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.
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.
For many business, indoor lighting is one of the most important decisions to be made. Equally important, however, should be how the outside is illuminated. For potential customers passing the building at night, or walking through the parking garage, the outside will be their first impression of your establishment. While HID lamps have been the standard outdoor lighting option for years, LED canopy light fixtures help provide many options to create a safe and inviting environment while greatly reducing both energy use and lighting costs.
LED manufacturers made sure to provide many options to address a myriad of commercial lighting needs. The LED fixtures are available in two different types: Parking Garage Distribution and Canopy Distribution. The lamps also come in different shapes (round and square) to make the switch simple. The shapes allow multiple choices for mounting: ceiling, arm, and wall mount to name a few. HID lamps generally emit a somewhat orange light color. Their LED counterparts however, provide a cool white light. This gives them a much brighter appearance, and helps foster feelings of safety and comfort where installed.
Switching and Saving
Regardless of where the new lights are being installed, you’ll want to make sure the old ones are being properly replaced. LED canopy light fixtures are available in 20 to 53 watt options as replacements for the following HID lights:
20W LED – 100W Metal Halide
30W LED – 150W Metal Halide
40W LED – 175W Metal Halide
53W LED – 250W Metal Halide
The LED technology allows these lamps to use such low amounts of energy while still maintaining brightness. This is because the brightness is not dependent on wattage, but lumens. The higher the lumen count on a lamp is, the brighter the light emitted from will be. Further opportunities for savings are realized through dimmable and motion sensing lamps. By installing the LED canopy light fixtures, you’ll be cutting energy usage per fixture by up to 80% and as a result, energy costs.
Traditionally, fluorescent T8 linear lamps have been used as the main light source in commercial buildings such as hospitals, warehouses, schools, and more. LED T8 lamps are quickly replacing their fluorescent counterparts. The LED technology provides higher efficiency, many color and lumen options, and sizes. Advancements in lighting capabilities have also led to more options for installation. When deciding on which lamps to replace your fluorescent T8s with, one of the main things to consider is the ballast type. Knowing the difference between a Plug and Play LED T8 and a Ballast Bypass T8 will make the process of switching even easier.
Ballast compatibility absolutely matters when the LED lamp you’ve chosen is of the UL Type A variety. The Plug and Play LED T8, also referred to as direct fit, is the easiest of the two types to install. This lamp works directly with the existing ballast to quickly replace the fluorescent T8. While this is the simplest installation method, the LED lamp must be compatible with the ballast of the fluorescent it is replacing in order for the new lamp to work. The makers of the LED T8 typically provide a list of compatible ballasts. Make sure to check out this list before purchasing your replacement lamps.
LED lamps classified as ballast bypass, direct wire, or UL Type B do have a more involved installation. As a result, it is best to hire an expert electrician to complete the process. The Ballast Bypass T8 does just that. The technology of these lamps works straight from the line voltage that flows through the sockets.The process of retrofitting fluorescent fixtures for this LED type entails the removal of any electrical ballasts as well as verifying non-shunted sockets are in the fixture. The initial installation costs of the lamp is made up for by getting rid of the maintenance costs the ballast would otherwise need.
Both Plug and Play LED T8 and Ballast Bypass T8 options provide as much as 40% more savings in energy use and costs when compared to fluorescent lamps. Having an understanding of how the ballasts impact your fixture, installation process, and overall maintenance can help you better choose which lighting option will work best for you.
In commercial and industrial buildings, High Intensity Discharge, or HID, light fixtures are commonly found. These are high voltage fixtures that use a mix of metals and gases to create a bright and powerful white light. With each year, and as technology continues to advance, there are far more options for lighting than ever before. Among the most energy efficient options for illuminating any space are LEDs. Naturally, the larger the space, the greater the opportunity for savings. Making the switch from an HID light fixture to a high bay LED retrofit in your facility provides great savings in energy, energy costs, and much more.
Stacking up Savings
While HID light fixtures are the standard, their high voltage and wattage requirements result in high energy consumption. This leads to the cost of energy going up along with it. In contrast, LEDs are powered when a microchip receives an electrical current to create the light. The difference in technology is how a 90-watt high bay LED can replace a 400-watt HID light fixture.
In addition, LEDs contain technology called a heat sink, which absorbs the heat that is created by the light. Heat sink technology allows for up to 20% in air conditioning savings, furthering savings in energy costs. As if this isn’t enough, many of these energy saving lights are also DLC listed. This rating means that many of these fixtures qualify for energy rebates with local utility companies.
Where do they go?
High bay fixtures are designed for use in buildings with ceilings that are typically 20 to 45 feet in height. This makes them ideal for installation in gymnasiums, manufacturing plants, factories, warehouses, and other structures with high ceilings. Spaces such as these require illumination from all sides, and the LEDs provide it. The high bay LED retrofit is not only energy efficient, but long lasting. On average, they last as long as 50,000 hours. The long lifespan reduces the need for frequent replacement, which is ideal given how high up they’re installed!
The focus of LED lighting technology is on their power. They are designed to provide illumination of the highest quality without sacrifice. These energy efficient fixtures deliver brilliant light without affecting the temperature of the building, while saving energy and reducing energy costs from the moment they’re installed.
As recently as 2010, the United States Department of Energy found that nearly 80 percent of lamps being used in commercial buildings were fluorescent. These lights are commonly found in large industrial buildings or other commercial edifices, such as hospitals and schools. They provide up to 75 percent more energy savings than their incandescent counterparts. That being said, as LED technology updates and shifts, even more savings can be realized by switching from fluorescent tubes to LED T5 plug and play or LED T5 direct wire lamps.
Power Up One of the major identifiers of any light is its wattage. This is the main indicator of how much you’re going to save when you switch. For example, a standard 28-watt fluorescent tube can be replaced by a 15-watt LED lamp. Additionally, a 54-watt high output fluorescent tube is easily replaceable by an LED that consumes only 25-watts of energy. With such a difference in the amount of power being used, savings in energy costs quickly follow installation.
Plug and Play Plug and Play, or direct wire, LED T5 lamps make switching from fluorescent to LED simple. These bulbs are easy and quick to install. Replacing the ballast in your current fixture won’t be necessary, as it plugs directly into the fixture without any rewiring. This also reduces the the cost of labor and reduces maintenance for facility managers.
Bypass the Ballast Ballast bypass, also known as LED T5 direct wire lights are slightly different from their plug and play counterparts. These lamps cannot be installed without first removing the existing ballast in a fixture. This is because they operate using the line voltage that flows straight to the sockets, essentially doing what its name indicates, bypassing the ballast.
Time is Money On average, an LED T5 lamp is rated to last as long as 50,000 hours. This is more than double the standard 24,000 hour life of a fluorescent tube. Installing lamps with this long of a lifespan eliminates the need for frequent replacement. Also worth consideration are warranty periods. Standard fluorescent tubes have a warranty period up to 2 years. Conversely, the typical warranty period for LED fluorescent tubes is 5 years.
These lamps are available in cool and daylight white and designed with high lumen outputs. This provides both consistent color and illumination for a seamless switch. With lower power usage, longer lifespan, and a longer warranty, whether you choose an LED T5 plug and play or a ballast bypass lamp, you’re easily looking at saving as much as 45 percent on both energy usage and costs.
Last week, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), delisted products that do not meet the new quality and efficiency standards. There are new technical 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.
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.
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.
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.
In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify 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.
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.