Commercial Lighting Tampa Florida

Pick the best LED light bulb for every room in your house

The right light for the right room matters. Here are our top tips.

Light bulbs have an enormous, everyday impact on the way our homes look and feel, and with a flood of new LED bulbs filling the lighting aisle, you’ve got more options than ever. But how do you pick the right lights for the job? The trick is to think about how you typically put light to use in the different rooms in your home. That, more than anything, will dictate your lighting needs.

For instance, you might benefit from an extra-bright bulb in your favorite reading lamp, but prefer a gentler, more candlelike glow from the lamp at your bedside.

To that end, here are some room-specific tips to help you zero in on the right lights for your living space. Where appropriate, I’ve also included links to buy some of the top bulbs from our tests — please note that CNET may get a share of revenue from those purchases.

If you have high ceilings, you’ll want floodlights that shine nice and bright in a single direction.

Lots of height? Make it bright
If you have rooms with high ceilings — an entryway, for instance, or maybe a staircase with overhead lights up above — you’ll want to prioritize brightness in your light bulbs. After all, the higher up your light bulbs are, the brighter they’ll need to be in order to light up the room.

The most common bulbs for overhead lighting are BR30-shaped floodlights. The “BR” stands for “bulging reflector,” and it means that the light inside the bulb sits above a reflective bowl, sort of like a little satellite dish. Screw a bulb like that up into your ceiling, and that bowl will catch all of the upward cast light, then reflect it back down and out the bottom, which bulges outward to cast the widest possible pool of light across the room. It’s the same trick your car’s headlights use to cast as much light as possible out in front of you as you drive.


Let’s look at your LED floodlight options

You’ve got plenty of BR30-shaped LED options in the lighting aisle. The most common among them are 65-watt replacement bulbs that typically put out about 650 lumens of brightness each. That’s a good, average number, and fine for average-height ceilings with at least a few bulbs shining overhead. Among the ones I’ve tested, 65-watt replacement floodlights from Cree and Philips are the two I’d recommend. They’re good values, they’re highly efficient (each draws less than 10 watts), they work well with dimmer switches and — most important for overhead lighting — they’re both nice and bright, each putting out comfortably more than 700 lumens.

If your ceilings are higher than average, or if you’ve got fewer bulbs shining overhead than you’d like, then look for 100-watt replacement BR30 LEDs that bump the brightness up even further.

Dimmability means versatility for your living room and bedroom
Some rooms serve just one or two basic functions, but other rooms get used in all sorts of ways. For instance, you might use your living room for watching TV, reading books, playing board games with the kids, or any other number of activities. Rooms like that can really benefit from lights that can adapt to whatever’s going on.


You can dim smart lights like this $15 Philips Hue White LED nice and low without any flicker or buzz.

The old-fashioned way to do it is to use a mix of different lamps and fixtures that serve different purposes — a reading lamp beside your favorite armchair, overhead lights for board game night, everything off when you’re watching a movie, and so on. That’s all well and good, but it limits you to a binary, “on/off” lighting mentality.

The better approach? Give yourself a full spectrum of lighting possibilities by making sure all of those lights can dim.

Upgrading your light switches to dimmer switches is one way to do it (and not nearly as intimidating as you might be thinking if you’ve never switched one out before). There are also smart plugs from brands like Lutron that’ll let you dim your lamps up and down.

The easiest way, however, is simply to upgrade your bulbs to smart bulbs. It’s a great time to do it — costs have come way down in recent years, and the advent of voice controls has given people a quick, easy way to jump to whatever setting they like, whenever they like.

Best of all, just about every smart bulb on the market will dim without flickering or buzzing, eliminating a common headache that comes with in-wall dimmer switches. That also makes smart bulbs especially good picks for bedrooms, where strong dimming performance and things like prescheduled wake-up fades can do wonders for your mood in the morning.


On the left, a bowl of M&Ms lit by a standard GE LED. On the right, the same bowl lit by a GE Reveal LED, which does a much better job at making colors look vivid and true.

Consider colors in your kitchen and your closet
I’m not talking about color-changing smart lights (though if you want to jazz your home up with them, don’t let me stop you). No, I’m talking about the colors that are already in your home — artwork, furniture, the clothes in your closet, the fruits and veggies in your kitchen, you name it.

Whatever it is, if it’s colorful, then it’ll benefit from light bulbs with high color rendering scores — bulbs that help colors look their best. This isn’t always the easiest thing to shop for, as manufacturers aren’t required to list their color rendering scores on the packaging, like they are with brightness and efficiency specs. Some bulbs that do claim to be great with colors are actually just so-so.

My tip: Just stick with GE Reveal bulbs, because after about five years of reviewing light bulbs for CNET, I’ve yet to test one that hasn’t delivered on its promise of better-looking colors. That includes standard 60-watt replacement LEDs, floodlights, weird-looking stick-shaped LEDs and more. They tend to cost slightly more per bulb, and most are a little less bright than the average LED because they filter out some of excess yellow light — but those compromises are worth it if you’re using them to light up the spots in your home where you’ll appreciate accurate, better-looking colors day in and day out.

And that’s really the point — despite regularly taking them for granted, we use light bulbs more than just about anything else in our homes. They’re often the first things we turn on in the morning and the last things we turn off before going to bed. So don’t let the lighting aisle overwhelm you — finding the right lights for each room in your house is well worth it, and much easier than you might think.

REF:CNET

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Li-Fi edges closer as Signify backs the technology

SIGNIFY HAS bought another Li-Fi company in a major vote of confidence in the emerging technology.

The company, the world’s biggest lighting manufacturer, has purchased San Diego-based start up Firefly LiFi in what it described as a ‘strategic acquisition’.

The deal – reported in the Edison Report – follows Signify’s takeover in February 2017 of French Li-Fi developer Luciom.

Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, has 30 trials of the technology around the world. At last year’s Light + Building exhibition, company CEO Eric Rondolat said his ambition was to take Li-Fi – ‘light fidelity’ in which LED lighting provides a broadband Internet connection through light waves – into the mainstream.

The plan is that Signify would license its technology to OEMs, ensuring that the Li-Fi capability could be bundled in luminaires from different brands.

In another development, Li-Fi developer pureLiFi has unveiled the first ‘Gigabit’ Li-Fi platform for smart phones. At Mobile World Congress, the Scottish firm showed new optical components that will allow phone users to access ultra-fast 5G services from LED luminaires.


A Li-Fi installation at a cancer centre in Italy, is one of a large number of trials taking place around the world.The test project, at the Oncological Reference Centre in the National Cancer Institute in Aviano, is designed to explore if receiving data from the LED lights cut the electromagnetic interference with life-saving equipment such such as MRI scanners. The project is a collaboration between the University of Udine, the VDA Group and pureLiFi.

It also emerged this month that the US Army is trialling Li-Fi as a way of delivering secure battlefield communications.

This technology is being investigated by the Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center’s Expeditionary Maneuver Support Directorate.

The technology will be used in temporary battlefield HQs known as ‘expeditionary mission commands’.

A key advantage for the army is that Li-Fi eliminates the problems associated with the time-consuming task of running data lines in tactical operation centres and command posts. Also, since the technology does not use radio waves, it cannot be detected outside the confines of the mission command platform.

‘The technology uses light waves to transmit and receive data between the servers and the user’s computer,’ said Melvin Jee, the leader of EMSD’s Command Post Platforms Branch. ‘As light cannot pass through walls, the enemy cannot detect the signal.’

The army is working with US Li-Fi manufacturer VLNComm.
REF:LUX

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Happy Thanksgiving 2018!!!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones, from Commercial Lighting Tampa!

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One step ahead: wireless emergency lighting solutions

Managing an emergency lighting installation in a large building is a very costly business, both in the time that it can take to physically check every luminaire and the associated labour cost of doing that work. If we add to those costs the need to keep a building fully operational even while emergency lighting tests call for batteries to be discharged, then it’s clear that we have to find a better solution to current practice.

Managing an emergency lighting installation in a large building is a very costly business, both in the time that it can take to physically check every luminaire and the associated labour cost of doing that work. If we add to those costs the need to keep a building fully operational even while emergency lighting tests call for batteries to be discharged, then it’s clear that we have to find a better solution to current practice.

Automatic testing is taking the place of regular physical inspections, but many of these systems call for additional control wiring to the luminaires. RP-Technik’s answer lies in the latest wireless technology.

RP-Technik introduced its WPS Wireless Professional System for automatic testing of emergency lighting in 2012. WPS covers all sizes of commercial operation. As well as Wireless Basic for self-contained emergency luminaire installations up to 50 luminaires (released in the first quarter of 2018), RP-Technik offers the WPS 2.1 system, which provides testing for wireless installations of up to 1,000 luminaires (each system). And by means of a common web-based interface (LAN), separate systems (be they wired central-battery systems or other WPS installations) in different parts of a building can all be controlled centrally, so it’s possible to integrate different installations into one single monitoring regime for up to 50,000 luminaires.

The Wireless Professional network operates at a radio frequency of 868MHz, which allows the installation of emergency lighting in areas where other sensitive electronic devices are in use, such as hospitals and laboratories.

RP-Technik Wireless Basic luminaires communicate via the Bluetooth low energy mesh network protocol. This means that each in-fixture wireless module is both a transmitter and receiver of information, building a single reliable and robust communications network.

However, Wireless Basic requires a mobile device (Android) while WPS requires a central station (PC) which must be installed and up running permanently – but, of course, can be placed at any location in the building.

Wireless technology also means that WPS 2.1 can be used when a building is undergoing a refit as well as new installations. It reduces cabling requirements and installation costs. In addition, luminaires can be added to the network at any time without requiring any major reconfiguring of the network.

The WPS system is designed to provide full statutory monitoring of the emergency lighting. Reporting can be scheduled according to need with status and error reports being delivered by email to the system administrator. As well as delivering data from the WPS network to local devices, records are also stored in the online portal Lightlinx, the RP cloud-based database (currently supporting Wireless Basic – support for WPS is in preparation).

The advantages of WPS at a glance:

• Easy installation – only 230V AC mains supply is needed

• Lower costs compared to cable-based systems

• Self-organising ad hoc wireless system

• Range between luminaires is a guaranteed 30m inside buildings (even through a concrete ceiling)

• Up to four times higher range than 2.4 GHz systems

• Resistant to DECT and WLAN signals

• 1,000 luminaires per system (expandable in steps of 250)

• Multi-language easy to use software

• No visible antenna at the luminaires

• Luminaires can be switched by timetable

• Status and error reports by email

• Log for daily/weekly function test stored in the central unit

• Capacity test of the battery for the whole operating time (usually three hours) possible

• Repeater for range extension available

• Switching of luminaires between non-maintained and maintained mode by software

• No faulty connection – no bus-line

• Monitoring system according to EN 62034 type (Wireless Basic is type ER, while WPS is type PERC).

REF: LUX

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Happy Labor Day 2018!!!

Hoping everyone is enjoying their long weekend with friends and family! Be safe!

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Happy 4th of July!! Have fun and be safe from Commercial Lighting Tampa!

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New Incandescent policy for the State of California


For more information visit:
www.nrdc.org/policy
www.facebook.com/nrdc.org
www.twitter.com/NRDCEnergy

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Happy Memorial Day 2018!


Remember those who have served and continue serving their country in the military! Hope everyone is enjoying time with their loved ones. Remember and Honor…Memorial Day 2018

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Hey California, say farewell to your traditional incandescent light bulbs

Here’s a primer on the new rules that will banish them from stores shelves before long

They date back to the time of Thomas Edison. They’ve provided decades and decades of warm bright light to our homes and workplaces. And they’re about go bye-bye.
On Jan. 1, 2018, the humble everyday incandescent light bulb will reach a milestone in its long and steady fade into our collective memory. Under environmental regulations that take effect that day, the bulbs burn too much energy to be sold in California; stores will be able to exhaust current supplies, but they will eventually run out. For consumers, that means choosing among more efficient bulbs that use no more than 72 watts, including halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs.

This is not the first time the state has focused its regulatory glare on what have been the primary bulbs in many homes for more than a century. Check out this Associated Press story lede from January 2011: “Beginning Jan. 1, the state began phasing out certain energy-sucking bulbs, federal standards the rest of the country will enact next year.”

In other words, it’s deja vu all over again.

“We still have a few incandescent bulbs, but they’re being phased out,” said Dave Butts, a customer service rep at Richert Lumber, an Ace Hardware outlet in Pleasanton. “The LEDs are so much better these days and people have gotten so used to them that the incandescents were going to go away anyway,” regardless of any government regulation. Plus, said Butts, “they are also more expensive than the more energy-efficient LEDs, which use a fraction of the energy the traditional bulbs were using. So that means a lower PG&E bill, too.”

Butts said that when LED bulbs first started selling a few years back, many people found their light too bright and too harsh. “They were fine for a workshop or an operating room,” he said, ”but not for reading a book.” But over time, the LEDs have found more acceptance, especially as manufacturers began producing the so-called ”soft white” versions. “You can still buy the super-bright ones,” said Butts, “but you also have that other option with the warmer, softer light.”

While the California Energy Commission’s website can be fairly user-unfriendly and tough to navigate, consumer-advocacy groups like the San Francisco-based Natural Resources Defense Council have stepped in to help guide you through your next bulb-buying binge:

What’s going on here?

As part of the 2007 national energy bill passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law by President George W. Bush, energy efficiency standards were established for new light bulbs that ensured a smooth and gradual national transition to energy-saving bulbs. California’s regulations make the transition happen a little faster.

Why are the old incandescent bulbs going away?

Those common, screw-based light bulbs must meet a minimum energy efficiency level that’s three times more efficient than the old incandescent bulbs as of Jan. 1 in California (and nationally as of 2020). No incandescent or halogen bulb on the market comes close to meeting that level.

So then what?

California consumers will be choosing between energy-saving CFL and LED light bulbs in California stores as of Jan. 1.

Will the bulbs vanish from shelves overnight?

No. Retailers will be allowed to sell what they’ve got left, but then they must stock those shelves with the bulbs that meet the state’s new and tougher environmental standards. The people making and selling light bulbs have known about this coming change for more than ten years now and they’ve responded to the challenge by offering a complete suite of new energy-saving light bulbs that meet the new standards. They’re also winding down their manufacture of incandescents.

Is this a good thing for California consumers?

Do the math: With around 250 million sockets in California that still contain inefficient bulbs, the savings should really add up, says the NRDC. “Once all of these sockets switch over to a more efficient alternative – CFL or LED light bulbs – California consumers and businesses will save an estimated $1 billion every year on their electric bills.”

Which bulbs are covered?

The standards apply to most medium screw-based bulbs used in our homes and businesses, including the ubiquitous pear-shaped bulbs used in table and floor lamps, the globe or round bulbs of more than 40 watts used in bathroom vanities, and the candle-shaped lamps of more than 40 watts used in chandeliers and sconces.

Will it be easy to find replacements?

A wide assortment of energy-saving LED bulbs in every shape and light output level already can be found on the shelves of leading retailers across the state. These bulbs are from well-known lighting companies such as Philips, GE, and Sylvania as well as newer companies that specialize in efficient lighting such as Cree, TCP, Feit, and Maxlite. California’s light bulb regulations currently exempt some types of bulbs, such as those used in ovens.

Finally, the first LED bulbs were a turn-off to many consumers because of their harsh bright light. What now?

LED bulbs are as bright as the inefficient bulbs they replace, says the NRDC, “and provide the additional benefits of lasting up to 25 years under normal operation of three hours per day. Most LEDs are also dimmable, and some of the newer LEDs can even be controlled remotely through a cell phone app. LEDs are so efficient that they use roughly 80 percent less energy than the equivalent incandescent.”

REF: The Mercury News

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This levitating light bulb is what’s missing from your home

Levitating decor items like plant holders and Bluetooth speakers are the thing to have right now — but there’s one other floating gadget on the market that really shines (if you catch our drift). What do you get when you combine the words fly, light, and the Swedish word for float? Um, only the coolest decoration of all time.

Meet Flyte: the gravity defying, levitating light bulb that will leave you and your guests mesmerized. Thomas Edison would be shook right now.

Levitating decor items like plant holders and Bluetooth speakers are the thing to have right now — but there’s one other floating gadget on the market that really shines (if you catch our drift). What do you get when you combine the words fly, light, and the Swedish word for float? Um, only the coolest decoration of all time.

Meet Flyte: the gravity defying, levitating light bulb that will leave you and your guests mesmerized. Thomas Edison would be shook right now.

Flyte takes the common light bulb and merges it with magnetic levitation, allowing it to hover and rotate above its platform for hours. Feel the electromagnets lock it into place, take your hands away, and voilà: gravity defying light.

Unlike the common light bulb, Flyte doesn’t need a switch, wires, or even batteries. It’s powered through the air by induction: a green alternative to the average energy-sucking bulb. Thanks to Nikola Tesla, we can use the electromagnetic field and mercury particles to create a fluorescent, UV light (and forget the electrodes that cause lightbulbs to burn out quickly.) Along with induction, Flyte uses energy efficient LED lights that can last up to 50,000 hours. That’s 12 hours a day for 11 years. Insert jaw drop.

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