Tom Farin

Tom Farin

Tom Farin is the founder of Pegasus Lighting. Dr. Farin has been in the field of lighting since 1987. He has extensive training and experience in lighting, physics, mathematics and education, acquired at the undergraduate level, in graduate school, and in the field. It is Dr. Farin's interest and expertise in education that has driven the overall design of the site - with its heavy emphasis on lighting terminology, lighting techniques, and thorough information on each lighting product.

Apr 212014

2 dogs wearing sunglasses Know These 6 Myths Before Choosing Your Next Pair of SunglassesSpring has sprung. The weather is getting nicer. Time for a new pair of sunglasses?  It was time for me. Even though sunglasses are not a regular topic of our lighting blog, I felt that my recent experience picking out new sunglasses warranted this post. I was disappointed at the number of myths about sunglasses that were told to me by multiple, yes, multiple, supposedly knowledgeable sales people. So, I figured that it might prove useful to others if I shared my experience and busted these myths with this sunglasses buying guide. 

Myth #1: UV Protection In Sunglasses Not Important

Fact: The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can do several very bad things to your eyes and the area around your eyes: harm the lens, retina, and whites of your eyes, cause corneal sunburn and blisters, increase your chances of getting cataracts, have been linked to macular degeneration (vision loss due to damage due to a small spot near the center of the retina called the macula), cause skin cancer around your eyes including your eyelids, and help cause unwanted wrinkles and skin thickening around your eyes. WOW!  There’s a lot more but it would take more than this short response to get even more technical.

Myth #2: Sunglasses With Glass Lenses Remove All UV Radiation

I visited a small boutique optometry store and spoke to someone with 40 years of experience. He told me that if a pair of sunglasses has glass lenses, then they remove all UV radiation. Not true.

Fact: Glass of almost any kind (building windows, car windows, a pair of clear glasses) can remove some but not all of the UV radiation that reaches your eye. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is made up of three segments: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Fortunately for all of us UVC radiation is blocked by the earth’s atmosphere, ordinary glass blocks out UVB radiation (the main sunburn ray that causes skin cancer and sun damage) but allows UVA to pass right through (UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and can also cause skin cancer, wrinkles, and premature skin aging). However, it is possible to add a special UV-blocking film to ordinary glass or use specially formulated glass (or plastic) to block out 99.9% of UVB and UVA radiation.

Myth #3: Polarized Lenses Also Mean UV Protection

Two representatives in the optical department of a national chain of retail stores told me thaif a pair of sunglasses has polarized lenses, then they also provide UV protection. Not true.

Fact: These two features of sunglasses are entirely different from one another; one feature does not imply the presence of the other feature. Polarized lenses minimize direct and indirect glare from the sun; they allow you to see more clearly when the sun’s rays are reflected off flat, smooth surfaces like water, road pavement, and car hoods. Polarized lenses are not designed to reduce the ultraviolet radiation that reaches your eye.

Myth #4: More Expensive Sunglasses Have The Best UV protection

Fact: This is not always true. Relatively inexpensive sunglasses can sometimes block 99%-100% of UV radiation but they are not easy to find. However, you should be careful about still another problem – inexpensive sunglasses sometimes are non-uniform in thickness and have poor optical quality. This can mean that they sometimes distort the shape or clarity of an object, depending on what portion of the lenses that you look through.

Myth #5: Sunglass Tint Is Not Important

Many people think that the tint of the sunglass lenses is not that important. That it is purely an aesthetic decision based on your personal preferences and the “cool factor” you’re looking for.

Fact: The tint or hue of the sunglass lenses plays an important role in the perception of colors. Yellow or rose tinted lenses generally can make it difficult to distinguish different colored traffic lights. Gray, green, and brown lenses, however, minimize color distortion and are a better choice when you’re driving a vehicle. Some specialized sunglasses can have a special tint that are designed to enhance your performance of a specific task or sport; e.g., at least one sunglasses manufacturer has created a whole array of lens hues, one of which can possibly improve your tennis game by enhancing the color of the tennis ball.

Myth #6: Size Of Sunglasses Not Important

Most people choose the size of their sunglasses on whether or not they think they look “cool.” Thus, they think that size is not important.

Fact: Size, at least when it comes to sunglasses, does matter. It’s this simple: The larger the sunglasses, the broader the protection of your eyes, eyelids, and the skin around your eyes against UV damage. However, you can have all of that and still look “cool.”

Enjoy your spring and summer and enjoy your new sunglasses.

 Posted by on April 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm
Jan 052010

led traffic light green 200x300 LED Traffic Lights Cant Melt Snow

Put this one in the “didn’t see that coming” bin. Virtually everywhere you drive these days chances are you will see one or more LED traffic lights at important intersections. They’re the ones that look like a pattern of bright dots.

Cities around the country have installed these new traffic lights for several very good reasons. They are very energy-efficient using about 90% less energy than their incandescent counterparts and, more importantly, they last tens of thousands of hours, thus saving municipalities a bundle in maintenance costs.

Wisconsin, for example, which has put LED traffic lights at hundreds of intersections, saves about $750,000 per year in energy costs. LEDs installed seven years ago are still burning, while most incandescent bulbs have to be replaced every 12 to 18 months.
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 Posted by on January 5, 2010 at 9:59 am
Jul 232009

burst outdoor 300x247 Where Does That Sconce Go Anyway?A wall sconce (sconce, for short) is an ornamental bracket fixed to a wall for holding a candle or an electric light of one kind or another. The electric light source could be incandescent, xenon, halogen, fluorescent, or even LEDs.

Long ago, wall sconces were primarily mobile lighting devices which were carried to light the way throughout a home or passageway. These wall sconces were frequently hung on a wall or over a fireplace where they were readily available for the homeowner’s use. Today, wall sconces are attached to a wall to provide permanent illumination. But where do they go exactly?
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 Posted by on July 23, 2009 at 9:24 am
Jul 062009

Recessed downlights should not be used to light your face while standing at a mirror in your bathroom because the light coming from these fixtures will only cause harsh shadows on your face. Instead, wall-mounted vanity light fixtures attached above the mirror and/or on both sides of the mirror, or backlit vanity mirrors (a very neat option – especially if wall space is limited) should be used. That way, shadows on your face can be minimized. Recessed downlights can be used in other parts of the bathroom for general lighting but not for task lighting at the sink area – unless, of course, you want to look years older or like Bella Lugosi in makeup.

round halogen mirror Bathroom Vanity Lighting   How Not to Look Like Dracula

Round halogen backlit vanity mirror.

Lighted Vanity Mirror 300x300 Bathroom Vanity Lighting   How Not to Look Like Dracula

Square fluorescent backlit vanity mirror.

 Posted by on July 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm
Jul 012009

EnergyStar BenefitsPage Benefits of ENERGY STAR® Qualified ProductsReplacing the five most frequently used light fixtures in your home, or the light bulbs in them, with ENERGY STAR qualified ones could save you about $60 each year in energy costs.

ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures:

  • Use 2/3 less energy (than standard incandescent fixtures)
  • Come with long-lasting pin-based bulbs that last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs
  • Offer automatic daylight shut-off and motion-sensing features on outdoor fixtures
  • Generate 70% less heat than incandescent light fixtures
  • ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures must have a 2-year manufacturer warranty (double the industry standard)
  • Do not hum, buzz, or flicker

ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs:

  • Use at least 2/3 less energy (than incandescent bulbs)
  • Last about 4 years – at least 6 times longer than incandescent lighting
  • Come in different shapes and sizes, including spiral and globe, to fit in most residential fixtures
  • Are convenient in hard-to-reach or high-use fixtures, as they need replacing less often
  • Generate 70% less heat than incandescent light bulbs
  • ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs offer a 2-year manufacturer warranty (double the industry standard)
  • Do not hum, buzz, or flicker

Visit the Pegasus Lighting website to browse the ENERGY STAR lighting products that we offer.

 Posted by on July 1, 2009 at 10:00 am
Jul 012009

Light = Energy
Poorly lit home gyms tend to lack energy whereas a bright space with a generous amount of light is generally more inviting for exercise and can be crucial to creating just the right environment for a vigorous or energetic workout.

Natural Light is Best
Natural light coming from plenty of windows and skylights is the best source of light for a home gym. If the natural light in your home gym is only minimal or non-existent, try using good fluorescent lighting that emulates sunlight. This means that the fluorescent light bulbs should have a high color temperature of 5000K-5500K and very good color rendering of 82 or higher.
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 Posted by on July 1, 2009 at 8:05 am