May 182012
 

We’ve been in business since 1993, so we’ve heard just about every question in the book when it comes to light sources. “How much longer does an LED light last than a fluorescent, on average?” “Which light sources are dimmable?” “What exactly is xenon lighting?”

We created this infographic to address those questions and more – all of the FAQ’s that we hear related to choosing a light source. You’ll find an overview of how each one works, a color temperature comparison scale, pros & cons, estimated lifetime, and a few more general tips. Let us know what you think!

compare light sources Your Infographic For Deciding On A Light Source

Want to embed this infographic on your own site or blog? We’d love that! Copy & paste the embed code below:

<img src=”http://images.pegasuslighting.com/infographics/compare-light-sources.png” width=”788″ height=”2072″>
<br><br><strong>
Choosing A Light Source</strong> created by <a href=”http://www.pegasuslighting.com”>Pegasus Lighting</a>.

Feb 292012
 
led lilifecycle1 300x215 New Life Cycle Comparisons of LED, CFL, Incandescent

Click to enlarge

The Department of Energy just published a new report comparing the life-cycle of LED, compact fluorescent, and incandescent lamps.

According to the report, CFLs and LED lamps are very comparable in terms of average energy consumption. They both use about one-fourth of the energy that incandescent lamps do.

However, the energy used to manufacture an LED lamp is expected to fall significantly in the next several years (see the purple pie charts).

What do you think … Is this what you would’ve expected to see? I was surprised to find that LED and CFL were neck and neck; I would’ve expected LED to win out in low energy consumption.

 Posted by on February 29, 2012 at 11:53 am
Feb 172012
 

end of road The End of the Road for T12sIt’s only five months away. T12 fluorescent lamps used to be the standard for commercial lighting systems, but they will soon be totally off the market.

It started back in July 2010, when the U.S. Department of Energy introduced a fluorescent lighting mandate that stopped the production of the magnetic ballasts most commonly used for T12 lamps. And on July 14, 2012, the manufacture and import of most T12 lamps in the U.S. will be halted. After that date, suppliers may sell their remaining inventory, but there will be no more production once the existing stock is depleted.

Now, keep in mind that T12 fluorescent technology is 70 years old. John Philip Bachner of the National Lighting Bureau wrote a fantastic article recently about why they’re being phased out. He challenges facility managers to think of the change as an opportunity rather than a nuisance, and relates a T12 fluorescent lamp to a ’38 Chevy: Both were technological marvels of their eras. You’d think it were strange if someone used a ’38 Chevy for their daily commute, yet millions of T12 fluorescent lamps light U.S. buildings every day.

T12 fluorescent lamps are simply fluorescent tubular light fixtures that are 12/8ths of an inch in diameter. Since the technology of T12 lamps was developed so long ago, it’s leaps and bounds behind in terms of efficiency. T12 lamps can now be replaced by T5 lamps (5/8ths of an inch in diameter) and T8 lamps (8/8ths of an inch in diameter), and building owners will see energy savings as high as 45% per year. Also, there’s a simple payback of just one to three years. Finally, the lighting upgrade will ensure reduced maintenance costs and concerns. Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm
Jan 252012
 

Ten years ago, the Department of Energy released a report on the state of the U.S. lighting market. This week, they published the follow-up report. The numbers reveal how far the lighting industry has come in ten years, and they indicate a few interesting trends:

We’re becoming more efficient. This one’s no surprise. Technological advancements improve energy-efficient lighting in terms of performance and efficacy month by month, so ten years certainly showed strides toward sustainability. Most notably, fluorescent light fixtures made a big impact. In the residential sector, the shift was from incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps; in the commercial sector, it was from T12 to T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps. As you can see in the chart below, linear fluorescent light fixtures now make up the largest portion of the commercial sector as well as the largest portion of the total.

Overall, the efficacy of lighting improved by 29 percent – an increase from 45 lumens per watt in 2001 to 58 lumens per watt in 2010.

doe chart3 10 Years of Lighting in the U.S.   Whats Changed, and Why Fluorescent Lighting is Making a Difference

Continue reading »

 Posted by on January 25, 2012 at 10:26 am
Dec 022011
 

embrace lumens Update on the Rare Earth Element SituationAccording to The New York Times, supply is finally beginning to catch up with demand in the rare earth element market.

A few months ago, I posted about the Chinese government’s export restrictions on rare earth elements. The bad news for the lighting industry was that China’s nationwide production cap was causing the price of fluorescent light bulbs to rapidly increase. (Rare earth elements are a crucial component to the process of creating a fluorescent light bulb).

However, it seems that international prices for rare earth elements have fallen since August and are continuing to decline! The timeline for the impact on the lighting industry is unclear at this point. For more information, read this article.

 Posted by on December 2, 2011 at 9:50 am
Oct 272011
 
seared albacore tuna The Truth About CFLs and Mercury

There is more mercury in one bite of albacore tuna than there is in one CFL.

Yes, CFLs contain mercury. So do laptop computers, TVs, telephones, and tuna fish sandwiches.

On average, CFLs contain 4 milligrams of mercury each (that amount would almost cover the tip of a ballpoint pen). LCD projector TVs, by comparison, contain 500-100 milligrams of mercury. One bite of albacore tuna contains more mercury than a CFL.

Many people think about mercury emissions in a very simplistic manner. (Sure, the mercury in a CFL may be a trace amount, but incandescent light bulbs don’t contain any – which makes incandescent light bulbs better for the environment, right?) Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Aug 112011
 
Baiyun Obo Mine Will the Future of Fluorescent Lighting Be Shaky?

A mine in Baiyun Obo, which produces half the world's rare earth elements. Photo courtesy of Treehugger.

Remember our post on why fluorescent light bulbs are becoming more expensive?

Well, the Chinese government is beginning to enforce those export restrictions on rare earth elements. According to an article in Times LIVE, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will now punish rare earth producers that fail to stick to the nationwide production cap.

Enterprises exceeding quotas will have licenses cancelled, and will also face government action if they are caught buying ore from mines that violate government guidelines.

It is unclear whether the production cap for 2011 of 93,800 tonnes has already been met, but a number of plants have closed down.

What does this mean for fluorescent lighting? For a fluorescent light bulb to create light, there must be a phosphor coating inside its glass envelope. While phosphor is not a rare earth element, rare earth elements are a crucial component to the process of creating the light-producing tri-phosphors inside the lamps.

The production cap is meant to crack down on illegal production of rare earth elements. However, since China produces about 97 percent of the global supply, the policy is affecting the production of countless products in the green tech industry that count on rare earth minerals.

 Posted by on August 11, 2011 at 10:31 am
Jul 262011
 

CFLs Why Are CFLs Becoming More Expensive?The Chinese government has recently been restricting exports of rare earth elements, and the policy changes are affecting the global markets for everything from compact fluorescent light bulbs to iPhones.

China controls 97% of the world’s supply of rare earth metals – 17 elements that are vital to the electronics, defense, and renewable energy industries.

Due to China’s export caps, the cost to manufacture fluorescent light bulbs is skyrocketing.  (Standard compact fluorescent light bulbs require a phosphor coating inside their glass envelopes to create light, and phosphor is made from rare earth elements).

Earlier this month, China eased some of the export curbs, but the European Union and the United States were not satisfied that the change would be enough to restore stable supplies.  The higher cost of rare earth elements will affect the cost of all fluorescent light bulbs, CFLs included.

Jun 282011
 

CFL Why Fluorescent Lighting Isnt DeadGreentech Media published a great blog post yesterday titled “Why Fluorescent Lighting Isn’t Dead.”  The post featured the opinions of energy-efficient lighting expert Francis Rubinstein.

We publish a number of articles about LED lighting on this blog, and are probably a little guilty of failing to grant sufficient coverage to fluorescent lighting and how much its technology has improved over the years.

The article is an excellent read.  I couldn’t do it justice with a simple summary, so head over to Greentech Media to check it out!  In the meantime, here’s an interesting quote I pulled from Francis Rubinstein:

Until research drives the cost of LEDs down substantially, the greatest potential for improvements in lighting energy efficiency will come from combining advanced lighting controls with hybrid [fluorescent and LED] lighting systems, and designing the lighting to fit the space and occupant requirements in which they’re used.

Jun 102011
 

movie theater lighting Why Movie Theaters & Restaurants Should Choose CCFLs for LightingEarlier 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. Continue reading »