A couple of days ago I had a chance to hear a presentation on a topic that holds great importance to the vending industry as well as other industries: light emitting diode (LED) technology. Vending operators are becoming familiar with LED lighting as they replace their fluorescent lights on their machines. Business owners and homeowners are also becoming more aware of LED technology.
Justin Miller, CEO of an LED manufacturer, Cleanlife Energy LLC in Beachwood, Ohio, gave a presentation on this rapidly developing technology to the sales team at Vendors Exchange International Inc. here in Cleveland.
As a homeowner, a business magazine editor and someone with friends in the construction industry, I thought I was reasonably up to date on LEDs. But after hearing this presentation, I realized LED technology is one of the most promising areas for making all types of businesses more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly. It is a changing technology with many future benefits still to come.
Because LED technology is so new, the first generation of products is not the most energy efficient. But the technology is improving, and vending operators who use it are in a great position to educate their customers and colleagues about it.
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy has a “lighting facts” label for LEDs, similar to the nutrition facts label for food products? Go to www.lightingfacts.com.
Did you know that the disposal of fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing bulbs are regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Universal Water Rule (UWR)? Go to www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps.
Did you know that by 2030, solid-state lighting technology could reduce national lighting electricity use by nearly one half, the annual equivalent to saving $30 billion, the output of 50 1,000-megawatt power plants, and the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 40 million cars?
This just scratches the tip of the iceberg.
These are real concerns not only to us as vending operators but to our customers, both as business owners and homeowners.
LED lighting is one aspect of improving energy management of vending machines, which is one aspect of having a “green” vending business. Others include waste recycling, the use of sustainable packaging, fuel efficiency, and dynamic routing.
LED technology is one more area where vending operators can be environmental educators.