The Difference Between LEDs and CFLs: Mercury

Image via PeriodicTable.com
Image via PeriodicTable.com

This post is the second in a series on important differences between LEDs and CFLs, two of the most popular energy-saving light sources on the market today. You can read the first post about efficiency here.

Mercury is a toxic substance that can attack the brains and nervous systems of humans. CFLs (and all fluorescent lights) contain small amounts of mercury, LEDs do not. In the long run, this makes the LED a much safer, low maintenance light source.

Why do CFLs contain mercury? 

The mercury, when excited by an electric current, helps the CFL generate light. This small amount of mercury, barely enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen, poses no threat to your health as long as it remains contained within the light bulb’s glass envelope. You only need to worry about it if the light bulb should break.

To safely deal with your CFLs, take them to an EPA approved recycling center. You can learn more about the importance of recycling CFLs in this blog post: Don’t Toss That CFL In The Trash.

What to do if your CFL breaks…

If you wind up with a broken CFL in your home, follow these steps for safe cleanup and disposal: (more…)

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The Difference Between LEDs and CFLs: Efficiency

LED Better
This is the first post in a brand new series about the key differences between compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), the light source of the present, and light emitting diodes (LEDs), the light source of the future. We’ll touch on things like structure, function, and quality, so you can keep up with all the innovations currently happening in the lighting world…

One of the most obvious differences between LED light bulbs and CFLs is energy-efficiency. Yes, we consider both sources to be energy-saving, and both fall well within new government efficiency standards, but it’s a simple fact that LEDs use less power to generate more light.

We measure the efficiency of a light source (sometimes called efficacy) in lumens per watt (lm/W). If you’re unfamiliar with this measurement, we’re just talking about the amount of light produced by one unit of electrical power – similar to miles per gallon for a car.

In general, a good LED on the market today can produce 60-100+ lm/W, which is about twice as many as a CFL, which only produces about 30-50 lm/W. (more…)

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Product Spotlight: LED Thin Under Cabinet Task Lights

Today’s feature is one of our most popular under cabinet light fixtures, and just happens to be 10% off right now here at Pegasus!

LED Under Cabinet Light

The LED Thin Under Cabinet Task Lights come in 4 lengths and 2 finishes, so you’ll be able to find one to suit your exact needs. And when it comes to features, this fixture is the cream of the crop…

  • Dimmable, bright white LEDs make it functional and flattering (its CRI is an excellent 87). 
  • The largest, 32″ fixture only uses 17.7 watts, and every model has a 50,000-hour rated life. It’s ENERGY STAR certified, so you know it’s for real.
  • The fixtures are low-profile and linkable, which means they’ll fit almost anywhere you need them, without being too distracting.
  • The LED lights are much cooler than other light sources, so you can keep produce and other perishables on the kitchen counter without getting them ruined.
  • Installation is quite simple; you can either hard-wire or plug-in these fixtures. (more…)

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Product Spotlight: Indoor/Outdoor LED In-Ground Accent Lights

This week, we’re spotlighting a light fixture that can really help you put the “spotlight” on your favorite indoor and outdoor architectural features.

Meet the LED In-Ground Accent Light:

LED Accent Lights

Each of these LEDs uses only 1.4 watts of power to create a generous flood beam. The lights have a durable stainless steel body, and a rated life of 50,000 hours, so the beauty they provide will stand the test of time.

(more…)

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LEDs Allow New Method of Data Transmission

Computer Keyboard  and Monitor
At the University of Strathclyde, researchers are developing tiny LEDs that can deliver Wi-Fi-like internet access. Called Li-Fi (short for Light Fidelity), this system has the potential to transmit data several times faster than what we’re used to.

Professor Martin Dawson and his team created tiny LEDs, each about the size of an end of human hair, which flicker on and off thousands of times every second. By altering the length of these flickers, the lights can send digital information to computers and other electronic devices. Picture it as a sort of digital Morse code.

The micron-sized LEDs are made so small to allow for more data transmission at a faster rate. The university’s LEDs can flicker at a rate 1,000 times faster than larger LEDs. Why? Well, if you have 1,000 micron-sized LEDs, they can fit into the same space as a single 1mm LED. Each tiny LED acts as an individual communication channel, which allows the transmission of about a million times more data.

Suddenly, a large LED display, with each tiny LED acting as a pixel, can also allow internet communications. (more…)

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LED Rebates For 2013

PAR LED
Considering switching your commercial lighting to LEDs this year? Learn how to get the most out of lighting rebates and incentives. 

Have you gone shopping for new light bulbs or fixtures lately? If the answer is yes, you’re probably aware that LED lighting options have saturated the market as energy efficient alternatives to incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent lights.

But, what you might not know is that there are tons of rebates and incentives out there for buying LEDs that can help you save money when making the switch.

Since January 2012 the number of rebate programs for LEDs has increased by 54%.

Here’s an overview of the kind of rebates your company can expect in 2013:

Rebate Snapshot LED 1-13

If you’re already familiar with rebates from electric utilities and government organizations in your area, you may notice that the dollar amounts for most rebates have decreased over the past year. The average rebate for an LED replacement lamp has gone down by 7% since last January. Rebates amounts also decreased for LED fixtures: recessed down lights decreased by 66%, accent lighting by 12%, and high bay fixtures by 8%.

You needn’t be alarmed by these numbers, though. They’ve only been adjusted to match the lower prices of LEDs in 2013. Less money is necessary to make purchasing an LED financially attractive. Also, since there are over twice the programs this year, money is even more accessible. (more…)

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