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  • Choosing the Best Lighting for an Art Studio

    replacement lamps

     

    Artists know that a well-lit workspace is needed for creative energy and uninterrupted art-making. Inconvenient shadows, inaccurate colors, and glare can all arise in a studio that is not properly lit. Whether you are a painter, a sculptor, or any other kind of artist, being able to see your work well is absolutely essential.

    Good lighting starts with good lamps and bulbs. Use this guide to find the best light fixtures for your art space.

    Mimic the Sun

    Ideally, artists prefer to work under lamp light that imitates sunlight. When shopping for replacement lamps, try to find "full-spectrum lighting" that allows your eyes to see colors as they would appear in normal daylight conditions. Look for bulbs with a high color-rendering index (CRI). The sun's CRI is 100, so any bulb that offers over 80 CRI is a good choice.

    The correlated color temperature (CCT) of the light is also significant for your studio. Look for bulbs with a CCT of around 5500 degrees Kelvin, which has about the same neutral warmth as the midday sun. For cooler, blue-tinged light, look for bulbs rated 7500K.

    Finally, find a replacement lamp that is bright enough to adequately light your studio. The brightness, measured in lumens, should be about 7000 or 8000 lumens for a medium room. However, if you work in a large gallery or studio space, you'll need significantly more brightness.

    Choose LEDs

    Many artists recommend LED style bulbs for your replacement lamps in art studios. Not only are LEDs more energy efficient, but they last longer and tend to be brighter. In fact, LEDs use only 15% of the energy a standard halogen bulb uses, and offer up to 85% more light output. LEDs will be able to mimic the sun well and come in a variety of wattages, sizes and styles to adapt to your art-making space.

    Get Flexible Fixtures

    Choosing fixtures that can be turned or bent is a huge help when working on an art piece. Flexible fixtures allow an artist to find the right angle to avoid glare from paints and to highlight certain areas they'd like to focus on. For artists who work in their home, a few adjustable floor lamps should do the trick. However, if you have a large garage or other industrial settings for your art making, try shopping online at commercial light fixture websites for large-scale replacement lamps and lighting solutions.

     

    The key to a great project is a great workspace. For artists, a great workspace absolutely must have quality lighting. Use this guide to create a well-lit studio you love to work in.

  • How Good Outdoor Lighting Benefits Your Business

    If you’re a business owner, you likely know the importance of a well-lit workspace. Whether you manage offices, warehouses, or another establishment, you and your employees need good lighting for visibility and productivity.

     

    However, businesses can also benefit from good outdoor lighting. Even if your organization does not operate by night, attractive and safe lighting after dark is one of the many hallmarks of a well-run operation.

     

    Here are just a few of the surprising business benefits of good outdoor lighting:

     

    Look Great for After-Dark Advertising

    Just as good lighting can give your home curb appeal during the evening hours, carefully designed lighting can advertise your business even when you’re closed. Spotlights, wall pack light fixtures, and other commercial LED lighting can enhance your storefront or other facilities to attract the gaze of passersby. Good lighting will also feature any signage or advertisements you have posted outside your business so that the name of your establishment is always visible to onlookers.

    Make a Statement

    Outdoor lighting also gives your business a chance to make a statement about its values and overall vibe. Are you a fun, cutting-edge, and modern agency? LED flood lighting in an array of colors might be just what you need. Does your organization work to promote environmental sustainability? Then solar powered light fixtures might be the perfect choice to light your exterior and support your cause simultaneously. Use lighting choices to help your business and your brand tell its own story.

    Improve Night Time Safety and Security

    From wall pack light fixtures to induction parking lot lights, keeping walkways and lots well lit during all hours is essential to keeping your staff, visitors, and customers safe. Good lighting will deter any unwanted criminal activity from taking place on your property, and it can even prevent trips and stumbles as individuals walk by. In fact, lighting in the evening might even be required by law in your region. Many areas require parking garage lighting to be on 24 hours a day. Not only can good lighting keep people safe, but it can also help your business stay compliant with local policy.

    Though outdoor lighting may not seem to be a priority, any business can benefit from wall pack light fixtures, roadway lighting, spotlights and other outdoor light options. Keep your business safe, attractive, and functional with quality outdoor lighting.

  • The Most Energy-Efficient Lighting Options Today

    When you're trying to have a 'greener' lifestyle at home or work, you tackle a few specific things. Recycling and composting is a popular first step. Switching to greener cleaning and construction materials often comes second. You might turn off certain electronics while you're out of the building or at night. But what about your lighting?

    The U.S. Department of Energy tells us that around 22% of the all energy generated in the country is ultimately used for lighting. That's a big chunk. And it really benefits homes and businesses to reduce their electrical use for lighting. Not only is using less energy good for the environment, but it's also good for your wallet.

    Tiny homes and other minimalistic living options are big, popularizing various kinds of off-grid lighting. Businesses are always looking to widen profit margins and score consumer favor points with green practices, so solar parking lot fixtures and roadway lighting are becoming common as well. Obviously harnessing the sun's natural energy (via solar lights or manipulation of sunlight with windows and building materials) is the MOST energy efficient method of lighting possible. You can't go wrong with free, readily available sunlight. But using solar and natural light isn't always an option. What then?

    First of all, you want to choose Energy Star rated lighting. Most legitimate lighting companies these days offer Energy Star approved options on a large or small scale.

    Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) used to be the standard energy efficient bulb. They're still relatively affordable today at a couple dollars per bulb. They have a few notable drawbacks that keep them from being the top dog of energy efficient lighting. First, they take a long time to reach full brightness, and often can't be dimmed with a switch or smart tech. Second, they don't last very long.

    High powered LED lighting, on the other hand, has quickly ramped up to be the energy-efficient bulb of choice as LED tech has improved. LED arrays can be made in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, so almost anyone can find an LED design that fits their needs. On top of that, their longevity is just unbelievable. The overall cost for a single LED bulb can be pricey, especially compared to CFLs. But that price is an investment. Over time, LED bulbs save owners a ton of money. Why? They're not only efficient, but they also last around 50,000 hours. That's an 11-year lifespan for a bulb in use 12 hours every day. LED tech is constantly improving to make it more efficient and affordable, too.

    So there you have it. Two top technologies, solar and LED, are being recognized for their environmental and financial prowess. Today, they're extremely affordable and common compared to just ten or twenty years ago. Soon, practically anyone will have access to these great technologies to light their homes and businesses.

  • 4 Reasons To Replace Your Incandescent Lights

    wall pack led light fixtures

    The incandescent light bulb has been around for over a hundred years, but not all old technologies are meant to stick around forever. With fluorescent lighting, induction lighting, and LEDs all gaining popularity in recent years, there are plenty of options for replacing your incandescent bulbs. Why are incandescent bulbs being replaced by these new technologies? Read more to find out.

     

    • Energy Efficiency: One of the biggest knocks against incandescent bulbs is their environmental toll. While incandescent bulbs have become more energy efficient over the years, newer types of lighting such as induction lighting and LED lighting are far more efficient, saving you and your business money on your electric bills. In fact, experts predict that LED lighting alone could potentially cut US energy usage by up to half.
    • Longer Lifespans: Induction and LED bulbs have a lifespan that is far greater than any incandescent bulb on the market. Wall pack LED light fixtures or LED tube lighting, for example, can last roughly 50,000 hours, compared to the 20,000-hour lifespan of a fluorescent equivalent.
    • Increasingly Affordable: While originally LED lights were far more expensive than their traditional counterparts, LED and induction lights have become far more affordable as technology has developed. Some LED lights are now just as affordable as traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs, making it easy to make the switch over. For example, wall pack led light fixtures, the kind used in garages or warehouses, can cost as little as $70.
    • Better Overall Performance: High powered LED lighting truly outshines the competition when it comes to performance. LED and induction lighting systems put out more lumens per watt than incandescent or fluorescent lighting. This, in particular, makes them both more energy efficient and brighter than their traditional counterparts. Additionally, whereas many traditional lights take time to reach their maximum brightness, induction and LED lights remain consistently bright from the moment you turn them on. This makes them the ideal solution for business settings, where having the best light available as soon as possible is essential for smooth operation.

    Looking for induction lighting or LED lighting to replace your current incandescent or fluorescent bulbs? Visit inductionlightingfixtures.com to see which lights are the best option for you.

  • Why Hong Kong Is Replacing Its Iconic Neon Lighting

    Walking the streets of the culturally rich autonomous territory of Hong Kong, one of the most distinctive features of the city is their colorful neon signs. While the rest of the world is having a debate about induction vs LED and halogen vs fluorescent, Hong Kong's citizens are struggling with the slow but steady replacement of their iconic neon with new commercial LED lighting fixtures.

    Back in the 1970s, Hong Kong experienced a post-colonial golden age of commerce. Shops were mostly at ground-level, and shopkeepers wanted to lure in customers, so they invested in the neon signs. Many of them ended up being huge and elaborate, as the growing government at the time didn't have any bylaws restricting signage size. Some of the signs even stuck out vertically from the sides of buildings, literally stopping foot traffic in their tracks and making tourists crane their necks skyward for a better look.

    The reality is that neon signs use preciously scarce gases AND a lot of energy. It's believed by the United States Department of Energy that switching to LED lighting in the states can practically slash national energy usage in half. Can you imagine the energy conservation possible in Hong Kong with the same LED strategy?

    In the decades since the advent of Hong Kong's neon explosion, the Hong Kong Buildings Department has set up codes and restrictions. They cracked down on the estimated 100,000 signs in the city about a decade ago. Each year, they take down hundreds of signs that have been abandoned or aren't up to code. Their hope is that new LED signage will be better managed by owners and stay within regulation.

    A few notable places in Hong Kong still proudly display their neon lights, such as the Bank of China Tower, but most neighborhoods have switched over to the energy efficient LED alternatives. Although LEDs are brighter and less expensive to maintain than neon signs, some in Hong Kong mourn the loss of the warm-glowing neon, an art form and short-lived cultural quirk.

    In the U.S., these neon fixtures became associated in the early to mid 20th century with immoral places like liquor stores and clubs, so they aren't as ubiquitous in our businesses and public spaces. American culture has pretty readily accepted LED technology. Still, the story of Hong Kong shows how culture can affect the fate of technology.

  • Agriculture Experiments With 'Vertical Farming'

    Anyone paying attention to the world-wide agricultural community right now can tell you that things are... getting weird. Frustrated farmers, high costs, record food demand, environmental factors and government regulations are all clashing to create a very uncertain time for farmers and food producers. Fortunately, we have the technology to attempt to make food production easier. One fascinating example of this is what's called 'vertical farming'.

    Across the world, college students and massive corporations alike have experimented with a type of alternative farming that grows crops sustainably in an indoor space with high powered LED lighting. It uses no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Often, crops can hang in vertical troughs as they grow -- especially short, leafy crops like lettuce and spinach -- hence the name 'vertical farming'.

    Smaller vertical farming projects have taken place in converted areas like trailers and shipping containers. Large-scale alternative agricultural projects can even take over whole warehouses. The warehouse lighting fixtures are replaced with special LEDs. These aren't your typical white solar parking lot lights or yard-illuminating LEDs. They're specially designed LEDs in the red and blue color spectrums, optimized for growing nutritionally complete plants even without proper sunshine.

    One of the main issues with vertical farming? The energy use. LED lights do consume far less energy than traditional lighting. In fact, an LED bulb uses only about 15% of the energy a comparable halogen bulb would, and with 85% more light output to boot. That's why solar parking lot lighting, replacing neon signs with LED signs, and LED screens are all booming in popularity. But the large strings of LEDs used in vertical farming still need to be on up to 16 hours a day to make up for the plants' lack of sunlight, which consumes a lot of energy.

    Vertical and small-space farming is so promising for small communities and rough climates to produce fresh, healthy produce, so it's disappointing that they aren't more widespread due to the potential costs. The good news? New advancements in LED technology are being tested and discovered all the time. Hopefully soon enough we'll be able to reduce the cost of running LEDs even further to facilitate big, world-altering projects like vertical farming.

  • Induction vs LED: The Environmentally Friendly Design of Induction Lighting

    induction lighting

     

    Induction lighting has only come into common use recently, but its unique technology is making waves. Think of the long-term demand on sports field and parking garage lighting, or the number of warehouse lighting fixtures that are needed for those large spaces. We have used inefficient and wasteful bulbs in these fixtures for decades, but options like induction are making light bigger, brighter, and better for the environment. Here's why induction design is at the forefront of green lighting tech.

    It's Long-Lasting and Durable

    What usually causes light bulbs to die are the inner filaments or electrodes burning out. Induction lighting has no internal filaments or electrodes, so it lasts for an extremely long time. While LED lighting has a long lifespan, especially when compared to traditional incandescent lighting, more people are waking up to the unique benefits of long-lasting induction lighting. When it comes to the induction vs LED debate, induction lighting deserves a second look.

    The average lifespan of a continuously used induction light is around 100,000 hours, or around 11 years. And that's when the light is on 24/7.

    It's Energy Efficient

    Induction lighting's revolutionary technology also makes it incredibly energy efficient. It has high efficacy, often outputting as much as or more than 60 or 70 lumens per watt. The high brightness to low energy consumption ratio means businesses and buildings who use induction lighting get great bang for their buck, often spending less monthly on their electricity bill than they would have with many alternative lighting choices. Less energy use also means less consumption of fossil fuels for the environmentally-minded.

    It's Safer Than You Think To Dispose Of

    Although induction bulbs can last quite a long time, they are bound to burn out someday. If you do have a defective or old induction bulb, the good news is that it isn't very difficult to dispose of. The majority of induction bulbs do contain a small amount of mercury but it's in a solid state, not quite akin to the non-solid mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs. As long as you practice company policies for safe removal (including not touching the mercury directly, and only handling it with materials and tools you will promptly dispose of), you and everyone else will be perfectly safe. That mercury CAN be dangerous to the environment when not disposed of properly, so be sure you are giving old bulbs to stores or recycling programs in your area that accept them, not dumping them into your everyday waste.

    Induction lighting is only in its early growing stages, yet Mr. Nikola Tesla gave us the base invention of the induction light over a century ago. Today, we're still integrating it with modern technology like solar panels. Who knows where induction lighting will go next?

  • Improvements in High Power LEDs Leading To A Bright Future

    high power ledWho doesn't want the most powerful option for their hardware? High power LEDs are, of course, the stronger cousins of common LED lights. Because they are brighter and more powerful they are also more expensive. In the past, high intensity LEDs were used sparingly and mainly in industrial settings. They needed massive heat sinks and brought up plenty of frustrating thermal management issues. Recently, developments have been made in LED technology that makes high power LEDs more practical and efficient, cutting out bothersome "hot spots" while managing brightness levels more effectively.

    Competing technology, such as HID (high intensity discharge) lighting for headlights, has argued that high power LEDs can be beat out in brightness with modern tech. The LED advantage is that they last 10 times longer than HID options, and high intensity LEDs take it even farther. They're so efficient that they need essentially no maintenance for their long lives, and still allow businesses to stretch for steadily strengthening environmental standards. All this makes them especially convenient for roadway lighting, which areas like Virginia Beach have taken advantage of in the past five or so years.

    Specific advantages that come with high power LED technology includes:

     

      • Silicone lens technology, used in conjunction with LEDs to make more durable and inexpensive security cameras.

     

      • Saturated color spectrum, which has come a long way from the red-only LEDs of yore. Many bright colors mean more room for creative applications.

     

      • Widely customizable secondary optics, which means higher control over color mixing and beam angle.

     

      • Low thermal resistance, harkening back to the past issue of overheating and constant thermal management.

     

      • More eco-friendly than most popular electric lighting options, and easily compatible with solar technology in particular.

     

    While high-power LEDs of the past have traditionally been used solely on large-scale uses like streetlights, car headlights, and large warehouses, today they are easier to scale down for practical commercial uses. Outdoor lighting for homes such as on stairways and in backyards can take advantage of durable, dimmable intense LEDs. Flashlights and security lighting have started to rely more on them. High intensity LEDs have also lent their power to "grow lights" that nurture indoor gardening projects such as herbs and citruses that would otherwise be impossible to grow in certain climates and indoor conditions. While the streamlining of high power LED tech continues, the possibilities are virtually endless.

  • A Different Light: A Flash of History Leading to Induction Lighting

    energy efficientWith energy efficient light becoming a growing market, you might be curious about various options out there. One option in particular has a fascinating history, and is being called an "old new technology": induction lighting.

    Most early lightbulbs relied on heat filaments or electrodes to produce light. Induction lighting is revolutionary in comparison, lasting many times longer than, say, fluorescent lamps. How? Induction lighting occurs by transmitting energy through electromagnetic fields to stimulate gas atoms inside a glass tube, causing them to release a light-producing photon. The lack of filaments to burn out means they can last up to 100,000 hours.

    Who came up with this in the first place, you might ask?

    Nikola Tesla, the "Father of the Induction Light", and many other inventions.

    As far back as the 1890s when Edison was still tinkering with the incandescent light bulb, Tesla was studying how alternating currents (AC) behave at high frequencies. He created induction lighting quite by accident. Originally, illuminating the glass tube was just a visual cue Tesla created to demonstrate how AC power could be moved wirelessly through the tube.

    This accidental creation is one of the most fascinating things about the scientific record of Tesla. He conducted and recorded many, many experiments on energy movement and behavior without meaning to actually invent much. His experiments stemmed from a genuine and passionate scientific curiosity.

    That being said, he did also set out to create some specific inventions. The actual number is unclear, but it's estimated that Tesla had around 300 patents in his name. Unfortunately, Tesla passed away fairly penniless and mentally unwell (he was in love with a local pigeon, for example), yet his scientific legacy lives in our daily lives. WiFi, lasers, robots, and radio are all here today either directly through Tesla's inventions or his research.

    Manufacturers such as Phillips caught on to induction lighting methods about a hundred years later, and Phillips built the first induction lamp for mass consumption around 1990. In the next couple decades, the wattage and compactness of induction lighting has gradually greatly improved. Today, induction lights are some of the most energy efficient on the market.

    The magic of improving lighting technology can perhaps best be summed up by Tesla himself: "Phenomena upon which we used to look as wonders baffling explanation, we now see in a different light."

  • Rated Light and Lumen Maintenance Life: Do They Matter?

    lumen maintenance

    There is much more to lighting than just the fact that it helps us see in the dark. Have you ever heard of rated life? Rated life is a major part of the lighting and what makes a light work for how long.

    Rated life is basically the life value that gets assigned to a particular type of lamp. Any rated life in the hours of a light source (LED or other) applies under operational conditions and is created for failure criteria. If you’re thinking about it statistically, the rated life measure is Bp and is measured in hours. The “P” in the Bp signifies percentage.

    So, if a B50 rated life of 1,000 hours equals 50% of the tested lights that have lasted more than 1,000 without failing. B50 is the light’s rated average life. Another example is B10 of 1,000 hours. That means that only 10% of the tested lights failed within 1,000 hours. That means that the product with a B10 should last longer than a product with a B50.

    On the other side, we have lumen maintenance life. Lumen maintenance life is the elapsed use time at which the percentage of the lumen maintenance is reached and expressed in hours. Rated lumen maintenance life is different from rated life as it refers to the elapsed use time over which an LED light source maintains the percentage of its initial output of light.

    Like rated life, rated lumen maintenance is measured with a few letters. This one is measured in Lp, meaning the percentage of light output. So, if L70 of 30,000 hours means that the LEDs produce 70% of light output at 30,000 hours. If an LED has an L50 of 30,000, it can decay faster than one with the L70.

    Whether you plan to work with LED parking garage lighting or roadway lighting, take a look and see what the Bp and Lp are of each light. While any type of Bp and Lp are fine to use, the math you can do using the equations listed above will prove how long each light bulb will last you. In many areas, the law requires parking garage lighting to be on 24 hours a day. If you choose Lp's or Bp's with a poor life rate, they're not going to be able to meet that legal requirement.

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