It's been a busy year in lighting, and we've tried our best to cover the most important topics for our customers. In an industry of complexities, we've tried to stick to our mission of making lighting easy. Here's a list of the top ten blog articles that our readers deemed the most popular in 2016.
By far our most popular topic of the year. Everyone wants to know what in the world actually happened with the incandescent light bulb. So were incandescents actually banned in 2013? Well yes, and no. In order to keep selling incandescents, manufacturers needed to make them more energy efficient. But EISA legislation doesn't stop there –– by 2020 incandescents will need to be 60 to 70 percent more efficient than the standard light bulb on the shelf. Read more about the incandescent light bulb ban here.
Another popular topic from many of our customers –– what linear LED solution is right for their application? If you're looking to retrofit from linear fluorescent to linear LED, there are a growing number of options available today such as plug-and-play/direct fit LED, ballast-bypass/line voltage/direct wire linear LED, LED retrofit kit, or hybrid/dual technology linear LED. What are the pros and cons? Read more about linear LED solutions here.
This can be an overwhelming topic to dive into, and perhaps that's why this is our third most popular article. You want the decision between sockets, a.k.a. tombstones, simplified. Shunted sockets feature internally connected electrical contacts, providing a single track for the electrical current to travel from the ballast, through the socket, and to the lamp's pins.
Non-shunted sockets have separate contacts –– or points of entry for the wires –– creating two tracks for the electrical current to travel. Non-shunted sockets have contacts that are not joined/ connected. Should you use shunted or non-shunted sockets? Learn which socket is right for your application, in this article.
Ballast factor can make a big difference in the light output and energy usage of your linear fluorescent lighting system. Ballast factor is calculated by dividing the lumen output of a lamp-ballast combination by the lumen output of the same lamp(s) on a reference ballast. A ballast factor of <1 means that your fluorescent system will produce less light (lumens) than the reference ballast and a factor of >1 means it will produce more light. To understand how ballast factor affects your fluorescent tubes, read more here.
This year Philips came out with an magnetic ballast-compatible InstantFit LED tube, so is this a viable option for replacing T12 lamps? If you're converting T12 lamps to LED you basically have 5 options:
- new magnetic ballast-compatible InstantFit from Philips
- electronic ballast-compatible linear LEDs with a new electronic ballast
- new LED tubes with a remote driver in the fixture
- bypass-ballast linear LED lamps
- a new LED fixture.
This article was our second in a series we created to help you calculate the savings from lighting. You can find the full series here. Although HVAC savings from lighting is one of the least covered topics in the lighting industry, many of you are curious about learning more. We created step-by-step instructions to help you calculate your potential savings and decide if HVAC savings is appropriate to factor into your payback calculations. To learn more about how to calculate HVAC savings from lighting, visit this article.
Perhaps one of the most common questions our lighting designers field is what is correlated color temperature (CCT) and what is right for various applications? In this article we helped uncover what exactly color temperature is –– essentially a gauge of how yellow or blue the color of light emitted from a light bulb appears. In this article we created a simplified guide for determining common CCT levels for various applications. For more on this topic check out our Guide to Correlated Color Temperature and Color Rendering Index.
This is a topic from the archives, but people still want to know what exactly happened with T12s and what they should do if they currently have T12s in your building. In this article we explain why T12s were discontinued, the benefits of switching to smaller diameter fluorescent tubes, and ways to switch out your old T12s if you still have them in your building. Check out the helpful guide to retrofitting T12 tubes here.
If you're looking to retrofit your lighting, knowing where to begin is often the most overwhelming part. This article has been a popular guide to determining which products and which areas of your building to retrofit to efficient LED lighting first to see that fastest payback. There are a number of factors to consider from energy use to ease of maintenance. Download this visual guide to reference when the time comes to retrofit.
We weren't kidding about the incandescent light bulb being a popular topic this year. This article differs from our most popular post because it dives into what exactly what incandescent light bulb is and how it works. The quick answer? An incandescent light bulb is essentially a controlled fire on display. When electrical current makes contact with the base of the bulb, electricity enters and heats the tungsten filament housed inside. And when the filament heats up, “incandescence” is created, which is light produced by heat. To learn more about incandescent light bulbs visit this article.
We've had a great year answering your questions on our Lighting Insights Blog. If you have any questions that you would like to see answered, we would love to hear from you. You can request topics by sending us an email at: email@example.com.