Choosing the Right Light Color Temperature for Your Home

LED Source LED Lights

The color of light

The last time you went to the home improvement store to pick up new light bulbs for your home, you probably thought about the size, type, and cost of your lighting, but did you think about the color of your lights? If you’re anything like the majority of homeowners out there, the answer is probably no. While most of us understand that energy saving LED bulbs are better for us and the environment than traditional halogens, our lighting knowledge usually stops there. In fact, the color of your light bulbs is more important than you might think. Read on for a lesson on light color temperature and how to choose the right light colors for your home.

What is light color temperature?

Without getting too technical, light color temperature is all about how the color of the heated metal inside your light bulbs changes as its temperature increases. This scale is measured in degrees Kelvin, where lights over 5000K are considered to be cool colors (blueish white in color) and lights 2700K or under are warm (yellowish hue color). If this counterintuitive designation still makes no sense to you, think about the color difference between daylight (roughly 6000K) and candlelight (1000K). For more specific light color delineation, check out this clever chart.

Choosing the right color temperatures in your home

All the scientific explanation in the world can only go so far when it comes to light color, so there are a few more questions you need to ask yourself before choosing the lighting for your home. When thinking about a particular bulb, ask yourself:

  • Where is it going to be used?
  • What is it going to be used for?
  • How long is it going to be used?

Once you’ve come up with your answers, you can move on to choosing your light bulbs by following the general guidelines below.

Warm White, at a temperature above 3000 degrees Kelvin, give off a bright white and are perfect for energizing, increasing productivity, and working. For this reason, it’s best to use Warm White colored bulbs in offices, bathrooms, kitchens, home gyms, and retail areas. You can use a higher Kelvin temperature from 5000K to 6000K however, using this kind of lighting for too long can result in headaches and eye damage, so it’s not recommended for everyone all of the time.

As a general rule, Warm colored lighting looks dimmer and softer than cool lighting and is typically used for calming, relaxing, and comfortable environments. Modernize recommends warm colored light bulbs for areas such as bedrooms, living rooms, entryways, and hallways. Of course, you can light your entire home with warm bulbs, but their soft light is not always good for extended reading, food preparation, or any number of bathroom related activities. An easy to remember common practice in most homes is to use an A19 to replace the standard Edison style lamp. A BR30/BR40 can be great for recessed can lighting, and for chandeliers and celling fans you can always spring for the candelabra B10/11.

For most homeowners, a combination of both warm and cool colored light bulbs placed strategically throughout the house will suffice in keeping everyone in the family calm, productive, relaxed, and energized at the appropriate times. With any luck, you will have learned something here and can pass on your newfound scientific light-based knowledge to the rest of your family and friends.

By Kaitlin Krull

Construction Economists Forecast a Surge In 2016

cranetower1

All leading indicators point to a surge in new construction starts in 2016. Does that mean that the recession is finally over? That is still up for debate as we enter a presidential election year and are still dealing with a loss of jobs, high unemployment and of course the extremely high costs associated with socialized medicine.

On the other hand, if you listen to what construction economists are quietly saying, you will hear that there is some light at the end of the tunnel as new construction starts should make some substantial gains in 2016. With the current economic state of affairs in China, I also believe that we will be seeing more companies making business decisions to relocate back to the United States. Interest rates are on the increase domestically, yet we are still struggling with the price of crude oil. I’m not complaining because we are seeing all-time lows in the cost of crude. However, there is ultimately going to be a negative impact on the United States and Canada as long as we continue to depend on OPEC. In my opinion, once we have decided to not pursue our own resources, OPEC will then position itself to implement increases to which we will have no recourse.

The best way to prevent rising energy costs and insulate the U.S. from global price spikes is by actively producing our own American energy resources. This includes more American produced oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear, along with alternative sources such as wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal. Producing more American energy will lower prices, create new American jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, strengthen our national security, and raise new revenue.

Now, back to the current trending of the new construction industry in the United States, Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America is bullish on the market for most types of construction. For example, construction spending increased 14% from September 2014 to September 2015.

According to Robert Murray, chief economist and vice president of Dodge Data & Analytics, “The construction expansion is continuing, and the ongoing increase should result in greater demand for the services of electrical contractors.” If fact, as shown in table 1 below, the economy is expected to grow 3.1% in 2016, and total construction starts are forecast to move upwards by 6% to $712B. Looking at the table, one can see where the current projections are for a 9% increase for non-residential building. Residential is projected to increase by 16%, while the non-building sector will slide by 14%.

Clipping 1

Looking at the overall projected health of the construction industry in 2016, most FMI (One of the nation’s leading construction economic & analysis firms) microeconomists are predicting that the total construction put into place will experience a healthy increase of 7%. That includes a 9% jump for residential, a 7% increase for non-residential as well as a 3% shift upwards in non-building (Table 2 below). As previously stated, although single family dwellings are on the upsweep, the multifamily dwellings are going to benefit even more from the construction upswing in 2016. The latest increase by the Federal Reserve is clearly indicative of the bullish market.

The latest economic correction is seeing a much stronger dollar. However, that in turn hurts US exports into those countries that are currently experiencing an economic downward spiral such as China and Europe.

In terms of non-residential markets, the hospitality industry and commercial segments are projected to see gains of 12% and 10% respectfully. This is only for new construction and does not allow for retrofit applications which are projected to experience double digit growth in 2016 in most every segment.

Clipping 2

Healthcare is a surprise to me, but is understandable considering several factors such as Obamacare, the rising cost of medical insurance, the loss of medicial jobs, while at the same time, we constinue to be an aging society. Look for that number (4%) to spike into double digits after the presidential election in November. This industry is going to be placed into a position in which it will have no choice other than to increase new construction in 2017.

How does all of this breakdown and what will it mean to you in your region of the country? As the chart below indicates, most every region of the United States with the exception of the South Central States will all share in the uptick of new construction. The South Central portion of the United States is historcially the poorest region and is typically the last to benefit from an economic correction. However, because it is the poorest regional economically, affordable housing is abundant and that region of the country should actually see more growth in residential buildings (both single family dwellings as well as multi-family housing) thank the rest of the nation. The South Atlantic States are positioned to benefit more than any other region of the United States in overall new construction starts.

Clipping 3

Robert Murray is projecting a somewhat more than modest upswing in US construction activity across all segments. “We saw a pause in the non-residential building market for 2015, but it followed some good percentage gains for construction starts in 2013 (up 11%) and 2014 (up 24%).” “The market fundamentals still remain positive for commercial buildings, and we are still seeing support for the institutional building sector from the passage of numerous bond construction measures in recent years.”

 

As I eluded to earlier in this report, the retrofit market continues to move forward with tremendous gains in virtually every market segment. The LED replacement lamp market will grow 30% annually, in terms of units sold, between 2012 and 2016 according to new research published by analyst firm Strategies Unlimited.

Strategies Unlimited has published a new report entitled “LED replacement lamp market analysis and forecast” that projects a global LED-retrofit-lamp market that exceeds $3.7 billion by 2016. The growth in solid-state lighting (SSL) products intended for existing sockets is from a $2.2 billion base in 2011, and the firm projects an annual 30% growth in the number of units sold.

According to the report, there were 39.9 million SSL A-lamps (A19 lamps with a legacy Edison base) sold globally in 2011. Strategies Unlimited analyst Katya Evstratyeva said that Japan led the way in consuming LED A-lamps with 24.7 million of the global total. The Japanese Eco-point program was in part responsible for the high market numbers, but Evstratyeva said other factors such as environmental concerns and high prices in compact-fluorescent lamps (CFLs) contributed as well.

Perhaps surprisingly, the market for LED-based linear fluorescent replacement lamps was strong globally as well. Strategies Unlimited reports 19.3 million units sold with 41% of those sales coming in China, 21% in Japan, and only 18% combined in the US and the European Union.

I attribute the lower numbers in the United States to the fact that we are just now beginning to recognize and accept linear LED tubes as a viable and dependable alternative to traditional fluorescent lamps. Further, agencies such as UL & DLC are now listing linear LED tubes as safe and qualified for rebates and incentives. Efficacy levels and L70 data has increased dramatically which is in turn leading to what I believe will be a banner year for this type of retrofit application.

By Tim Hardy, P.E.

San Francisco Bay Bridge Shines With LED Lighting

San Francisco Bay Bridge LED Lighting

Most people really don’t realize the amount of time, labor and engineering that goes into either making a new bridge or demolishing an older one, especially when the bridge is still in use for commuters. Between Oakland and San Francisco stands the Bay Bridge. The 77 year old East Span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge recently had a new 2,000 foot span built to replace the aging structure. This new section incorporates over 1,600 custom-designed LED light fixtures incorporating 51,000 Cree XM-L LEDs. The new Bridge LED lighting is expected to save over 50% in lighting energy when compared to traditional metal halide fixtures.

San Francisco Bay Bridge LED Lighting San Francisco Bay Bridge LED Lighting San Francisco Bay Bridge LED Lighting

Official San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction Time-Lapse

Witness more than 42,000 hours of construction in just 4 minutes with this official time-lapse movie of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Live streaming video and high definition time-lapse construction cameras have been on site since 2008 to document progress, archiving nearly 2 million images for the $6.4 billion bridge.

Demolishing the Old Bay Bridge East Span

Crews have begun to carefully dismantle the 77-year old East Span section-by-section, in roughly the reverse order of how it was built in the mid-1930s. Demolition of the nearly 2-mile long original East Span will take place in three phases over three to five years. Crews will first work in the westward direction toward Yerba Buena Island, taking apart the cantilever section and demolishing the S-Curve, before moving east to dismantle the 504’ and the 288’ truss spans. The demolition team will then head to the waterline to remove the piers, pilings and foundations that support the span. When the entire demolition project is complete, over 58,000 tons of steel and 245,000 tons of concrete will have been removed. For more information on the demolition visit http://baybridgeinfo.org/demolition The Bay Lights by Leo Villareal

25,000 individually programmed LEDs transform the West Span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge into an iconic light sculpture. For information on the Bay Bridge visit http://baybridgeinfo.org

What Does The New EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule Mean?

EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

We are big believers in the many benefits of LED lighting, the biggest being the energy savings. However, the new EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule does not even mention LED lighting.

So why does this matter? It really is quite simple. If you were to have consumers replace their inefficient old incandescent and even CFL bulbs with an LED light bulb, we would not have to look at forcing further reductions for power plants nor would we need to think of building more.

EPA Clean Power Proposed Plan

Highlights from the new EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule:

  • Will help cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent from 2005 levels.
  •  Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
  •  The proposal will also cut pollution that leads to soot and smog by over 25 percent in 2030. Americans will see billions of dollars in public health and climate benefits, now and for future generations.
  • The Clean Power Plan will lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, including avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.
  •  The proposal will put Americans to work making the U.S. electricity system less polluting and our homes and businesses more efficient, shrinking electricity bills by roughly 8 percent in 2030.
  •  It will keep the United States—and more importantly our businesses—at the forefront of a global movement to produce and consume energy in a better, more sustainable way.

While the EPA and President Obama and leading the charge for improved changes, it does make you wonder why someone would not think of LED lighting as a viable option.

US Ban on Fluorescent Ballasts

Miami Tower RGB LED Sign

U.S. to Ban the Manufacture and Import of Many Fluorescent Ballasts in Late 2014

Effective November 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy will ban the manufacture and importation of certain fluorescent ballasts that do not meet the minimum BLE (ballast luminous efficiency) level as described in the DOE 10 CFR 430 rule making – See The ENERGY POLICY AND CONSERVATION ACT – Public Law 94–163, As Amended Through P.L. 113–67, Enacted December 26, 2013.

US Ban on Fluorescent Ballasts

This rule making will impact many electromagnetic fluorescent T12 and T8 that operate four-foot and eight foot rapid start, instant start, high output and sign ballasts, as these do not meet the new efficiency requirements and cannot be made to do so. Ballasts manufactured prior to November 14th and are in the U.S. can still be sold after that date, however, once they are gone they can not longer be imported.

Business customers using this targeted technology will have limited options when it comes to replacement and service. One such replacement is using LED tubes and other LED fixture solutions. 

For Instance, the 4’ and 8’ T12 and High Output fluorescent tube has been a staple in forward facing signs for decades. As these products become unavailable for purchase, LED 4’ and 8’ tubes provide a great solution.

US Ban on Fluorescent Ballasts

For backlit channel letters, LED RGB modules provide color changing and back lighting solutions which will outlast and outperform fluorescent and neon. In fact, sign companies have been one of the earliest adopters in making the switch to LED and many no longer use the outdated technology.

LEDs are increasingly dominating illuminated signage and are becoming the new standard. The advantages are evident. In comparison with traditional lighting solutions such as neon or fluorescent lamps, LEDs have longer lifespans, which results in less maintenance. Their sustainability can result in significant energy cost savings. In addition colored RGB LEDs can also be used in order to enhance the perception of sign backlighting.

For people still unsure if LED lighting is here to stay, as the saying goes ‘the proof is in the pudding’ or perhaps it is now in the sign.

Efficient LED Lighting in Restaurants

Restaurant LED lighting

LED Lighting In Restaurants

Restaurant LED lighting

An LED, or Light Emitting Diode, is a semiconductor that illuminates when electrical currents passes through it. They are small, yet clustered together with diffuser lenses, which means the application of them can be much wider and commercial. The use of LED lighting in restaurants has many advantages for both business owners and customers alike.

High Efficiency

LED lights are highly efficient especially when compared to traditional lights where 90% of the energy used is lost in heat. LED lamps absorb heat into a heat sink resulting in the majority of power supplied converted into light – no wasted energy.

Many restaurants operate their lighting an average of 12-16 hours per day. Making the switch to LED lighting saves money immediately reducing monthly electricity bills without turning off the lights.

Long Life

LED light bulbs last about 10 to 50 times longer than a traditional light bulbs and have an average lamp life of 25,000 to 50,000 hours – a definite advantage for restaurants. Conventional light bulbs burn out a lot faster, making the investment in LED lighting a sensible idea since you won’t have to replace light bulbs as often.

Restaurant LED Lighting

Durability

Conventional incandescent light bulbs have a slender and fragile fibre called a filament, which can easily break if not handled properly. These light bulbs get very hot, burn out and need to be changed often.

Compact fluorescent bulbs or CFLs use less energy than incandescent bulbs, but they contain mercury and can easily break, causing additional environmental and disposal concerns for restaurant owners.

LED lights are more durable because they don’t have a filament and are less prone to damage or smashing when dropped or bumped. For restaurants, when a traditional light bulb breaks, it can be dangerous for customers and staff. LED lights are less likely to break when dropped and don’t use glass. The days of cleaning up a broken light bulb are gone forever!

Restaurant LED Lighting

Cost Efficient

Conventional light bulbs produce more heat, use more electricity, and are likely to need replacement more often due to short life spans and damages.

LED lighting is more energy-efficient, saving money on your electricity bills. In addition, LEDs produce very little heat which results in lower HVAC costs.

Restaurant LED Lighting

Why Choose LED?

The most popular MR16 halogen light bulb uses 50 watts. It produces a lot of heat, has a short life span and burns out quickly. This means constant replacing, maintenance and added costs.

Instead, choose a high output MR16 LED lamp, which is capable of replacing a 50W halogen. It has brilliant distribution of light, operates around 7W, lasts 40,000 hours, and is dimmable.

A high output PAR38 LED bulb is capable of replacing a 120 watts PAR38 halogen. It is energy-efficient operating at 19W, environmentally friendly, emits very little heat, provides directional light, lasts up to 50,000 hours, is dimmable and no UV or IR radiation.

Typical fluorescent T8 lamp kitchen lights can be replaced with Linear LED T8 Tube lighting. These T8 LED lamps are environmentally friendly – contain no mercury and don’t require hazardous waste disposal. They don’t emit UV or IR, no buzz or flickering, instant on and are glass free – safe for all working conditions.

With all the many benefits of efficient LED lighting in restaurants, isn’t it about time you made the switch. LED lighting provides money-saving solutions that will improve the bottom line for any business. Customers and staff will be more comfortable in a cooler working environment and better light quality means a more inviting environment.

Is It Time To Say Goodbye To The Fluorescent Tube

Does it make sense to replace your existing fluorescent lamps with LED tubes? Of course that answer varies depending on your specific application, hours of operation and type of fluorescent tube being used, but the lines are now blurred with recent advancements in LED lighting.

LED Lighting Retrofit LED Source

Let’s take a look at one of the most common types of lights used in commercial settings – the 4-foot T-8 fluorescent lamp. The time has finally come to retire the T8 fluorescent tube with the introduction of the new Philips LED T8 InstantFit lamp.

Philips LED T8 InstantFit Tube Fluorescent Retrofit

In the past, fluorescent fixture modifications and code compliance made switching to LED tubes a labor intensive project. However, with the new InstantFit from Philips Lighting, ‘Plug and Play’ has finally arrived with the LED tube.

Fluorescent LED Tube Replacement

Suitable for a large range of installations and applications, the InstantFit requires no rewiring in fixtures with electronic ballasts. In fact, installation only takes seconds and no electrician needed. It will even operate along side fluorescent tubes in the same fixture – now that is impressive.

InstantFit T8 LED Tube Benefits:

  • 40,000 hour lifetime and 4 year warranty!
  • No Ballast Bypass – You do not have to touch the ballast at all.
  • Mercury Free – Environmentally friendly and requires no costly disposal fees.
  • Instant On – No flickering or buzz
  • Dimmable & Controllable – Add occupancy sensors to improve the energy savings.

Philips LED T8 InstantFit Tube is now available and shipping in 3500K, 4000K and 5000K color temperatures making it the right choice for all types of general lighting applications.

Related Articles – Is Fluorescent Lighting Causing Havoc In The Workplace? 

Say Goodbye To The 40W And 60W Incandescent Light Bulb

40W 60W Incandescent Light Bulb

If you have not heard about the 40-watt and 60-watt light bulb ban starting January 1st, 2014, you are not alone. In a recent survey only 52 percent of American’s had heard anything about it, but that does not mean your 2014 will not be bright. Say hello to the LED light bulb.

The Federal Government’s Energy Policy, the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, means this New Year we can say goodbye to the production of the 40W and 60W incandescent bulbs we all grew up with. This adds to the light bulb ban that happened in previous years for the 75W and 100W Edison light bulbs.

Tough new efficiency standards are also pushing the linear fluorescent tube, the popular T12 4’ lamp, to the recycling graveyard. Even the familiar 100W and 150W halogen spots and floodlights must pass new federal energy efficiency policies or face the same fate.

60W Equivalent LED Light Bulb

Benefits of quality LED lighting has finally given the U.S. a viable, affordable option, compared to the limitations and poor lighting performance of the compact fluorescent (CFL), which had been the only option for many years. LED lighting will outlast the CFL by tens of thousands of hours while providing even greater energy savings. LED lights also have the added benefit of not needing to be handled as a hazardous material when disposed of. In many utility markets, LED lighting can come with attractive rebates and incentives for the consumer and business owner alike.

For commercial business owners and property managers the message should be clear – it’s time to make the switch to LED lighting and add the savings to your bottom line.

Showing Support With LED Light For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

LED lighting has come a long way over the last few years. The quality of light has now surpassed that of traditional lighting sources and the technology continues to only get better.

One of the many advantages of LED lighting is its versatility. It lasts longer, is more durable, can be dimmed and can even change colors. Bet your conventional lighting can’t do all that.

LED Source

What does LED lighting and Breast Cancer Awareness Month have in common?

LED Source

Our friends over at Royal Philips and Philips Color Kinetics are showing their support on a global scale for Breast Cancer Awareness by illuminating over 100 landmarks and buildings worldwide in Pink throughout the month of October.

LED Source

LED Source® is also proud to be part of this movement. We are shining some of our more iconic LED lighting projects in Pink to show solidarity for the many breast cancer survivors. Look to the skyline in South Florida this week and you will see the Miami Tower in the City of Miami, the Bank of America Plaza in Las Olas City Centre, and the Esperante Building in the City of West Palm Beach, shining in Pink thanks to LED lighting.

Color Kinetics

Additional high-profile LED projects in the U.S. showing their support in Pink include the Empire State Building, W Hotel in Boston and the gateway pylons at LAX Airport.

One in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the course of their lifetime. Every 13 minutes, a woman dies from Breast Cancer. That could be your wife, your sister, your aunt, your mother, or the friendly face working at your favorite coffee shop.

Please show your support and hopefully one day this disease will just be a distant memory.

For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness Month visit http://www.nbcam.org

LED Lighting – A Winning Hand For Casinos

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Casino LED LightWhile the odds of winning in casinos have not improved, LED lighting technology is winning the approval of casino patrons and operators alike.

Much thought is given into the design of casinos. From the obvious “no clocks” in plain sight initiative to the pattern on the carpets, all with the idea of keeping you there longer and spending more.

How is LED lighting a smart bet for casino owners and operators? Casinos need to be a well-lit and safe environment for a variety of reasons. According to industry experts, patrons who enjoy gambling seem to prefer well-lit gaming tables, lobbies and pedestrian walkways.

Security professionals also love LED lighting. Having multiple close circuit video cameras, LED lighting provides superior color rendering benefits that can aid in helping to catch cheats and improves the odds of the facial recognition software as well.

In addition, LED lighting technology can help save energy in a variety of lighting fixtures and video gaming systems. Casinos have entire floor spaces devoted to hundreds and hundreds of slot machines, each consuming energy at an alarming rate. For example, the Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas, an MGM Grand International property, spends $5 million a year in energy costs, much of it attributed to lighting.

According to the EPA, replacing the conventional existing lighting in the Monte Carlo Casino slot machines to LED lamps provided an 85% energy usage savings that they can take to the bank.

That kind of energy savings can extend to the entire facility. Using LED lighting in recessed, cove and track fixtures can save up to 90% of all lighting energy costs.

With an average life expectancy of 50,000 hours, maintenance costs can also be significantly reduced. Recently Harrah’s Rincon Resort and Casino in California replaced over 7,000 incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lamps with energy-efficient LED lighting, thus saving over $200,000 per year. The entire project cost $362,000 and installation took place over three weeks.

The trend is starting for casinos to take a serious look about ‘going green’ with LED lighting. Since the odds always favor the house, making the switch will continue to add more green to their bottom line.

For more information contact the LED Lighting Experts at LED Source.

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