Jun 07, 13
Let’s face it: light bulbs can be confusing. Knowing which bulb you need is hard enough, let alone trying to understand all this jargon being thrown around by the lighting industry. Below is a list of 10 commonly used lighting terms that will have you talking like a pro in no time.
Lumens (initial): While the amount of light a bulb produces is measured in lumens, the amount of light a bulb emits at the beginning of its life is referred to as initial lumens. Of course, the higher the initial lumens of a bulb, the brighter that bulb is going to be.
Lumens (mean): The term mean lumens is the amount of lumens the bulb produces at 50 percent of its life.
Volts: Think of volts, sometimes referred to as voltage, as a measure of electrical potential. Voltage is what pushes electrical current through a conductor. Typically, residences are wired for 110-130 volts, with businesses being wired anywhere from 220-277 volts. Most of your household bulbs operate at 120 volts.
Watts: This is probably one of the terms you hear the most. Watts (also referred to as wattage) refers to power consumption and the rate at which energy is drawn from an electrical system. The higher the wattage of the lamp, the more electricity that lamp will consume, and the higher your electricity bill.
Efficacy: Efficacy is the measure of lumen output per unit of power, and is measured in lumens per watt, expressed as “13 lumens per watt”. The higher the lumens per watt, the brighter the bulb, equaling a higher efficacy.
Color Temperature: Despite its name, color temperature actually has nothing to do with physical temperature. It refers to the color of the light produced by the lamp, measured in degrees Kelvin. A simple rule of thumb for remembering color temperature is this: the lower the temperature, the yellower the light, and the higher the temperature, the whiter the light. For example, a 2700K bulb has a warm color to it, perfect for living rooms or dining rooms. A 5000K bulb has a very white color to it, often referred to as “natural white” or “stark white,” and is ideal for office buildings, doctors’ offices, and in department stores.
Beam Angle: The name is a dead giveaway. Beam angle is simply the angle of the beam of light produced by the bulb. Beam angle is a key factor typically associated with bulbs such as MRs or PARs, which are generally used for things like track lighting or recessed lighting and is measured in two ways, either with actual degree measurements or with a series of designations. The degree measurements range anywhere from 7 degrees to more than 160 degrees, while the designations run from very narrow spot, spot, narrow flood, flood, wide flood, and very wide flood.
Center Beam Candlepower: Center beam candlepower, sometimes abbreviated as CB Candlepower, is the measure of the intensity of light produced at the center of a lamp beam, which is measured in candelas.
Life hours: This is exactly what the name suggests. Life hours are the number of hours the bulb can be expected to operate. For most lamps, life hours are calculated by observing when 50% of a group of lamps fail.
CRI: A bulb’s CRI, or color rendering index, is the measurement a light source has on colors and surfaces. Bulbs with a high CRI (80 and above) make colors appear more vibrant and natural, while bulbs with a low CRI (79 and below) will make colors look washed out and even take on a different hue.
Are there any other lighting terms you can think of? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
May 10, 13
In an earlier post, we discussed some very useful things few people probably realized we sold, such as batteries and fly and insect control. In this post, we’ll cover five more things you’ll be surprised to know we sell.
Moving? Need to send Christmas presents across the country? We have boxes in all sorts of shapes and sizes for your moving and shipping needs. From cubic, long or tall, we have the boxes you need to pack your dishes or send last minute gifts.
Satco S703001 Bulb Changer
Have some bulbs that are burned out in your recessed cans, but are just out of reach? Luckily we sell bulb changers and extension poles that make changing hard to reach bulbs such as PAR, MR16, and R lamps quick and easy. To replace a bulb, simply place the suction cup on the face of the bulb, unscrew it, and screw in the new bulb.
Battery Operated Lanterns and Flashlights
Instead of fumbling around in the dark, trying to light your gas lantern, switch to battery operated lanterns instead. These types of lanterns provide all the benefits of traditional lanterns, but without the dangers of gas lanterns. For more personalized light, check out our wide selection of flashlights, too.
Safety Glow Light Sticks
Glow light sticks provide simple, small illumination for many uses. Looking for safety light sticks to carry with you when you’re out on the water? Our personal marker lights are great for strapping to life jackets and are U.S. Coast Guard approved. From light sticks that are flare alternatives to impact light sticks, we have the glow light sticks that you need.
Xodus BL200 In-Cabinet Light
In-cabinet lights are reliable in many areas of your home and provide you with a solid beam of light when you need it most. This versatile light is motion-activated and even has an on/off switch, making it ideal for simple task lighting in pantries, above sinks, and in closets. This light runs off C batteries and installs in a flash.
Which of these items are you planning to use? Tell us in the comment box below, and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus!
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!
Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window
Have you ever wondered why actors have a stunning appearance in movies? Yes, they get airbrush make-up and the concept of photoshop does exist in the world, but the reality is; it is all about the lighting! Since the earliest movies, lighting has always been an essential part in film making with advances in lighting technology making all the difference.
In the Beginning: They Stayed Outside
In the late 1800s, film makers had not acknowledged the use of artificial lighting in film. The standard was to shoot during the day in a set that had either, an open roof or a glass ceiling. While natural light is the best light source, this methodology put a hindrance on filming anything at night or indoors; therefore, by the early 1900s, artificial light sources came into play.
In the 20th Century: Grace Kelly was Glowing
The main source of artificial lighting in film at that time was arc bulbs, the predecessor to HID bulbs. Used with a reflector, the bulbs created a bright light and allowed for directional lighting, enhancing parts of the set that needed to be highlighted. These lights also made for good spotlights, casting a brighter light on one side of the actor’s face (key light), and a softer light on the opposite side (fill light), to eliminate unflattering shadows. A third back light would be used to create the effect of a halo around the actor’s head. In the 1920s, incandescent bulbs started to become a growing sensation in studio lighting, as they produced a better color temperature, required less electrical and man power, and did not emit the humming sound the HID bulbs did.
In the Present Day: Lighting Comes in Various Forms
Today, there are so many new lighting technologies, all of which get used on film sets today. We’ve already covered HID and incandescent, but many of the other forms include halogen and xenon lamps, fluorescents, LEDs, and HMI bulbs, a technology coined by OSRAM SYLVANIA. Generally used with ballasts, the film-specific HMI bulbs are very popular bulbs used in the film industry, winning OSRAM an Oscar in 1987 and a Primetime Emmy Engineering Award in 2007.
Fun Fact: On movie sets, mashed potatoes replaced ice cream in sundaes as the ice cream would melt quickly, due to the lighting.
DIY Lighting Kit for Home Movies
Make your own film light kit! You need these items:
- Broom Stick or Mic Stand (the mic stand does have support at the bottom)
- LED or Incandescent Bulb
- Wax Paper (optional)
- White or Light Poster Board (optional)
Insert the bulb into the reflector and attach the reflector to your stand of choice. It’s that simple! Use the wax paper to diffuse (soften) the light if needed. For added reflection, place the poster board where it is needed.
Be sure to check out the lighting techniques the next time you are at the movies! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to write us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
Remodeling your home soon? We have a great selection of lighting fixtures for every room in your home. Everyone has a personal style, so we have made a mini survival guide with a few fixtures to cater to a few distinct styles. Before we go through the different styles, here is a small guide to knowing what fixtures are best where:
Pendant- best placed in a dining area or a living room
Chandelier- best used in an entry way
Vanity Lighting- best used in bathrooms
Table Lamps- best used in offices, living rooms, or bedrooms
Vintage Fixtures: For Those Who Love the 20th Century
Do you live your life wishing your home looked like Lucy and Ricky’s? We have plenty of antique style fixtures to make your home have a 20th century feel.
Hudson Valley Vintage Pendant
Pendant- Hudson Valley 8001-HN-MM3 Medium Vintage Pendant
Chandelier- Arteriors 89415 Large Iron & Shell Chandelier
Vanity Lighting- Nuvo 60-311 (8 Light) Vanity
Table Lamps- Kenroy Home 20090SMB Retro Table Lamp
Industrial Fixtures: For Those Who Love Their Lofts
Love the modern look of those big, open, not quite finished loft spaces? Give your home the look you desire with one of these industrial fixtures!
Nuvo Vanity Light
Pendant- Lazy Susan 225033 Wire Rose Pendant
Chandelier- Hudson Valley 729-OB Chandelier
Vanity Lighting- Nuvo 60-922 (2 Light) Vanity
Table Lamps- Hudson Valley L433-PN Pharmacy Desk Lamp
Elegant Fixtures: For Those Who Love Pizzazz
Elizabeth Taylor loved all things dazzling. Do you share her passion? Browse through some of these elegant fixtures to give your home the sparkle it needs.
Pendant- Golden Lighting 8981-3P Echelon Groom Pendant
Chandelier- Quorum 664-24-514 3 Tier Luxurious Chandelier
Vanity Lighting- Hudson Valley 6104-PN Vanity Light
Table Lamps- Kenroy Home 20118BS Elegant Table Lamp
Simple Fixtures: For Those Who Love the Basics
Is K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) your life motto? We have a wonderful array of classy and simple fixtures designed for your style. Take some time to see if these are right for you!
Arteriors Table Lamp
Pendant- Quorum 857-4-95 Sleek Pendant
Chandelier- Nuvo 60-2811 Chandelier
Vanity Lighting- Kenroy Home 03393 Vanity Light
Table Lamps- Arteriors DR12035-598 Cannes Hand Finished Table Lamp
Unique Fixtures: For Those Who Love Whimsy
Trying to find a unicorn? Unfortunately, we do not have one, but we do have plenty of unique fixtures for you to browse through. See if any of these interesting fixtures are best for your needs!
Arteriors Wood and Iron Chandelier
Pendant- Troy F2805 Medium Pendant
Chandelier- Arteriors 89559 Wood & Iron Chandelier
Vanity Lighting- Hudson Valley 4474-BB Vanity Light
Table Lamps- Arteriors 19205-375 Nautical Table Lamp
Interested in some other fixtures not mentioned? Let us know in the comments section or leave us a note on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!