Category Archives: Lighting Hardware

Updating Your Lighting and Where to Start

updating-your-lighting-and-where-to-startUpdating your lighting to LED fixtures will save energy costs. You will have lower electrical bills and the LED bulbs will last much longer than incandescent or halogen lights. LED lighting will increase the value of your home when the lights are used in permanent fixtures.

There are no filaments in LED bulbs. Light is emitted by electrons passing across a semiconductor diode with a reflector. The diodes are capped with a clear or tinted lens. LED lights give off very little heat compared to standard incandescent bulbs. LEDs usually do not contain glass or other hazardous materials.

Getting started

Take a long look at your home and analyze the following:

  • What rooms, including the kitchen, use the most lights?
  • What is the lighting cost on your electric utility bill?
  • What is your budget for replacing lights?

The first question is easy. Your kitchen and other work areas probably use the most lights. You may have halogen bulbs in the ceiling or a fluorescent light overhead. Other rooms may have overhead lights or lamps. Lamp bulbs are the easiest to replace with LED bulbs. They give off the same illumination or lumens.

Estimating the lighting cost in your utility bill is a little more difficult. Approximate the cost by the number of hours you illuminate your home multiplied by the cost per kilowatt hour. This is a vague estimate but it will help with LED versus incandescent light costs evaluation.

Comparisons

There are several charts available that compare LEDs with CFL or spiral lights and standard incandescent lights. A standard 60-watt incandescent light uses only 10 watts with a LED bulb. The CFL uses about 14 watts. The incandescent bulb will last for about 1,200 hours and the CFL is good for 10,000 hours while the LED equivalent is good for 50,000 hours.

The LED bulb will use about 500 kWh of power over 50,000 hours while the incandescent bulb will have been replaced up to 40 times and burned up 3,000 KWh of power. This gives you a general idea of the difference. Since LEDs use less power, they are ideal for solar-powered homes and fixtures, including outdoor lights.

Types of LED fixtures

LED bulbs come in all sizes and configurations. Colors are available from standard bright white to pink and yellow tones. LED fixtures, including chandeliers, work with dimmers to control the amount of light in a room.

Standard screw bulbs fit into any traditional lamp or lighting fixture. Pin sockets are also available. LEDs work great for track and recessed lighting. LEDs fit into tracks and modern task light hanging fixtures in kitchens and other work areas. Basic bright white light is good for kitchens and workplaces while softer lights may be used in living and dining rooms.

Candle flame shapes, round globes, and tube lights can be used anywhere. Modern lamps are designed exclusively for use with LED bulbs. Swimming and spa pool lights include floating battery-powered LEDsSpecial LED strip lights or ribbons fit under cabinets and on walkways for subtle illumination and safety.

Prices have lowered substantially for LED products. They are more popular than ever since they last for many years. A LED bulb with 11 watts and 1100 lumens will replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb for under $10. While it is more expensive than a standard incandescent light, the savings on energy and replacement makes it a good value.

Consider updating your home with LED lighting. This is important for the present and the future as saving energy is necessary for a sustainable lifestyle.

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Filed under Interior Design, Interior Lighting, LED Lightbulbs, led lighting, Light, Lighting, Lighting Hardware

Going Green with the Lighting in Your Home

going-green-with-the-lighting-in-your-home

If you’re looking for ways to make your home more green as a way to reduce your environmental footprint and save a little bit of money on your energy costs at the same time, then you should turn your attention to your home’s lighting. Home lighting is an area where a lot of energy can be saved without having to spend that much money.

The following are just a few tips for creating a more eco-friendly lighting scheme:

Use LEDs. LEDs are the most energy efficient light bulbs you can purchase – even more so than compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). LEDs that are qualified by Energy Star use roughly 20 to 25 percent of the energy that traditional incandescent lights use. Not to mention that they last upwards of 100,000 hours, which is around 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lights. Yes, they are a little bit more expensive as far as initial costs go – but they are well worth the investment considering the money you save over the long term on both your monthly energy bills as well as the fact that you won’t need to replace them for a very long time.

Look for more eco-friendly materials. If you are buying new light fixtures, then pay attention to the materials that were used in their production. For example, if you need new table lamps, then look for table lamps that were made using natural materials, such as cloth or wood, or recycled materials, such as glass or metal. You could even buy fixtures made using reclaimed materials or use reclaimed materials to build your own lamps.

Turn those lights off. Remember back in the day when your parents would yell at you to turn the lights off in your room before you left? There’s a reason for this – leaving the lights on when they’re not needed saps energy and therefore has a negative effect on both the environment and your energy bills. So make it a habit to turn the lights out when you’re done with them!

Use surge protectors. Instead of plugging your lamps directly into the closest outlet, pick up a surge protector. Why? Because plugging your lamps directly into the wall sockets means that they will be absorbing energy even when turned off. A surge protector can help cut off the energy absorption.

Install dimmers. Sometimes, you simply don’t need all the light that a fixture provides. For example, maybe the living room needs a little bit of light to supplement the natural light coming in through the windows. In this case, using all the light your general lighting provides may be over kill. A dimmer can help you control how much light is provided by the fixture it’s attached to. Not only does this give you more control over the light that is provided, but it can help you reduce the amount of energy you use since you’ll no longer be wasting unneeded light.

Take advantage of natural light. The more natural light that is let into the home, the less dependent you will be on your artificial light. Natural light is better quality and healthier for you as well. Consider installing larger windows if possible. You could even install skylights to let in even more light.

If you want to make your home more eco-friendly, then be sure to use these tips to ensure that your home’s lighting is both environmentally-friendly as well as energy efficient, thereby saving you money and reducing your environmental footprint.

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Filed under Benefits, Interior Lighting, Light, Lighting, Lighting Hardware

Compatibility Issues with New Lighting and Old Hardware

compatibility-issues-with-new-lighting-and-old-hardware

New lighting usually refers to LED or Light Emitting Diode lights. LED lights last longer and do not give off much heat. They may cost more upfront, but they provide major savings in energy use and bulb replacement. LED lights with Energy Star ratings can provide up to 6,000 hours of illumination.

The LED semiconductor technology refers to an electrical current moving over a diode that has tiny reflectors. This is a completely different technology from the incandescent bulb with a tungsten filament that has been used for over a century.

Lumens measure the brightness in lighting while wattage refers to the energy required. A LED bulb of 16-20 watts provides 1,600 lumens, the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb. This is why LED lighting is cost-effective while saving energy.

Most LED lights will fit into your existing lamps. LED bulbs are available in different sizes and colors for chandeliers and other specialty fixtures. Compatibility with recessed lighting and dimmer switches may be different.

Most buildings, including homes, were designed with standard wiring for alternating current. The LED fixtures work with AC but their circuitry is occasionally incompatible with old wiring.

Recessed lighting

Although LED lights give off less heat than incandescent bulbs, they still need room to dissipate the heat caused by the electrical current. The heat moves out from a heat sink at the base of the bulb. The light must be installed in an open space.

Special bulbs have been designed for recessed lighting such as the type found in kitchen ceilings or commercial buildings. In some cases, retro-fit kits that are easy to install, are available with the recessed LED lights. The lights come with a retro-fit unit for housing diameters from four to six inches.

LED can lights for recessed lighting can be installed in holes up to nine inches in diameter. The flat can LEDs diffuse the light and they work with dimmer switches.

If you are remodeling a kitchen, you might consider pendant lighting over counters, islands and other work areas. The pendant lights take LED bulbs and your existing wiring will work with the new fixtures.The adjustment is worth the cost in savings on electricity.

LED strips can now be used in tubes that once held florescent lights in ceilings. The strips are compatible with various tube connections.

Dimmer switches

Dimmers control the brightness of lights and they were designed originally to work with incandescent bulbs. Dimmers are usually placed in dining rooms or even bedrooms to provide low lighting when desired.

It may be wise to change out an old rotary dimmer switch used for incandescent lights with a new one designed for LED lighting. The newer dimmer switches are UL tested to work with LED or the compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs that are an alternative.

The dimmer switches are compatible with the low-energy bulbs that can be dimmed or brightened and they work with your existing wiring.

Flat panel LED lights in round, oval or rectangular shapes work with dimmer switches. The flat panels only 1/2-inch thick can diffuse the light in a room.

Consider changing to LED lights throughout your home and office. Outside LED lights are compatible with your timer or sensor connections that use halogen or incandescent light fixtures. This is the future for saving energy.

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Filed under Lighting Hardware