Archive for the ‘lighting’ category

Pledge Your Support – Install a CFL!

April 20, 2007

19 April 2007 – Have you seen the new mini-twist helical CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) that replaces a standard light bulb?

They use 75% less energy!

A 60-Watt equivalent CFL only uses 13 Watts and in summer will reduce your air conditioning load as well.

Over it’s life, it will save you about 15 to 20 times it’s cost.

If your home or business has plans to use these or any other “Energy Star” light or lamp, please add your support to millions of others who have pledged their support!  It only takes a second!

A friend of mine who works at the world’s largest recycler – Nucor – emailed me the pledge URL.

Thank you for pledging to be “green” this year in your personal life,



Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)

March 24, 2007

23 Mar 2007 – Want to personally make a difference in the world?  Replace your incandescent bulbs with new compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s).  Use this  easy CFL Energy Calculator to see how much money you can save!  Just input information about existing incandescent lightbulbs and proposed compact fluorescent lamps for a certain area of your home or business – to see the payback period on your investment and your savings!

The Light Bulbs Etc. company also sells a wide variety of CFL’s in various sizes, shapes, and quantities.  Their prices seem reasonable, if bought in bulk.  They sell CFL’s in the range from 15 to 500 Watt equivalents.


February 23, 2007

22 Feb 2007 – It does not matter if you believe in global warming or just in energy reduction or conservation – if you have replaced incandescent lightbulbs in your home with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) – pay a visit to the website entitled 18seconds .  It is named after the amount of time it takes to change out a lightbulb.

Each CFL eliminates 450 pounds or 200 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions over its life!

Thanks for reducing your energy intensity – Lars.

Sylvania Releasing New PSH Ballast in 2007

February 10, 2007

9 Feb 2007 – Word on the street is that Sylvania will be releasing a new 100,000 cycle, high-ballast factor ProStart “PSH” ballast later this year.  This will compete with the high-ballast factor GE Ultrastart.

Not only will the PSH drive more lumens out of each lamp than any existing ProStart PSX or PSL ballast, but it will provide significantly longer life to lamps than Sylvania’s current line of high-ballast factor, instant start ballasts.

The PSH is a welcome addition, opening up new retrofit options for offices hoping to de-lamp fixtures from four to two without sacrificing light output, while gaining incredible lamp life – even on highly cycled lighting, such as those with occupancy sensors.  Some installations will likely never replace a lamp!

Turn Off Fluorescent Lights or Let Them Burn?

February 10, 2007

9 Feb 2007 – If you leave your office or room for only a few minutes, should you turn your fluorescent lights off?  The answer is YES.  Here’s why.

With the latest generation of fluorescent lighting fixtures and electronic ballasts, the energy required to restart your lights is small.  The energy savings cutoff time is less than 10 seconds.

The real question is, do you have the right fluorescent ballasts to be turning your lights on and off 24 times per day?

Your lamp life depends on your ballast and your application.  There are basically two types of electronic ballast that could be driving your lights.  One is called an “Instant Start” ballast.  The other is a “Programmed Start” (or rapid start) ballast.

How are they different and how do they affect lamp life?

Instant Start.  Lamps being lit by an instant start ballast prefer to be left on.  An area such as a kitchen lit continuously for hours might be a good candidate for instant start ballasts.  If you frequently “cycle” or turn on and off the lights, you will shorten the life of the lamps.  If you have occupancy sensors installed, you will probably be disappointed in the lamp life with instant start ballasts.  But if only switched a few times per day, instant start ballasts are the way to go.  They will give efficient long life to the lamps.

Programmed Start.  Bathroom or office lighting, on the other hand, might be cycled many more than 20 times per day.  These areas would be better suited to lighting systems with programmed start ballasts.  These systems tolerate the frequent cycling of lights without premature burnout of lamps; and they are designed to work with occupancy sensors – which automatically do the energy-saving switching for you.

So, what do you have?  Safely lock out the electricity; pull your tubes (lamps); take off the cover plate; and check the printing on your ballasts.  Abbreviations such as “IS” indicate Instant Start, while PS or RS refer to Programmed Start or Rapid Start.  If you need to swap out some fixtures or ballasts, safely use your new-found knowledge and then start getting some better life out of those lamps!

Again, if you have instant start ballasts on fluorescent light fixtures located in areas which are cycled frequently – and you are not happy with the life of your lamps – then switch to a programmed or rapid start ballast such as the GE Ultrastart or the Sylvania ProStart PSN, which can handle 100,000 cycles.  Just make sure your lamps are also “matched” to the ballast.  There are many types of lamps out there!  Don’t be afraid to ask a knowledgeable dealer or Rep for help.


the Energy Geek

“Re-Lamp” or “De-Lamp” my T12 Fluorescent Fixtures?

February 9, 2007

8 Feb 2007 – Not only will new T8 fluorescent lamps install into old T12 fixtures, but when you replace your old magnetic ballasts with new electronic ballasts – you can also “de-lamp” to save more electrical energy and more easily justify the payback on the changeout.  Read on.

Okay, let’s say you currently have 4-foot, 4-lamp fluorescent fixtures in your home or business and you want to change to more efficient lighting.  Here are two different solutions:

  1. Re-Lamp.  You can replace the four T12 lamps with four T8 lamps; and also replace the two 2-lamp magnetic ballasts with one 4-lamp electronic ballast.  This can gain you a 40% efficiency improvement because the T12 system was providing about 65 lumens per Watt (LPW) and the new T8 is getting about 100 LPW!
  2. De-Lamp.  You can replace the four T12 lamps with two T8 lamps; and also replace the two 2-lamp magnetic ballasts with one 2-lamp electronic ballast with high ballast factor.  Previously the 4-lamp T12 fixture was using 144 Watts.  The new 2-lamp T8 system is now using 64 Watts!  An energy savings of 56% !

If you decide to De-Lamp from four 4-ft T12’s to two 4-ft T8’s, the following four-foot Sylvania system will save you a lot of research and testing, while providing you or your company with some outstanding results:

Two-lamp ballast:  QHE2x32T8/UNV ISH-SC, and Lamp:  Octron FO28/841XP/SS/ECO

“ISH” stands for Instant Start – High ballast factor.

If you decide to just re-lamp with four lamps, get an ISL or ISN instead of the ISH or you will have much more light (and use more Watts) than you actually need!   If you have questions, please comment!

See also:  Fluorescent Lighting Being Phased Out

Good luck with your lighting transformation; and congratulations on saving energy and money!

Fluorescent lighting being phased out

January 27, 2007

Jan 26, 2007 –  T12 fluorescent lighting is on the way out.  T8 and T5 fluorescent lighting is in.  Convert your old T12 lighting fixtures over to T8 lighting now!

In the United States it is reported that on July 1, 2010 manufacturers will no longer be able to sell the familiar T12 fluorescent lighting fixtures and ballasts.  Industry has moved to a more efficient version of fluorescent lighting called T8.  How are the two different?  The new T8 tubes have a smaller diameter: 1-inch vs. 1.5-inch, but more importantly, they are brighter and use 45% less energy than the old lights!

If your current fluorescent lights are in need of tubes or ballasts, it may be more economical to switch to the new lighting now.  The new T8 tubes are designed to fit into old T12 fixtures, however, the T12 magnetic ballast must be replaced with a T8 electronic ballast.

26 Feb 2007 update:  Check out this post for a 56% energy savings solution.