If you outfit your buildings with fluorescent, HID, or plug-and-play linear LED lighting, you depend on a device called a ballast.
Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofits to lighting design.
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If you had asked us a couple of months ago, we thought we would be writing about new light bulb restrictions that could potentially phase out incandescent light bulbs. New energy efficiency standards for light bulbs were set to go into effect on January 1, 2020.
There are some things in life that are inevitable: Death, taxes, and construction projects falling behind schedule.
Actually, one of those things is escapable with good practice and a stroke of luck.
Here at Regency, we are privileged to have some of the most skilled project managers in the industry but there's sometimes no ducking the inevitability of setback.
Before we go too much further, let's get this out of the way: this is not a laundry list of excuses or a pity party. The intent here is to address the most common snags that emerge over the course of a project while explaining how we mitigate them.
We're lighting people over here, as you know, so we'll be looking specifically at lighting projects and the challenges that come with them, but the principles below could be broadly applied to most any construction project.
You can find a good deal on light bulbs at Home Depot and Walmart. Sometimes, customers bring that to our attention.
How do these stores sell at such low prices? Are they selling the same light bulbs as us? They are targeting a more residential customer, so are they selling residential grade lighting products?
Is there something different about a residential lamp when compared with a commercial one?
Usually, no – there's no difference or distinction, at least according to one of our top manufacturers. Though the products are packaged differently, their guts are almost always the same.
Warranties are almost always an important consideration in the buying process. Whether you're buying a new car, new tires, or a new stereo, smart buying is knowing what kind of protection you have on your purchase should the product prematurely malfunction.
Buying lighting is no different, especially these days when more and more buildings are switching to long-life lighting. When you make that purchase, you want to know for sure that your lighting will last as long as the manufacturer says it will.
But malfunctions happen from time to time. So how can you find that security?
Completing a lighting audit is a helpful tool for keeping lighting projects on time and on budget. Are they a must-have?
Well, not on every project, but in some situations, the risks of foregoing an audit may greatly increase the likelihood of completing that project late or over budget.
What are the benefits of a lighting audit? In general, a quality audit will give you a better handle on the expected project cost and return on investment. Additionally, it will give you a clearer picture of installation conditions, minimizing surprises when it's time to install.
We wish we could tell you that LEDs will never fail – that they will last an eternity. But we'd be liars if we spread such rumors. That is just not the case.
Although LEDs are extremely efficient and carry very long average rated life ratings, there is nevertheless always a chance they may fail. The smartest thing you can do when looking to make an LED buy is to align yourself with a reputable LED manufacturer, so if and when something does fail, you're covered by a company that will back you with warranty and customer support – not one that recently went out of business.
We get asked on a regular basis about the best products for different lighting applications. As lighting distributors with access to the product lines of over 1,000 vendors, our approach to answering such questions can never really be one-size-fits-all.
The reality is that the process of narrowing down to the best options requires a true understanding your specific application.
(We’re beginning to outline our recommendations based on the type of business so you don’t have to read between the lines on a more general list of products. Stay tuned for more articles like this geared for specific industries.)
We speak with clients all the time who have ruled out LED as a viable lighting option due to budgetary restraints. And we tell them all the same thing, or something similar. . . Something like: "Whoa, whoa, whoa – not so fast!"
Let's cut to the chase. Repeat after me: I can upgrade to LED on a tight budget.
Technological developments and changes in the lighting industry are non-stop, and that reality made the news once again earlier this month when GE announced that it would cease production of compact fluorescent bulbs.
Learn more about CFLs in our post, 'What are CFL bulbs and where should they be used?'
This is big news for the lighting world.
Compact fluorescents (CFL) for years inhabited the energy-efficient corner of the market, but GE’s recent announcement further confirms the quick and imminent takeover of LEDs.