Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Miracle of Efficient Lighting

My partner David Cowan has blogged on why he celebrates Hanukkah, even as an atheist. He also takes the opportunity to draw some analogies between the biblical story and lessons of entrepreneurship applicable today.

From my perspective, he missed two chances to extend the analogy. First, we must reference one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons of all time. (The New Yorker has asked that their cartoons not be republished without permission, so I link to it rather than post it.)

Second, there is an obvious Cleantech lesson, too. The efficiency improvement that Judah Macabee effected is roughly the same (8:1) as that between state-of-the-art LED lighting and the traditional incandescent bulb. I firmly believe that by the end of the decade 8:1 improvements in lumens per watt won't seem like much of a miracle. But it will be a a big part of how we keep the looming specters of increased emissions and global warming (scarier even than the Syrian army) at bay.

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