Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Which CFL Bulbs Contain Mercury?

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs or CFLs typically contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 4-5mg. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500mg of mercury – an amount equal to the mercury in 125 CFLs. Mercury is an essential part of CFLs; it allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact (not broken) or in use.

Most makers of light bulbs have reduced mercury in their fluorescent lighting products. Thanks to technology advances and a commitment from members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the average mercury content in CFLs has dropped at least 20% or more in the past several years. Some manufacturers have even made further reductions, dropping mercury content to 1mg per light bulb. (energystar.gov)

Below are the bulbs that contain mercury.

Fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent Bulbs:
- Linear, U-tube and Circline Fluorescent Tubes
- Ultraviolet: black lights, tanning bulbs, germicidal bulbs, bug zappers, phototherapy
- High Output Bulbs
- Cold Cathode Fluorescent Bulbs

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulbs:
- Metal Halide (sports stadiums)
- Mercury Vapor (farmyards, streets, general floods)
- Ceramic Metal Halide
- High Pressure Sodium (street lights, general floods)
- Low Pressure Sodium
- Mercury Short-arc Bulbs
- Neon Bulbs
- Xenon Short-arc Lamps

Fluomeric Lamps:
High-wattage lamps with a long-burning life (up to 20,000 hours) that replace incandescent systems. Ideal for high-bay lighting such as industrial ceilings, street lights, building facades, billboards and sports arenas.



Make finding lighting easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at http://www.bulbdirect.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at sales@bulbdirect.com

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Recommendations You Need to Know when a CFL or Other Mercury-Containing Bulb Breaks

Cleaning Up a Broken CFL 
Before Cleanup
- Have people and pets leave the room and avoid the breakage area on the way out
- Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment
- Shut off the central forced air heating or air conditioning system, if you have one
- Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb: stiff paper or cardboard; sticky tape; damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag

During Cleanup
DO NOT VACUUM. I REPEAT DO NOT VACUUM! 
Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor. Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder. Scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag. See the detailed cleanup instructions for more information, and for differences in cleaning up hard surfaces versus carpeting or rugs. Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

After Cleanup
Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of.  Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.

Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash. If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

If you have further questions, please call the Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222.


Cleanup Steps for Hard Surfaces
Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place debris and paper/cardboard in a glass jar with a metal lid. If a glass jar is not available, use a sealable plastic bag.

Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.

Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels in the glass jar or plastic bag. Vacuuming of hard surfaces during cleanup is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken.

If vacuuming is needed to ensure removal of all broken glass, keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep a window or door to the outdoors open
- Vacuum the area where the bulb was broken using the vacuum hose, if available; and
- Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and seal the bag/vacuum debris, and any materials used to clean the vacuum, in a plastic bag

Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.

Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.

Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials. Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the HVAC system shut off, as practical, for several hours.

For More Information Regarding CFL bulb, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/



Make finding lighting easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at http://www.bulbdirect.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at sales@bulbdirect.com


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

3 Lighting Types to Consider When Lighting your Room

Lighting or illumination is the deliberate use of light to achieve a practical or aesthetic effect. Lighting includes the use of both artificial light sources like lamps and light fixtures, as well as natural illumination by capturing daylight. Day-lighting (using windows, skylights, or light shelves) is sometimes used as the main source of light during daytime in buildings. This can save energy in place of using artificial lighting, which represents a major component of energy consumption in buildings. Proper lighting can enhance task performance, improve the appearance of an area, or have positive psychological effects on occupants.

Ambient Lighting
Ambient, or general lighting, is the most basic of the 3 types. It provides an area with overall illumination – a comfortable level of brightness without glare. Ambient light is a soft glow that blankets your space just enough for you to function without causing a harsh glare.

Ambient lighting can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mount fixtures, track or recessed lights, and even table and floor lamps.

While ambient light is meant to get you safely from point A-to-B, it is not ideal for working closely with things or to highlight things around your space.

Task Lighting
Task lighting adds brightness to areas of a room where daily activities – like reading, studying, cooking or applying makeup – are performed.

To enhance visual clarity and prevent eyestrain, effective task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows.

Great task lighting can be achieved by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and specialty lighting, as well as vanity lights and floor, table, and desk lamps.

Accent Lighting
Accent, or directional, lighting is typically used to highlight certain objects or architectural features, such houseplants, paintings, sculptures, a decorative range hood or carved cabinet doors.

It should always be about three times the general illumination level. Accent lighting should never be the focal point. In fact, it’s meant to work without being seen.

Accent lighting can be provided by recessed and track lighting, chandeliers with dimmer switches, over- and specialty lighting, and wall sconces.



Make finding lighting easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at http://www.bulbdirect.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at sales@bulbdirect.com




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How to Decode a Base Shape

Base Shape codes can get a little confusing. Let us help you break it down.


Make decoding a light bulb easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way.
Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at http://www.bulbdirect.com


If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at sales@bulbdirect.com

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

With Everybody Going Green, Vintage Bulbs are Still Hot, Literally and Figuratively Speaking!

Antique, Edison Retro, Nostalgic, or Vintage Bulb, whatever you call them, they are still being used today.

The reproduction of Thomas Edison's first light bulb is quite old and plain, but the exposed-filament bulbs are being used in many restaurants and diners across the globe. Their antique glow has spread like wild fire and is said to be an important part of the décor because it echoes candlelight and flatters both the diner and dinner. These antique bulbs also tap into the popular Victorian Industrial look, retro-chic.

A lot of thought and expense goes into lighting eateries. Upscale budgets easily reach six figures — because it can shape a diner’s experience almost as much as the food. But these antique bulbs, though less efficient than fluorescent or LEDs, can build an ambience at a cost.

With everybody going green, these bulb are still hot, literally and figuratively speaking! Even though they use a lot of energy, they are being sought-after, not only for restaurants and diners, but also for home décor. The demand is said to be high enough that even retailers like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Anthropologie sell them for a pretty penny.

Just like bell bottoms (or flare pants, or widelegs, whichever name you choose), nothing ever goes out of style.



Make finding an Edison Retro Bulbs easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at http://www.bulbdirect.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at sales@bulbdirect.com

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

11 Essentials to Have Before Severe Weather Hits


Being prepared with the most accurate forecast is essential, but sometimes mother nature sneaks up on us without warning.

We've seen severe, and well, weird weather in this country over the years. From strong wind storms, to sleet and hail, to tornadoes, even a few feet of snow. Let us not forget the arctic temperatures leaving cars and buildings encrusted in ice. Then there's the brush fires, earthquakes, mudslides, and flooding to deal with. No matter where you live, you've probably dealt with a few of these at one point or another.

We can't always predict the weather, but we can be prepared when we know what's coming our way.

Are you storm and emergency ready?


At a minimum, you should have these 11 basic emergency supplies listed below:

- Water: 3-day supply for evacuation/2-weeks for home
- Non-perishable Food: 3-day supply for evacuation/2-weeks supply for home
- Clothing: including a jacket or coat, long pants, a long sleeve shirt, sturdy shoes/sneakers, hat and gloves, and a sleeping bag or warm blankets for each person
- LED Flashlights: LED Flashlights offer very bright light, last forever and require few battery changes.
- Battery-powered or Hand-crank Radio
- Extra Batteries: This is a no-brainer! Spare batteries are important for your weather radios, flashlights, you name it.
- First Aid Kit: Available at the Red Cross Store or any retail establishment.
- Charged Cell Phone (with charger)
- Medications (at least a 7-day supply)
- Multi-purpose Tool
- Duct Tape: Universal fix-it solution



Make finding flashlights and batteries easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at http://www.bulbdirect.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at sales@bulbdirect.com

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Which Light Bulb is Dimmable?

If you would like to be able to control the brightness of a bulb, you will need one that is dimmable. Being able to adjust your light source means you’re able to create the perfect atmosphere anywhere.

Dimmable Incandescent Bulbs
Incandescent Bulbs have the largest controllable dimming range from 100% full light, all the way down to 0%, no light. Incandescent Bulbs produce light by allowing an electric current to flow through a metal filament surrounded by inactive nitrogen and argon gas. The current heats the filament and produces light at the same time. Reducing the current will produce a little less light but doesn’t prevent the incandescent from working. Lowering the voltage will benefit your incandescent bulbs, causing them to outlast their typical 1,000-hour life span.

Dimmable Halogen Bulbs

All halogen bulbs are dimmable; this includes xenon and krypton bulbs as well. A halogen bulb operates the same way an incandescent bulb does. However, halogens have a quartz capsule and some additional gas from the halogen family that slows down the burning process of the metal filament, allowing them to last twice as long as incandescents. Your incandescent hall light and the halogen bulbs in your track lighting can share dimmer without a problem.

While dimming makes incandescents last longer, your dimmable halogen bulb may come to a premature end. When a halogen bulb is dimmed down to 20%, the gases around filament begin to build up on the capsule glass instead. Then the bulb begins to operate as an incandescent, leaving the filament to overheat and burn out.

Dimmable CFL Bulbs
Dimmable CFL's are dimmable because of the special electronics in the ballast (housed in the plastic part at the base of the bulb) which steps up the current to be extremely high frequency to create a circuit through the gas in the tube and ignite the bulb. The modern CFL-compliant dimmers work with this, but they also work with other types of bulbs, by reducing the current flow.

NOTE: Non-dimmable CFLs cannot and should not ever be used with dimmer switches. This isn’t so much because they won’t perform well, but because it actually presents a pretty serious fire hazard. Fire is probably a remote risk, but it could happen, more likely it could damage the bulb or substantially reduce its lifespan.

CFLs have less resistance than incandescent bulbs, which means all hell breaks loose when they are exposed to the electrical fluctuations that a dimmer sends. They can actually consume up to 5x the current as when they're not connected to a dimmer. This overheats the bulb and can actually catch on fire.

Dimmable LED Bulbs
While many LED bulbs are now dimmable, not all of them are and not all of them dim daylight lighting in the same way. Since LEDs consume such a low wattage, many types of dimmers do not function with LED in the same way that they do with high wattage load incandescents.

When dimming an LED, you may notice the following:
- Smaller amount of dimming range
  (Typically 70-90% range vs. 100% with incandescent)
- LED Bulbs may not shut off at lowest dim setting: this is caused by the dimmer thinking the bulb is completely off due to the low amount of wattage an LED consumes
- On dimming systems based on X10 or Power Line Carrier (PLC) control technology, LEDs may flicker when modules are communicating due to the small fluctuations in power on the line
- Current LEDs do not shift color when dimmed, in other words they will not offer a soft fiery glow when dimmed like an incandescent



Make finding dimmable light easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at http://www.bulbdirect.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at sales@bulbdirect.com