January 1 was lights outs for incandescent bulbs

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

It’s official: January 1, 2014 marked the end of the incandescent light bulb. While remaining inventory can still be sold, it is illegal for US companies to manufacture or import 40, 60, 75, or 100 watt incandescent bulbs. This is due to an energy conservation law signed by President Bush in 2007. Some estimate the switch will save more than $40 billion in energy costs by 2030.

You now have three alternatives to incandescent bulbs: more efficient halogen bulbs, LED, and CFL bulbs. Most of the problems noted by consumers in years past have been solved. You can now buy energy efficient CFL bulbs that light immediately and have a pleasant light color. LED bulbs, while more expensive than CFLs, last up to 22 years. The typical incandescent bulb lasts less than 18 months.

This means you can now install LED bulbs in hard to reach spots and not worry about it again for literally years. You can run outside lights for security at nominal cost and maintenance is almost nonexistent. Lighting is the top deterrent to residential crime like burglary so security lighting outside your home can save peace of mind as well as energy.

It may take some time to get used to the ways packaging describes light intensity and color on energy efficient bulbs. No problem. Just tell us where you need light and we will recommend the right bulbs for you.

Only 3 in 10 consumers plan to stockpile incandescent bulbs. Most people will make the transition and barely notice the difference, except that you no longer need to remind the kids to turn out the lights when they leave the room. In terms of cost, you can leave these new bulbs on without burning through money. In fact, your ceiling fans or electric coffee pot use more electricity.

So if your New Year’s Resolution this year was to save energy, you’re in luck. Saving energy is automatic. We’re always happen to enlighten our customers. Give us a call if you want to know more, especially about new LED and halogen incandescent bulbs.

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Get That Spooky Glow Going

 

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

 

In the dark about how to have the spookiest house on the block this Halloween? Well, all it takes is a little imagination and illumination. And we’ll walk you through it

1.     Start with a Jack-O-Lantern, the time-honored grin of all things scary. Now you can buy illuminated pumpkins that last for years. But, we still believe in carving the real thing and adding a battery-operated LED flame; it won’t blow out and it won’t set your house afire.

2.     Replace the bulb in your porch light with a black light party bulb. A 75-watt bulb should be fine. Tonic water will glow blue-white under a black light. Fill a few old bottles and mark them with a scull and crossbones or drop plastic spiders inside. Antifreeze also glows but is poisonous. Mr. Clean and Irish Spring soap glow weird green, so use soap to write on your door.

3.     Give the kids light sticks to go trick or treating. Light sticks look eerie but they are also a good safety provision. A pack of 10 runs around $7 and is well worth the investment. Each stick lasts about 12 hours! Of course, you will also have flashlights and batteries…

4.     Because light sticks are so inexpensive and last so long, you can use them to illuminate the walkway to your door. Easy – just snap them and stick in the ground!

5.     Light stringers are colored LED lights that come in 25-foot strands. You can also buy mini-light spheres. Incandescent rope lights (50 feet long) run about $42. Why not have a scarecrow with lights glowing through his ragged clothes – LED lights make this possible.

6.     Take old milk jugs, draw scary faces on them and fill them with battery operate LED lights.

7.     You can decorate lampshades with cut outs of black cats and lamps and use orange party bulbs.

8.     Paint scary faces on white and orange balloons using magic markers and float them near the ceiling.

9.     Don’t forget the music! The Monster Mash (from 1973), Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982), Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells (1973), and the Rock Horror Picture Show soundtrack are all good choices.

10. If you want a very adult Halloween theme, use Edison light bulbs. They are elegant but have an Old World air that is just right for Halloween.

Our Favorite Halloween Light Shows

If you want to be inspired by people who spend all year getting ready for October 31st, here are three of our favorite Halloween Light shows. Do you have a favorite… or send a photo of your own creepy décor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfcNoMnKjrY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcAss0Ytn6g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-9cq4DfDTE

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How To Light Hotel Rooms… To Brighten Guest Satisfaction

 

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

Hotels know the cost savings provided by replacing inefficient incandescent lighting with compact-fluorescent bulbs. But guest complaints are common because CFLs can have an unpleasant light quality. They also have a short lag before they reach full brightness, which guests dislike when walking into an unfamiliar space, including a hotel room. To keep guests happy requires a little extra care when choosing CFLs and CFL fixtures, but it can mean saving money with risking guest satisfaction.

Bathrooms and Entries: Always choose a CFL that warms up to full brightness in 30 seconds or less. Some CFL bulbs take longer than others to warm up, but there are newer brands that have instant-on technology. This is especially important for the entry light when a guest first flicks on the light when entering the hotel room, and in hotel bathrooms were light is a safety issue.

Size and Shape: Big, bulky spiral CFLs look cheap in an upscale hotel environment. Choose the smaller, compact size CFL bulbs for hotel room fixtures and lamps. If a bulb is readily visible, such as in a bedside lamp, there are CFL bulbs designed to resemble incandescent bulbs that give a much better impression. You can also get CFLs to fit and look good in chandeliers, ceiling fans, and wall-mounted swing lamps. There is no reason to make guests think “cheap!” every time they switch on a light, when we offer energy-saving bulbs for every possible need.

Dimmable and 3-Way Fixtures: Guests usually want and expect these fixtures in their hotel room. For maximum guest comfort, include a dimmable general purpose light, such as a ceiling light, and at least one 3-way table lamp near a reading chair or bedside. Only CFLs that are specifically designated as dimmable will work in a dimmable light fixture. Other CFLs will flicker and burn out if used with a dimmer switch. Likewise, 3-way CFLs are required for 3-way fixtures. Standard CFLs will not turn on until the third click of the lamp switch, which is an annoying guest experience and makes them think maintenance is not doing a good job of keeping the room fresh and in good working order.

Color Temperature: The color that CFLs emit can be unpleasant, even glaring. Choose bulbs in the 2700-3000K color temperature range, especially in bathrooms and near hotel room mirrors. The light color is similar to incandescent bulbs and will not make your guests look washed out and unhealthy when they look in the mirror as they brush their teeth.

Colored Lampshades: While not strictly part of your bulb choice, the lampshade has a big influence on light color. Trying using lampshades in pink-beige tones for a warmer, more flattering tone. Your guests won’t know why, but the illumination will be more pleasant and cast a more hospitable glow.

LEDs – LED bulbs come in the same sizes and shapes as incandescent bulbs, can last over 22 years if burned 3 hours a day, and offer a multi-directional light output with clean, bright 3,000K color. With no mercury and great energy savings of 77% compared to incandescent, LED bulbs are the perfect one-to-one replacement bulb for just about any hotel room fixture.

LED Strip lights are another way to add light and a design to a hotel guest room. By adding these strip lights to the top of a headboard you add extra lighting and ambience not to mention they are easy to hide.

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Compact Fluorescent Lighting

Lighting accounts for about 7% of a home’s energy costs. CFL bulbs use 66% less energy and last up to ten times as long as incandescent bulbs. They now come in a range of sizes, so they’ll fit almost any type of fixture, and styles, including full-spectrum, which mimics natural sunlight.

Test out one of each – Soft white, Daylight, and Bright White, and see which ones work best in your house. Traditional incandescent bulbs use more energy because the majority of electricity generates heat vs. light. Also consider choosing the CFL bulbs that have a ‘covered’ dome over the spiral bulb for safety and a better looking fixture – especially for recessed lighting.

Sample performance: Replace 20 incandescent bulbs that are 60 Watts with a life expectancy of 1,500 hours, with CFLs that only use 14 Watts and last 8,000 to 10,000 hours.

The ROI Calculation is based on replacing 20 bulbs that typically burn 750 hours per year with dimmable CFLs that cost between $1.00 and $3.00 and the average cost of electricity that is $2.76 per day. Each bulb saves on average $4 to $7 per year. Dome ‘covered’ and Dimmable CFLs are still higher in cost than the ‘corkscrew’ typical models, so the Light Emitting Diode (LED) market is picking up traction quickly. LEDs also do not contain mercury and they last between 50,000 and 80,000 hours!

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