Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will be the exclusive source of artificial lighting on a small private island off the coast of Connecticut. As a result, the three-acre island will achieve net-zero energy, meaning its energy use will be negated by its energy generation.
The island, North Dumpling, is owned by Dean Kamen, a prolific and eccentric inventor, who decided to convert the island to LEDs when the US Coast Guard cut electrical connectivity to the island’s lighthouse.
The self-sustaining island will be unveiled during a two-day fundraising event for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in Spring 2009. FIRST was founded by Kamen 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.
Kamen has attempted to establish North Dumpling as an independent nation — complete with its own constitution, flag and national anthem — but the secession has not been legally recognized. However, this hasn’t stopped him from installing the latest technology (some of his own invention) in lighting, water purification, and appliances.