Five Easy Steps to Choosing the Right LED

Jan 10, 14 Five Easy Steps to Choosing the Right LED

The light bulb ban is bringing energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, to the forefront. While this is ruffling the feathers of those not eager to give up the traditional incandescent bulb quite yet, we’ve composed a list of some things that will make the transition to LED lighting as seamless as possible.

Dimmability: Another great way to save on your energy costs is dimming your lights. Dimmers are great for two reasons:  they reduce your energy consumption and extend the life of your bulb, and they can set the perfect mood during dinner or watching a movie. While incandescent bulbs change color as they dim, most LEDs don’t. They simply dim by reducing their brightness while maintaining the same color. Before you buy a dimmer, make sure your LED bulbs are dimmable and your bulbs are compatible with your dimmer.

Color Rendering Index (CRI): You may have never heard of CRI before today, but it’s still a really important factor when deciding on your bulbs. Color rendering index is a measure of how accurately a bulb renders colors in relation to the sun, which has a CRI of 100. Why is CRI important? The higher a bulb’s CRI, the better colors will look. Colors will look more vibrant and richer, which you’ll be able to notice in areas such as the kitchen and in the closet. The lower the CRI, the worse colors will look, as they’ll appear washed up and even yellow. Incandescent bulbs have a CRI of 100, meaning they render colors just as accurately as the sun. LED bulbs don’t have a CRI as high as that of an incandescent bulb, but they come fairly close. A good number to use as a reference for CRI is 85, which is a very good color rendering. For an example of CRI in action, click here.

Color Temperature: Before we dive into color temperature, let me first start by saying that color temperature has nothing to do with ambient temperature. Now that that’s settled, color temperature refers to the actual color of the light that’s produced. The lower the numbers, the yellower the light and the higher the numbers, the whiter the light. The warm white scale runs from 2400 Kelvin to 3000 Kelvin, while cool white runs from 4000 Kelvin to 4100 Kelvin and stark white ranging from 5000 Kelvin to 6500 Kelvin. So which color temperature do you pick? That’s purely up to you. Most people will use warm white bulbs to create a cozy, homely feeling throughout the home, and maybe use a cool white bulb in the kitchen. You probably won’t see too many homes with cool white bulbs in them, as these are typically used in hospitals and in businesses.

Light Output: For incandescent bulbs, the higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb (measured in lumens). While that’s accurate for incandescent bulbs, that’s not quiteimage_chart the case for LEDs, as LED bulbs require the use of far less wattage to achieve the same effect as incandescent bulbs. For example, a 60-watt incandescent bulb produces 800 lumens, but it may take only 8, 12, or 14 watts for an LED bulb to produce the same amount of lumens. In other words, you want to choose your bulb based on the amount of lumens it produces, not on the wattage it consumes. The chart on the right will give you a breakdown of the lumen output of standard incandescent bulbs. It’s a good idea to write down these outputs before you go shopping for LEDs, as the product descriptions and labels may not have this information on them.

Price: Easily the biggest objection people have with LEDs is price, which is understandable. While prices are coming down, the upfront cost of this new technology can be a little hard to swallow. However, think of it like this: the initial cost of LEDs will be quickly offset by their longevity and the fact they use substantially less energy than incandescents. Also, you’ll see paybacks on your investments within 12 to 18 months. Not to mention that some LEDs last up to 50,000 hours, while the standard incandescent, while a fraction of the cost of an LED bulb, lasts only about 1,200 hours.

What are some things that will impact your LED buying decisions? Tell us in the comments below, or give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or Pinterest!

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1000Bulbs.com Expert Clarification on EISA Incandescent Light Bulb Ban

Ribbon

As the New Year quickly approaches, the start of the last phase-out of incandescent light bulbs is also drawing nearer. Beginning January 1, 2014, manufacturers will no longer be allowed to produce the same 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent bulbs, commonly used for residential applications such as floor lamps, table lamps, and track lighting. Although these restrictions were put in place to push consumers toward more energy-efficient lighting solutions, retailers like 1000Bulbs.com will continue to sell the incandescent light bulb.

In December of 2007, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), also known as the “Energy Bill.” Among other government mandates that aim to cut down the country’s energy consumption, the EISA of 2007 orders that a light bulb meet certain efficiency requirements in order to be produced and sold by manufacturers. Under this new law, incandescent screw-based bulbs must have a comparable lumen output, or brightness, while using less wattage, or energy. Bulbs must also be 60 to 70 percent more efficient than present incandescent light bulbs.

The light bulb laws of the EISA first began to take effect in January 2012, when 100-watt incandescent, screw-base bulbs could no longer be produced as inefficiently as they had been. The following year, in January 2013, 75-watt incandescent bulbs also began their phase-out. Starting January 1, 2014, manufacturers will no longer be allowed to produce 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs that do not meet the new efficiency standards.

There are many myths associated with the light bulb ban. One of these myths is that incandescent bulbs are disappearing from the marketplace forever; this is untrue. Although light bulb manufacturers will cease production of incandescent light bulbs that fail to meet the new efficacy standards imposed by the EISA, customers should not be worried about finding them after the New Year. These banned bulbs will still be available for sale through retailers, such as 1000Bulbs.com, for six months to a year, or until all existing inventory has been sold. This means that customers will still be able to stock up on remaining incandescent bulbs for quite some time after production has stopped.

In addition, 1000Bulbs.com will still be working with manufacturers to continue to produce incandescent lighting. By adding extra supports around the filament, the incandescent bulb will fall under the category of “rough service.” Working in the same way as traditional incandescents, these sturdier rough service bulbs have a similarly inexpensive price tag and will be available in all wattages. Whereas brick-and-mortar businesses will stop re-ordering incandescent light bulbs after the New Year, 1000Bulbs.com will continue to provide the incandescent bulbs that consumers have become accustomed to using in their household fixtures.

For more information about the EISA Light Bulb Ban, check out our other blog posts:
blog.1000bulbs.com

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. Follow @1000Bulbs on Twitter for the latest company announcements.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about the Bulb Ban, or drop us a line on FacebookTwitter, or Google Plus!

 

Contact:
Paul Coppage
1000Bulbs.com
972-288-2277 Ext: 157
pcoppage(at)1000bulbs(dot)com

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Flip the Switch: How an Incandescent Light Bulb Works

Sep 13, 13 Flip the Switch: How an Incandescent Light Bulb Works

The days of using candles or torches to light homes are long gone. Today, we simply flip the switch and light just… appears. But what happens between the time you flip the switch and the time your light bulb illuminates the room? This week, we’re headed back to the basics: how an incandescent light bulb actually works.

What’s Happening in There?

Think back to middle school science. Remember the terms “electron” and “nucleus”? Well, these two play a very important part in the science of lighting. Electrons, whichatom are negatively charged particles moving around an atom, have different levels of energy, and are dependent on a few things, such as their speed and distance from the nucleus. Electrons have different levels of energy, and as a general rule of thumb, those with greater energy are farther away from the nucleus. The process of how atoms emit light is complex, but in simple terms, this is what happens: the atom collides with a moving particle, exciting the atom and causing an electron to jump to a higher energy level. When this occurs, the electron returns to its original energy level and releases this extra energy as a light photon.

Anatomy of a Bulb

So we’ve given you an overview of how light is emitted, but what makes up a bulb? Fortunately, incandescent light bulbs have a pretty simple make up. Look at the picture of this incandescent A19 bulb to the right. Most incandescent bulbs have a medium base, which is just a fancy way of saying the bulb screws into a fixture. Notice the coil at the top of the glass mount. This filament is typically made up of tungsten metal. While the coil itself is only about an inch long, if you were to stretch the coil out, it would be a little over six feet long. Supporting the 6-foot coil are generally about 3-5 support wires, while a gas fills the bulb. Sometimes, Krypton gas is used bulbs-anatomy (4)to extend the life of the bulb.

Electrons + Filament = Light

Now that we’ve covered how light is created and what makes up a bulb, it’s time to look at what actually happens when you flip the switch.  Electricity flows from the contacts to the filament, and while the current is coursing through the wires to the filament, the electrons constantly collide into the atoms that make up the tungsten filament. Due to these constant collisions, the atoms that make up the filament vibrate (simply put, the electric current heats up the atoms), causing the bound electrons in the vibrating atoms to be temporarily boosted to higher energy levels. Once these electrons release their extra energy as photons, they return back to their original energy levels.

Keep in mind that incandescent bulbs are very energy inefficient. In fact, 80 percent of their energy is released as heat, while only the remaining 20 percent is given off as actual visible light. Want to know how something else works? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!

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New Product Enlightenment: Archipelago LED, 12V Tape Light, and More

Dec 31, 12 New Product Enlightenment: Archipelago LED, 12V Tape Light, and More

At 1000Bulbs.com, we strive to bring you the most innovative products at affordable prices. For this week’s volume of Enlightenment, we’re introducing some unique, modern lighting products that are efficient, energy-saving, and easy on your wallet, so sit back, relax, and be enlightened.

Archipelago LED Bulbs

Ranging from 3 to 4.5 watts, Archipelago LED bulbs come either as a decorative globe or torpedo. With a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, these dazzling bulbs are the perfect replacement for a 25-watt incandescent and are great for indoor and outdoor use. The decorative globes are exquisite in a bathroom vanity, as well as patio lighting, and the torpedo bulbs are dashing in wall lighting and chandeliers, along with any enclosed outdoor fixtures. These CSA listed lamps do not contain mercury or lead, and come with a five year warranty. Browse through the Archipelago LED bulbs and see what style suits your home decor.

Silicone Tip Lamp

Want a more flame-like look for your chandelier? This 6-watt silicone tip lamp is excellent for the task. It has a frosted finish that gives off a tranquil glow, bringing a warm atmosphere to any room. The incandescent lamp has a candelabra base and has a rated life of 1,500 hours. Enjoy the beauty of this distinguishing bulb in your chandelier; take some time to see if the silicone tip lamp is right for you!

12 Volt Tape Light

A few months ago, we introduced our 24-volt LED tape light, a cutting-edge technology that was a fun and flexible twist on rope light. For more variety, we have added the new, energy-saving Flextec 12-volt LED tape light. With an adhesive backing, it is easy to install and can be placed anywhere. The LED tape light comes in a variety of lengths and colors, as well as different versions including standard output, high output, and color changing. Using less than 2 watts per foot, the standard output tape light is best for accent lighting applications. The high output solid color version uses more power, allowing for extra brightness in indoor and outdoor locations needing brighter task lighting. The color changing tape light has red, green, and blue lights to mix and match colors, and patterns, using the RGB controller. Whether you are lighting a desk or a room, LED tape light is a fun, unique way to light up any area.

Grow Lights and Horticulture Supplies

Volume 2 of Enlightenment covered a variety of horticulture nutrients and supplements. If those were not enough, we now feature everything you need for your indoor garden. From lighting to grow media to starter kits, we have it all. Your indoor garden will be completely nourished, perfectly lit, and housed properly for beautiful, luscious plants. Don’t let inclement weather keep you from growing the plants you love; be sure to view our assortment of grow lights and horticulture supplies today!

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New Product Enlightenment: Antique Bulbs, USB Receptacle, and More

Dec 17, 12 New Product Enlightenment: Antique Bulbs, USB Receptacle, and More

In volume 2 of Enlightenment, we will discuss a variety of new, and diverse, items added to our site, from contemporary antique light bulbs to hydroponic horticulture nutrients. With an assortment of products such as these, you won’t be disappointed with this article, so sit back, relax, and be enlightened.

Antique Lamps

Light your home Edison style! These unique, tubular antique light bulbs are the perfect way to give your home a vintage look. Beautiful for interior and exterior lighting, the spiral tungsten filament of the bulbs creates a warm amber glow that sets a welcoming and peaceful ambiance in any room. With a candelabra base, they are perfect for chandeliers, pendant lighting, and more. Give your home an antique feel; shop our selection of antique light bulbs!

Leviton Combination USB/Receptacle Charger

Leviton’s new combination USB and receptacle chargers can charge two electronic mobile devices synchronously via the USB ports, while leaving the receptacle free for any other power needs. The USB receptacle is perfect for use in residential spaces such as kitchens and home offices, as well as light commercial spaces such as airport cafes and office cubicles. Pair it with the USB receptacle with the Leviton Mobile Device Station for added convenience. Visit our site to see if the Leviton combination USB and receptacle charger is right for you!

LEDnovation GEN2 EnhanceLite A19

The LEDnovation GEN2 EnhanceLite A19 omnidirectional bulb is perfect for any multi-purpose lighting needs. Considered as one of the world’s most efficient LED light bulbs, this dimmable, warm white bulb uses only 13.7 watts and is the perfect replacement for a 75 watt incandescent. It has a color rendering index of 90 and does not contain mercury or lead. This LED bulb has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours and comes with a five-year warranty. Check out the EnhanceLite A19 and see if it suits your lighting needs!

RAB Slim Wall Packs

The new RAB LED slim wall packs are sleek and elegant, perfect for any indoor or outdoor lighting decor. Functional as a downlight or uplight, the wall packs come in a variety of wattages, with either a bronze or white finish; you choose the one best suited to your needs. They are UL listed for wet locations, IDA Dark Sky approved, and include a five-year warranty. Give any location that crisp, clean fixture it needs; browse our assortment of RAB LED slim wall packs!

Horticulture Nutrients & Supplements

In Enlightenment: Vol. 1, we mentioned that grow lights were new to our site. Now, we have added horticulture nutrients and supplements. The Bloom Blaster by Grotek is a hydroponic plant nutrient powder that helps plants mature properly. Effective in all growing media, it helps your plants to develop beautifully. Mighty Wash by NPK Industries aids to rid your plants of insects and spider mites and can be used in all stages of the flowering cycle. FloraBloom by General Hydroponics functions as a bloom development stimulator to improve the quality of plants during the flowering stage. See your plants grow to new heights with our new horticulture nutrients and supplements!

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