LED ready t5 fixture

Understanding Circular Fluorescent Bulbs

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, the circular fluorescent lights 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 fluorescent 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.

Diameter Matters

For light fixtures that use circular bulbs that are too big or too small will not work, even if it is from the right manufacturer. Make sure to replace these 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 fluorescent bulbs, 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.

Shop for Circular Bulbs>>>

TCP 32020 20W T9 4-Pin Circular Lamp 27K
TCP 32020 20W T9 4-Pin Circular Lamp 27K
TCP 58W T-6 4 Pin Circular Lamp CFL Bulb 3205841K
TCP 58W T-6 4 Pin Circular Lamp CFL Bulb 3205841K
Philips 22w T5 4 Pin Circular CFL Bulb TL5C-22W830-1CT/1
Philips 22w T5 4 Pin Circular CFL Bulb TL5C-22W830-1CT/1

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LED ready t5 fixture

Understanding the Difference Between a PAR 30 and BR 30 Bulb

This post has been updated from it’s 2012 version

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.

Angles
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

Similarities
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.

Similarities
PAR and BR bulbs share the same voltage of 120VAC and have the same Kelvin degree color code as all light bulbs:

  • 2700K (warm white)
  • 4100K-5000K (cool white)
  • +5000K (daylight color)

One of the most popular is models is the BR30 LED 2700k

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.

Similarities
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.

Shop for LED PAR30 and BR30 Bulbs>>>

BR30 8W LED 2700K
Maxlite BR30 8W LED 2700K 8BR30DLED27
Dimmable LED PAR30 10W 3000K Long Neck
Maxlite Dimmable LED PAR30 10W 3000K Long Neck
11W Dimmable Par30 Short Neck 2700K
Greenwatt 11W Dimmable Par30 Short Neck

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LED ready t5 fixture

DLC Standard vs DLC Premium

Last week, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), delisted products that do not meet the new quality and efficiency standards. There are new dlcpremiumtechnical requirements for indoor and outdoor Luminaries and Retrofit Kits, and there are now two categories of designation, DLC standard and DLC premium.

The measurements include:

Minimum Light Output or Lumen – This is a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source

Minimum Efficacy – This is the measure of Lumens per Watts. So for example, if the light output is 5,000 lumens and the wattage is 55, the minimum efficiency is 90.

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)CCT measures the color of a light source by using Kelvin (K) temperature, which indicates the warmth or coolness of a lamp’s color appearance. The lower the Kelvin temperature (2700–3000 K), the warmer the color of the light, while the higher the temperature (3600–5500 K), the cooler.

Color Rendering Index (CRI) –  The CRI measures the light source’s ability to show object colors realistically compared to a familiar reference source, such as incandescent light or daylight. The higher the CRI, the better the light source renders every color in the visible spectrum. Light sources with a CRI of 85 to 90 are considered good at color rendering. Light sources with a CRI of 90 or higher are excellent at color rendering and should be used for tasks requiring the most accurate color discrimination.

Lumen Depreciation – L70 v L90 – Light sources gets dimmer over time. This dimming is called lumen depreciation. If a fixture had a lumen maintenance of 70%, that would mean it lost 30% of its brightness during its rated life. If it had a lumen maintenance of 90%, that would mean it lost just 1/10 of its brightness during its rated lifespan.

The results are then placed into two categories: DLC Standard v DLC Premium.

DLC Standard Designation

In general, for outdoor lighting, the minimum efficacy ranges from 90-100, and 65-105 for indoor lighting and the lumen depreciation L70.

The DLC Premium Designation

The DLC Premium designation is new, and is only available to complete luminaires and retrofit kits. The primary differences for the Premium designation are the significantly increased efficacy requirements, which in general range from 110-120 for outdoor lighting and 90-130 for indoor lighting.  They also and the need to provide an L90 projection.

To find out more specifics about these measurements, please see the DLC’s Technical Requirements Table.

Rebates

Some utility companies offer tiered rebate programs, so it may be more cost effective to install lights that meet the DLC Premium standards. Before you install your lighting, you can check to with your local utility or the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to find rebates. DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.

Conservation Mart offers a wide range of DLC listed lighting options and our customer service team will help you figure out which products may be eligible for rebates from your utility.

 

LED ready t5 fixture

DLC 4.0 Takes Effect April 2017

The DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) is a non-profit organization which establishes product quality specifications and tests them to ensure that commercial lighting products are high-quality and energy-efficient.d-l-c-q-p-l-l-i-s-t-e-d-g-logo-jpeg

On April 1, 2017, products that do not meet the V4.0 Technical Requirements will be removed from the active qualified product list and will not be eligible for rebates.

The new standards of 4.0 can be found here, but basically, they are continuing to encourage innovation and efficiency by ensuring that improvements in LED technology include energy savings.

You can check to with your local utility or the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to find rebates. DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Click on this link to see if there are rebates available in your state.

Conservation Mart offers a wide range of DLC listed lighting options and our customer service team will help answer questions you may have about which bulbs meet these new standards.

 

 

 

LED ready t5 fixture

EPA’s WaterSense Program Creates Big Savings

watersenselogoThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program, works to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people simple ways to use less water.

By promoting the value of water efficiency, providing consumers with easy ways to save water, and encouraging innovation in manufacturing, WaterSense has helped consumers save a total of 1.5 trillion gallons of water and more than $32.6 billion in water and energy bills! By the end of 2015, reductions of 212 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide were achieved through the use of WaterSense labeled products.

Using WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories could reduce a household’s faucet water use by more than 500 gallons annually—that’s enough water to do 14 loads of laundry.

Even if only 1 in every 10 homes in the United States installed WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories in their bathrooms, it could save 6 billion gallons of water, and more than $50 million in the energy costs to supply, heat, and treat that water.

One of our best sellers is the Neoperl Perlator Regular Dual Thread 1.5 GPM Aerator.  Whether your looking to change to a water saving flow or just replace a existing faucet housing, you will enjoy the benefits of NEOPERL’s patented anti-liming construction. Using a 1.5 gallons per minute aerator will save you up to 30% water (in comparison to a 2.2 gpm). Energy savings can also add up by heating less water.

WaterSense labeled toilets use 20 percent less water per flush but perform as well as or better than today’s standard toilets. We recommend the Niagara Stealth Dual Flush Elongated Toilet Bowl. The Stealth technology has truly changed the market in that it features a low-profile body, ultra quiet flush, and patented hydraulic technology. The low friction, smooth ceramic surface of the toilet bowl allows for clearing with every flush. By providing two flush options, they reduce water consumption and costs like no other models out there! Check this link for available rebates.

Water is crucial for the survival of the earth and all its’ inhabitants, but there is a limited in supply. The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact less than 1 percent is available for human use.  We all need to do our part to limit our household water usage, and upgrading to WaterSense devices in your home is a great place to start.

 

LED ready t5 fixture

EPA’s Successful Energy Star Program

In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to energy staridentify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They began by labeling computers and monitors and in 1995 expanded the label to include office equipment products and residential heating and cooling equipment.

In 1996, the EPA partnered with the US Department of Energy for major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings and plants.

Today, ENERGY STAR encourages energy efficiency in more than 70 product categories. More than 1.6 million homes and over 25,000 buildings have earned ENERGY STAR certification.

Third party certification process makes sure anything that earns the blue label meets the highest standards. Even an LED bulb must pass dozens of checks to assure quality, performance, and efficiency. Conservation Mart is proud to carry a wide variety of ENERGY STAR bulbs.

Over the years, the ENERGY STAR label has helped save more than $362 billion on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons.  EPA’s ENERGY STAR program is the most successful voluntary energy efficiency movement in history. Visit their EPA Energy Star  site to learn more about this program and to find information on federal tax credits.

LED ready t5 fixture

How to Choose the Right LED Street or Area Light

LED Street and Area Lighting Fixtures are ideal for outdoor areas including streets, roadways, parking lots, and pedestrian areas. LED area-lightWell-designed LED outdoor fixtures can provide the required surface illuminance using less energy and with improved uniformity. These LED Area Lights also have significantly longer life and offer better lumen maintenance, energy efficiency, durability, color quality, light distribution, thermal management, and low costs.

When selecting an LED Area Light, you will want to consider the following options:

Mounts
LED Area Lights are available in different mounts such as pole mounted fixtures, slipfitter and trunnion mount models, knuckle pole and wall mounts.  LED Area Lights  also fit into commercial fixtures and shoebox fixtures which feature multiple mounting options, and a  heavy duty slim design.

Lumens
With new light bulbs, shopping by lumens is more important than shopping by watts when choosing which energy-efficient bulb to purchase. While wattage measures the amount of energy required to light products, lumens measure the amount of light produced. This means that the more lumens the product has, the brighter the light source is. Instead of buying products based on how much energy they consume (watts), consumers should consider how much light they give us (lumens).

Wattage
Wattage is the measure of the bulb’s energy consumption – not how much light it puts out. Energy-efficient bulbs use fewer watts to give off the same amount of brightness (lumens). Because of this, LEDs (which have typically low wattages when compared with lumens) not only help reduce energy usage but also lower electric bills.

Color Temperature
Color temperature refers to the color appearance of the light that comes from a light source. It’s an important performance characteristic to asses when evaluating bulbs because the color temperature creates the mood of the space you are lighting and can thus influence buying behavior or work performance. The apparent color of a light source is measured in Kelvin. The higher the Kelvin temperature, the whiter the light.

DLC Listed
When a fixture is DLC Listed (stands for Design Light Consortium) it may qualify for energy rebates by your local utility which can significantly reduce the cost of ownership. The qualified products list is a resource for program administrators, to help them decide which solid state lighting products to include in their energy efficiency promotions.

LED ready t5 fixture

LED Retrofits vs. LED Ready T8 Replacement Fixtures

Advantages of LED lights include, energy savings, better quality light, and the ability to respond to intelligent controllers, for even more energy savings. Fluorescent light technology  does not work well with dimming controls. In comparison, LED lighting can be controlled by ambient light sensors, either built into the individual light unit  or by as part of a lighting zone,  which makes it easier to have a planned energy usage system. Now the question is whether to use a LED retrofit orLED ready T8 fixtures to make the switch from fluorescent to LED lighting.

If you don’t want to buy a new fixture, LED retrofits are a good option. LED retrofitting means switching inefficient lighting technologies, such as fluorescent lights, to a new energy-efficient lighting system using the fixtures that are currently in place.

If you are happy with the layout of your existing fixtures, you do not need to pay for new fixtures or a redesign. You just need to purchase an all-in-one retrofit kit which usually includes everything you need for a fast and easy installation, such as, brackets, sockets, wiring, screws and fasteners.

First you will need to remove the existing bulbs, ballast, sockets, and brackets, and then replace them with LED lamps and a wiring harness. You do not need many wiring alterations but you should use a licensed electrician to be sure that you are adhering to your local code and safety requirements.

If however, you are looking to replace your fixtures, LED ready T8 fixtures allow installers to avoid bypassing the ballast and adopt the energy-saving benefits of LED technology.  Our selection  includes  Vapor Tight, Linear Utility Strips ,  and High Bays.

Either way, the switch to LED lighting has some of the best financial returns on investment of energy efficient installations. For example, a lighting upgrade reduced the energy lighting costs in a manufacturing facility by 40 percent, resulting in a savings of over $50,000 in annual lighting costs.

 

troffer

LED Troffers are Ideal in Office Drop Ceilings

Found often in schools, hospitals, offices, retail settings, and for grid ceiling applications, LED troffers are rectangular light fixture that fits into a modular dropped ceiling grid, which are usually 2’x2′ or 2’x’4.  Troffer fixtures initially used fluorescent bulbs, such as the T5, T8, or T12. There are LED Troffer retrofits available or if you are putting in new fixtures, high-efficiency LED lay-in troffers and LED Flat Panels are available. These fixtures are available in multiple lumen light outputs, and warmer white (35K), cool white (41K), and bright white (50K) colors.

Many LED panels deliver a polished look with their sleek design and advanced light dispersement. This Maxlite  2’x4′ LED Volumetric Troffer model runs on 45 watts and generates 3985 lumens.

One of the best advantages of using LED 2×4 Troffers, is that the bulbs generally last 50,000 hours, versus only 30,000 hours for an average T8 LFL. This means less calls to the maintenance department to change bulbs in the facility.

To view Conservation Mart’s wide selection of LED Troffers and Panels, please visit our website.

LED ready t5 fixture

Stay Safe at Night with LED Night Lights

Whether you have young kids who get up at night, a pet who needs to be let out, or frequent trips to the bathroom, there is a chance that at least someone in your household is walking the hallways at night. An LED night light can prevent waking up others in the household and more importantly, prevent a fall down the stairs.

The advantage of using an LED night light as opposed to an incandescent  one is that the LED bulb consumes 90% less energy than incandescent night lights, and it could be years before you would have to replace the bulb.

This LED Night-Light with Photocell technology  will automatically turn the light on at dusk, and off at dawn. This is a fantastic feature because then you don’t have to remember to switch the night light on and off since it is automatic.

As you can see by the review below, it is a top rated product and at only $2.40 it is a tremendous value.

Your family and guests will appreciate the extra illumination of your hallways and bathrooms without disrupting their sleep.

night-light-review