Aug 222011

Take a quick mental inventory of the recessed lighting that’s currently in your home or business.

Is it efficient? Is it helping you save money on your power bill, or on your bottom line? Is the light quality impressive? Are the light bulbs incredibly long-lasting?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, this article is for you. There’s a good reason why “retrofit” is the hottest buzz word in energy efficient right now, and why individuals and businesses across the world are revamping their recessed lighting systems to save millions of dollars by switching to LEDs.

1. You can kiss the hassle (and cost) of replacing light bulbs goodbye.

Average lifetimes range between 35,000 and 50,000 hours for LED recessed lighting retrofits. That means these lights are going to last anywhere from twelve to seventeen years, even if they are left on for eight hours every day. Imagine: If you install an LED recessed light in your newborn’s nursery, you won’t be replacing the light until that baby is leaving for college. Continue reading »

Aug 182011

If you’ve decided to retrofit your recessed lighting with LEDs but are unsure which product is right for you, this step-by-step guide should help you determine which LED retrofit modules to order.

1. What size do you need? If you are replacing existing recessed lights, you need to purchase an LED retrofit module that matches those dimensions. If you’re unsure, just measure the diameter of your existing recessed downlights (not including the trim). Your LED retrofit module will be either four, five, or six inches in diameter.

2. Where is the installation location? If you are installing in a bathroom or any other area where moisture might accumulate, make sure to select an LED retrofit module that is “wet location approved.” Continue reading »

 Posted by on August 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Aug 162011

The term “lighting retrofit” may sound daunting, but for contractors and builders familiar with the technology, it’s just another project that makes saving energy possible (and very easy).

In fact, a relatively new product to the lighting marketplace is allowing homeowners to retrofit their own recessed lights with LEDs.

It’s called an LED retrofit module for recessed lighting, and it’s truly revolutionary. Homeowners with existing recessed lights can simply unscrew the light bulbs currently installed in their recessed fixtures, remove their trims, and screw the LED retrofit modules right into the existing sockets.

The LED retrofit modules come complete with a trim and a heat sink to maintain a cool operating temperature.

The opportunity to save energy is not the only benefit. The LEDs deliver incredible light output, high color rendering, full dimmability, and long lifetimes of up to 17 years. The products are even available in a variety of color temperatures – warm white, cool white, or neutral white.

See this new product line on our website!

Aug 162011
From left to right: A CFL, an LED, & an Incandescent Light Bulb. Credit: Candace Lombardi/CNET

Journalist Candace Lombardi recently compared three Philips-brand light bulbs side by side. She said she’s often asked for a “regular person review” of LEDs versus CFLs versus incandescents without the jargon of lumens, kelvins, wattage, etc.

It’s a great article – Lombardi goes so far as to try smashing the Philips LED to the ground. When the LED survives with no damage, she concludes that Philips wasn’t kidding around about their 22.8 year life estimate for the product.

The Philips AmbientLED is the equivalent of a 75-watt incandescent and gives off a warm light (in a 2700K color temperature, for all the lighting professionals out there). See Lombardi’s photo to the right, and check out the article on CNET!

 Posted by on August 16, 2011 at 10:59 am
Aug 032011

The U.S. Department of Energy made an exciting announcement this morning: Philips Lighting North America won the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition!

The DOE launched the L Prize competition three years ago as an initiative to push lighting manufacturers to create incredibly energy-efficient and high-performance replacements for conventional light bulbs. Philips submitted their entry to the 60-watt replacement bulb category back in 2009, and that entry has been undergoing eighteen months of rigorous product testing to ensure it meets the DOE’s high standards.

The winning entry consumes just 10 watts of energy, lasts more than 25,000 hours, and delivers excellent light output equivalent to that of a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. The product could arrive in stores as early as 2012!

Philips will receive a $10 million cash prize as well as other partner incentives. For more information, read the Philips press release. What do you think of the replacement bulb (photo above)?

Jul 192011

The New York Times published a fascinating article yesterday describing a technology called light-based data transmission.  It’s also known as Li-Fi, and the name fits: Using light to transmit data wirelessly may very well replace Wi-Fi in the near future.

Last week, at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, professor Harald Haas introduced his Li-Fi prototype.  On stage, he used an LED table lamp to transmit a video of blooming flowers to the screen behind him.  When Haas placed his hand under the light to block it from the receiver, the video paused.

According to the NYT, the field of visible light communication has been around for quite awhile, but commercial interest is building rapidly due to the increasing affordability of LED lighting, making light-based technology more affordable in turn.

There are a number of reasons why Li-Fi is innovative by nature:

Light-based data transmission technology is attractive because it allows wireless communication without the use of radio gear, which can be dangerous in places like oil platforms (where it can cause sparks) and underwater (where the salt conducts electricity), or on planes (where it can interfere with other radio equipment). In addition, transmissions can be stopped simply by blocking the light, and thus can be stopped by walls, so there is less risk of data leaking out of a house or office.

Jul 152011

Almost two years ago, Philips Electronics submitted their L Prize Competition entry to the Department of Energy.  Since that time, the entry has been undergoing rigorous tests so the DOE can determine if it meets performance and lifetime requirements.

As of June 30, 2011, Philips has their first competitor!  GE Lighting announced they are entering the L Prize Competition. Their design for the 60 watt replacement LED incorporates a component from Cree.

What is the L Prize?

The L Prize is the DOE’s initiative to push lighting manufacturers to create the most energy-efficient, high-performance, top-quality light bulb to replace the common light bulb.  To enter the contest for the replacement 60 watt incandescent light bulb, manufacturers must develop a product that delivers more than 900 lumens of light, consumes less than 10 watts of energy, and has an average rated life of 25,000 hours, among other requirements.

The winners will receive between $5-10 million, partner incentives, and federal purchasing agreements.

Jun 022011

Walmart has been in the process of retrofitting parking lot lighting for years.  Their first full-scale test of using LED lighting in parking lots was back in 2008 at a store in Rogers, Arkansas.  Since then, they’ve been focusing on rolling out LED lighting in international markets (since those have the highest energy costs).

Here are before and after photos of an LED retrofit in a Guatemala City Walmart parking lot:

As you can see, LEDs offer visual benefits along with energy and maintenance savings. Since LEDs are highly directional, the light is better focused onto the parking lot ground, minimizing the effects of light pollution in the surrounding areas.

May 182011

Do you know about all of the tax deductions and utility rebates available for businesses undergoing lighting retrofits?

“Retrofit” is not a new concept in the world of energy-efficient lighting but it sure seems to be the hottest buzz word in energy efficiency, and for good reason.  Businesses across the world are revamping their lighting systems and saving millions of dollars as a result.  Just in the restaurant industry; McDonald’s, Burger King, Red Robin, IHOP, Chili’s, Starbucks, and Applebee’s have all initiated or completed LED retrofit projects.

The opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption, save on power bills, and cut replacement & maintenance costs is up for grabs for anyone that can afford to front the initial investment.

However, that initial investment is not such a staggering figure, thanks to government incentives.  Read on for an overview of some of the available options. Continue reading »

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