CCFL vs. CFL: What’s the Difference?

“CFL” is a household name at this point.  Developed in 1985, the compact fluorescent light bulb is now a 25-year-old product present in 70 percent of homes in the United States.  Just last year, more than 273 million CFLs were sold in the U.S.

Cold cathode fluorescent light bulbs are a little less familiar, at least to the general public.  Here’s a quick overview of the core differences.

Technological Differences:

All fluorescent light bulbs have two cathodes (one at each end).  In a standard CFL, the cathodes are made of coiled tungsten filaments that are heated to approximately 900 degrees Fahrenheit each time the light bulb is turned on.  That heat releases electrons.  The electrons shoot back and forth between the cathodes and react with the mercury to create ultraviolet radiation, which in turn reacts with the phosphor coating on the inside of the glass envelope to create light.  Standard CFLs are hot cathode light bulbs.

In a cold cathode fluorescent light bulb, the cathodes are made of a solid metal thimble, which is more durable than the thin coils in standard CFLs.  The cathodes only heat up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (certainly not “cold”, but relatively cooler than the hot cathode filament, hence the name).  The voltage potential within the tube excites the mercury to cause current flow. Read More

Great Gift Ideas in Lighting: Part 1

UPDATE 12/6: Our LED Mini Lanterns are now sold out, so I posted another idea to replace it.  Remember, as long as you order before Dec. 17th, your items will be shipped by Dec. 25th.

Once the turkey leftovers are stacked high in the fridge and the out-of-town relatives have all returned home, it’s officially time to start talking about gift giving season.  If you need to find unique ideas for anyone on your shopping list, look no further!  Today’s post is the first in a series of lighting gift ideas

  • The Barbecue Light:

Stereotypically, this would be categorized in the “gifts for men” idea list, but it really just depends on who’s usually in charge of the grilling (Read: who does a better job of not burning the steaks).  In all seriousness, barbecue lights make a great gift for anyone with an outdoor deck area for grilling.  They provide quality task lighting to gauge cooking times after dark, and they also add a nice feature to any deck area.

  • The LED Night Light:

Stick-anywhere, motion-activated, and weatherproof, you can’t go wrong with our LED Battery Operated Night Lights.  They are perfect for lighting a dark stairwell, a bathroom, bedroom, pantry, or even outdoor walkway.  Each order comes in a package of three, making great small gifts or stocking stuffers.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!  More Great Gift Ideas are coming soon.

Lighting Artwork: A How-To Guide

It’s impossible to show off the full effect of a piece of artwork without proper lighting. If a framed painting or photograph is ensconced in shadows, it will appear dull and flat. Why buy an expensive piece of artwork without displaying it in the best light?

Whether you’re a designer, contractor, or homeowner, adding picture lights to emphasize the details and color in wall art will enhance the ambiance of any room.
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Choose the Right Night Light – A Guide

The LED Battery Operated Night Light can be mounted anywhere with no wiring required.

Any well-designed home has a night light or two installed to provide a safe source of light for the bathroom, kitchen, hallway, or bedroom.  Even outdoor areas can benefit from a night light.  (Ever struggled to find your keys in a bag after coming home late at night?  A motion-sensor activated night light next to the door would fix that problem in an instant).

Night lights placed in the bedroom and bathroom also reduce the risk of falling for older adults.  In fact, doctors are recommending installing night lights in the home as part of a preventive measure.  Check out our blog post for more details.

We offer over 25 different models of night lights, so hopefully this guide will help you figure out which type is right for each room in your home.

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Step Lights: A Bright Idea

The last thing you want to face when coming home late at night is stumbling over a flight of dark steps and fumbling blindly for the keys.  Outdoor lighting is really a matter of safety.  Of course, the glow of step lights does provide a nice aesthetic appeal, but the more important issue is whether you feel secure finding your way inside if it’s pitch black.

If your outdoor lighting is in dire need of an update, determine which step lights are right for you.

If you’re looking for an effortless install:

The LED Battery Operated Step Light includes a simple mounting plate with two screws, no wiring required.  It’s motion sensor activated and switches to a low-glow mode to conserve battery power when no motion is detected.  It’s a single bright white LED light that can be mounted anywhere you need light.  Battery power will last over a year, and the design is completely weatherproof.

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Give a Gift of Light: Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2009 Lighting Sale

Glowing Christmas GiftLast September one of our manufacturers offered a $3 instant manufacturer rebate on their wireless LED battery-operated lights. Well, that promotion turned out to be quite popular. As a result, I got another phone call from that same manufacturer just the other day. “Let’s do it again!”, they said.

Starting today, continuing through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and ending on Friday, December 4, 2009, six of some of our most popular LED battery-operated light fixtures have been reduced in price by $3 once again. Since this is an instant manufacturer rebate, there is nothing that you, the customer, have to do to receive this rebate. The rebate is applied once the product is added to your shopping cart.

Give your friends and family a gift of light with LED lighting that:

  • Includes a bright white LED
  • Mounts anywhere
  • Lights up automatically when motion is detected
  • Turns on only in darkness
  • Automatically shuts off after 30 seconds
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Provides easy safety and security lighting
  • And, may even be remote-controlled.

The Black Friday / Cyber Monday instant manufacturer rebate applies to the following products: