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    What possibly could go wrong with Obama’s LED light push?

    What possibly could go wrong with Obama’s LED light push?

    Much like windmills, Obama’s energy plans for the country turn on “green” energy like LED lighting.

    From The White House website:

    Today’s Recovery Act in Action episode takes place in Durham, NC at Cree, Inc., America’s foremost producer of LED lighting.  It’s a tale of many important economic advances coming together: cutting- edge energy-saving technology, export-led growth, and most importantly, good manufacturing jobs here in the US.   And at the center of the story is a Recovery Act tax credit that helped to pull a lot of this together.

    Cree was chosen for a $39 million tax credit through this Recovery Act program, which is called the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, nicknamed 48C for its line in the tax code….

    The Recovery Act included $2.3 billion for the 48C program, but we quickly got more applications than we had money for… the President took the logical step of calling for a $5 billion expansion of the program….

    LEDs can light up your smart phone or your parking lot, and relative to conventional lights, they can reduce energy use by more than 60%.

    What possibly could go wrong (other than the credits creating jobs in China)?

    Israeli researchers have found that pervasive use of LED and other “white light” has serious negative health consequences:

    Exposure to the light of white LED bulbs suppresses melatonin five times more than exposure to the light of high-pressure sodium bulbs that emit an orange-yellow light, according to a new international study – that includes University of Haifa Prof. Abraham Haim.

    Melatonin is a compound that adjusts our biological clock and is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous properties.

    Now, Prof. Haim and his colleagues taking part in the study are calling for regulations and rules for the pollution stemming from artificial light at night.

    The study, titled “Limiting the impact of light pollution on human health, environment and stellar visibility” was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Management. The researchers investigated the influence of different types of bulbs on light pollution and the suppression of melatonin.

    It is already known that ‘white’ artificial light suppresses the production of melatonin in the brain’s pineal gland. Also known is the fact that suppressing the production of melatonin, which is responsible, among other things, for the regulation of our biological clock, causes behavior disruptions and health problems.

    Some of the negative physical consequences, like rapid and excessive hair growth, have been documented, as have psychological problems, like delusions of grandeur and uncontrollable narcissism:


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    There’s a fallacy in that report. As a practical matter, there is no difference between an LED and an incandescent bulb, because BOTH of them, in use, will shut down melatonin production.

    It’s not the type of emitter, it’s the light itself that is the problem. In people who are already producing low amounts of melatonin, the body can respond to even very small amounts of light (such as a nightlight) by limiting melatonin production past the useful thresshold.

    LEDs emit more light per unit than incandescent bulbs, but it just doesn’t matter, because the incandescent bulbs are already ‘way, way over the threshhold for this effect.

    We need to change all the bulbs in Congress. If melatonin is suppressed, maybe they’ll stay awake 24 hours and actually accomplish something.

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