Posts Tagged ‘Bulbs’

LED Light Bulbs: Prepare to Measure Home Light Bulbs in Lumens, Not Watts

02 Dec

Replacing a burned-out light bulb might be a bit confusing for many U.S. residents this year. As the United States transitions from the once ubiquitous incandescent light bulb to more energy-efficient forms of lighting – such as LED bulbs – the Federal Trade Commission is changing the way light bulbs are labeled. Lumens will replace watts as the primary indicator of a bulb’s brightness, which means consumers will need to relearn how to shop for replacement bulbs.

To prepare for the incandescent phase-out, the FTC has worked with manufacturers of LED lights and other types of lighting to develop a label that will allow consumers to easily compare different types of bulbs. Resembling the nutrition labels on food products, the new light bulb labels will include information such as:

Brightness (in lumens)
Estimated yearly energy cost
Estimated life expectancy of the bulb
Color and appearance of the light produced
Energy used (in watts)

Why Lumens Instead of Watts?

Watts measure a bulb’s energy consumption, whereas lumens measure its actual light output, or brightness. When incandescent bulbs were the standard, consumers became accustomed to gauging a bulb’s light output by the amount of energy it produced. As more energy-efficient options such as LED light bulbs are becoming widely used, however, watts are no longer a reliable measurement of a bulb’s brightness.

To get a rough idea of how many lumens to look for in the newer LED bulbs and other energy-efficient options, here’s a look at the how many lumens are produced by incandescent bulbs with common wattages:

40 watts = 450 lumens
60 watts = 800 lumens
100 watts = 1600 lumens

So, for example, if you’re looking for LED light bulbs that are equivalent to 60-watt incandescent bulbs, look for those that produce 800 lumens.

Why Use LED Bulbs?

Here are some of the advantages of using LED lights in the home:

Cost: LED bulbs can operate for up to 11 years continuously, versus an incandescent bulb that lasts only 5,000 hours. This means you won’t need to buy as many replacement bulbs in the long run. Additionally, because LED lights use far less energy to produce the same amount of illumination, homeowners often see immediate savings in their energy bills.

Fixtures: You can find LED bulbs to fit most fixtures in your home, from recessed lights to floor and table lamps to outdoor fixtures.

Colors: It’s a common misconception that LED lights only come in bluish or cool hues. In truth, LED light bulbs are available in a wide range of colors, from cool to warm.


Small But Powerful Energy Efficient LED Light Bulbs

08 Nov

From the beginning of the technology LEDs have advances a long way. They have managed to infiltrate our everyday lives and have shaped what our environments look like.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are merely small energy efficient light bulbs. They use semiconductor systems to emit light. When LEDs were first opened up in the 1960’s, initially they were employed to emit a very low level of light, generally as indicators for an on/off type system. As technologies have advanced, LEDs have been taken through an intensive redesign and redevelopment program and can create a series of different wavelengths that calculate the color of the light released, right from infrared to ultraviolet. The new models of LEDs have facilitated them to be used in lieu of conventional incandescent bulbs. As prices keep going down, the popularity of LEDs utilized in domestic situations is bound to grow. Not only designed for lighting purposes, LEDs usually are used for displays in monitors and television displays, giving a sensitive and sharp display.

LEDs work by only letting electricity through one way. They are basically comprised of two plates, a positively charged plate and a negatively charged plate. When the current is passed through the LED, the positive charge is drawn to the positively charged plate and the same for the negative charge. When the charges reach a high enough level, the electrons in the plates are ousted by the current passing through. As the electrons from the two plates combine they produce light energy in the form of photons. Photons are produced when electrons have too much energy. This energy is released as light, this is referred to as electroluminescence.

LEDs have advanced ever since the crude beginnings of the systems, so much so that various colors can be made when needed. The radiance level of the light has also improved which has paved way for household use. The look of the LED bulbs maximizes the released light, reducing the loss of the light power.

LED bulbs are used in a lot of everyday devices, some of which you might not notice. For instance in most modern traffic lights. The Red, Amber and Green displays are made up of a collection of tightly packed together LEDs. This has many advantages; the intensity of the light has increased without compromising to see the color display. If one bulb breaks, the whole traffic light does not fail, also the displays can be seen in almost all weather conditions, due to the intensity of the LEDs. In Mobile phones and other hand held devices, TVs and most other electrical appliances. Without this tiny piece of technology, our everyday lives will drastically different from what we are accustomed to today.


LED Light Bulbs – Illuminating The Earth

05 Nov

LED the acronym for Light Emitting Diodes, light bulbs are one of the fresh technology bulbs at present. They are undersized electronic light bulbs that perform with the help of a tool known as the diode which helps to provide energy through the lighting. A LED light bulb do not consist of a filament and also they last nearly an entire life time.

Regardless of the certainty that this sort of illumination was first engineered in the early 60’s they started acquiring global recognition only in the last years. These days you can acquire a range of LED light specifications for many types of lights. Normally these illumination are made from chemical elements such as silicon as well as aluminum.

One of the positive aspects of LED lights are that they are extremely energy saving and for this genuine reason individuals are understanding the value of using them in their houses to economize on power bills that are quite high that several people find it burdensome to make their monthly payments.

These illumination can be applied in dwellings, backyard, commercial buildings, places of work as well as in businesses. And every day their attraction seems to be enhancing by the day with more folks going in for them. Additionally LED light bulb devices do not discharge unhealthy gases or ultra-violet rays and also gives off much lower amount of carbon dioxide in comparison to other light merchandise for this reason they are even regarded as green illumination devices.

It is learned that LED lights use white electricity for lighting up thereby making lights easier to pay for. They are also more efficient as well as more inexpensive when compared to other light. These bulbs are proven to have a life of roughly 100, 000 hours to say the least stating that they can be utilized continuous for over eleven years. This in comparison to the natural illumination that can last for 5000 hours is truly stupendous.

LED is widely utilized in light bulb pieces, rope illumination, street bulbs, avalanche illumination in stadiums, and as spot illumination on stages and also auditoriums. They are presented in a wide selection of shades so they are as well applied as elegant light bulbs for a considerable number of functions as well as parties.

Because of its miniature size they can be applied in a style especially when employed in the tail illumination as well as indicator lamps of any automobile varying from scooters, motorcycles to cars, buses, lorries and many others. An additional advantage of LED is that not like their incandescent alternatives they do not prefer any moment to get started, the luminosity can be dimmed as well as they can be applied even in areas where the current is very reasonable.


Five Things You Didn’t Know About LED Light Bulbs

06 Oct

If you’ve heard about residential LED light bulbs, you probably know that they’re energy-efficient, last a long time, and are pricier than other lightbulb technologies.

I’ve been using LED lights in my home for several months now, and overall the transition has been good. As you consider your lighting options, here a few things that you might not know about LEDs.

LEDs are cooler.

When you’re running fans or an air conditioner this summer, having burning-hot incandescent bulbs just makes it harder to manage the heat. LEDs run much cooler than incandescent bulbs and significantly cooler than CFLs.

Online retailer EnergyCircle actually measured the difference and found that a halogen bulb, a type of incandescent bulb, ran at 327 degrees! A Cree LED downlight was measured at 107 degrees and a Philips Par38 CFL worked at 167 degrees.

That’s not to say that heat isn’t at all an issue. LED bulbs do get hot but the heat is dissipated by metal heat sinks that wick away the heat from the light source itself. Keeping them cool with heat sinks or even liquid cooling, as Switch Lighting is doing, is important to ensuring they last as long as advertised.

You get instant full light.

You get the full brightness of an LED bulb when you turn it on, which is an advantage over CFLs in a couple of ways. For starters, you don’t need to wait for full light if you’re running in and out of a room. But frequent cycling also degrades the life of CFLs, one of the reasons that CFLs in some cases don’t last as long as expected.

I’ve become more conscious of this and put LEDs in places where lights are cycled on and off quickly. CFLs, meanwhile, are in light fixtures and lamps which typically stay on for extended periods. Consumer Reports found turning CFLs on and off in less than 15 minutes degraded their life.

LEDs don’t attract bugs.

Pixi Lighting, which makes LEDs, lists “no bugs!” (that is, insects) as one of the reasons to use LEDs. But if you look at discussions online, it’s not so clear-cut.

The stated reason that bugs don’t fly toward LEDs is because bugs are attracted to ultraviolet light and at least some LEDs don’t give off this type of light. But that’s not universally true for all types of LEDs, according to people who have commented online. In one discussion, an employee from EnergyCircle said that most residential LED bulbs give off almost no UV light.

In an unscientific test last night at my house, I saw moths and mosquitoes fly right past my outdoor LED bulb; they were not attracted to the light. Consumer LED bulb maker Pharox advertises its bulbs as having no UV, so it’s something worth checking when you’re shopping around.

LEDs come in funny shapes.

Lighting manufacturers have tried to make LED bulbs as familiar-looking as possible, most importantly by having a screw-in connector. But there are limits to mimicking the Edison-style bulb.

“Snow cone” LEDs, where the top half is a bulb shape, best resemble incandescent bulbs but light is given off in only one direction. So you’ll get more light from the top of a desk lamp, for example, than the bottom. CFLs or incandescents give off light in all directions.

The most recent bulbs to come to market address this light dispersal problem very well. I’ve been testing a Lighting Sciences Group 60-watt equivalent for the last week or so and it does indeed give off far more even light than the company’s own snow cone-type bulbs.

The price for the more even light dispersal is odd-looking bulbs. The LSG bulb has a squat disk for a light source and the rest of the bulb is a heat sink made of metal fins that make up most of the actual bulb.

Philips’ LED bulbs have a crown-like light source and a similar aluminum heat sink. But their recently released 75-watt equivalent bulb has a noticeably longer heat sink than the 60-watt equivalent Philips LED, which is something to consider. When I tried it at home, the 75-watt equivalent, called the 17-watt A21 LED, was too long to fit into a small overhead fixture.

You will need to learn some lighting lingo.

We still talk about 60-watt and 75-watt equivalent bulbs because that’s what we’re accustomed to. But some manufacturers are using new labels that give people far more information than brightness, which is worth understanding as lighting gets more diverse.

Lumens, of course, measure the amount of light, with a 60-watt equivalent giving off at least 800 lumens. But LEDs are also sold by color temperature, either warmer yellow light or cooler white light. And then there’s color rendering index, with the highest being the best for light quality.

Warmer color lights will be more familiar since they’re closer to the yellow glow of a CFL or incandescent. But I found I like the cooler, white light of the Lighting Sciences Group bulbs, rated at a cooler 3000 Kelvin, which I find a little cleaner. As for color quality, I can’t put my finger on why, but I’ve been very happy with the light from a Pixi bulb which has a 96 color rendering index–higher than the others I have.

Bonus: 40-watt equivalents bulbs are underrated.

Some of the first general-purpose LED bulbs I tested were rated with the light output of a 40-watt equivalent. I found that they were not quite enough to light up a whole room, but they do the trick in more places than I thought. For example, I have a small LED for an outdoor light and one in the basement. These aren’t spots where I’ll spend time reading a book so these energy-sippers have fit in nicely.


Europe Says Goodbye to 60W Incandescent Lamps

02 Sep

The European phase-out of low-efficiency lamps, which began two years ago, now encompasses clear 60W incandescent lamps.

From today, the 60W incandescent lamp will gradually become a thing of the past in Europe. This type of lamp can no longer be manufactured in Europe or imported into the region. However, the lamps can be sold until stocks run out.

The new regulation comes into force as a result of the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC), which has already outlawed 100W and 75W incandescent lamps (in September 2009 and September 2010, respectively).

Specifically, the regulation coming into force today says that clear (transparent) lamps with a wattage level of 60W or above need to have an energy-label class of C or above (A is the highest, G is the lowest).

This effectively eliminates standard incandescent lamps from the market. However, the class C requirement means that other more-efficient technologies (such as improved incandescent bulbs with halogen technology) can remain on the market. This was felt to be necessary because compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lamps, while being much more efficient, can’t provide the same “type of light” as incandescents.

From September 2012, all clear lamps at all wattage levels will have to achieve at least class C. Also, since September 2009 there has been a requirement that all non-clear (also known as pearl, or frosted) lamps must be class A, which in practice means that non-clear lamps have to be CFLs.

In its current form, the Directive only applies to non-directional lamps, while further legislation will cover directional lamps. This is sure to be one of the issues covered in the upcoming Strategies in Light Europe conference in early October.

The European Commission has a website devoted to energy-saving light bulbs, which contains some useful details, particularly covering the relevant legislation.

A section entitled “Why has the EU acted?” focuses principally on energy savings and on the benefits of CFLs. Another interesting source of information is the “Professional FAQ” document that can be downloaded from the Technical Background section of the website.

This document covers issues such as the alleged intrusion of Brussels into citizens’ private lives, the risk of lamp shortages and factory closures, and the effect on lamps that are sold incoporated into luminaires. There is also a question about possible weakening of the measure’s impact caused by people stocking up on conventional incandescent bulbs – which is referred to as “hamstering.”

The EC has also implemented other changes. Since September 2010, lamp packaging should carry better product information to help consumers choose the best solution according to their needs. Lamp producers are obliged to mention the lifetime of the lamp in hours, the number of switching cycles the lamp is designed for, the color temperature, the warm-up time, the size of the lamp and whether the lamp can be dimmed or not.


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