Segway inventor Dean Kamen is on a roll again. This time the innovator is converting his entire “island nation” to energy-efficient LED lighting that will save an estimated 70 percent in the energy required for lighting. It is also estimated that the installation of all LEDs at Kamen’s island will reduce overall energy consumption by 50 percent.
The LEDs are a big part of Kamen’s plan to make three-acre North Dumpling island, located off the Connecticut coast, achieve net zero energy, meaning its energy use will be negated by its energy generation. The island features a lighthouse, residence and a replica of Britain’s Stonehenge.
According to Wikipedia, Kamen was initially denied permission to build a wind turbine on the island, so he joked that he was seceding from the United States, and later signed a non-aggression pact with then-President George H. W. Bush. Though the secession is not legally recognized, Kamen refers to the island as the “Kingdom of North Dumpling.” Kamen refers to himself as “Lord Dumpling” or “Lord Dumpling II.”
Anyway, when the U.S. Coast Guard cut electrical connectivity to the island’s lighthouse in favor of solar power, Lord Dumpling seized the opportunity to use renewable energy sources together with the latest technical innovations such as LEDs.
“With increasing strain on our world’s energy resources, our goal is to make North Dumpling a small but prominent example of what can be achieved on a larger scale with today’s emerging energy-saving technologies,” Kamen says.
To that end, more than 300 LED fixtures and lamps from Philips Color Kinetics are being installed to the interior and exterior of the home, lighthouse, and replica Stonehenge.
All incandescent sources are being replaced with LED alternatives inside Kamen’s properties, including the basement space where the prior incandescent sources generated too much heat to be safely installed. In addition, the directional nature of LED sources, unlike the island’s former floodlighting system, project light exactly where it’s needed for greater efficiency.
The fully converted and self-sustaining island will be unveiled in the Spring during a two-day fundraising event for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization founded by Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates