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What is Total Cost of Ownership?

by Nicole Michaud 5 October, 2015 04:19

**An earlier version of this post included inaccurate information regarding Total Cost of Ownership and has since been corrected**

When deciding which light bulb to purchase, the cost of the bulb can be a major factor in your decision. But the cheapest bulb on the shelf might not always be the least expensive option in the long run. The truth is that the bulb you buy will determine your cost in the long term. Some bulbs cost more to use, operate, and maintain than others. These costs, all together, are known as your total cost of ownership. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a financial estimate intended to help consumers and business owners determine the direct and indirect costs of a product. In terms of lighting, the cost of ownership takes into account the upfront cost of the product, the hours used, kWh rate, and the rated life of the light bulb.


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.


Energy Efficient Lighting Assessment for Commercial Customers

by Elizabeth Karpinski 26 June, 2015 04:59

Most of the time it’s easy to see when technology is improving: new smartphones roll off the shelves every few months. But for other technologies, change can be harder to recognize—especially if you’re used to your current set up.

According to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, which is the most current data available, more than 2 million facilities built between 1980 and 2003 have been using the same lighting systems for the past few decades- despite the number of advances in lighting technology made since then. Three quarters of commercial buildings have outdated technology.

Do you know if yours does?


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.


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. 


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.


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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LED – Is It Right For You?

by Eric Cole 23 September, 2010 05:18

Eric Cole is Bulbs.com's Category Manager for LED lighting products.


I know that many of our customers are trying to educate themselves about LED technology. In a sense, most of us in the industry are doing the same thing. LED technology has been around for some time and we at Bulbs.com have been following its progress very closely, but what LED is going to look like as a widespread, effective, and reliable everyday lighting solution is still evolving.  Here are some thoughts on what to look for, and what to look out for, when considering a transition to LEDs.

Let’s look at the benefits

LEDs are most well known for their extremely long life and energy efficiency. LED useful life is based on the number of operating hours until the LED is emitting 70% of its initial light output.  Top quality LEDs in well-designed fixtures are expected to have a useful life of 30,000 to 50,000 hours, significantly higher than the 1,000 hours for a typical incandescent bulb and 8,000 to 10,000 hours for a comparable CFL. LEDs usually don’t “burn out” like incandescent bulbs do.  Instead, they get progressively dimmer over time. This can be helpful in critical lighting areas. They also tend to use less than one-sixth as much energy as their incandescent or halogen counterparts, and 2-3 times less than most CFLs. More...

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