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Best Lighting Options for Kids’ Rooms

by Kaitlin Krull 12 August, 2016 11:01

Selecting the right lighting for your kids’ bedroom might seem like a straightforward task. However, different kinds of lighting can affect our moods and behaviors in different ways. If you’re struggling to find the perfect lighting combination for your children, consider the environment you want to create and start from there. Here’s a list of several types of lighting, from practical and functional to whimsical and fun, that will leave both you and your kids satisfied. More...

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General | Smart Lighting & Controls

Energy Star 2.0 - What's New and Why It Matters

by Daniel MacLeod 12 August, 2016 10:35

EnergyStar – the US Department of Energy’s green-product certification program – is undergoing some major guideline updates in the next six months, and it could have a big impact on any pending or ongoing lighting projects.

Beginning January 2nd, 2017, Energy Star Lamps V2.0 will replace V1.1 as the qualifying directive for all light bulbs sold in the United States. The aim of the new certification standards is multi-pronged: To increase overall efficacy levels (light output per watt consumed), to include some increasingly popular new product types, and to improve harmonization between EnergyStar lighting specifications. Essentially, the new certifications aim to encompass more bulbs and drive even greater energy savings in the lighting world.

In fact, according to EnergyStar, if all light bulbs sold in the US next year meet the V2.0 requirements, electricity savings will amount to over $4 billion per year and reduce more than 54 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions – The equivalent output of more than 5 million vehicles. More...

Nokero: Lighting the Way to a Brighter Future

by Gabrielle Sobolewski 11 August, 2016 11:43

 

It is an unchallenged belief that humans have certain basic needs for survival—food, water, and sleep, for example. However, while these things may account for an individual’s biological and physiological needs, there are many other things we humans need to thrive as opposed to purely survive. One of those things is a gift that millions of people take for granted each and every day: light. For many of us, light is simply a way of life; and, as a result, we are becoming exceedingly reliant on its steadfast presence.

Every night, millions of people around the world struggle to overcome darkness. While some sleep, others attempt to work and study deep into the night. According to the International Energy Agency, 1.2 billion people—17% of the world’s population—–did not have access to electricity in 2013. These individuals, therefore, are forced to turn to non-renewable light fuel oils such as kerosene for light. This dependence on kerosene lamps then leaves behind a large ecological and economical concern to be addressed. More...

Tesla’s Gigafactory – What It Is and Why You Should Care

by Andrew Winslow 11 August, 2016 11:28

 

The Gigafactory is Tesla Motor’s massive lithium ion battery manufacturing plant. The name derives from the term Gigawatt-hours (GWh’s), a measure of electricity storage or usage, which represents one billion kilowatt-hours. The facility is designed to produce 35 GWh’s of energy storage every year in the form of 60 to 90 kWh batteries. Advanced assembly techniques and economies of scale will lower the cost of the batteries and increase their availability. Tesla hopes to generate 500,000 electric vehicles (EV’s) using the Gigafactory every year by 2020. EV's have a stop and start history due to lack of demand, technology, and pressures from the fossil fuel industry, but Tesla has brought them to the forefront in an effort to make them a more permanent fixture in society. Batteries, the most important and expensive component of an electric vehicle, will no longer limit the fabrication of sustainable vehicles.More...

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Energy Efficiency

The 2 Core Types of Ballasts: How to Improve Your Fluorescent Lighting

by Stefan Dutka 22 April, 2016 06:14

Ballasts are a rarely seen component of some lighting systems, however they play an integral role in making certain bulbs function well. A ballast is a device with two basic functions: 1) starting a bulb, and 2) controlling the electricity flow through the bulb. All gas-discharge bulbs, such as fluorescent tubes and high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs, require an accompanying ballast to operate. Some fixtures have built in ballasts while others have it as a separate unit. When a bulb that uses a ballast is switched on, the ballast provides a quick burst of high voltage to establish an arc between two electrodes in the bulb. Once the arc is established, the ballast regulates the energy going into the bulb to help increase the bulbs efficiency, longevity and light output.

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A Review of 2015 Rebate Programs and a 2016 Look Forward

by Melissa Skubel 25 March, 2016 09:08

Lighting rebates are offered by most utilities nationwide to lower the upfront costs of converting to energy efficient lighting. Lighting generally represents 30% of energy costs for a business and transitioning to energy efficient lighting is a win-win for both businesses and electric utilities. Lowering your energy usage allows you to save money and allows the utility to reduce costs associated with grid infrastructure and building new power plants. Rebates offered by most utilities are for a variety of LED technologies including light bulbs, interior ceiling fixtures, exterior fixtures, and daylight sensors. Today LED lighting is the most efficient technology available and reduces energy use by up to 70% when compared to incandescent lighting. As a result, the LED market has significantly proliferated and LED lighting replacements are available for most types of legacy lighting technologies. Bulbs.com continues to offer a large variety of LED lighting products and works with utilities across the country to offer the best lighting rebates available to our customers. Here we will share with you the most important trends in the lighting rebate industry during 2015 and what to look for in 2016.

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Up to 75% Energy Savings Realized Through Philips Spacewise Technology

by Stefan Dutka 22 February, 2016 04:24

Wanting to make the switch to controlled lighting can be complicated and confusing. There is so much to be considered when replacing your fixtures. Knowing if you need separate occupancy or daylight sensors and possible compatibility issues with dimmers or ballasts can take time and effort.

Spacewise technology eliminates these problems by combining an occupancy sensor, daylight sensor, wireless dimming capabilities and personalized area settings into the Philips Day-Brite DuaLED Recessed Troffers with Spacewise technology- ready to go right out of the box.

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Award-Winning Sengled Snap is now in stock!

by Christina Crow-Dufault 22 January, 2016 04:27

The long-awaited, award-winning Sengled Snap LED is now in stock! It is an innovative LED light bulb that also functions as a wireless HD camera for outdoor monitoring.  

 

Sengled Snap won Best of Innovation at CES 2015 in the Smart Home product category. Home or business owners can place Snap over entryways and garages to keep an eye on surroundings any time of day or night. The ultra-wide angle HD camera captures high-quality video that can be viewed instantly via your iOS or Android device.  There is also an option to store data in the cloud for an additional fee.  Users can customize motion zones and receive alerts when activity is detected.

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Lighting Safety for Parking Garages

by Allison Kelley 24 November, 2015 03:19

Parking garages are reputed to be poorly-lit and uninviting places. However, brighter lighting may not always be optimum because of excessive glare and over-illumination. For best lighting practices that increase safety, choose a higher quality light that reduces glare with a high color-rendering index, or CRI.

When lighting a parking garage, it is important to tailor light level to location to improve visual clarity, ease eye strain, and increase safety. Lamps with higher CRI render colors more accurately and enable a driver to better distinguish between features and colors within the garage as opposed to casting both pedestrians, vehicles, and walls in the same poor quality light. Altering light levels within the garage also eases eye strain. The entrances and exits to the garage should have the highest levels of light followed by ramp areas. 

The human eye is highly adaptable; however, it takes a few minutes for a driver’s eyes to fully adjust to a dramatic change in light levels. During the daytime, brightly lit entrances ease the transition from a darker parking garage to the bright outdoors. As the driver continues through the garage, light levels may gradually decrease. Ramps, representing a transition between the brighter, entrance lighting and the darker garage interiors, should be lit accordingly. Finally, low, uniform lighting is sufficient for parking areas.

Uniform lighting within the garage interior reduces shadows and contrast, increasing the visibility of pedestrians. In order to achieve uniform lighting, choose fixtures which emit light upward and downward with wide distributions.

A well-lit garage often incorporates physical changes, such as daylighting and paint color, into the lighting system as well. Often parking structures appear dark and uninviting because concrete does not reflect light very well. Wherever possible, paint surfaces light colors to help reflect light. Further, incorporating daylighting into the structure design increases light levels and reduces energy demand during the day.

Lighting controls also reduce energy consumption by adjusting light output according to occupant activity and daylight. Some LED fixtures are equipped with occupancy sensors and can dim lamps in areas with less traffic. Photo-sensors can also be incorporated in garage-top lighting to control lighting on the top floor of the structure as well.

When incorporating the above recommendations, LED technology is a great option to consider. LED lamps lower energy and maintenance costs, are compatible with a wide range of controls, and have very high color rendering indexes. Many LED options exist specifically for garage applications. These include LED vapor tight fixtures which are optimal in areas where water may get into the fixture and LED garage lighters, which are efficient replacements for metal halide and high pressure sodium fixtures within garages.  

The improvement that LED technology offers over high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide lamps where color-rendering is concerned is substantial. HPS lamps have a CRI of 30 out of 100 and metal halide lamps rank at a modest 60 within the index. LED bulbs, however, regularly have a CRI of 75 or higher. Ditching HPS technology in favor of LED lighting means that your parking garage will never be washed in a orange hue again. Both drivers and pedestrians will be safer once the visual clarity in your garage is improved.

If you would like to learn more about lighting control, brightness, or LED technology for your parking application, call 888-455-2800 to speak with a certified Lighting Specialists. Additionally, our blog, The Light Source and our Learning Center are updated with new information regularly.

Tags:

Commercial Lighting | Energy Efficiency | Expert Lighting Tips | Light Fixtures

Energy Efficiency: Ways to Save in the Classroom

by Allison Kelley 16 November, 2015 10:45

Each year, America’s schools spend more on energy than they do on textbooks and computers combined according to ENERGY STAR®. After salaries and benefits, utility costs are the largest operating expense for school districts and strained budgets often lead to fewer maintenance and energy efficiency upgrades, compounding these issues. With this in mind, it is important for school districts to identify affordable, energy-reduction strategies to lessen this financial burden. Lighting upgrades are a good start.

Lighting typically represents around 26% of a school’s energy consumption and fortunately, lighting is one of the few expenses which can be easily reduced. Retrofits can save between 30 and 50 percent of energy costs without negatively affecting the classroom experience. Read on for tips on how to select the most effective, energy-efficient lighting system for your school.

 

Inside a classroom, it is important to maintain comfortable lighting. Students should not have to strain their eyes to adjust between tasks on their desks and the board. Minimizing high-contrast lighting can help improve mood, concentration, and visual comfort. Each of these factors enables better learning.LED recessed troffers and pendant fixtures are often great mechanisms to create even, uniform light which minimizes contrast. Additionally, troffer retrofit kits, which come with built-in bulbs and ballasts, make transitioning to energy efficient lighting stress-free. These fixtures are often fully dimmable, allowing for versatile classroom lighting.

Classroom lighting must be versatile and controllable due to the variety of teaching methods that require different light levels. During a creative period of artwork, reading, or social time, daylight glare should be controlled. Choose lighting which provides 30-50 foot-candles (lumens per square foot), for these tasks.  30-50 foot-candles are also optimal for a lecture at a chalkboard or whiteboard and lighting the board with additional vertical surface lighting also improves board visibility. During a multimedia presentation, however, it is important to be able to dim the lights to 15 foot-candles or less.

Using sunlight to provide supplemental lighting to rooms during daylight hours is one way to reduce energy costs. Using daylight, or “daylighting”, creates optimum conditions for learning and should be used wherever possible in classrooms, administrative offices, gymnasiums, and meeting rooms. Daylighting sensors can be used to balance artificial light and create optimum lighting conditions.

Soft, uniform, electric lighting should supplement daylighting wherever necessary to create a comfortable learning environment.  As stated previously, LED recessed troffers are ideal for lighting a room uniformly. Replacing T12 fluorescent lamps with T8 and T5 lamps with electronic ballasts can also reduce energy consumption by 35%. Gymnasiums, in particular, benefit from T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps because of their quick startup times and low heat output. If you wish to convert to LED technology, LED high bay fixtures and LED HID retrofit lamps are great, energy-efficient choices for a gymnasium as well. Investing in ENERGY STAR LED exit signs will also significantly reduce energy costs, with LED exit signs lasting 25 times longer than conventional exit signs. LED bulbs also out-perform incandescent bulbs in scoreboards and will not need replacing for years to come.

In combination with occupancy sensors and timers, lighting retrofit savings-per-classroom can double. Sensors and dimmers are equally appropriate for other school settings, such as hallways, bathrooms, storage areas, libraries, and faculty offices. Occupancy sensors in particular can reduce lighting use in these lesser-used areas dramatically.

Though operating budgets in school systems are tight, school facilities typically operate for 50 years or more. Therefore, school systems benefit from a long-term perspective and should take life-cycle costs associated with Total Cost of Ownership into account. Though some upgrades are costly up-front, payback for many upgrades occurs within a few years with a high return on investment. Additionally, a variety of rebate programs directed specifically at school systems help reduce upfront costs. If you are curious where your school system could save money, sign up for a FREE Lighting Assessment with Bulbs.com. A member of our Energy Services team can assess your current lighting system and identify products and rebates to help you save.

 

If you have any questions about rebates in your area or our Free Lighting Assessment, please contact one of our certified Lighting Specialists at 888-455-2800.