-directional lamp designs were explored and ray tracing simulations were run, along with real view consumer based tests. All this technical research has led to lighting designs that offer the most efficient, bright, and long lasting LED lights on the market. It’s no wonder the likes of Philips and Samsung are scrambling to catch up.

New Zealand’s Newest Pest Control and its Potential for Use in Australia

In the lands across the Tasman where possums are considered an invasive species and not a protected one, a new technology has been born. The brainchild of the New Zealand based Goodnature team, The “Henry” possum traps are lightweight units that fire automatically to quickly and humanely kill the problematic animals. In a land where over 30 million possums run rogue, decimating native flora and fauna, the traps have been well accepted.

possumtrapThe lightweight traps automatically fire and reset 12 times; reducing labour costs compared to regular single catch possum traps. This enables more money to be allocated to the purchasing of more traps. The traps are toxin free, and are placed in trees or off the ground where possums dwell. They work by shooting a compressed gas powered, polymer piston into the skull of the animal. This action kills the pest immediately and humanely; the instant the trap is triggered. Once the animal has been struck, the piston retracts and the carcass of the deceased possum drops to the ground. The traps then reset themselves ready to lure in their next victim.

The traps were first tested in 2011 as part of a $4 million pest control initiative announced by the Green Party and the Government in 2010. “These traps are effective at killing possums and helping protect the birds and forests that New Zealanders love,” said Green Party conservation spokesman Kevin Hague.

Since their inception a few years ago the team at Goodnature have expanded their trap range to work on other pests including rats and stoats, and there is much more potential for further expansion. If it’s possible to create traps that can specifically target other pests, while not attracting or harming native and protected species then the sky is the limit.

We spoke with a possum removal expert from Brisbane about the potential for the traps in Australia. “Possums are a protected species in Australia.” She said. “So these specific traps would be illegal to use here. However there is definitely scope to expand the same technology to control other pests. If Goodnature could work out a trap that could target rabbits, foxes or even the cane toad, then they would sell like hotcakes!”

Rabbits were originally introduced with the First Fleet, and became a problem after an outbreak caused by an 1859 release. Since then they have cause untold billions of dollars damage to crops and land across much of Australia’s arable regions. Foxes were also release after European settlement, in the 1870’s. The reason for this was as a target for recreational hunters. The spread of foxes closely followed the spread of rabbits and today foxes are thought to have spread across most of the mainland south of the tropics and even as far as Tasmania. These pests are a problem because they prey on native wildlife and also farm livestock including calves, lambs, poultry, and goats.

The cane toad problem in Australia needs no introduction, with the story of their invasion and expansion being infamous around the globe. A trap that targets these pests specifically might be a bit more difficult than one for other animals though because there are so many other small animals, reptiles and amphibians that might also be lured into the traps.

In their current form, the Goodnature traps have been used as far away as Hawaii, Puerto Rico and even Sweden. While the current model rat trap already offers significant benefit to Australians in need of respite from pests of that nature that plagues our shores, if their technology can be expanded there is a bright future for it’s usage here to aid our endangered wildlife and frustrated farmers.