Energy Efficiency Standard Changes for Commercial Lighting

Come July 14, 2012, the standards for energy-efficiency in commercial lighting will change.  The Department of Energy has ruled that certain general-service fluorescent lights and incandescent (and halogen) reflector lights will be banned from manufacture in the U.S. after the new standards are put in place.  This will essentially eliminate lights with the lowest efficiency and cost from the market.  It might be important to keep these changes in mind as they will affect available options in the near future.

General-service fluorescent lights that will be prohibited:

  • All 2-ft. full-wattage and energy-saving U-shaped T12 lamps
  • All 75W F96T12 and 110W F96T12HO lamps
  • All 4-ft. T8 basic-grade 700/SP series lamps rated at 2,800 lumens
  • Most 4-ft. linear full-wattage and energy-saving T12 lamps
  • Most 60W F96T12/ES and 95W F96T12/ES/HO lamps
  • Some 8-ft. T8 Slimline single-pin 700/SP series and 8-ft. T8 HO RDC-base lamps

Incandescent reflector lights that will be prohibited:

  • Many R, PAR, BR, ER, BPAR and similar bulb shapes
  • 130V products

As a side note, fluorescent magnetic T12 ballasts are also set to be prohibited from manufacture after June 30, 2010.  This regulation was set in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Times Square Ball Converted to LEDs

People celebrated the last ten seconds of 2009 across the country much like any other New Year’s Eve: watching the ball drop in Times Square. While the ball may have looked the same for those gathering in New York and the millions tuning in, its makeup represented a monumental shift toward sustainability for 2010. Philips Electronics designed the ball to save 78% more energy by replacing the incandescent and halogen bulbs with LED light bulbs for the 2010 numerals. The LED flood lights Philips added used just nine watts compared to the 40 watts the incandescent and halogen bulbs used in the past. Philips says ten percent of its lighting sales now come from LED lights.

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LED Lighting as a Design Trend

An article in Electronic House last week discussed how interior designers and architects are incorporating LED lighting into homes for truly amazing visual effects.

Imagine controlling lights embedded in your bathtub to glow with the color of your choice.  Or picture an LED kitchen faucet that lights with a different color based on temperature, signaling when the water is too hot to touch.  The applications for the color and light control options that LEDs offer are endless, making them a hot design trend – especially because they are incredibly energy-efficient as well.  Even tile flooring can be illuminated with LED lighting from beneath.
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