A Guide to Energy-Efficient Office Lighting

Mar 03, 14 A Guide to Energy-Efficient Office Lighting

As you can imagine, office buildings consume a pretty substantial amount of energy. According to Southern California Edison, the average commercial office building uses about 30 percent of that consumed energy on lighting. Because lighting does make up such a large portion of energy spent in commercial buildings, the energy efficiency of office lighting is an important factor that should be taken into consideration.  By making a few lighting updates, ranging from major to minor, your office could decrease its electricity consumption.

Update Overhead Lighting

officelightingIf your office still uses incandescent or old fluorescent lighting in large overhead fixtures, it could be time for a much needed update. While fluorescent bulbs do consume less energy than incandescents, they still can’t match the energy savings of LEDs. LED lighting uses about 75 to 80 percent less energy than incandescent light sources and last much longer, too. To replace large fluorescent troffers, you can use LED light panels, which will work just as well and use only a fraction of the energy.

If you have T12 fluorescent lighting, upgrading to T8 fluorescent tubes will make a huge difference in energy savings and light quality. However, if you want to make an even bigger difference in energy savings, switch to 18-watt T8 LED bulbs to replace your 32-watt T8 fluorescents. Over the life of a T8 LED, you can expect to save $77 and make up the entire cost of the lamp in approximately 28 months. They also produce virtually no heat. The less heat being produced in the building, the less you’ll be blasting the air conditioning to try and balance the temperature.  They are also available in color temperatures ranging from warm white to stark white to accommodate your particular preference.

Efficient Accent Lighting

officelighting3Whether it’s track lighting to accentuate your company logo or wall sconces that give your conference room stylish flair, most offices use some form of accent lighting. LED technology has advanced to the point where you can find an LED replacement in a variety of bulb shapes, color temperatures, and lumen outputs to replace incandescents or fluorescents in just about any existing light fixtures. If your wall sconces use incandescent E12s, switch them out for LED candelabra bulbs. The same goes for MR16 track lights or your recessed downlights – the possibilities are endless!

For some ideas on innovative accent lighting, check out our previous blog on where to use LED tape light. It’s a perfect solution for lighting coves, shelving, and other places that will give your office space a modern and unique look.

officelighting4Control the Lights

Because many people stay within the vicinity of their desk or a designated department to do their jobs, there are some areas of the building that don’t require constant lighting, such as restrooms, break rooms, or supply closets. Installing motion sensors in these less occupied areas is a convenient way to monitor the amount of light being used.  If you’re lucky enough to have your own personal office, you could also install a dimmer switch to customize the light levels at any given time while curbing electricity use and extending the life of your office’s lighting.

exitsign1000bulbsLow-Wattage Signs

Safety lighting, such as emergency and exit signs, are imperative to the lighting design of any commercial building. These signs are using energy 24/7, so why not find exit signs that use as little as possible? LED exit signs can last up to 25 years and come in an array of designs that will complement the design of your office space. An even more energy-efficient efficient option is photoluminescent exit signs. These signs don’t require any electricity use and recharge when exposed to external light sources.

 

What are some other ways offices could be more energy efficient? Leave us a comment letting us know, or send us a message on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

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1000Bulbs.com’s Energy Savings Calculator Shows Benefits of Energy Efficient Lighting

1000Bulbs News Ribbon

In order to help their customers better understand the cost benefits of switching to energy-efficient alternatives, Internet lighting retailer, 1000Bulbs.com, has created their own Energy Savings Calculator to accompany all compact fluorescent and LED lamps on their website. Earlier this year, the last phase-out of general service incandescent bulbs enforced by the Energy and Independence Security Act of 2007 took effect. Due to these incandescent bulbs no longer being produced by manufacturers, the demand for energy-efficient lighting that meets EISA standards is growing rapidly.

Launched in January of 2014, the 1000Bulbs.com Energy Savings Calculator has the ability to show customers everything they need to know about the savings that comes with energy-efficient lighting. By taking the wattage of the individual CFL or LED replacement, the wattage of its incandescent equivalent, the number of bulbs being replaced, and the rate charged per kilowatt-hour, the calculator automatically computes the amount customers can expect to save over the life of a single CFL or LED. As the first online lighting retailer to have a calculator of this kind, 1000Bulbs.com is committed to educating consumers on the many positive aspects of upgrading to energy-efficient lighting.

LED and CFL Energy Saving Calculator

1000Bulbs Energy Savings Calculator

“We want to make sure that our customers feel confident before making an investment in the products we carry,” says 1000Bulbs.com CEO Kim Pedersen. “Our new Energy Savings Calculator provides the important cost and savings information they need in order to feel that making the switch to energy-efficient lighting is the right choice.”

1000Bulbs.com Energy Savings Calculator,for LED and CFL Bulbs

1000Bulbs.com Energy Savings Calculator Extended

For customers who are looking for more in-depth savings analysis, the calculator can be expanded to show the total kilowatts and kilowatt hours saved per year, the total amount saved on energy costs per year, and the number of months before they can expect a payback on their investment. This Energy Savings/ROI calculator features customizable fields that can be adjusted to accommodate each client’s unique lighting needs and specifications.

Although energy-efficient bulbs are typically more expensive compared to incandescent bulbs, they have been proven to last up to 50 times longer, consuming only a fraction of the energy used by their incandescent counterparts. While it used to take years, it now only takes a matter of months to see payback for the purchase of an energy-efficient bulb. The 1000Bulbs.com Energy Savings Calculator assures customers that the savings incurred over the life of an LED or CFL will more than make up for any initial and future maintenance costs.

About 1000Bulbs.com: 1000Bulbs.com is an award-winning Internet-based lighting retailer. The company offers everything from simple, household light bulbs to cutting-edge specialty lighting systems. Nationally recognized for growth, innovation, and customer satisfaction, 1000Bulbs.com is an influential force in the lighting industry.

Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus or LinkedIn!

Contact:
Kim Pedersen
1000Bulbs.com
972-288-2277 Ext:207
ceo(at)1000bulbs(dot)com

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Easy Ways to Save on Your Electricity Bill

Jan 03, 14 Easy Ways to Save on Your Electricity Bill

Christmas has come and gone, and it’s now the start of a new year. What’s that mean for you? Quitting a habit, like biting your fingernails or finishing other people’s sentences? What about reducing your energy consumption, thus reducing your electric bill? While we support the other goals, reducing your energy consumption sounds a little better. Below are some things that will help you reduce your energy costs in 2014.

Occupancy/Vacancy Sensors: One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy consumption is to turn the lights off when you’re not in a room. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it’s pretty common to accidentally leave the lights on when you leave a room, and I’m guilty of that from time to time, too. Thankfully, there are occupancy and vacancy sensors that control the lights for you.  These sensors eliminate the possibility of leaving the lights on by detecting body heat. When the unit detects body heat, it flips the lights on, and when it doesn’t detect body heat, the lights go off. Ranging in coverage areas from 450 to 2,000 square feet, occupancy and vacancy sensors are ideal for nearly every room in your home.

Lutron D-600P-IV Single Pole Rotary Switch

Lutron D-600P-IV Single Pole Rotary Switch

Dimmers: Not only do dimmer switches allow you to control the amount of light your bulbs are producing, but they also extend your bulbs’ life by reducing the amount of voltage going to your bulbs. So instead of 120 volts, your bulb receives, say, 80 volts. Dimmer switches don’t only come in switches. Other kinds of dimmers include rotary dimmers, toggle type dimmers, and slide dimmers. Look at the different styles for yourself, and see which type best suits you and your tastes.

Precision Multiple T-15 Photo Control

Precision Multiple T-15 Photo Control

Photo Controls: It’s time to move on to outdoor lighting controls. Photo controls, also known as photocells, are an excellent tool for controlling your outdoor floodlights, garden lights, and just about anything you can think of. The same principle applies with outdoor lighting as indoor lighting: there’s always a risk of leaving something on, like the floodlights over your garage. Photocells eliminate this risk by using the sun to turn your lights on and off. When there’s a lack of sunlight, the device switches your lights on by increasing the voltage little by little (CFLs won’t work with photo controls as they need that instant pulse of electricity to turn on, not the gradual increase offered by photocells), and when the sun starts to creep up in the mornings, the photocell turns your lights off. There are even some photocells that can tell the difference between headlights and the sun.

Timers: Timers give a whole new meaning to the word “convenient.” While it’s probably too cold to catch a few rays poolside, pool season will be here before you know it. With that in mind, having a pool and spa timer controlling your pumps and vacuums makes things a whole lot simpler. While energy conservation is a hot topic, water conservation is just as hot. Look into getting a sprinkler and irrigation timer to ensure you don’t over-water your plants and you conserve precious water resources. While these timers vary greatly in their features, many have the ability to water every other day, and include a shutoff switch on rainy days without losing your settings.

*The occupancy/vacancy sensors, dimmer switches, and photo controls work best with incandescent bulbs. If you use LEDs or fluorescents, ensure your equipment is compatible with your bulbs beforehand.

What ways will you be more Earth friendly? Tell us in the comments below, or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest!

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What the Fact: Lesser-Known Facts about LED Lighting

Jul 26, 13 What the Fact: Lesser-Known Facts about LED Lighting

With energy efficient lighting on the rise, people are beginning to turn to LED bulbs for their lighting needs. However, some of you may have a disregard for these bulbs due to various reasons. So, before you return your “defective” light bulbs, here are a few things you should know about them.

LEDs are directional.
Because they consist of flat chips, the light of LED bulbs generally faces one way. Some brands will focus the light outward or create with a lens that bends the light, making their LEDs omnidirectional.

There is a difference between R bulbs and PAR bulbs.
R (reflector) bulbs contain a diffuser, eliminating glare and softening the edges of the light. This makes these bulbs great for indoor use. PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) bulbs do not have a diffuser. Instead, they are open and contain an aluminum reflector in the shape of a parabola. This allows the light to shine further and create a spotlight effect, making them perfect for outdoor use.

The LED wattage equivalent to an incandescent isn’t important.
When you see the wattage of your LED bulb equates to a particular incandescent, that number only matters when you are trying to compare energy savings. The important number to look for is the lumen output. Lumens determine the brightness of your bulb, so you want to be sure to verify that the lumen output of your new LED bulb is the same as, or close to, the lumen output of your old incandescent.

True 100W equal LED A19s do not exist… yet.
They don’t. I know what you are thinking. “I just saw a category for LED A19s on your site.” Yes, that is true; however, a standard A19 features a lumen output of 1600 lumens. LED bulbs create too much heat to allow for 1600 lumens. “But I thought LEDs don’t get hot,” you say. They do; however, they contain cooling components such as heat sinks, fans, or cooling liquids to dissipate the heat, moving it away from the light source and making the bulbs cooler than other standard bulbs. Philips has produced a 100W equal A21; however, the size can cause issues when used in task lighting as it can be too big for a lamp’s harp.

LED Chip

LED Chip

If your LED bulb fails before expected, it could be due to component malfunction, not the LED chip.
Did your bulb die before the average rated life listed on the packaging? Before you claim the bulb to be damaged, consider the fact that there are many components to an LED bulb. If one of them goes out, the chip won’t run. Another thing to consider is that the average rated life is an average amount of hours. When the bulbs were tested, 50% stayed lit through that amount of time; some went out before, and some went out after.

There is such a thing as too warm.
Be sure to check the color temperature of your LED bulb. If you end up with an LED that is 2400K or under, the light output will have a pink hue. However, if you like the color pink; LED bulbs with a low color temperature could work just fine.

Your LEDs are not faulty. Your timers and dimmers aren’t, either.
For night time lighting, many people use timers to turn their decorative LED lights on at a certain time every night and off in the morning. Some people like to create ambiance, so they use dimmers to tone down the lighting. So, what’s with the flickering and glowing? Decorative LEDs operate at a low voltage, so much so, that there is an extra amount of current that continues to leak through. The extra voltage is what keeps the lights on even after you have turned them off. To stop this voltage leak through, add a 120-volt incandescent bulb. The bulb will absorb the extra current, allowing your lights to turn off completely.

You can still buy 100-watt incandescent bulbs.
For those of you who cannot part ways with your 100-watt incandescent bulbs, do not fear! While they were “legislated out” of existence, the makers of your favorite bulbs have found a way around the legislation, allowing them to continue making the 100-watt bulbs. They have started making them with an additional filament support; which, in turn, classifies them as “rough service,” making them exempt from the legislation.

Still having trouble with LED bulbs? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments or let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus?

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Watts for Dessert? A Look at Edible Lighting Technologies

Everyone has heard the adage “my dog ate my homework.” Educators would say this is an excruciatingly poor excuse for not doing homework. However, “my dog ate my lamp, so I couldn’t do my homework” may soon become a legitimate excuse.

Thanks to some incredibly creative artists, the lighting world has a new addition, edible lamps. A sweet treat and good for the environment, these lamps definitely bring a new, distinctive quality to lighting.

Lumière au Chocolat

Lumière au Chocolat

Lumière au Chocolat

Delicious, scrumptious, and delectable, all words to define a lamp. What’s so tasty about a lamp? The idea that it is made of chocolate is a start. A Swedish designer by the name of Alexander Lervik worked with LED specialists from Saas Instruments to create the Lumière au Chocolat (Chocolate Lamp), which was on display at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Influenced by the concept of polar nights, the lamp, as solid trapezoid of chocolate, is completely dark when turned on. As the heat from an incandescent bulb hits the chocolate, it starts to form holes, allowing more light to pass through. Once the chocolate thoroughly melts down, it slowly forms back into solid pieces for a delectable treat. Perhaps this lamp isn’t ideal for homework; it could be a wonderful addition to a restaurant’s dessert menu.

BITE ME

BITE ME LED desk lamp

BITE ME LED desk lamp

Not a chocolate fan? No worries! New York based designer Victor Vetterlein’s BITE ME bioplastic LED desk lamp is made from natural, non-toxic ingredients including agar (a gelatin formed from sea algae), flavoring, food coloring, purified water, and vegetable glycerin. Coming in flavors of apple, blueberry, orange, and cherry, this lamp resembles a fruit roll-up with the solidity of plastic. The lamp includes an LED circuit board with an adhesive strip to be placed on the underside of the lamp and two power cords, one to be connected to a low voltage power converter and the other to a USB port. Once the lamp becomes a terrible bore, toss it in your backyard as compost or eat it, of course. Simply wash the lamp with organic soap and warm water and soak it in water for an hour; it will soften and have the consistency and taste of a fruit snack.

Time to Eat

Roald Dahl would be proud; we’ve gotten a step closer to Willy Wonka’s “world of pure imagination.” While we haven’t quite gotten to the full-fledged chocolate waterfall or 3-course meal gum, we do have edible lamps. Interested in one of the two, or both? Unfortunately for all of us, these lamps are not currently for sale, but we’ll be standing in line next to you when they are.

What do you think about edible lamps? Leave us a comment or visit us on Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter!

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Lighting Law: Chrome Yellow Paint vs. LED Bulbs

Portrait of Gauguin

Portrait of Gauguin

The plaintiff, 125-year old chrome yellow paint, claims the defendant, 90-year old LED lighting, is darkening its bright, beautiful color. The discovery was first announced in November of 2012 when a team of scientists ran some tests using LED lighting against chrome yellow paint, specifically from Van Gogh’s work, Portrait of Gauguin. As Post-Impressionist works are featured in museums today, they need to be featured in a light that enhances their best attributes. Essentially, LEDs are best way to enhance the color and the focal points of the pieces; they do not contain infrared or ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, could it be possible they are damaging works of art from some of the great masters?

The Plaintiff: Chrome Yellow Paint

To Post-Impressionist artists, like Vincent Van Gogh, color was an important feature in their art. They believed in contrast, making bright colors pop while enhancing the subtlety of dark colors. The chrome pigment, at that time, was popular as it created bold, bright colors. Discovered in 1797, chrome yellow pigment came from the mineral crocoite, lead chromate. It was used in the 1800s, but on a strict basis; the pigment would oxidize and darken over a period of time after being exposed to air. Naturally, the fact that the paint contained lead did not allow for a great reception either, leading to its early demise.

The Defendant: LED Bulbs

We praise LED bulbs; they are efficient, economical, and most of all, safe. They are frequently used in art museums, as the crisp, white light allows colors to pop. LEDs do not emit harmful UV rays, eliminating the risk of color degradation, nor do they emit heat from infrared radiation, removing the possibility of damage; nevertheless, it appears the bulbs seem to be slowly dulling the chrome yellow in these works.

The Surprise Confession: Xenon Bulbs

Breaking news in the courtroom! Upon further investigation, it has come to light that xenon bulbs were the culprit of this heinous crime; xenon bulbs do create heat as well as emit UV rays. While they make for bright, white light, these characteristics of xenon bulbs are not a pleasant companion for the chrome yellow paint featured in Post-Impressionist paintings. These traits do, in fact, speed up the oxidation process of the paint, thus causing the discoloration of the paintings. While some xenon bulbs have UV protection, a small amount of UV rays will still pass through.

Case Dismissed

While LED bulbs caught a bad rap for a short time, they escaped the guillotine of the lighting world. These green, energy efficient bulbs will continue to light the way for our world and our museums. Unfortunately, chrome yellow paint is destined to continue to oxidize, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the beauty of in these masterpieces. Imagine how beautiful and bright it was when it was first used.

Comments or questions about LED lighting in a gallery? Let us know! Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!

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