Changes to the lighting industry: How will it affect you?

The final stage of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, which means traditional 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs are no longer being produced. Instead, manufacturing companies must make bulbs that produce the same amount of lumens for less wattage. But what does all of this mean exactly and how does it affect you? How does this effect the fixtures in your home?

Overall, this act means that you will start saving energy and money, which of course is good news for you! The new energy-saving bulbs use up to 80 percent less power than a traditional 60 watt bulb to produce the same amount of light. They also last longer. So even though these new bulbs are more expensive, you end up saving money in the long run because of lower energy bills and fewer replacements.
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Buying light bulbs is now easier too. In the past, you always had to look at watts to determine which bulb you wanted. Watts, however, only tell you how much energy a bulb uses, not how bright the bulb is. Instead of listing watts, new bulb labels will tell you exactly how bright a bulb is by providing the number of lumens. Just remember, the more lumens a bulb has, the brighter the light.

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When shopping for new energy-saving bulbs, use this conversion chart as a guide:

  • 150 w = 2600 lm
  • 100 w = 1600 lm
  • 75 w = 1100 lm
  • 60 w = 800 lm
  • 40 w = 450 lm

The new label on bulb packages follows the same format as the ones you see all of the time on food products. To make shopping online easier for you, Bellacor will start uploading the Lighting Facts Label as an alternate image on all Bulbrite bulbs. Besides lumens, this label will tell you an estimate of energy cost, an estimate of how long the bulb will last, the shade of light and whether the bulb contains mercury.

Lighting facts Label
Change can make people feel uncomfortable at times, but in this case change is a good thing. There’s a lot to love about these new energy-saving bulbs and you don’t have to buy special fixtures to enjoy them! Even dimmers are compatible with many of these energy-saving bulbs. Finally, you can enjoy having a well-lit home while still being efficient and cost-effective.

Learn more about these light facts at Energy.gov5 Myths about the Light Bulb Ban

By Wendy Weinert

A Spotlight on Energy Efficiency in the Bathroom

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Access Lighting Vail Brushed Steel One-Light Medium Wall and Vanity Light

Bathroom lighting can be tricky. We spend a rather significant amount of time in this often-forgotten part of the house, and yet its design doesn’t possess the elegant grandeur or thoughtful comfort of the dining or living rooms. Bathroom lighting needs to be bright enough to catch blemishes, flattering enough that it won’t prevent you from leaving the house, and soft enough to evoke relaxation during bath time. Plus, fixtures have to be approved for damp environments. You may never use the den or grand dining room, but a day doesn’t go by when you don’t use the bathroom (if all goes well). We turn those lights on and off multiple times a day – why not also make them energy efficient?

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It’s thrilling how far energy efficient lighting has come in terms of design aesthetic and light quality. Most energy efficient lighting uses either LED lights or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) instead of the old familiar incandescent bulb. The difference in energy use of these newer developments from the classic light bulb is remarkable.

Take LEDs. “Light emitting diodes” started out as tiny single bulbs used for electronics, but, due to their efficiency and flexibility, creative designers have been grouping these bulbs together in new and interesting ways, creating warm, radiant – and efficient – lighting fixtures. A beautiful example is Nuvo’s Raindrop. Combining polished nickel and Lucite, the fNuvoLightingRaindropixture has slightly retro styling with very contemporary electronics. Raindrop uses three 4-watt LED modules. Wattage is often mistakenly equated with light output, but, actually, watts refer to the quantity of energy used to illuminate the bulb. Instead of wattage, LEDs are measured in “lumens,” which refers instead to the amount of light emitted. The Raindrop uses about 12 watts, but gives off about 870 lumens. You’d need 60 watts of incandescent light to give off the same brightness. Go with LEDs and you’re using less than a quarter the amount of energy! Not only that, but they last longer – an average LED bulb will be going strong for 50,000 hours – compare that with an incandescent’s quick little life span of 1,200. A fixture like the Raindrop or Access Lighting’s sleek and minimal 31003LEDD will not only save you money on your energy bill, it’ll save you time changing light bulbs.

ElectricityBillBulbs(EmilyWilde)

PhotoCredit: Pegasus Lighting Blog

Even if you’re satisfied with your current bathroom fixture, it’s easy to snag a little more efficiency simply by switching out the old incandescent for a CFL bulb. Placed somewhere between LEDs and incandescents in terms of efficiency, you can generally get about 8,000 hours of use per compact fluorescent (compared with 50,000 for LEDs and 1,200 for an incandescent). Their old reputation for harsh bright light no longer stands (we’d never recommend that for the bathroom!). CFLs measure brightness in Kelvins – choose a CFL that offers 2700-300K and you’ll find the same warmth of a traditional incandescent, but use about a quarter of the wattage.

So take some time to give your bathroom a little love – and save some money and the environment by switching to energy efficient lighting options.

Beyond the basic bulb: One of the quickest ways to reinvent your lighting

When it comes to changing your look, little things mean a lot, and one of the quickest fixes you can make is to change the bulbs in your lighting fixtures. Think a bulb is too basic an element to make a real stylistic difference? Think again. Bulbs can change brightness and the tone of your room’s light, but they can also be a focal point in their own right. Consider these changes you can make by simply switching your bulbs:

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Photo Credit: Bulbrite

Add warmth or cool things off: When it comes to the kind of light they emit, bulbs can vary widely. To add a warming feeling to your room, switch to a soft white bulb, or even an amber bulb. To give a room an airier, more invigorating look, select bright white. You’ll find variations in tone in incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs.

Modernize a chandelier: Update the look of any chandelier by plucking off its shades. While shades themselves can do a lot to alter the look of the fixture, putting the bulbs on display is a bold approach that’s well suited to urban chic interior styles. As designer Philip Gorrivan said, “Experiment with different light bulbs in your sconces and chandeliers. Instead of the traditional flame tip, try using clear Edison bulbs. Ditch the shades for a more modern look.”

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Shift your shape: Bulbs go way beyond the classic rounded top versions. Flames (either embossed or with a candle-like wispy end) and faceted bulbs make a more pronounced statement. Edison bulbs, which themselves come in a range of shapes – from long and slender to short and round – are currently on the interior design hot list.

EdisonBulbs

5 things you might not know about LED lighting

You’ve surely heard the hubbub about getting rid of old-style incandescent light bulbs and switching to more eco-friendly, energy-efficient bulbs to light your home. The hype has started for good reason – lights like LEDs really are longer-lasting and more efficient, and come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. But many people are still reluctant to make the switch.

Photo Credit: Corbett Lighting

If you’re curious about LED lighting, but not sure about making the transition, here are five key things you need to know.

LED_Bulb

1. What are LEDs, anyway? LED stands for “light emitting diode” and it’s those diodes that make the lights different from traditional incandescent and CFL bulbs, which contain filaments inside a glass bulb. The LED “bulb” contains tiny light sources or lenses that illuminate when an electrical current passes through a semiconductor within the bulb.

2. Do LED bulbs really last longer? Yes, they do! One LED bulb can have a life of 100,000 hours. Compare that to the average life span of a traditional incandescent light – just 750 hours.

3. Are LEDs actually eco-friendly? It’s not just a sales tactic – LEDs use less energy (less demand on the environment), last longer (fewer bulbs to throw away) and contain no toxic materials. They’re even recyclable.

4. LEDs are only for small fixtures, right? Nope! LED light fixtures have come a long way in recent years, and homeowners with a strong sense of taste can rejoice – virtually any style of fixture is now available in an LED version. So from your living room chandelier to the pendants above your kitchen bar, LEDs can light the way – and do it beautifully.LED_OutdoorPostLantern

5. Can LEDs be used outside? Absolutely! Whether you’re lighting up a pathway to your patio space or welcoming your guests to your front door, outdoor LED light fixtures will do the task – and save you the headaches of having to replace bulbs on a regular basis.