Lighting Questions, Answered
If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter (if you don’t then you definitely should), you’ll know that we wanted to hear your lighting questions. Well, you talked and we listened. Below, you’ll find a few questions that we picked and answered.
“What’s the safest and easiest way to install driveway lighting?” – Kelli Erholm
We sell hundreds of items to accent your driveway, from rope lights, to landscape bullets, even pathway lights. Want to add a little peace of mind with security lights? We sell those, too. How about adding a touch of sophistication and safety to the steps leading up to your house? Check out our step lights. Even though we provide an extensive amount of bulbs and fixtures at the best prices around, we do not install those bulbs or fixtures. For the safest and easiest way to install driveway lighting, seek the services of a lighting professional.
“Why does it take the energy efficient bulbs so long to get to their maximum lighting potential?” – Penny Jo Eishen Luna
Great question here, Penny. The answer is not such an easy one and is quite technical, actually. Let me first start by saying that LED (light emitting diode) bulbs have virtually no start up time, and the warm up time you speak of primarily exists within the realm of compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. So why does it take CFLs so long to warm up? The short answer: it takes time for the electrical current to heat up the cathodes (filament) to their full brightness. It should be noted, however, that not all CFLs take a frustratingly long time to heat up. Take this 14-watt CFL bulb from TCP for example. This bulb features “insta brite” technology, which brings the bulb to its full brightness, well, instantly.
“Still looking for a cost-effective replacement (hopefully LED) for the 4-foot fluorescent ceiling fixtures.” – Daniel Meyer
Not really a question, but still interesting nonetheless. Well, Daniel, we will carry Plusrite LED replacement tubes to replace the 4-foot fluorescents you were asking about and expect these to arrive sometime in July. However, these aren’t meant for residential use and are recommended for professional installation only, as these bulbs can be dangerous if installed improperly and present challenges such as shunted vs. unshunted tombstones and ballast compatibility. Also, these lamps are directional and aim the light downward, so these are not direct replacements for some standard fluorescent fixtures. However, LED technology is progressing on a daily basis, so it shouldn’t be too long before there’s a residential LED tube.
“How can we realistically compare the color and brightness of CFLs in real world examples?” – Bobby Gwiazdzinski
Well, Bobby, the question you’re asking has to do mainly with color temperature and lumens, both of which are explained in detail in an earlier blog post. However, you would compare different CFLs by these qualities in two ways. First, color temperature. Bulbs with a color temperature of 2700K have a warm white color to them, similar to that of standard incandescents, while bulbs with a higher color temperature have a whiter light, like daylight. Secondly, lumens. The higher the lumen output of a bulb, the brighter the bulb. So as far as comparing is concerned, that’s really a matter of opinion. Find a few bulbs that you want to try, test them out, and see which you like best. If you’re using a 60-watt incandescent, check out this 13-watt CFL.
“How can you tell what kind of light output you get from a fluorescent bulb?” – Assunta Sue Nigro Galeno
Excellent question here, Assunta. If you’re talking about lumens, consider looking into purchasing this light meter. The light meter allows you to test the intensity of light coming from a bulb, which will help you determine if you have too much light or not enough. Now, this particular meter is used to measure the intensity of light coming from grow light reflectors, but it’ll still work for your purposes.
We thank you for submitting your questions. We enjoyed reading all of them and responding to them. If you have any more lighting questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus accounts!