This post has been updated from its original 2008 version.
You may have heard of GU24 base bulbs and wondered what they are. Available in both CFL and LED, these bulbs have a different base than the standard screw base bulbs. GU24 bulbs have 2 pins protruding from the base instead of the usual screw in base. To install the bulb, you would insert the pins into the corresponding holes in the socket and twist the light bulb and lock it into place.
So why would you want to use a GU24 base bulb? What are the advantages of GU24 bulbs?
GU24 bulbs are self ballasted i.e. the ballast portion of the bulb is already attached to the bulb and is easy to replace.
The overall length of the bulb is shorter since the ballast and the bulb are in one unit
You can easily change the wattage of the bulb, unlike pin base bulbs which require the socket to be changed for different wattages of bulbs. This offers more flexibility.
The size and shape of socket is similar to an incandescent socket so it’s great for homes.
Standard GU24 Bulbs are interchangeable between manufacturers.
The LED GU24 is long lasting with an expected life of 25,000 hours of life which decreases the need for regular replacement. At Conservation Mart we offer these bulbs in a variety of color temperatures ranging from 2700K to 4000K.
So next time you’re in the market for a lighting fixture, consider one that utilizes a GU24 base bulb.
This post has been updated from its original 2013 version.
PL fluorescent lamps have been in the conservation game for a while. Specifically named for the original creator/manufacturer, this lighting solution is both easy on energy consumption while being a bit complicated to understand. To take the guess work of it, here are a few facts about PL lamps.
A Philips Brainchild
Philips Lighting took fluorescent lamps into their own hands with the development of PL lighting, twin-tube fluorescent lamps typically found in non-residential settings (office buildings, retail stores, schools, etc.). Other versions of the lamp come in triple and quad tubes and some can be used for more than just lighting, such as germicidal lamps – lamps used for disinfection.
All About the Base
PL bulbs are pin-based, with either two or four pins, and installing them requires a pin-based lighting fixture. There are many base types, like GX23, with the different names representing the pin configuration of the lamp. In order to find the right lamp for installation/replacement, check the base for details of the type, pin configuration, wattage and light color.
The brightness level of PL lamps is determined by lumens, which measures how bright a bulb is. This is different than wattage, which measures the energy output of a lamp. PL bulbs have the upper hand on incandescents because they use up less energy to display the same or a higher level of brightness. For example, a GX23 PL bulb displaying 840 lumens uses only 13 watts of energy while the incandescent version uses 60.
Color Temp: Warm to Daylight
PL bulbs shine in varying light colors. From warm white to daylight, the specific temperatures are:
2700k – warm white
2500k – soft white
4100k – cool white
5000k+ – daylight
Maximum Overall Length
Sometimes a little more information is required to properly install/replace PL lamps. Some fixtures have size limitations known as the maximum overall length (MOL). To find the length of PL bulb, measure from the base to point of the bulb.
Though PL lighting has been around for a while, this cost-effective, energy efficient lamp continues to grow. With a life span between 10-13x their incandescent peers, PL bulbs don’t need to be replaced as often, and (thankfully) you won’t want to.
This post has been updated from its original version.
PL lamps, given their name by their originator, Philips Lighting, have been in the game for many years now. These pin-based lamps are widely used and installed in a variety of fixtures, from recessed cans, outdoor fixtures, and ceiling fans, to table lamps and wall sconces. They’re used in both residential and commercial buildings across the country. Like most energy efficient lamps, these were first introduced in compact fluorescent format. While CFLs will always be the better choice over incandescent lamps, by considering CFL to LED conversion, you’ll discover an entirely new range of benefits. Just think of it as leveling up.
Dollars and Sense
For starters, let’s look at wattage. The wattage amount used by a bulb measures how much energy it consumes to illuminate the room. LED PL lamps that use only 12 watts of energy can replace CFL PL lamps that consume 26 watts. By switching out just one bulb, you’re cutting the energy consumption, and equally the costs, for that one bulb by more than half. LED lamps have been made to replace 13, 18, 26 , 32 and 48-watt CFL bulbs.
In addition to saving money long-term, LED technology is such that it removes the glow and flicker that is so commonly associated with fluorescent lighting. The LED lights provide instant-on lighting, and warm up in no time at all. While CFLs typically come with a 5 year warranty and 10,000 hour lifetime rating, their LED counterparts have warranties upwards of 10 years, and are rated to last 50,000 hours on average.
Battle of the Ballast
When shopping for PL lamps, you may notice some are labeled Plug and Play while others are labeled Ballast Bypass. Plug and play lamps attach directly into the socket of your fixture and operate using the ballast that’s already there. No additional wiring is required, making the transition both smooth and simple.
Rewiring is necessary to install ballast bypass LED PL lamps, as the existing ballast has to be removed. They are, however, a great choice for anyone wanting a lamp that will call for less maintenance. Each type is available in horizontal and vertical design for illumination in both commercial and residential environments.
Bulb Base and Basics
PL lamps come in multiple color temperatures and either a 2-pin led bulb or 4-pin led bulb configuration. All have a base of either GU24, G24 or GX23. You’ll want to pay careful attention to these details in order to avoid getting the wrong bulb for your fixtures. They come in color temperatures that range from the warm 3000K to a cool 5000K. The warm, or soft glow at the beginning of the spectrum is ideal for living areas. The cooler light is what is typically found in office buildings, schools, and hospitals. Once you’ve chosen your wattage, ballast, base, and color, you’ll be good to go! You’ve already switched from incandescent to CFL. Now committing to CFL to LED conversion just got a little easier.
This post has been updated from its original 2012 version.
Compact fluorescent lamps use significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs, and use energy to produce only light. In comparison, incandescents use a great deal of energy, with the majority of it being used to create heat. There are a variety of CFL bulbs available, with the GU24 base gaining in popularity. The 13w GU24 bulb is a great compact fluorescent replacement for 60 watt to 75 watt incandescent bulbs throughout the home.
When choosing to replace an incandescent light with a GU24 compact fluorescent, it is important to know a few basic facts about the bulb you are planning to buy. Let’s get into the major differences between these two types of bulbs.
Energy used to create light: 10%
Energy used to create heat: 90%
Standard power used in a home: 60 watts to 75watts
Base type: Screw in, pin base
Energy used to create light: 100%
Energy used to create heat: 0%
Standard power used in a home: 13 watts
Base type: GU24
The GU24 base means the bulb has two pins protruding from the bottom that twist and lock only into a GU24 fixture. Also differing from incandescent lights is how light brightness is determined. The amount of light emitted from an incandescent bulb is determined by the amount of energy it uses. The brightness of a compact fluorescent GU24 is measured in lumens. This is how a 13w GU24 bulb with 950 lumens can replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb, and use approximately 78% less energy to do so.
This post has been updated from its original 2014 version
Proper ventilation is key to keeping a mold-free bathroom, but how often do people actually remember to turn on the exhaust fan? Perfect example is my 10 year old son who leaves the bathroom all foggy because he didn’t remember to turn on the fan switch. Apartment owners can probably experience this also, as their tenants frequently leave moldy bathrooms. The times they do remember to turn the fan switch on, they frequently leave it on and forget to turn it off. Either you don’t get the benefit of ventilation, or you waste money. A great way to solve this problem is a bath fan timer.
Timer Settings and Operation Bath fan timer switches are a replacement for the light and fan switches that allow for automatic timing of the length of time the exhaust fan runs. The AirCycler SmartExhaust Delay Timer Switch is a popular model that will turn the fan on automatically when the light is turned on. No more flipping two switches. A delay timer setting allows you to specify how long the fan will stay on after turning the light off, while a separate timer setting will make sure the fan operates a certain number of minutes each hour. It comes in both toggle and decora switch formats.
As an example, suppose someone turns on the bathroom light for 5 minutes, with the hourly ventilation set to 20 minutes, and delay timer for 10 minutes. After the person leaves and flips the switch off, the fan will run for the additional 10-minutes delay time, totaling 15 minutes of operation for that hour. The microprocessor in the device will keep track of this and make sure the fan runs for another 5 minutes during that hour.
If you don’t want to have the fan run after a quick visit to the bathroom, just quickly flip it on and off again after turning it off, and it will cancel the delayed start of the fan.
So consider using an exhaust fan timer to make sure your bathroom gets the proper amount of ventilation without having to rely on people to turn the fan switch on and off. Not only will you have a better ventilated and dryer bathroom environment, you’ll also save some money by not leaving the fan on too long.
This post has been updated from its original 2014 version.
Before the introduction of Omni Directional LED Bulbs, Single Directional LEDs seemed to be the ultimate answer to our energy efficient needs. But despite their brightness and power saving capabilities, single directional LEDs fail to offer light that spreads out in more than just one direction. While regular single directional LEDs project light to around a 230 degree angle, the Omni Directional LEDs give out light in a 270 to 300 degree angle. This pattern of light makes them well suited for anywhere that non-directional light is needed.
Omni Directional LEDs offers the same level of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of the tried and true single directional LED. Both offer a long lifespan between 25,000 and 50,000 hours. Both are recyclable as they contain no chemicals that are harmful to the environment and are mercury free. The main difference between the two comes in the form of their ability to spread light. Single Directional LEDs lack the ability to light from all sides of the bulb, emitting light from only the top half. Omni Directional LED Bulbs emit light from the entire bulb, creating a more vast space of light. This ability to spread light in more than just one direction makes them LEDs perfect for a variety of purposes including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. These LEDs offer instant startup as well as the ability to dim anywhere between 10% and 100%. Though, like standard LEDs, the price upfront is a bit higher, you can be sure that with 78% less energy being used and a significantly longer lifespan, youâ€™re saving money in the long haul.
When it comes to updating your incandescent or CFL bulbs to something a bit more energy efficient, Omni Directional LED Bulbs are perfect for the job. Because of their ability to spread light, these become a truly effective replacement for incandescent lamps at a variety of wattages. We no longer have to sacrifice quality of light for energy efficiency with Omni Directional LEDs you can have both. This one for one replacement makes the switch from incandescent to LED a breeze. In the same way, they are good replacements for CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) as well. With a three to four times longer life, much quicker start-up, and a spread out range of light, these LEDs are a great alternative to CFLs. If you’re in the market for an energy efficient LED with a wider illumination pattern, then Omni Directional LEDs might just be the right fit for you.
This post has been updated from its original 2013 version.
These round bulbs pack a few more features than their fun design suggests, and if you are not savvy to the ways of circline lamps you may have a hard time incorporating them into your home’s lighting. To fully understand and get the best out of circular fluorescent bulbs, keep the following four facts in mind.
Pay Attention to Wattage
Just as with (the soon to be gone) standard incandescent light bulbs, circline lamps use wattages to measure how much power is used to light a bulb. By comparison, circular CFL bulbs emit the same amount of light (lumens) while using less power than incandescents. A circline light bulb of only 13 watts can replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb and has an output of 650-900 lumens. The wattage of the bulb also determines the diameter of the bulb which in turn determines if it will fit the fixture. So unlike standard spiral CFLs you may not be able to go up or down in wattage range because it will affect the size of the bulb possibly rendering it unusable with your fixture.
Color Temperatures Are the Same as Standard CFLs
Color temperatures represent how bright a bulb is. Circular fluorescent bulbs can range in color from warm white to the brightest daylight just like standard compact fluorescent lights. Color specifics are all varying shades of white:
2700K: Warm, equivalent to what is typical in a bedroom or living room
3000-3500K: Soft, suitable for bathrooms
4100K: Cool, florescent-like in color
5000K: Daylight, the brightest color, like sunlight at noon
Circular Bulbs Cannot be Used in Just Any Fixture
This is where using a circular CFL can get tricky. Depending on the manufacturer, some light fixtures only use bulbs from their own line. Yeah, I know it can be tempting sometimes to go with an off/generic brand, but in this case your generic circline lamp may not work in the fixture. When replacing a Circular Lamp, first make sure that there are no manufacturer specifics determining what bulb can be used. Next, determine what the lamp type (e.g. T6 , T9) and pin type is (e.g. 2 pin, 4 pin). When finding the right lamp for your fixture, you have to choose the same lamp type and pin types as these are not interchangeable.
For light fixtures that use circular CFLs, bulbs that are too big or too small will not work, even if it is from the right manufacturer. Make sure to replace circular fluorescent bulbs by measuring the diameter of an existing bulb then purchase the right size. If you would rather leave measuring alone, you can also use the manufacturer model number to find a replacement bulb.
While there is more to be taught and learned about circular CFLs, these four facts alone will allow you to make informed purchases and hassle-free replacements. See, it doesn’t take much to become savvy to the ways of circline lamps.
This blog has been updated from its previous 2009 version
It’s about the larger base. Mogul (screw) base light bulbs or mogul base
bulbs have larger screw bases (E39) than the standard, medium (E26) screw base bulbs. In fact, the “39” of E39 and “26” of E26 each refer to the millimeter width of the respective screw bases (i.e., E39 base bulbs = 39 millimeters = 1.5 inches; and E26 base bulbs = 26 millimeters = 1.0 inch), and do not refer to the shapes of the light bulbs.
More power, more heat. Mogul base bulbs are made of cast porcelain to tolerate higher temperatures, making them ideal for industrial and commercial uses (e.g., power ratings of 250-1000 watts); in terms of technology, mogul base LED bulbs, mogul base compact fluorescent bulbs, and mogul base halogen, mercury vapor, metal halide, and high pressure sodium bulbs are available in the market.
“U” stands for mogul base. Selecting the correct size bulb can be confusing because light bulbs in general are available in different base sizes. All you have to remember when reading product descriptions is this: the “U” in, for example, M175/U/MED and MH1000/U/BT56, stand for mogul base. But if you happened to get a medium base bulb (E26) for your mogul base lamp (E39), the good news is that you can get a reducer to use the E26 light bulb on your E39 base bulb lamp; additionally, you can get a converter to use a 3-way E26 light bulb in a 3-way E39 base bulb lamp.
The main difference between a LED MR16, GU10, and PAR16 light is that the bases are different. Both MR16 and GU10 use pin bases that look and work differently. This is done so that bulbs do not get confused during installation. Since MR16 bulbs run on only 12 volts, they need external transformers to convert the building’s main 240 voltage supply to the 12 volts needed to run these bulbs. On the other hand, GU10 based bulbs can simply be plugged in and are ready for action. Some MR16 bulbs also come with other pin bases such as GU5.3.
As far as MR16 vs. PAR16, the main difference is the size, variety, and heat. Unlike MR16 type halogen bulbs which have dichroic glass reflectors, the PAR bulbs have aluminized glass reflectors which direct the heat generated by the bulb to the front of the bulb. Because of this, PAR16 bulbs are usually not suitable for ceiling installations of 8 feet or lower. PAR16 bulbs also produce more directional yet duller lighting and have a standard, medium screw-in type of base and work in medium sized E26 sockets. MR16, on the other hand, generates heat to the rear of the bulb and produce a lot more light for the wattage because of the multi-faceted reflector (hence, MR).
Although these three types of bulbs are different and should not be confused for correct installation, they will all save energy and minimize replacement and maintenance costs. Switching to any of these bulbs today can show you savings in as little as one year!
Being namesakes of their halogen and incandescent counterparts, PAR 30 and BR (or R) 30 LEDs are the green solution to outdoor and indoor lighting. Though they bear some similarities, understanding their differences will help you make better decisions about which one of these bulbs works best for your needs.
BR (for bulged reflector) bulbs are lamps with “wide flood” beam angles, which means that they provide more than a 45 degree angle when lighting an area.
PAR (short for Parabolic Aluminized Reflector) bulbs are available in these angles:
Narrow spot, 5-15 degrees
Spot, 16-22 degrees
Narrow flood, 23-32 degrees
Flood, 33-45 degrees
Wide flood beam, over 45 degrees
Though PAR 30 bulbs offer more options for lighting, both PAR and BR LED lamps are made to easily replace the energy-stealing halogen and incandescent lights. Because of this, both bulbs have the same medium (E26) base for North American sockets.
The numbers after PAR and BR, like 30, stand for 1/8th of an inch. To find the diameter of the lamp, just divide the number after it by 8: e.g., the diameter of a BR 30 bulb is 30/8ths of an inch, or 3.75 inches in diameter.
Lighting and Application BR30 light bulbs deliver soft-edged, directional light and can typically be found in general household light fixtures, recessed can lighting, and/or track lighting. Their lighting is less precise and produces less shadow than PAR bulbs, but they are great for fixtures that use dimmer switches.
PAR lamps deliver strong, narrow to wide, directional light. They are traditionally used outdoors as aircraft landing lights, security lighting, or indoors for concerts, movie production, and theater.
PAR and BR bulbs share the same voltage of 120VAC and have the same Kelvin degree color code as all light bulbs:
Energy Savings and Average Bulb Lifetime
Some LED PAR 30 bulbs offer nearly 90% in savings in comparison to halogen bulbs. They emit low heat, and can last for up to 70,000 hours.
BR-shaped LED lamps are much cheaper than PAR LED lamps, but they have a lower average lifetime of 25,000 hours.
Up to 25% of your energy bill is being burned with traditional light bulbs, and though the specifics may differ, switching to energy efficient lighting throughout the home can save you tons off your energy bill.
Further, with longer bulb life than their halogen and incandescent friends, both the PAR and BR LED light bulbs last longer and therefore require less changing.
These differences and similarities are also applied to other Par/R combinations as well, such as the Par20 and R20 LED bulbs. When searching for the perfect PAR or BR light bulb for your fixture, be sure to keep in mind the different angles, lighting, cost, and average bulb lifetime.