Americans love to save money—no doubt about that. But we also hate to sacrifice anything to do so. We're accustomed to having it all in the "land of plenty." That's why, despite new legislation and soaring energy costs, consumers still grumble about incorporating newfangled lighting technology into their homes. Higher costs at the outset belie the significant savings inevitable down the road. And an uninformed bias regarding the differing light outputs still holds sway.
I thought it might be interesting to take stock of the international movement toward energy-saving lighting design because acceptance of more efficient alternative technology seems to follow the pattern of innovative fashion developments, hitting fast and furiously overseas and then taking its time to catch on stateside. While folks in other countries cast a hairy eyeball at our wasteful consumption, we scoff right back at their Spartan avoidance of comfort. But in this case, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we're not lagging all that far behind.
Granted, the aforementioned legal and monetary pressures have helped spur the cause. But I don't think the gap is all that great between our efforts and those of other countries. Newly promoted Associate Editor Jennifer Pinto examined international incentives and initiatives to
promote energy efficiency in this issue's "Foreign Exchange" feature (beginning on page 54). Give it a read, and I think you'll agree: We'll soon be right at the forefront, thanks to the efforts of those behind the Lighting for Tomorrow design competition and the Energy StarÂ® program, as well as other awareness and incentive programs.
Resourceful, creative ideas and solutions invented by retailers and manufacturers right here on our shores continue to break down barriers and spread the word about the benefits of energy efficiency. In this month's Point of Sale (page 44), a California retailer partners with vendors and a local utility to lower the cost of high-efficacy products. And taking things a step further, MIO's Jamie Salm goes beyond the bulb with his company's devotion to sustainable lighting design and construction in Design Forum (page 46). It took a nudge or two to get us in the game, but we are well on our way to leading the charge.