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Top Lighting Picks for Summer

by Elizabeth Karpinski 10 July, 2015 06:23

With July 4th behind us, it’s officially summer and time to think about your outdoor lighting needs. Here are some of our favorite products to light the night!

Bug Lights

Anytime you’re outside in the summer, there’s one thing that’s sure to ruin it: bugs. The problem tends to be worse at night because traditional lights attract them.

Most people are so used to seeing bugs on their outdoor lights they’ve never wondered why, or how to stop them. Insects see light differently than people do, and they’re most attracted to shorter wavelengths—light at the far end of the spectrum, close to ultraviolet light. So all too often, the most attractive light in the area will be the manmade outdoor light around your deck, porch or patio.

Bug lights use filtered yellow glass to minimize the short spectrum light—so they don’t attract insects. If you haven’t yet, this summer is the time to switch.


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. 


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.


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.


Hot, Hot, Hot! Cold Cathode CFLs are both dimmable and flashable

by Chris Weber 8 September, 2010 07:28

Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) have been around for about five years, but don't get the consideration they often deserve. They have more than double the life of standard Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and are better incandescent bulb replacements for dimming and flashing applications.

A quick technical overview

CCFL and CFL technologies are very similar - they both use integrated ballasts to regulate electrical current into a glass tube to excite mercury and phosphors and make UV light. The biggest differences between the two technologies are the type, temp, and resiliency of the cathodes used at the ends of the glass tubes. Standard CFL cathodes incorporate a thin tungsten wire that gets to 900°F while CCFL cathodes are more like solid metal thimbles that peak around 200°F (a "cold" cathode, relatively speaking.) Because the CCFL cathodes are more durable, they can be hit with more voltage (about 5 X) more often than standard CFLs and that opens up opportunities to use CCFL in applications where CFL products consistently fail. More...

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How to Pick a Compact Fluorescent Bulb

by Mike Connors 3 September, 2010 06:37

If you were disappointed by the performance of CFL bulbs in the last few years, it's time to try again.

Though we call them light bulbs, traditional incandescent bulbs are actually small heaters that give off a little bit of light - something you know if you've ever touched a bulb that's been on for a while. These bulbs were technological wonders when they were patented in 1880, but today they are inefficient dinosaurs. They waste energy and money, and they are responsible for millions of tons of pollution that contribute to global warming.

The next generation of CFL light bulbs

The next generation of Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) now give off higher-quality light while still using a fraction of the electricity as their earlier predecessors. Using CFLs puts less strain on the electric grid and saves you money. CFLs also reduce air pollution and the greenhouse gasses that cause global warming buy using less energy: if every household in the country replaced just three 60-watt incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, we would reduce as much pollution as if we took 3.5 million cars off the roads! More...

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