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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
24 June, 2011 10:28
If you’re still using T12 bulbs to light your business, you’re not alone. However, you may be in for a surprise: The magnetic ballasts used to light many of these bulbs are being phased out and many manufacturers have already discontinued their production, meaning that you’ll need to upgrade sooner rather than later.
The technology that lit the first T12 bulbs over 70 years ago remains basically unchanged today, and there are many ways to light your space more efficiently. T8 and T5 systems can give you similar or even better light output and quality of light, all while saving you a substantial amount in energy costs.
There’s probably a good reason that you’ve stuck with your T12’s. Perhaps the lighting scheme you’re using works well and you’ve never needed or wanted to change your fixtures. Maybe you’ve been concerned about the cost of buying new fixtures, or the disruption to business that would result from installing them. One option is to simply replace the ballast and the bulbs, but while you’re already pulling the fixtures apart, it’s worth considering taking one more step that can really help you save on energy costs.