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Does Ballast Compatibility Matter When Choosing LED T8 Lamps?

Plug and Play LED T8Traditionally, 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.

Type A

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.

Type B

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.

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Benefits of the High Bay LED Retrofit

high bay LED retrofitIn 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.

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Fluorescent T5 vs LED Bulb Replacement

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.

LED T5 direct wirePower 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.

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Choosing the Right Faucet Aerator

Choosing the right bathroom or kitchen aerator is one of the easiest steps you can take to save water. However, selecting the right aerator can be challenging because there are so many different flow rates and sizes to consider. A bath aerator typically screws into the faucet spout so it needs to be the correct size and threading. We’ve listed four factors to consider to help your narrow down the aerator that will meet your needs.

Threading

This is probably the most important factor to consider since it will determine if the aerator will fit your faucet spout. The threading will depend upon which country you are in. The first thing to determine is if you need female or male threading. A female aerator has the threads on the inside of the aerator, while a male aerator has threads on the outside of the aerator. In the United States, the thread size are 55/64″-27 for standard-sized female and 15/16″-27 for standard-sized male. A dual thread aerator is very flexible in that it allows you to fit into both male and female threaded sprouts since it has threads on both the inside and outside.

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Flow Rate

A low flow aerator helps you realize water savings by restricting the water flow rate. To be classified as a low flow aerator and have industry certifications such as WaterSense labeled or CalGreen compliant, it should have a flow rate of less than 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm). The technology has improved significantly to compensate for fluctuations in pressure, so that a low flow aerator does not feel like it’s not delivering sufficient water. To seriously cut down on water usage, consider a flow rate of between 0.5 gpm to 1.5 gpm.

Stream/Spray Type

A low flow bubble faucet aerator restricts the water flow from the faucet. This type of aerator adds air to the water flow to enhance the water stream to give the sensation of a larger flow even though it’s dispensing less water. It is ideal for use in both bathroom and kitchens. A bubble faucet aerator typically has a cross mesh screen to act as a flow restrictor and aerate the water. A needle spray aerator produces a shower like pattern when dispensing water. Needle spray aerators are the only choice when you are selecting an ultra low flow faucet aerator e.g. 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or lower. Needle spray aerators provide a good coverage of water when washing hands and so are often preferred in commercial applications. They have tiny holes around the base of the aerator through which the water is dispensed. A Laminar Stream delivers a non aerator stream. It is typical found is hospitals/health care facilities where a strong non splashing stream is desired.  

Size

Aerators come in 3 different sizes : regular size, junior or small size and tom thumb size. The regular size is the largest and the housing is the size of a quarter, the junior/small size is the size of a nickel, and the tom thumb is equivalent circumference of a penny.

Keep these factors in mind and you’ll spend less time worrying about returning those wrong aerator, and more time enjoying the extra money you’ll be saving on water savings with a low flow aerator.

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Brighten Any Outdoor Space with LED Wall Packs

Make your outdoor commercial environment safer and more energy efficient with Conservation Mart’s high-tech LED wall packs. These high-quality lighting solutions are uniquely designed to help illuminate building entrances, apartment buildings, overhead door lighting and more at night, with styles that help lower light pollution so that 13781your area is fully illuminated without disturbing the surroundings.

We have standard and cutoff-style LED wall packs available. We recommend picking up LED cutoff wall packs if you’re looking for a great way to provide ample lumen output at night without high levels of light contamination. These LED fixtures work by directing the light downward rather than upward in order to keep light away from the night sky, so they are a popular option for illuminating parking lots and entryways. Traditional wall packs are a smart choice for covered and contained environments, such as beneath overhangs or in parking garages.

With our selection of LED wall packs, you can take advantage of amazingly long lamp lives — 120,000 hours in some cases — as well as built-in features that ensure safe operation and easy installation with minimal maintenance. These lights are a solid choice for wall- or ceiling-mounted security lighting, walkway lighting, area lighting, parking lighting, schools, hospitals, hotels and more.

At Conservation Mart, we offer low prices and incredible volume discounts on LED wall pack lights that can be used to effectively replace your incandescent, metal halide and fluorescent wall packs in commercial outdoor spaces.

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Save Money with a Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

Have you ever had that feeling while you were traveling that you forgot to do something before you left the house? Took out the garbage – check; turned on the alarm – check; adjusted the thermostat – “Oh no!” It is upsetting to realize that you are spending money to heat or cool LUX18666your home while you are away on your vacation. With the Lux Geo 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat you can easily change the temperature anytime from anywhere.

It is estimated, that if used properly, programmable thermostats can save you 10-20% on your heating and cooling bills. If you spend a good portion of your day out of the house,  shifting your temperature up or down by a few degrees will lead to noticeable savings on your bill.

In the past, thermostats could be a little daunting to program.  However, the Lux Geo 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is easy to install and is even capable of working with your Amazon Alexa so you can control your home comfort with your voice! Simply download the LUX mobile app, set up your account and then in the Amazon Alexa mobile app menu under Skills, search for LUX Products and click enable. In the Alexa mobile app under Skills, clicking into the LUX Products Skill will show the proper phrases for using voice commands with your LUX/GEO thermostat.

In the app you can also use the Radius® geofencing feature to automatically save energy. This feature allows you to set your “away radius.” Once you get closer to your home, the system will turn on to bring your home to the optimal temperature. This way, if you have a varied schedule, you don’t have to set a specific away time.

The Lux Geo 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat just made it a lot easier to save energy and money on your heating and cooling costs.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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.