Energy efficient lighting creates light instead of heat the way incandescent bulbs do. In addition, energy efficient lighting produces the same quality of light incandescent bulbs do using only a fraction of the energy. They also last up to 10 times longer, reducing the need for frequent replacement.
Now that you understand more about ballasts, retrofitting, and the benefits of switching from fluorescent to LED, let’s get into even further detail about LED T8 lights. These lamps come in a few different configurations. The most obvious of which is the single and double-ended tube. Knowing whether you’ll need a double ended T8 LED or a single ended T8 LED tube for your lighting project gets you on the right track to completing the ideal renovation.
What Kind of Lamp is the Single Ended T8 LED Tube?
Single ended tubes receive all of their power from one side. This is the side that contains both the neutral and live pins. It is known as the input end. Many of these types of lamps are direct-wire, and do not require a ballast in order to operate. However, if you are using this lamp in a retrofit, the lampholders will require replacement, and the ballast removed.
What Kind of Lamp is the Double Ended T8 LED?
On the double ended T8 LED, you will find the neutral pins on one end, and the live pins on the other end of the tube. Traditional fluorescent lamps also have this double ended configuration. When replacing fluorescent tubes with LEDs, using the double ended LED lamps can make retrofitting much easier.
If this is your first major lighting project, consider enlisting the assistance of a licensed technician or electrical expert. Once these lamps are installed throughout your building, they are guaranteed to bring energy and dollar savings for years to come.
When doing an outdoor lighting project, there are so many options to choose from. Among all available lights, the most energy efficient are easily the ones with LED technology. Once you know LED is the way to go, you have to know what beam you need, how wide of a beam is necessary, and how to calculate the beam spread you’ll need. Let’s take a look at a few of the key differences between an outdoor LED flood light and the LED spotlight.
Spotlight – an LED spotlight will project a light beam that fairs on the more narrow side, at 45 degrees or less. This sort of beam spread is concentrated in a more specific area, and can be simpler to direct.
Flood Light – LED bulbs in this category create a large beam spread that can cast from 50 to 120 degrees of light. As this is a larger beam, this light covers a significantly large amount of space without compromising energy efficiency (wattage) or light brightness (lumens) in comparison to the spotlight.
Which to Choose?
LED spotlights can be seen when looking to highlight specific points or details, such as artwork in a museum, features in landscaping, or items for display.
If your project requires illuminating large spaces that need a wide and even distribution of light, the outdoor LED flood light is the one you want to go with. These lights are used in settings such as parking lots, warehouses, other commercial spaces, and driveways to name a few.
Measuring the Coverage Area
While having a general idea of what setting a spotlight or floodlight can be used in is helpful, being able to measure in feet how much coverage you’ll have per light can make your lighting project run even more smoothly. Keep this formula handy for when you need to do just that:
Distance from Bulb x Beam Angle x 0.018 = Beam Width in Feet
For example, if you want to cover 20 feet of area using a 90 degree floodlight:
20 x 90 x 0.018 = 32.4 feet
With your knowledge of how an outdoor LED flood light differs from an LED spotlight, and with this formula in hand, you’re now more than ready to take on that next lighting project.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, lighting accounts for 10% of total energy consumption in commercial buildings. This includes schools, hospitals, warehouses, offices, and other industrial spaces. Limiting the amount of energy lost from lighting is just as simple as changing the lights. The most common type of lamp found in these buildings are fluorescent T8 lights. By simply replacing them with T8 LED light bulbs, you can easily reduce energy usage and costs right along with it.
What’s So Different?
When looking to replace fluorescent lamps with their LED counterparts, the first thing to check is wattage. For example, if you’re replacing a 32-watt fluorescent, a 17-watt LED T8 will do the trick. This cuts the energy being used from just the one fixture by more than half! Imagine the savings possible after replacing them all.
Next, do a comparison of lumens. While wattage measures the amount of energy being consumed, lumens accounts for the brightness of a bulb. Let’s take the same example from earlier. A T8 fluorescent that uses 32 watts of energy typically produces 2500 lumens of light. It’s LED equivalent, while using only 17 watts, produces 2200 lumens.
Additionally, T8 LED light bulbs have a lifetime rating of 50,000 hours, more than 3 times longer than 15,000 hour average lifespan of T8 fluorescent lights. Also keep in mind the warranty period. Generally, most fluorescent tubes have a 2-year warranty. Their LED counterparts are warrantied for as much as 5 years after the date of purchase.
There are two types of T8 LED tubes: Plug and Play, and Ballast Bypass. If you’re looking to do a quick replacement and install, you’ll want to go with the plug and play LEDs. These models do just as the title suggests. Rewiring isn’t necessary, and this reduces the maintenance costs. Installing Ballast bypass LEDs is slightly more complicated, and a professional electrician should be contracted to do the job. The existing ballast in the fixture will first need to be removed. These lamps work by using the voltage that flows directly to the socket.
All LED tubes come in either cool white or daylight color temperatures, matching the colors of the already installed lamps. T8 LED light bulbs allow for less energy use, greater energy savings, longer lamp life, and less maintenance. They are manufactured to make the switch both seamless, and well worth it in the long run.
When searching for LED bulbs, you may have come across the phrases wet location and damp location. While they sound like they’re describing the same kind of bulb, these two ratings are very different. The bulbs are each given their classification by the Underwriters Laboratories. Here, each light undergoes testing to determine the environment it is best suited for. Understanding the difference between damp rated LED bulbs and wet rated LED bulbs will allow you to remain safe when installing them in fixtures for your home or business.
What Qualifies as A Damp Location?
Where LED bulbs are concerned, a damp location is an environment that is mostly shielded from outdoor weather conditions, yet still experiences humidity and moisture. These settings are exposed to condensation, or “sweating,” yet the fixtures installed here do not have actual contact with water. Examples of this would be:
What Qualifies as A Wet Location?
Wet rated LED bulbs are installed in fixtures that have been designed to specifically withstand exposure to water: from simple splashes, to complete submersion. The fixtures have to be produced with seals that waterproof its electrical portions. This also prevents damage, and even power shortages. Bulbs with this rating are manufactured for use in almost all outdoor light fixtures, as these fixtures are exposed to conditions such as rain and snow. A few settings where wet location LED bulbs are installed in include:
United Laboratories has carefully crafted the rating system for these bulbs. In doing so, this prevents lighting from being installed in the wrong location, which can cause short-circuiting, and even be potentially dangerous. Understanding the difference between damp rated LED bulbs and wet rated LED bulbs will allow you to get the most out of your LED lights. It also takes you one step closer to making the right choices for fixtures both inside and outside of your house or building.
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.
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, 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.
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.