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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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9 Daylight Saving Time Facts

by Allison Kelley 30 October, 2015 05:54

On Sunday November 1st at 2:00AM the clocks will be turned back one hour and come Monday, your morning commute will be brighter. Though turning your clocks back one hour may seem simple enough, daylight saving time (DST) has actually had a very complex history. Consider a few of the following daylight saving time facts as you set your clock back this year.

  1. It’s called “daylight saving time,” not “daylight savings time.”

Many people are guilty of pluralizing the second word in this phrase, however this is not grammatically correct. Since the word “saving” acts as part of an adjective, not a verb, the singular form is correct.

  1. Benjamin Franklin did not invent the concept.

In 1784, when he was unhappily awoken by the rising sun, the founding father penned a satirical essay which concluded that a sleep schedule coinciding with the sun would save a lot of money on candles and lamp oil. By capitalizing on “the economy of using sunshine instead of candles,” he argued that Parisians could save the modern day equivalent of $200 million! However, Franklin never proposed changing the clocks to fit this schedule as some erroneously believe.

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Energy Efficiency

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.

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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?

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Why 277 volts for lighting?

by Elizabeth Karpinski 10 June, 2015 03:38

277 Volts is the input power of choice for most industrial and commercial applications. High voltage lighting is better from an efficiency standpoint. Higher voltage means less current, which means less power loss from resistance as stated in  Ohm’s and Joule’s laws.

Ohm’s law:  Voltage = Current*Resistance

Joule’s law: Power = Voltage*Current

 

High voltage lighting means you can put more lighting fixtures on a given circuit because voltage drop is less of a concern. This means these lights are ideal for areas with a lot of lighting fixtures close together: think warehouses, offices, restaurants, hotels, schools, and even hospitals.

Most industrial facilities get their power in a 480/277 volt 3 phase 4 wire system, because 277 is the phase-to-neutral voltage for 480’s phase-to-phase. The 480 volt wiring is generally used to power large industrial equipment, and the 277 volt wiring powers industrial scale lighting. These two voltages tend to go together because you do not need a transformer to use the 277 voltage, which cuts down on energy and construction costs.

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Top 5 Ways to Go Green in 2015

by Harrison Chute 21 April, 2015 12:01

This Earth Day, Bulbs.com is counting down our favorite ways to go green, with some practical tips and considerations to keep in mind during the celebration of our planet and throughout the year.

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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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