Apr 26, 13
Do you know what percentage of homes in America utilize energy-efficient bulbs? How is one of America’s largest cities keeping tabs on its energy use? For the answers to these questions and interesting lighting news, read on!
More U.S. Households Using LEDs and CFLs
According to recent data by E Source, the energy efficiency trend is gaining a lot of ground here in the U.S., as more and more households are using compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light emitting diodes (LED). E Source reports that 87% of households use at least one CFL or LED, while 77% use three or more. What factors decide who uses which type of bulbs and how many of these bulbs are used in households? E Source uncovered some interesting findings. For example:
• The percentage of households using multiple LEDs or CFLs goes up as annual income increases.
• Homeowners are more likely to use multiple LEDs and CFLs than renters.
• Older adults are more likely to use multiple CFLs, while younger adults lean more towards LEDs
Rachel Cooper, research manager at E Source, raises interesting speculation: “These findings lead us to wonder, ‘What would saturation levels look like if these energy-efficient bulbs-particularly LEDs-were more affordable?’”
Philips’ LED Bulb Could Replace Fluorescent Bulbs
LED technology is rapidly advancing, quickly changing the face of energy efficiency by offering longer life hours and considerably reduced electricity usage. LEDs first replaced CFLs, and now they’re replacing… fluorescent bulbs? That’s right. Philips has announced a prototype LED that could save the U.S. billions of dollars annually by replacing fluorescent bulbs. This new bulb only consumes 5 watts of energy, but produces a whopping 200 lumen per watt, far superior to the 100 lumen per watt fluorescents can produce. Philips estimates that with the new LED, the U.S. would save an astounding $12 billion a year while preventing the release of 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Philips said it plans to deliver commercial and industrial versions of the bulb to the market by 2015, with consumer products quickly following.
UCLA Publishes Electricity Usage Map
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has created an innovative way for Los Angeles to monitor how it uses electricity, block by block, allowing the city’s planners and Department of Water and Power to develop more finely tuned programs aimed at high energy users or low-income neighborhoods to improve energy efficiency. The map uses census and land use information to show how income levels affect electricity use and the differences between electricity usage of single family, multi-family, and commercial buildings. The map can even give usage projections for high heat days.
Conroe ISD Receives $15,000 to Upgrade Lighting
Conroe Independent School District (CISD), located in Conroe, TX (near Houston) has been recognized by Entergy Texas, Inc. for participating in their SCORE program and rewarded CISD with a $15,000 check to upgrade the district’s lighting. The goal of the SCORE program is to provide energy performance benchmarking, technical assistance, and cash incentives to help schools save energy and money. The $15,000 prize will go a long way for the district’s lighting upgrade, with CISD saving more than $28,000 in annual energy costs, the equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of 30 homes for a year
How many energy efficient bulbs do you have in your home? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
Ready for barbecues and pool parties, but don’t know how to distinguish your yard for your guests? Here are five outdoor lighting ideas to get you prepped and ready for your summertime fun.
Entertain with a Starry Night
Patio Light Strings
Make every night a starry night with commercial duty patio light strings! With a variety of light strings in different lengths, colors, and socket sizes, the design possibilities are endless. Fasten them to wood beams on your porch or string them across your backyard. Use colored S14 bulbs to give your yard a colorful glow or keep it simple with clear white A15 bulbs for a peaceful, star-like sky. For a DIY project, attach paper lanterns to your patio light strings to give your yard that additional touch of drama.
Add an Electrifying Look
LED Tape Light
Don’t limit yourself to a standard light bulb! Flexible and easy to use, LED tape light has become a popular addition to many homes, accenting windows, door frames, and stairways. It features an adhesive backing for easy installation and comes in a variety of colors, lengths, voltages, and outputs. For use outdoors, make sure it has an IP65 rating. Line the outer edge of pools, windows, and wooden beams to give your backyard an electrifying look!
Light Up Your Landscape
MR16 Landscape Lighting
Are you the person with incredible landscaping, lawn sculptures, and garden statues? Light your landscape with MR16 bulbs! The bulbs come in a myriad of color temperatures, beam angles, and wattages to ensure you get the right effect on your yard. Use warm white bulbs with a 3000K color temperature or less to showcase your statues, and bulbs with a color temperature of 4000K or higher to highlight your elegant lawn sculptures. For added appeal, try colored MR16 bulbs to enhance the look of your lawn ornaments.
Made of wax, these flameless candles have a realistic look, but feature LED bulbs as their light source, removing any possible risks if the candles fall over due to wind or other causes. As a safe alternative around kids and pets, the battery operated candles create a warm atmosphere, perfect for a nighttime aura. Use them as an accent for a patio table or place them around outdoor bar for a warm ambiance. For a unique DIY project, place them in mason jars and hang them in different areas around the yard.
Enjoy Your Picnic
Insect Inn Ultra II
Don’t want pests buzzing around your family barbecue? From yellow incandescent and CFL bulbs to insect control systems, there are many products to reduce the appearance of pests during your time outdoors. The Paraclipse control systems eliminate flies, mosquitos, and other pests by attracting them with a special ultraviolet lighting and trapping them in a sticky, auto advancing cartridge system, allowing you to fully enjoy your time outdoors. For convenience, try the Insect Inn Ultra, a decorative wall mount unit that stays out of the way of you and your guests.
What are some of your favorite outdoor lighting ideas? Let us know in the comments or send us a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
Jan 18, 13
Reflector bulbs are more than just floodlights and spotlights. Like any light bulb, they come in shapes and technologies to fit any application. Two cases in point are the PAR and the MR16. These common bulbs, whether halogen, CFL, or LED, are highly specified, containing engineered surfaces that control the beam of light to an angle so precise it takes seven different classifications just to explain their possible uses!
Very Narrow Spot (VNSP)
The very narrow spot is just like it sounds. At 7 degrees or less for an MR16 or 15 degrees or less for a PAR lamp, this reflector casts an intense, focused beam without a square inch of wasted light. Bulbs with a VNSP beam angle are often used to highlight a small statue or figure on display in a museum or in a jewelry store to make diamonds “pop.”
Narrow Spot (NSP)
Photo by RBerteig (flickr)
Like the very narrow spot, the narrow spot is most popular in commercial applications. At 8 to 15 degrees for an MR16 or 16 to 30 degrees for a PAR lamp, the reflector casts a beam slightly less focused than a VNSP. Look for bulbs with an NSP beam angle in retail settings highlighting a special or sale item or in landscape bullets illuminating a sign or garden feature.
The spot, though primarily used in commercial applications, also shows up in homes from time to time. At 16 to 22 degrees for an MR16 or 31 to 60 degrees for a PAR lamp, the reflector casts a medium-sized beam. Bulbs with an SP beam angle are used in stores to highlight a special or sale area or outdoors to illuminate an architectural feature.
Narrow Flood (NFL)
Photo by ell brown (flickr)
Businesses and homeowners alike find uses for the narrow flood. At 23 to 32 degrees for an MR16 or 61 to 90 degrees for a PAR lamp, this reflector casts a medium-wide beam. Stores use an NFL beam angle to highlight a display table, while homes might use this bulb in recessed eyeball lights to illuminate a painting over a fireplace mantle.
This true “floodlight” has wide variety of applications. At 36 to 45 degrees for an MR16 or 91 to 120 degrees for a PAR lamp, the reflector casts a wide beam. Bulbs with an FL beam angle can be seen in everything from pendant lights in coffee shops to recessed lights in living rooms.
Wide Flood (WFL)
Need a lot of light? There are worse options than the wide flood. At 46 to 59 degrees for an MR16 or 121 to 160 degrees for a PAR lamp, the wide flood has a dispersed beam to cover a large area. Bulbs with a WFL beam angle are common in many general illumination applications from motion-sensing lights above garage doors to recessed cans in auditoriums and movie theaters.
Very Wide Flood (VWFL)
Photo by mccun934 (flickr)
The very wide flood finds its way into specialty applications, more often than not. At over 60 degrees for an MR16 or over 160 degrees for a PAR lamp, this reflector casts an extremely wide beam. Bulbs with a VWFL beam angle are used to illuminate without highlighting any particular object or area. They’re good options for outdoor flood lighting and low-ceiling recessed lights.
Keep in mind these designations vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some brands, like Ushio, throw them out altogether for their simpler system of “narrow,” “medium,” and “wide.” Also note that just because a bulb may have a commercial application, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it in your home. Use reflectors to make your walls a canvas for your lighting ideas, and be sure to share those ideas with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest!
Dec 10, 12
Here at 1000Bulbs.com, not only do we sell thousands of lighting products, lighting accessories, and (my favorite) Christmas decorations to satisfy even the most seasoned lighting veteran, we also have our ears to the ground, scouring the Internet for news-worthy…news. Introducing Light Post, a bi-weekly gathering of lighting innovations and of course, news. So make sure you swing by every other week for your dose of Light Post.
Wake Forest Introduces Revolutionary Fluorescent Bulb
Physics professor David Carroll and his team of researchers at Wake Forest University have created a fluorescent bulb set to replace LEDs and standard fluorescents. These new bulbs, based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent (try saying that fives times in a row) technology, or FIPEL, are shatterproof, flicker-free, and won’t burn out. No more of the mosquito-in-your-ear humming noise many office workers complain about now. Besides no more humming, these lights give off a soft, white light and are extremely efficient, at least twice as efficient as compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). Better yet, these lights are long-lasting: Carroll has one that has worked for about a decade. These lights should be available to consumers as early as next year.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting not Hampered by Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy definitely left a dark spot over New York City, flooding pretty much everything, costing millions of dollars, and leaving lots of people without power. However, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting erased any dark spot cast by the superstorm. The massive 80-foot Norway spruce, complete with 30,000 lights and topped with a Swarovski star, came to life November 28. The 10-ton tree resided at the Mount Olive, N.J. home of Joe Balku and was a mere 22-feet tall in 1973 when Balku bought the house. Today, the tree measures about 50 feet in diameter. The iconic tree will remain in the public eye until January 7.
After that, it will be turned into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.
Streetlights in Central London to be Controlled by iPads
If this isn’t evidence of technology becoming more and more important in our everyday lives, I don’t know what is. Westminster City Council announced it will be replacing about 14,000 central London street lights with new, iPad controlled smart lights. The iPad application will be able to monitor street lighting levels and reliability, monitor which lights are not working properly, and can even predict when a light will fail. Installation of the new lights will cost about $3 million, but it will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands a year.
Texas Towns and Parks Scale Back Lighting to See Stars
Having recently moved from a small, Texas town to the big city, I can certainly attest for the lack of star-gazing ability here in the Metroplex. That’s why many Texas towns and state parks are fighting light pollution. In recent years, Texas’ state parks have seen a decline in visitors and to lure them back, the parks are promoting chances for night-sky viewing, away from the city lights by advocating cities and towns to use down-facing light fixtures, so as not to pollute neighboring areas with unnecessary light.
LED Lights May Boost Milk Production in Cows
There may be a link between higher milk production and LED lights. An initial experiment done in 2010 at Oklahoma State University found a 6% increase in milk production in cows when traditional lights were replaced with LEDs, which consume at least 75% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs, in areas where cows were housed. While the research is still underway, and if the results can be replicated in other institutions, not only will cows produce more milk, but the savings over the long run will be tremendous for farmers.
Sep 07, 12
If you read last week’s article, you learned about the mercury content in compact fluorescents and just how much of a threat it can be to your health. However, you were probably left with this question: If a CFL in your home breaks, what do you do? You don’t need to call a hazmat team, but you will need to follow these 4 tips for your safety:
1. Don’t Panic
First, don’t panic. As noted in the previous article, your exposure to mercury from a broken CFL is less than that in a tuna sandwich. Though the danger of mercury exposure is minimal, use common sense: Get everyone out of the room and make sure they don’t step on the glass.
2. Close Off the Room
Next, close off the room and open the windows to let any mercury vapors ventilate. It’s also a good idea to turn off your HVAC system to avoid circulating the vapors throughout your home. The room should be safe to re-enter after about 10 minutes*.
3. Collect the Debris
Upon returning to the room, collect the debris, including broken glass, powder, and plastic from the broken lamp. Do this by scooping up the broken pieces with a stiff piece of paper. Use the sticky side of a piece of duct tape to pick up any smaller pieces remaining on the floor or stuck in carpet fibers. However, do not use a vacuum cleaner, which could excite the mercury on the floor and release it into the air.
4. Recycle or Dispose
Finally, place all materials in a sealable container such as a jar or pack it within two zipper bags. Dispose of the CFL and its container according to laws in your area. Though most areas allow CFLs to be disposed of in the garbage, the best way to dispose of a CFL, broken or intact, is by recycling. The process is simple, inexpensive, and in some areas, it’s even free. To find a recycling location near you, go to Earth911.com. For added convenience, you may prefer a postage-paid CFL recycling kit from Veolia.
Have you ever had to clean up a broken CFL? Let us know and share your thoughts in the comments below, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
*As recommended by the US EPA. Smaller or poorly ventilated rooms should be left unoccupied for a longer period of time.