Eco-Living Magazine

Has Las Vegas Seen the Light?

Posted on the 26 November 2012 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon
Has Las Vegas seen the light?Has Las Vegas seen the light?Tweet

Imagine a point of light in the middle of the desert, getting brighter and bigger as you approach and suddenly bursting into a rainbow of color  created by dazzling displays of flashing signs in bubble gum pink, ridiculous green and magical gold. The famous lights of Las Vegas have traditionally been fashioned from neon, bent into recognizable shapes since the 1940’s by skilled ‘neon-benders’ who were praised as artisans in their trade. However, neon is not quite as wonderful as is looks and is being slowly phased out in favor of the more economical and equally colorful LED strip lights.

Las Vegas, despite its hedonistic façade, has embraced this greener and less dangerous alternative to neon. Where neon bulbs are fragile and contain toxic elements like mercury, LED strip lights are significantly easier to install, do not suffer from dodgy wiring issues and can be made into millions of colors where neon is limited to less than one hundred. So while Las Vegas die-hards may be disappointed by the death of the iconic glowing neon signs, they will be grateful when the bright future, lit by LED strips, retains the party atmosphere while evading a self-inflicted energy crisis.

Lighted LED sign Las Vegas Sign with Fireworks in Background
LED strips are also replacing old fluorescent tubes which can create a rather unflattering light and have a tendency to flicker after a time due to their complex wiring mechanism.  The main advantage is that LED strip lights are extremely versatile and can be used anywhere (not just in casinos and night clubs as their seedy connotations often imply). LED strip lighting is equally useful at home, in retail, signage and commercial spheres.

At the opposite end of the scale to the Vegas example, it is even easier to see the advantages of using LED strip lights in your own home. They can be customized to suit any room due to the infinite range of colors  the flexibility of the tubes and general safety of no glass and no heat given off. So, for example strip lights may be used in the kitchen to light under kitchen cabinets, creating discreet and ambient localized lighting.

LED lights
The cool or warm white options can be added to any color scheme or a colored LED can be used to add a splash of character to a modern white kitchen. LED strips are a great option here as they are easy to install anywhere, being mains powered and of adjustable length, with self-adhesive tape already attached. However it must be noted that the flexibility is limited to one dimension and must not be twisted, for risk of damaging the wiring.

So, if you are looking for an economical (low energy use), safe (no danger of broken glass or burnt fingers) and durable (bulbs can last on average 50,000 hours) yet charming lighting scheme in your home, garden (water resistant silicone casing available) or business, then perhaps the basis of Las Vegas’s garish illuminations are for you after all.

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