Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Three Finalists From Germany and the U.S. Compete for Prestigious GE Edison Award

Projects in Hohenschwangau, Germany; Ithaca, New York, and Washington, D.C., Rise to Top of Entries in 29th Annual Lighting Competition

GE Lighting (NYSE:GE) announced three finalists in its 29th annual international GE Edison Award competition today at Light+Building 2012, one of the world's largest trade fairs for lighting and intelligent buildings, held in Frankfurt, Germany. This year's finalists represent lighting design innovations for a museum renovation and expansion, a university addition and an institution's new headquarters building.
"The pool of deserving, forward-thinking applicants in this year's Edison Awards speaks to the truly remarkable things you can do with lighting," says GE Lighting President & CEO Maryrose Sylvester. "The submissions we received incorporated broadened use of LEDs and energy-efficient technologies, unique lighting placement, and lighting control strategies that showcased thought-provoking designs from lighting design teams the world over. This year's finalists truly speak to why the world of lighting has so much to celebrate."
The GE Edison Award competition is open internationally to lighting professionals who creatively employ significant use of GE light sources in a lighting design project completed during the previous year. The finalists for the 29th annual GE Edison Award include:
Museum of the Bavarian Kings in Hohenschwangau, Germany
Lighting Design Firm: Licht Kunst Licht AG, Bonn, Germany
Located in Germany's most picturesque Alpine region, the Museum of the Bavarian Kings underwent an extensive renovation. Planned by Staab Architekten from Berlin, the museum houses a permanent unique exhibition displaying the history of the Wittelsbach dynasty and their Bavarian Kings. GE halogen lamps and state-of-the-art lighting technologies, including GE Tetra® PowerGrid were employed to reveal the remarkable architecture and highlight the precious exhibits.
Cornell University, Milstein Hall, in Ithaca, New York, USA
Lighting Design Firm: Tillotson Design Associates, New York, New York
The modern architecture of Cornell University's Milstein Hall is thoughtfully intertwined with the existing historic buildings. The new addition includes flexible studio space on the upper plate, a pedestrian plaza and auditorium on the ground level, and a critique space and gallery below grade. The lighting systems are carefully integrated within the unique ceiling design and construction at each of the three levels. Fixture and lamp selections, including GE T8 and T5 fluorescent, and ConstantColor CMH® lamps, complement the building aesthetic and the specific function of each floor.
United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.
Lighting Design Firm: Lam Partners, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Prominently located near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the headquarters of the United States Institute of Peace houses offices, an international conference center, and a public exhibition and event space. The wing-like roofs connect the building's three curving sections, enclosing two atria below. These multi-layer translucent structures presented the most challenging lighting problem: to light the roofs with no visible sources so they glow softly both inside and outside. A pervasive lighting theme, featuring GE T5 fluorescent lamps, is present throughout the building. Light sources are fully concealed or designed to disappear, revealing and animating, but never competing with the architecture.
All finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony held Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, the evening before the start of LightFair International. During this ceremony, designers who have been designated as winners of Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Awards for Environmental Design, the Award for Residential Design and Special Citations will be recognized with personalized plaques acknowledging their lighting design achievements. The identity of the 29th annual GE Edison Award Winner will remain confidential until announced at the awards ceremony. The winner will receive a personalized Steuben crystal trophy and continued publicity throughout the following year. A distinctive plaque will also be presented to the owner of the winning installation.
All lighting projects submitted for award consideration must have been completed between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2011. For more information about the GE Edison Awards, visitwww.GEEdisonAward.com.
About GE Lighting
GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs over 17,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve™, GTx, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination® and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE:GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.

How to brighten up your home with new lighting

The key to brightening up your home is to diversify lighting, so that there isn't one glaring light casting stark and jarring contrasts across the room. Below are a number of different, pleasurable light sources that can help make your home more aesthetically pleasing.

Task lighting
As the name suggests, task lighting will help you get things done. It helps you throughout the house. In the kitchen, task lighting is particularly important because you will need to see well while cooking with the stove or preparing food on a cutting board. Lighting under your cabinets will help you find supplies easier, and pendant fixtures help keep your general work area illuminated. Reading and desk lamps help with your scholastic projects and pleasures.
Ben Gibbs, the owner of Gibbs Electric (an electrical contracting firm), recommended LED (light-emitting diode) technology because it lasts longer and saves you more money.

Accent lighting
Accent lighting draws attention to a particular object or location. This type of lighting can emphasize different areas. When you enter a room, your view is largely framed by the primary light source. Many times, the room will be so bright that you won't even know where the light sources are. However, if you dim the main light fixture, you can highlight  pictures or create dynamic contrasts with smaller light sources.

Ambient lighting
Ambient lighting is the general illumination of a room that sets the mood of the space. In photography, it references light sources that are not explicitly supplied by the photographer (such as off-camera lights) that alter the atmosphere of the scene. In your home, whatever sets the overall tone is ambient light. This can be achieved by candles, ceiling-mounted lights, chandeliers or pendant lighting.

Delicate curtains 
Another great way to enliven your home with new lighting is to incorporate natural light. If you replace heavy drapes with airy curtains or blinds, you will benefit from the natural daylight while maintaining your privacy. You won't need to use as much electricity powering your man-made light fixtures during the day. Since the sun changes its position over the course of the day, you will benefit from different angles, shadows and tones. During sunrise and sunset--the golden hours--the right room can be filled with gorgeous tones of amber and gold.

Skylights can be horizontal windows or roof lanterns. Owing to their optimal positioning, skylights allow more sunshine to enter your home and distribute it more evenly throughout a room. There is a novelty aspect to skylights because they cannot be equipped in all rooms and regular windows are clearly far more common.
However, skylights are inexpensive and shouldn't be thought of as a luxury item. Aside from their pleasant presence and captivating appearance, they will reduce your reliance on other forms of expensive lighting. They work particularly well in areas such as the kitchen or family room, where a lot of people congregate and light will be needed throughout the day.
Only install skylights if the sun passes directly over the top of your house, unobstructed by trees. Emmy award-winning home design expert Christopher Lowell said, "I've seen people go to the expense of installing them only to find out later that no direct sun light ever reaches them."

Internal windows
Internal windows will allow light from throughout the house to flow from one room to another. Aside from animating your home, this will also open up your home and make it appear more spacious and inviting.

Source: Fox News

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meet the $60 ‘Earth Day’ LED light bulb

HO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES - This handout image shows a prize-winning, super energy saving LED bulb from the Dutch electronics giant Philips. The 10-watt light bulb, said to last over 20 years, went on sale online and in stores Sunday to coincide with Earth Day.

Just in time for Earth Day, Dutch electronics company Philips unveiled a new super energy-efficient light bulb Sunday with a shelf life that should last about 25 years.
The catch? It costs about $60, but Philips is said to have forged deals with some stores to bring that cost down to about $20, according to the BBC. Still, that price might be too high for consumers, as VentureBeat has previously pointed out.
The new bulbs are made of light emitting diodes (LEDs) that are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and have same color quality as standard bulbs. LEDs are typically found in TVs, computers, and car headlights.
Philip’s new bulb won the Bright Tomorrow competition last year from the U.S. Department of Energy, which asked companies to create an affordable energy-efficient alternative to the standard 60-watt incandescent light bulb. Philip was an easy winner, as the only entrant in the competition.
Even at the cheaper $20 price, the new LED lights face heavy competition from the much cheaper  compact fluorescent bulbs.
The new bulbs hit retail store shelves Sunday.
Photo via Philips
Copyright 2012, VentureBeat

Friday, April 20, 2012

How Five Tech Companies Will Go Green for Earth Day

The 20-Year-Light Bulb

Philips $60, energy-efficient light bulbPhilips $60, energy-efficient light bulbOn Earth Day, Philips will begin selling a $60 light bulb that uses just 10 watts of power. Before you balk at the price, consider the fact that it will last some 30,000 hours, some 30 times that of the standard light bulb. That’s about 20 years, and each bulb is expected to save the consumer about $165 over its lifespan.
With the bulb, the company won the L-Prize, a Department of Energy competition to create an ultra-efficient light bulb. Don’t worry about the $60 price tag though: In many cases, you’ll get it much cheaper. Philips partnered with about 280 utility companies, some of which will offer rebates on the bulb, which will bring the cost down to about $25.

The Earth-Friendly Smartphone

LG Optimus Elite from SprintLG Optimus Elite from SprintSprint debuts its eco-friendly LG Optimus Elite on Earth Day, and claims that it is one of the most environmentally considerate phones available. The phone runs the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system, and includes near-field communication (NFC) support, an 800MHz processor, 3G connectivity, and 5-megapixel camera. It retails for $30 with a two-year agreement after a $50 rebate.
But that’s not what will make environmentalists heart flutter: the phone itself is made of 50 percent recycled plastic and does not include ecologically harmful materials such as PVC plastics, phthalates, halogens, or mercury.

Green Storefronts

Verizon Wireless won't release a phone on Earth Day, but boasts the fact that 75 of its retail stores have received “green” certifications from the United States Green Building Council. These stores use a variety of strategies to reduce its environmental footprint.
The carrier says these green stores use Energy Star certified equipment, employ energy management systems to conserve energy, use low-flow toilets and plumbing, and use environmentally friendly finishes and materials in the store’s construction.

Earth-Friendly Glue in PCs

3M is taking the opportunity around Earth Day to release more environmentally considerate glues used in the electronics manufacturing. The company says this makes the process of dismantling discarded electronics easier for recycling. All it takes is concentrated heat to make disassembly easier.
This also has another side benefit in that electronics that previously had to be discarded can now be taken apart easily to be repaired, 3M says. The result is less electronic waste in landfills, according to the company

Easier Search for Green Autos on EBay

EBay's Green Driving siteEBay's Green Driving siteFinally, auction site eBay will debut a new section of its site focusing on “green” vehicles, allowing searchers to research and find fuel-efficient cars. In addition to connecting to its eBay Motors site for the vehicles itself, information on fuel economy, vehicle reviews, and news on green vehicles will all be available from the special eBay location.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

$50 'light bulb of the future' goes on sale this weekend

What if you never had to buy another light bulb again? How much would that "light bulb of the future" be worth? This weekend, you'll decide. The L-Prize Philips bulb goes on sale Sunday. In Georgia, you can only buy it online.
11Alive's Julie Wolfe already has one and has been testing the light bulb causing so much buzz.
It seems like just yesterday that a light bulb was a light bulb, and your toughest choice was 60 watt or 75 watt. But the incandescent bulb you've been buying for decade is about to expire. New federal legislation went into effect January 1. The 100 watt bulb is already being phased out. Other wattages will fade from the market over the next few years.
The reason is one we've known for years: they are energy hogs.
Brad Paulsen is the light bulb merchant at the Home Depot in Buckhead. He hooked up an incandescent bulb and a LED bulb to compare their energy use. "This is measured in kilowatts," he said pointing to the old-style light bulb. "It's using .33 kilowatts, while the L.E.D. is using .06. So, a big difference in energy costs, especially over time."
Despite the obvious savings and the beginning of the ban, 40 percent of people still buy incandescent bulbs. There was a major push for CFLs, compact florescent lights, but consumers gave it mixed reviews. The biggest complaint: those florescent lights are not flattering to skin tones and harsh on the eyes.
"CFLs are a florescent light," Paulsen said. "Some people like florescent, some people don't. If you like it and price is a main concern, that's what I recommend."
But now, Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, are lighting up the scene. The new L-Prize Philips LED is at the forefront of the newer technology.
The Philips LED won the Department of Energy's L-Prize. It was the first-ever government sponsored technology competition. It set rigorous requirements and challenged companies to rethink the way we see light. The prize was $11 million.
This latest light bulb is the result.
Its stats are impressive: lasts 27 years, will save you $165 in energy costs, it's mercury-free, and the light looks like an incandescent bulb.
The retail prize in Georgia is $50. Other states have utility subsidies that help bring down the cost. Philips could negotiate those for Georgia in the future. Starting Sunday, you can buy it at HomeDepot.com. Select stores will carry it, but none in our state.
But the L-Prize bulb has a little brother.
"This platform took us 12 months to develop," said Tom Kilkelly from Philips. "But then it had to go through 18 months of testing [to win the L-Prize]. During that time, we've developed some related products."
Paulsen points it out on the shelves of Home Depot: "It looks very similar, but it's $25 everyday, so a much more practical solution for customers."
It's a 12 watt bulb using a bit more energy, putting off just a bit less light, at half the cost. This one will last 23 years. It's the first of many products inspired by the L-Prize bulb.

Source: 11Alive

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Eco-Friendly Light Bulb Coming Out this Week

Ranges in price from $9 to $60

The days of having to constantly replace a light bulb will soon be a thing of the past. How about more than 20 years between changes?
These heavy duty light bulbs are hitting valley store shelves in the next few days -- but the convenience is not going to come cheap.
We’re talking about a brand new eco-friendly line of light bulbs, and the most expensive one runs $60. Philips, the manufacturer, says it lasts more than 20 years and uses a much lower percentage of energy. But $60? Will people buy it?
“I think it’s worth the investment for 20 years if you own your own home,” says Jessica Aranda.
Shopper Dale Scott says he probably won’t buy it – “because the kids would probably break it.”
They're the most energy-efficient light bulbs in the world, and they're set to be released on earth day.
The Home Depot store at 43rd Avenue and Camelback already has the new EcoSmart line.
So for starters, we had to ask, why is it so expensive?
“Because it’s new, anything new coming out, you have to pay for that technology,” says Jeff Robinson of Home Depot.
Lighting expert Jeff Robinson admits they aren’t exactly flying off the shelves yet, not while CFL bulbs -- which are almost as energy-efficient -- are cheaper, and incandescent bulbs run around a buck
The biggest benefits for these bulbs is they last much longer and are more eco-friendly.
“It’s not going to have the mercury in it that CFL has, which is environmentally safer, which there is a lot of concern about that,” says Robinson.
So what do shoppers think?
“I think after you do the cost benefit analysis maybe it’s worth it,” says Aranda.
“I think it all depends on the person. For me I’d just buy some cheap light bulbs,” says Hector Guzman.
“I wouldn’t. They say its energy efficient and that it lasts much longer, you get more bang for your buck and what if it doesn’t, who do I complain to if it doesn’t last 20 years?” says Melissa Smith.
Now the bulbs in this line range from $9 to $50 or $60, it just depends on the kind of bulb you get and the store you go to. Home Depot's were a little cheaper.

Source: MYFOX

Shopping for light bulbs after the incandescent

As stores continue to phase out incandescent light bulbs, you may be confused about what's left on the shelf.
CFL, LED, incandescent- the light bulb aisle can be a confusing place, especially now that the old style of bulbs are being phased out.
"It was a lot easier before," said shopper John Fithian of Berlin Center. "You didn't have all the choices and everything. What's supposed to save energy or use more, I'm not really sure."
Companies are trying to enlighten the consumer with labels touting energy efficiency and cost.
"We are required now to provide this label which is very similar to the nutrition label that the food industry goes through," explained Sylvia Hart of GE Lighting. "We're standardizing across brightness, energy cost, life and color temperature."
As incandescent bulbs disappear, they're being replaced by CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps, and LED's or light emitting diodes.
"Right now they are a little bit pricier," explained Electrical Specialist Ellery Dodson of the Boardman Home Depot. "But they're going to last you 20 years. You're not going to have to go out and buy new bulbs every two to three years and they use a lot less energy."
The spiral-style CFLs are cheaper, about $7 a piece, and last for about nine years. The newer LEDs last longer and cost a bit more.
"These come in a daylight and they come in a bright white," said Dodson. "So they are different brightness's."
There's also some extra care involved. CFL bulbs contain mercury. Stores like Home Depot offer recycle bins where you can wrap the bulb in a bag and leave it to be recycled.
Saying goodbye to the classic bulb has been tough for many customers.
"Oh yeah, they've been coming in, buying them by the box load!" laughed Dodson.
Source: WFMJ

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Philips Targets Earth Day for L Prize Bulb Availability to Consumers

Using just 10 watts of power and saving over $165 dollars during its 30,000 hour lifetime, the new bulb is the world's brightest, most energy-efficient 60 watt LED equivalent

Philips today announced it will offer its most technologically advanced LED bulb to consumers for the first time on Earth Day. The company's response to the federal government's challenge to develop aggressive new technology that would support the nation's goal of energy independence and security was met by the development of the most energy efficient bulb in the world. The Philips L Prize LED bulb, winner of the U.S. Department of Energy's Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition, will be available this week at both retail and online outlets.
"Philips is the first and only company to meet the stringent L Prize requirements for a bulb that produces over 900 lumens, a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 and 2700 Kelvin color temperature, features that allow it to closely mimic an incandescent bulb," stated Ed Crawford, GM of Lamps, Lighting Electronics and Controls for Philips Lighting North America. "Because the new bulb is 83% more energy efficient than the standard 60-Watt incandescent, consumers can now experience new savings for their pocketbooks by putting this technologically advanced product to use in their homes."
Philips has partnered with over 280 utility companies across the country to ensure rebates are available on the bulb and expects more than 230 additional utilities to join the program in June when the product is expected to achieve Energy Star qualification. Utilities and efficiency programs such as Cape Light Compact, Efficiency Vermont, Platte River Power Authority (Colorado) and Long Island Power Authority will be offering rebates of $15 - $25 on the bulb, bring the retail price at point of sale down to as little as $25.
"By supporting proven LED technology such as the Philips L Prize bulb, we can give consumers a viable, long-lasting alternative to the incandescent or CFL," said Briana Kane, Senior Residential Program Manager at of Cape Light Compact in Massachusetts. "As we head into the peak summer usage months, the ability to reduce your electricity bill for the next few decades by simply screwing in an LED light bulb becomes an attractive and easy proposition."
The winning Philips product excelled through rigorous short-term and long-term performance testing carried out by independent laboratories and field assessments conducted with utilities and other partners. The product also performed well through a series of stress tests, in which the product was subjected to extreme conditions such as high and low temperatures, humidity, vibration, high and low voltage, and various electrical waveform distortions.
"We knew that it would be an important driver for the industry, spurring innovation and adoption for an alternative to a product that has remained largely unchanged for over a century," said Ed Crawford, GM of Lamps, Lighting Electronics and Controls for Philips Lighting North America. "With LED bulbs, we are looking at a wholesale change in buying lighting technology, going from a disposable good to a durable good. Consumers are no longer looking at a product that will last just six months to a year, they are looking at a product that is much more efficient and will be with them for decades."
If every 60-watt incandescent bulb in the U.S. was replaced with the 10-watt L Prize winner, the nation would save about 35 terawatt-hours of electricity, the equivalent electricity of 17.5 electric power stations, or $3.9 billion in one year. Moreover, the change will also avoid 20 million metric tons of carbon emissions, or the equivalent to removing nearly 4 million cars from the road.
To download L Prize images and video, please click here: http://forummedia.us/philipslprize
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands PHG +1.00% (aex:PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity." Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 122,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 22.6 billion in 2011, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter .
Source: Market Watch

There's a bright idea: The energy-saving light bulb that lasts 20 years... and costs $60

The US government is to launch a revolutionary new light bulb which is the most energy-efficient yet and lasts for 20 years.
There's only one snag. It costs $60.
The bulb was developed after Congress launched the the $10-million L Prize competition in 2007 to find a bulb to replace the energy-wasting 'incandescent' 60-watt bulb.
High tech: The bulb was built by Philips after it won Congress' $10-million L Prize competition in 2007
High tech: The bulb was built by Philips after it won Congress' $10-million L Prize competition in 2007
But when only Dutch manufacturer Philips entered the contest, it was declared the winner and began work straight away.
The bulb, which is  is supposed to give off a pleasing, natural-looking light, will go on sale at Home Depot and other outlets starting on Sunday - Earth Day.

    Its $60 price reflects the cost of the components, especially the top-notch chips, or diodes, that give off the light, and is the price commercial customers will pay. 
    But Philips is discounting it right away to $50 for consumers, and working on deals with electric utilities to discount it even further, by as much as $20 to $30.
    Out with the old: Congress wants the bulb to replace the energy-wasting 'incandescent' 60-watt bulb
    Out with the old: Congress wants the bulb to replace the energy-wasting 'incandescent' 60-watt bulb
    This means the bulb will cost anywhere from $20 to $60, depending on where it's found. Online, consumers will be paying $50 for each bulb, because utilities don't subsidize online sales.
    Congress launched the L Prize contest in 2007, with the goal of creating a bulb to replace the standard, energy-wasting 'incandescent' 60-watt bulb. The requirements were rigorous, and Philips was the only entrant. Its bulb was declared the winner last year, after a year and a half of testing. The contest stipulated that the winning bulb be sold for $22 in its first year on the market.
    In that context, the $60 price tag has raised some eyebrows. Ed Crawford, the head of Philips' U.S. lighting division, said it was always part of the plan to have utility rebates bring the price down to the $22 range.
    Utilities already offer rebates on energy-saving products such as compact-fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs. In return for efforts to curb energy use, regulators allow utilities to raise their rates. The discounts are invisible to consumers - the utilities pay the stores directly.
    For $25, or even $35, the bulb looks like a good investment compared to an incandescent bulb. It uses only 10 watts of power, meaning saves about $8 per year in electricity if it's used four hours a day. It's expected to last at least 30,000 hours, or 30 times longer than an incandescent. At four hours per day, that's 20 years.
    But the Philips bulb is not only up against $1 incandescent bulbs. CFL are nearly as energy efficient. They use about 15 watts for 60 watts worth of light. They're much cheaper too, typically costing around $5. The Philips bulb looks odd too -the light-emitting surfaces are yellow when the bulb isn't lit, yet shine white when it is.
    The Philips bulb has some advantages over a CFL: It lasts three times longer and gives off a more natural-looking light. It doesn't contain the toxic mercury vapor inside CFLs, which creates a minor hazard when they break.

    Source: Mail Online

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    ComEd encourages customers to recycle out-dated lightbulbs

    After nearly 200 years, the standard incandescent light bulb is in for a change as the result of new federal guidelines requiring more energy-efficient lighting products.
    In light of this transition and as spring cleaning season progresses, ComEd encouraged customers to properly dispose of old-fashioned light bulbs at local recycling sites and illuminate their homes with energy-efficient light bulbs, such ascompact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
    These lights consume about 75 percent less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, lower electricity costs and decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the environment.
    In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which sets new efficiency standards for consumer products, including appliances and lighting. The law requires manufacturers to produce new light bulbs that consume about 25 percent less electricity, making way for more innovative and efficient lighting choices, such as halogen bulbs, CFLs or light emitting diodes (LEDs).
    A phase-out process for the old-fashioned incandescent bulb was launched in January, starting with 100-watt bulbs.
    In 2013, 75-watt bulbs will no longer be produced and in 2014, 60- and 40-watt bulbs will join the phase-out.
    ComEd customers can learn more about energy-efficient lighting options, such as CFLs and LED bulbs, by visiting the “home savings” section of the ComEd.com home page, which also includes information on how to obtain discounts for select ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting products. ComEd lighting experts also offer customers tips during visits to home improvement stores across northern Illinois.
    “With all the recent federal changes in lighting standards, it’s more important than ever for customers to stay informed on lighting to make the right choice,” ComEd Energy Doctor Timothy Melloch said in a press release. “There are so many new lighting options for our customers to choose from and understanding those options is extremely important.”
    Consumers should also know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now requires new fact labels on light bulb packaging to educate them about lighting products and help them choose the best energy-efficient light bulb for their needs.
    The labels include energy costs per year, indicate the bulb’s life expectancy, and provide information on wattage and “lumens,” the unit measurement of a light bulb’s brightness.

    Say Goodbye to Old-Fashioned Light Bulbs

    Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are on their way to becoming obsolete. The first to go is the 100-watt, which is no longer being produced as of January. The next to go will be the 75-watt bulb in January 2013, followed by 60- and 40-watt bulbs in 2014.
    The phase-out is a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which was intended to make better use of resources and to help the U.S. become energy independent.  Part of the law sets energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs. The law requires that by 2020 most light bulbs be 60 to 70 percent more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
    ComEd encourages consumers to illuminate their homes with energy-efficient light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These lights consume about 75 percent less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, lower electricity costs and decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the environment, according to a ComEd press release.
    ComEd customers can learn more about energy-efficient lighting options, such as CFLs and LED bulbs, by visiting the “home savings” section of the ComEd.com home page,  which also includes information on how to obtain discounts for select ENERGY STAR®-qualified lighting products. ComEd lighting experts also offer customers tips during visits to home improvement stores across northern Illinois. 
    ComEd lighting experts will be at the following retail stores this month:
    • April 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lowe's, 1000 Willow Rd., Northbrook
    • April 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Menards, 6301 Oakton St., Morton Grove

    Consumers should also know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now requires new fact labels on light bulb packaging to educate them about lighting products and help them choose the best energy-efficient light bulb for their needs. The labels include energy costs per year, indicate the bulb’s life expectancy, and provide information on wattage and “lumens,” the unit measurement of a light bulb’s brightness.  
    Those planning to discard of their old incandescent bulbs should be aware that they are not allowed in the recycling bin. 
    Old incandescent bulbs should be disposed of in the garbage, said Cameron Ruen, marketing coordinator for the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County. 
    “You won’t find a recycling option for incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are safe to go in the garbage,” Ruen said.
    Pat Dieckhoff, McHenry County College waste reduction assistant, advises that incandescent light bulbs be properly wrapped for disposal. “Bundle it up well so it’s not an issue with the person putting it into the truck,” she said.
    While incandescent light bulbs can’t be recycled, they can be reused by the crafty. Green Eco Services shows some ways to reuse bulbs including turning them into little, hanging flower vases.
    Source: Skokie Patch

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    New phosphor means LED lights will be brighter when on, less yellow when off

    Philips AmbientLED
    You might not have known it, but the LEDs in many LED bulbs aren’t white, they’re actually blue. In order to get them to emit the white-ish tones that we find to be so pleasing (about 2700K for indoor lighting) that blue light has to be adjusted. To do this manufacturers use what’s know as a phosphor — basically a luminescent material — to filter the light and adjust the color temperature. It’s a great solution, but it can result in a bulb that looks yellow (like the Philips AmbientLED above) when they aren’t operating.
    The AmbientLED is a great bulb, but it looks a bit strange when it’s turned off (being yellow and all). The solution to this is better phosphors, and those come from companies like Intematix. They just announced their new ChromaLit XT, is a phosphor solution that offers up to 30% increased efficiency compared to competing products and comes in a more “neutral” (less yellow) color. The material can withstand up to 270 degrees C (518 degrees F) so it can handle anything an LED array is going to throw at it.
    Intematix Chromalit XT SingleSince you’ll never buy an Intematix product and you probably don’t spend much time thinking about remote phosphor material, why does this matter? It’s all about appearances. The tone of ChromaLit XT appears in the image on the right — notice how much lighter it is than the gold color used in current phosphor solutions (above). It’s still yellow, but it’s not nearly as jarring a color. And that’s just the change in the course of a single product cycle. Before long the color could get even lighter and our LED bulbs will look even more normal.
    Of course, the aesthetics are just one part of the update. The new ChromaLit XT lets out more lumens, which means more light for the same amount of power. That’s a big deal, because LED lighting is all about efficiency.
    Intematix announced that the first partner will be UK-based light producer Vexica, who makes LED downlights. While it will take some time for materials like ChromaLit XT so hit consumer products, you can bet you’ll be seeing brighter, less yellow (in the off state) LED bulbs in the future.
    Source: Geek