Energy Efficient Lighting Guide “For Business People Who Aren’t Lighting Techies”

RealEnergyWriters.com and The Daily Energy Report recently came together to publish a comprehensive, no-nonsense report on energy efficient lighting.

I read how-to articles and news reports every day about energy efficient lighting. This guide is top-tier. It’s easy to understand (written “for business people who aren’t lighting techies”), it includes valuable information (i.e., details on available government rebates and links to apply), and it’s based on cost-benefit analyses (you can even calculate exactly how much money your business will save using the included charts).

If you are a business person looking for one document that will explain everything you need to know about energy efficient lighting, look no further. If you’re considering installing energy efficient lighting, ‘greening’ your facility, or simply looking for ways to reduce your energy bills, this guide will be incredibly helpful.

The 44-page report is normally available for $189, but our friends at The Daily Energy Report are offering Light Reading readers a 10% discount if you use the promo code “PEGASUS.” Follow the link for the deal.

We normally don’t advertise deals here, but we are all about lighting education – especially when it comes to energy efficiency! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

 

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EPA’s Battle of the Buildings Contenders Head-to-Head

The Environmental Protection Agency launched its first National Building Competition in April 2010.  Fourteen buildings across the country competed to see who could reduce their energy use the most in a year.  The winner was Morrison Residence Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a reduction in energy use of 35.7 percent.  Among a number of strategies, the residence hall retrofitted their lighting, replacing 54-watt CFLs with 13-watt CFLs.

In this year’s “Battle of the Buildings, ” 245 buildings across the nation are competing for the energy-saving challenge.  So far, the 245 buildings have already saved a cumulative $3.7 million in energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to what 2,300 homes would generate in a year.

It’s at the midway point (the winners will be announced November 2), and the EPA has announced the top contenders in each building category and their percentage of energy reduction to date.  Another residence hall from UNC-Chapel Hill is in the mix, but there are quite a few buildings ahead of them! (more…)

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Why Movie Theaters & Restaurants Should Choose CCFLs for Lighting

Earlier this week, I wrote a couple of posts describing the features of cold cathode fluorescent light bulbs.  CCFLs are not new to the lighting world, but their technology has improved significantly over the past few years, and they are an excellent option for energy-efficient lighting.  We have been adding over 20 different models of CCFLs to pegasuslighting.com, so this week has been a “CCFL debut” on the blog.

To read about the basic technology that differentiates CCFLs from standard CFLs and other light bulbs, catch up with this post.

In short, CCFLs are extremely durable in design, which gives them very unique dimming capabilities.  Fluorescent lighting typically does not perform well with dimming.  However, CCFLs can be dimmed down to 5% of their light output without diminishing lifetime. (more…)

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LEED News: Changing Requirements for Federal Buildings

The bar for green building standards has been raised.

Any new federal construction or major renovation will now be required to achieve LEED Gold Certification.  (Previously, LEED Silver was the requirement).

Roger Peck, the commissioner of public buildings for the U.S. General Services Administration, said “This new requirement is just one of the many ways we’re greening the federal real estate inventory to help … increase sustainability and energy efficiency across government.”

LEED Certification is a standardized measure of energy efficiency that involves a number of evaluation categories.  Projects receive credit for the lighting category by installing ENERGY STAR®– labeled light fixtures, lamps and ceiling fans.

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Track Lighting 101

Track lights are one of the most versatile lighting systems because the individual fixtures can be positioned anywhere along the track and then swiveled, rotated, and aimed in any direction.  It’s possible to create a variety of different effects, and you can tailor the lights to best accentuate your room.

However, this also means it’s hard to know where to start!  Consider this your how-to guide for using track lights to create the perfect effect.

First, you’ll need to decide what type of light you want the track fixtures to provide.  Track lights are typically used in one of three ways:

  • Accent lighting, highlighting a particular object such as a work of art.
  • Wall washing, evenly illuminating a wall.  Should be used for non-textured vertical surfaces.
  • Wall grazing, dramatically highlighting the texture in a wall.  Should be used for textured vertical surfaces like brick, stone, or draperies.

(more…)

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How to Boost Sales at Trade Shows

One of our customers used xenon low voltage puck lights to help illuminate a booth display at the Baltimore Craft Show of the American Craft Council.

Experts say that proper lighting at your exhibit will directly impact your success at trade shows.  It’s all about calling attention to your offer with an illuminating display that draws in attendees.  Before heading to your next trade show, assess your lighting inventory.  Making a small update to improve your display might be the key to improving upon last year’s numbers.

So, where should you start?  First of all, make sure you are using several different types of lighting for the display.  The variety will make your exhibit more interesting and professional-looking, especially if the lighting is coming from two or three directions.

In addition to the standard display lights that create focal points through spotlighting, incorporate accent lighting by using rope lights or track lights.  If you use track lighting, you can easily attach colored glass filters to the lights.  Some of the best exhibits use colored lighting to add depth and excitement to the display. (more…)

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Trade Show Lighting at the Las Vegas Convention Center

The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the largest venues for trade shows in the world, and customers frequently ask which display lights are approved for use there.

If you’re attending a show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, use this post as your guideline for appropriate lighting.  If you’re attending a trade show at any other venue, make sure to check the lighting policies beforehand.  You don’t want to be scrambling to find new lights for your booth at the last minute.  According to Bruce Baker, a booth design expert, proper lighting will boost sales more than any other item you can purchase for your exhibit. (more…)

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What You Should Know About LEDs & Exit Signs

You probably didn’t notice what type of light was illuminating the last exit sign you saw.  If you’re a building/business owner, start paying attention.

If your exit signs are currently lit by incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, you can save hundreds of dollars by switching to LED exit signs.

The first exit signs were lit by incandescent bulbs, and this type continues to be popular in commercial buildings because of low bulb cost.  However, these are the same incandescent bulbs that burn out quickly, use a ton of energy, emit heat, and are set to be banned in 2012 by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Fluorescent-lit exit signs are certainly more energy efficient than incandescent, but they work the same way: both sides of an exit fixture are backlit from the inside.  This provides for uneven illumination.  In addition, bulbs still need to be changed fairly frequently, and the cost of replacement bulbs is high.

LED exit signs might be a slightly higher initial investment, but reduced maintenance costs, energy savings, and overall performance makes the switch well worth it for business owners.  Check out this Cost Comparison Table completed by the North Carolina Department of Commerce (“Energy Efficiency for Restaurants: LED Exit Signs” fact sheet):

Fixture Type Typical  Wattage  (watts) Bulb  Life (years) Annual Bulb  + Labor Cost Purchase +  Install Cost Annual      Energy  Cost 1st Year  Cost 10th Year  Cost  Savings
Incandescent (existing) 40 0.5 $26 0 $39 $65
Fluorescent (existing) 11 1.0 $27 0 $11 $38 $269
LED (new installation) 2 10+ $0 $20 + $25 $2 $47 $581

(more…)

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Coming To a Grocery Store Near You

It’s not often that a new product or trend represents a true win-win for both consumers and businesses, but this is one of those rare occasions.

LED lighting in refrigerated display cases is quickly being adopted by food retail stores across the globe. It’s more direct, uniform, and bright lighting than the old fluorescents, making it more attractive for consumers. It slashes energy and maintenance costs, making it more affordable for retailers.

With a steady rise in electricity costs in an industry where profit margins are relatively low, food retail stores are quickly adopting a technology that proves to substantially reduce operational costs. Utility rebates have also made the product more attractive to retailers.

It’s certainly no small change. By installing LED lighting in refrigerated glass door displays, stores can cut energy consumption by up to 60 percent. Fluorescent lighting emits much more heat than LED lighting and as a result operates best at 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. In a refrigerated environment, fluorescent light output drops and more energy is expended to keep the case cold.

This year, BJ’s Wholesale Club will install LED lighting in its refrigerated display cases at 68 of its locations.

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The Future of Commercial LED Lighting

Pike Research recently released a report discussing expectations for energy efficient lighting in commercial markets.  According to their report, commercial solid-state lighting systems have declined in cost (and will continue to do so), making them a reasonable option for projects.  The initial investment will no longer be a roadblock for energy efficient lighting.  Federal and local government initiatives for installing LEDs and retrofits will further encourage the shift.

Lighting makes up about 17.5% of global electricity use.  In the US, the majority of it is consumed in commercial buildings. Given that the Department of Energy reported earlier this year that Americans could collectively save $120 billion by switching to LEDs, the Pike Research results come as welcome news!

The report includes a 10-year forecast for lighting sales in the U.S. across 10 different technology categories.  It also analyzes the performance requirements for various lighting applications and assesses the current and future options.  To view an Executive Summary, go to the Pike Research website.

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