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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.


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 Three quarters of commercial buildings have outdated technology.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?


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


CEO's Take: What the EcoPinion Survey Says About Us, and the Future of Lighting

by Mike Connors 26 May, 2011 05:39

Mike Connors joined the Bulbs.com team in 2000, and was selected as Chief Executive Officer in 2009. Prior to becoming CEO, he spent several years serving as VP of Sales.

The March 2011 EcoPinion survey entitled “Lighting the Path Forward for Greater Energy Efficiency” offers interesting if not insightful commentary regarding the acceptance and usage of energy efficient lighting products by U.S. households.

It’s important to note that at first glance one might believe that a survey conducted by an organization named “Ecoalign” would be slanted in some way toward favorable opinions of energy efficient or green products because the respondents were predominantly environmentalists – This is not the case. The methodology used for the survey used a statistically significant sampling size of respondents who were targeted according to gender, age, census region and ethnicity. The sample was drawn from Survey Sampling International’s SurveySpot online consumer panel, an organization that is highly regarded as a sample provider in the market research industry.


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