Philips products to illuminate world's first entirely LED island-"nation"

Dec. 3, 2008
A three-acre island off the Connecticut coast will achieve net zero energy as its property is converted exclusively to LED lighting.
Island exterior lighting North Dumpling, a small private island near the Connecticut coast, will be converted entirely to LEDs starting in the spring, with Philips Color Kinetics as the official lighting provider to the island.

North Dumpling is owned by prolific and eccentric inventor Dean Kamen, who decided to convert the island to LEDs when the US Coast Guard cut electrical connectivity to the island's lighthouse in favor of solar power.

Kamen has attempted to establish the island as an independent nation, complete with its own constitution, flag and national anthem, but the secession has not been legally recognized. In any case, this has not stopped him from installing the latest technology (some of which he invented himself) in lighting, water purification and appliances to showcase renewable energy.

After the conversion, the island will achieve net zero energy, meaning its energy use will be negated by its energy generation.

North Dumpling interior The 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. The organization was founded by Kamen, inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology.

"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. It's an excellent demonstration of science and engineering as the antidote to the complex challenges of our time," said Kamen.

Installation is now underway and includes:

  • Replacement of incandescent sources with LED alternatives inside Kamen's properties, cutting their lighting-related energy by 70%
  • Addition of controllable, multi-color LED lighting for special effects on the island while still cutting overall energy by nearly 50%
  • Improvement in the "usefulness" of illumination via the directional nature of LED sources, which, unlike the island's former floodlighting system, project light exactly where it's needed for greater efficiency
  • Illumination of the basement space, where the prior incandescent sources generated too much heat to be safely installed
Island's "Stonehenge" Philips products used on the island include: ColorGraze Powercore, eW Graze Powercore, ColorBlast Powercore (the lights on island's replica Stonehenge - see photo), iW Blast TR, iW Blast Powercore, iColor Flex SL, eW Downlight SM Powercore, eW Profile Powercore, eW Cove Powercore, and iColor Cove MX Powercore. Also in use are Philips Light System Manager and iPlayer 3 control systems.

Philips participates in numerous government and industry initiatives related to energy conservation. As a founding member of the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance, the company has helped to develop a technology roadmap for the US Department of Energy as well as Energy Star criteria for LED lighting.