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Outdoor Lighting Tips

by Christina Crow-Dufault 14 March, 2013 10:00

While the bottom half of the country is getting warmer, those of us in the northern states are starting to defrost.  As the spring season approaches, we start to think about projects in and around our homes.  You might refer to yourself as a Weekend Warrior or an avid DIYer.

Whatever you call yourself, the outdoor season is coming and it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your yard! And with all the work you put into your landscaping, why not show it off into the evening hours. Plus, you can add a little more security to your home with entry way spot lights and dusk-to-dawn sensors.

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Lighting for Property Managers: Time for a Change?

by Christina Crow-Dufault 2 October, 2012 11:15

For decades, choosing a light bulb was a fairly simple task. We didn’t have all these choices we now have today. Wattage meant brightness and we didn’t have to worry about dimmer compatibility.  

Yes, there is a lot of new products and information out there now, but that’s okay. Change is good.

These new products can help us save energy, money and the planet through innovative, lower-wattage, long-life products that don’t produce nearly as much pollution during the manufacturing process as older types of lighting. 

Products such as CFLs and LEDs will help to reduce your energy bills, labor costs and even HVAC related costs. And as a Property Manager -of one location or many- that can make all the difference.

Phased-out bulbs, new efficiency standards, updated packaging labels and LED improvements over the last few years have presented some challenges, but they have also opened up a number of opportunities.

Whether you’re upgrading for the first time from incandescent to CFLs or you’re making the move to LEDs, here are some things you should keep in mind. 

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Lighting for Distributors: Staying ahead of the Curve

by Christina Crow-Dufault 24 July, 2012 05:27

As a distributor of lighting products it can be challenging and often time consuming to find the right products for your customers’ needs.  Also, constant changes in technology and recent government legislation can make it difficult to keep up. Most recently, LED lighting and the PAR Halogen/T12 Fluorescent lamp Phase-out have been keeping us busy.  Here are a few things you should know:
 

LED lighting

LED BulbsLED lamps are becoming more popular by the minute!  The good news is that this technology is rapidly improving and in turn, the cost is decreasing. Yes, LEDs may still come at a higher cost, but consider these worthwhile benefits:

  • Reduced energy costs-LEDs use 75-90% less energy than halogen and incandescent lamps.
  • Reduced labor costs-Long life means you don’t have to change your bulbs as often.
  • Reduced HVAC costs-Halogens put off high amounts of heat, make the switch and turn down you’re AC!
  • Utility Rebates for being an Energy Saver-check with your local utility provider for offers.

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Halogen Phase-out: The Facts

by Christina Crow-Dufault 6 July, 2012 11:17

Halogen PAR reflectorThe beginning of 2012 marked a change in the way we thing about lighting.  Earlier this year, The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 outlined new regulations to phase-out inefficient incandescent general service bulbs over a four-year period-in California this started a year earlier in 2011.

The phase-out process began with the 100 watt incandescent in January of this year and will be followed by the 75 watt in 2013 and the 60 watt and 40 watt incandescents in 2014.  Fortunately, there are many replacement options available that provide the same quality of light but meet the new standards and you can learn more about them in the Bulbs.com Learning Center under Incandescent Phase-out.

Following the incandescent bulb phase-out, PAR Halogen and Reflector lamps will begin their own phase-out starting on July 14, 2012.  To be compliant with EISA's energy efficient standards and a ruling by the Department of Energy in 2009, any parabolic aluminized reflector (PAR) or reflector bulb that is 40 watts of higher can no longer be manufactured for use in the United States.  This includes PAR38, PAR30 (short and long-necked), BR30, BR40 and R20 halogen lamps.  These bulbs are extremely popular with businesses and homeowners, so we have increased our inventory to meet the needs of customers during the transition period.  However, as inventory supplies are depleted in the marketplace, the time will come to look at replacement options.

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Lighting for Retail: Make Your Products Shine!

by Christina Crow-Dufault 7 May, 2012 04:02

Retail store lightingMuch like our recent blog post about the different types of lighting for the hospitality industry, the retail industry requires just as much attention when it comes to the products you sell and the environment you are creating for your customer.

It’s safe to say that just about every manager or business owner is looking for ways to save.  Energy costs from HVAC and lighting are no exception. The most common options are energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LEDs.  Both can produce quality light with the CRI needed for retail locations.

In the past, CFLs did not perform as well as they do today.  Light quality, color temperature and average rated life of the bulb have all made significant improvements over the years.  Still, it is a wise choice to purchase a reputable brand as there are some very inexpensive CFLs that often fail to meet their claim. Here is a great post if you would like to delve deeper into CFLs as an option. There are even dimmable options for spiral CFLs and CFL reflectors.  Tip: Speak with one of our Lighting Specialists as some lighting controls (dimmers, occupancy sensors) are not always compatible with dimmable CFL lamps. Additionally, if you are currently using a large quantity of halogen lamps to light your space, CFLs are a great solution as they produce very little heat.

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Parking Garage Lighting: Know Your Options

by Christina Crow-Dufault 20 April, 2012 06:00

Parking garages were once thought to be dirty and poorly lit. Nowadays, with new construction, design improvements and renovations, those negative views have mostly been left behind.  Designers and owners have come to realize the importance of a better looking facility with quality lighting.  They have learned that proper lighting can create a safe and secure environment and attract new customers.

Because no two facilities are the same, it is difficult to give a general assessment. Instead, we will take a look at the most common types of lighting for garage lighting applications as explore how they compare to each other.

Of course, before we begin exploring what type of lighting is best for your garage, you must first decide upon how much light you need.  While there are standard levels recommended for garages, most opt to light beyond those levels to reach better uniformity ratios that create a safer environment. Footcandles are the preferred unit of measurement for parking garages and a good rule of thumb is to reach five foot candles per square foot both horizontally and vertically.  Also note that vertical lighting is actually more important than the horizontal.

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Meet the winning L Prize LED! *UPDATED*

by Christina Crow-Dufault 27 January, 2012 12:10

Back in 2008, the Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition, as instructed by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The L Prize challenged the lighting industry to develop an efficient LED to replace the common 60 watt incandescent bulb. Any entries received were put through rigorous short-term and long-term performance testing. The winning bulb was required to produce more than 900 lumens and also have a 25,000 hour life. In addition, it must also have a Color Rendering Index (CRI) higher than 90 and a Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) between 2700K and 3000K-all while using less than 10 watts of electricity!

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Are Incandescents still being phased-out?

by Christina Crow-Dufault 28 December, 2011 11:25

On December 16th, Congress passed a new spending bill that contained a provision that would block the Department of Energy (DOE) from enforcing new energy-efficient standards for certain types of light bulbs.  As you might recall, the "incandescent bulb phase-out" stems from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007).  A section of this Act has adopted the title of "Incandescent ban" over the last few years, except it is not really a ban at all.  It simply states that certain classes of lamps will be phased-out to meet new energy efficiency standards mandated by law.  We have outlined the new standards in our Learning Section, if you need a refresher.

The passing of this bill has caused a lot of confusion regarding the phase-out.  The truth is, the 100 watt incandescent will still begin it's scheduled phase-out starting January 2012. The EISA of 2007 efficiency standards have not been repealed and are still the law.  The only effect that the bill has on the DOE is that they do not have funding to enforce the law until October 2012.   

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Lighting Phase-out

Holiday Safety Tips: Before, During and After

by Christina Crow-Dufault 6 December, 2011 09:57

It's that time of year again. Yes, time for many of us to begin decorating for the holidays (if you haven't started already).  If your last name is Griswold, please pay attention.  If not, still pay attention, as it is very important to take your lighting seriously this holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, thirty per cent of all home fires occur during December, January and February.  In addition, nearly 6,000 people a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. More than half of these injuries involve falls from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors. We could tell you about all the injuries, but instead, here are some of the most common holiday decoration and lighting tips to keep you safe!

 

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A New Way to Replace Your Incandescents: The Halogen Incandescent

by Bryan Trainor 1 September, 2011 10:29

As many of you already know, the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) will result in some incandescent bulbs no longer being manufactured. The end result of this is that many standard A-shape incandescent bulbs will no longer be available in certain wattages.

When it’s time to replace the incandescent bulbs you have, you have a few different options: The two primary choices people seem to have been making are to stockpile as many incandescent bulbs as possible, or to switch to a more efficient technology. Many of our customers are moving to compact fluorescent and LED bulbs, and there are a number of great reasons to do so. However, if you are one of the people who has reasons to hold steadfastly to the traditional incandescent, allow us to introduce another option you may not be aware of- the halogen incandescent.

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