With Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching, shoppers are already browsing the Internet for quality products at drastically lowered prices. Internet lighting retailer 1000Bulbs.com will be offering light bulbs, automotive headlights, Christmas decorations, and more at discounted prices starting on Tuesday, November 26, 2013. All deals will be extending through Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Your worst fear has come to life: there’s a broken bulb in your fixture. Your mind is bombarded with questions: What do I do? How do I fix it? Relax. We here at 1000Bulbs.com are going to show you how to remove that broken bulb. Safely, too, I might add, without requiring stitches or sending electricity coursing through your body.
Dealing with a Broken Light Bulb with Glass
Before you start handling bulbs and fixtures, make absolutely sure the electricity is turned off. Your body, more specifically your heart, doesn’t handle electricity too well. If you’re working with a lamp, unplug it, and if you’re working with a fixture, turn the power off at the circuit breaker.
Protect yourself. Wear mechanics gloves or gardening gloves, not latex gloves as the glass from the bulb will most likely cut through these types of gloves. Make sure to protect your eyes as well. Throw on some safety goggles, or if you’re fresh out of safety goggles, a nice pair of Oakley’s will do the trick.
When dealing with a broken bulb that still has glass around the base, grab the bulb as close to the base as possible. Even though you’re wearing gloves, it’s still best to avoid shards of glass ending up stuck in your gloves. Once the broken bulb is removed, simply throw it out. (Note: the above steps still apply even if you’re dealing with a CFL , but instead of throwing it away in the trash, dispose of it properly.)
What should you do if you don’t have gloves of any kind? Don’t worry. A potato will do just fine. Cut a potato in half, and carefully use one half to grab the bulb. The bulb’s glass will grip the potato, allowing you to twist the bulb out of its socket.
Dealing with a Broken Light Bulb with No Glass
You might be so fortunate as to come across a bulb that has all of the glass missing, and all that’s left is the base. Great. Thankfully, there’s a simple trick to removing the base from a fixture. Grab a pair of needle-nose pliers and open them inside the base and turn, to the left of course. You may need to tighten and retighten the bulb, sort of wiggling the base, before it comes out.
Last but not least, ensure a proper clean up. After you’ve swept up the glass, consider using the sticky side of tape to catch the finer pieces of glass that your broom missed.
That’s pretty much it. Just remember to use extreme caution when handling glass and electricity. Were there any steps we missed? Let us know in the comments below, or drop a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
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, which 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 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!
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