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.
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.
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 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.
6 July, 2012 11:17
The 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.
7 May, 2012 04:02
Much 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.
7 March, 2012 11:05
Recently, I sat down at one of those “fast-casual” restaurants for a quick meal and coffee. I chose this location for the atmosphere and quality of food. As I walked up to the counter to place my order, my nose was filled with smells of hearty soups, fresh breads and coffee. There was soft music playing in the background and the walls, tables and chairs were all muted coffee house type colors. These were all deliberate choices by the creators of this restaurant concept. There are so many aspects involved when designing a dining environment and all the senses should be engaged.
Once the concept for this restaurant was developed, the lighting designers began working. They created a lighting layout, decided on fixtures and mapped out each space based on what they wished to evoke; privacy, spaciousness, etc.
The lighting at this restaurant was well thought out. It was bright enough in the employee work areas but dimmed slightly in the dining areas. Also, accent lighting was used on the artwork. They created an inviting environment that invites many customers to return to on a regular basis.
Proper lighting completes the restaurant concept. However, it seems that the value of well-designed lighting often goes unnoticed. Sure, there is a lot to know and it can sometimes be confusing, but with some basic lighting education (and perhaps a lighting design professional) this task may not be as daunting as you think.
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!
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.
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!
8 July, 2011 10:01
If you’ve watched the news recently, you may have heard the controversy surrounding China’s export restrictions on a number of resources, including rare earth elements. What may not be fully clear is how this affects you as a consumer of electronics, and lighting products in particular. We’ve put this together as a quick overview to let you know what’s happening, and what to expect going forward.
First, let’s look at what rare earth elements are, and what they’re used for: Rare earth element is the common name for a set of 17 chemical elements. They are critical in the production and operation of a wide range of consumer electronics, and are also used in the phosphors that create light in a number of different light bulb types, including fluorescent, LED, and mercury vapor.