by Eric Cole
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.
by Eric Cole
6 June, 2011 05:41
Lately, a great deal of the discussion around improving general lighting has been focused on LED. This focus is certainly not unwarranted, but it may have come at the expense of a few alternative options that may be better suited for certain applications. One of those options is induction lighting. If you’re lighting a commercial or industrial space and looking for a “set it and forget it” way to save energy, induction is definitely worth considering.
How Induction Works-
Functionally, induction works in a very similar manner to a typical fluorescent bulb. The primary difference is that induction sources do not use electrodes to ignite the lamp. Instead, fluorescent induction bulbs have a large electromagnet, which is usually wrapped around one segment of the bulb. This serves as an induction coil. There is also a pellet of amalgam (composed of solid mercury) inside of the bulb. The induction coil produces a strong magnetic field which travels through the glass and excites the mercury atoms in the amalgam. The mercury atoms emit UV light, which is converted to visible light by the phosphor coating inside of the tube.
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...