Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gift Yourself – with Rebates!

We all love gifts that keep on giving, and with rebates on energy-efficient bulbs, you can’t go wrong. Save once on the cost of the bulbs – and again on the energy you’ll save for years to come.

Your local utility likely has a rebate program until December 31. Now is the time to take advantage of these rebates before they run out.

So why would utilities actually pay you to save money? Because it also saves them money. Upfront costs for acquiring equipment and maintaining infrastructure can be lowered, and the payback period shortened. The bottom line is that it costs much less to give consumers incentives for saving than it does to build new power plants.   
As energy-hogging incandescent bulbs slowly make their way out of our homes and economy, the rebates will become less. So if you’ve been thinking of making the switch, take advantage of today’s programs to save even more tomorrow.

Rebates are available with all types of lamps, fixtures, ballasts, and controls. There are two types of rebates:
·         Prescriptive rebates give you a specific dollar amount, such as $10 per bulb.
·         Custom rebates are given based upon pre-approved energy-saving measures, typically performed in new building construction or renovations. These rebates are delivered only after energy audits and final inspections are complete.

With more than 3,000 U.S. utility companies and thousands of lighting products, how can you find information about the rebates? Just click here and enter your zip code. A search in the Rochester, NY area yielded a whopping 68 energy rebate programs available right now.

If you’ve been hoarding incandescent bulbs in anticipation of their demise in the local big box stores, now may be the time to make the switch. Consider it a gift to yourself – and to Mother Earth! 

Bulb Direct can help you choose the LED bulbs that are right for you. We’re just a click or a phone call away!

Monday, November 2, 2015

In the Spotlight: Customer Service

When you call Bulb Direct for assistance, you’re likely to speak with Kayla Blasiak. She’s been a Customer Relations Specialist here for the past two years and brings with her a background in banking and retail.

Kayla is just one of our employees who exemplifies a strong commitment to serving customers. If she can’t help with your problem, she’ll call you back after she does the necessary research. With all the changes in bulb technology and product offerings, lighting solutions can get complicated fast, especially when you’re looking for specialty items.

Kayla enjoys working in a B2B environment because it gives her the opportunity to partner with customers. “In this job, I get to help people figure out what they need,” she says. “Plus it’s easy to stand behind the products we sell because we stock only reputable name brands from companies we check out carefully. That makes all the difference.”

When you call Bulb Direct, you always talk to a person who will direct your call. You won’t find yourself trapped in an automated message loop that insists your call is important! Neither will you be routed to someone a half world away or escalated to higher levels of call representatives.

Our Customer Relations Specialists are trained thoroughly and share vital information so they all can answer your questions and provide the support you deserve. At Bulb Direct, we’re not satisfied until we help you make the most informed and economical decision.

In addition to her customer relations duties, Kayla chips in to handle month-end financials and walk-in customers. “It’s part of what we do at Bulb Direct,” she says. “We work together like a family. Everyone takes on additional responsibilities so we have good backup, greater expertise, and the chance to develop a broader skill set.”

Kayla Blasiak: Customer Relations Specialist

Bulb Direct personalizes your bulb shopping experience with an experienced team of support specialists. Give us a call today at 800-772-5267 or check out our website.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Read those labels!

Shopping for light bulbs never used to be complicated, and with changes in regulations and technology, making sound choices can seem overwhelming. An article on light bulbs in the October 2015 issue of Consumer Reports acknowledges this problem and provides a good overview of what’s new, what to look for, and how to read labels.

The article begins by stating what really matters is how much you want to spend and the brightness you require. By reading the packaging carefully, you can usually figure out the most important specifications.

Most bulb packages feature a “Lighting Facts” section that contains useful information, such as:
  •          Color temperature, measured in Kelvin (K). The warm incandescent lighting you’re used to hovers around 2700K, with 3000-4200K offering a whiter light,  those above 5000K casting a bluish tone and 5000-6500k is said to replicate daylight.
  •          Energy usage, a direct wattage comparison you can check for various types of bulbs.
  •          Lumens, which indicates bulb brightness (1600 lumens gives off the same brightness as a 100-watt halogen bulb or 1250 lumens for an incandescent bulb).
  •          Life expectancy, which is where LED bulbs (literally) shine.

In addition, the package may also detail data about these features:
  •          Beam angle, which indicates if the bulb casts light in a single direction or is omnidirectional (perfect for lamps).
  •          Color Rendering Index (CRI), which tells how accurately colors appear under the light of the bulb. Halogen bulbs render colors the best.
  •          ENERGY STAR®, a rating used to indicate that the bulb meets stringent regulations. Some ENERGY STAR bulbs offer rebates from local utilities.
  •          Mercury content. LEDs don’t contain mercury but CFLs do and should be recycled appropriately.

Finally, it has been shown that exposure to any light at night can increase sleep problems, and that we’re particularly sensitive to blue light. Consider choosing LEDs with a color temperature around 2400-2700K if sleep problems are an issue for you.

Choosing the right bulb doesn’t have to be confusing! Contact one of our experienced Bulb Direct service representatives at 1-800-772-5267 to get the personal attention you deserve.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Clearance Section

You’ve seen our site and the great products we offer, but did you know about our clearance section? We offer a wide array of merchandise for sale to meet your needs. 

We of course offer many different bulbs, but there are many other items available too. The site is constantly being updated and our clearance items may go fast, so get there quick and snatch up some great deals!

Here’s a sample of what’s on our site right now:

For information on the many products that Bulb Direct carries, visit our website or call us @ 1-800-772-5267. And, don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + for more news about the lighting industry

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Manufacturer Spotlight: Osram Sylvania

You may have heard of Sylvania, but Osram Sylvania? Surprisingly, before the two companies merged in 1993, each firm had an extensive history in providing lighting solutions and more.

Sylvania formed in 1901 as a small company in Massachusetts that revitalized burned-out light bulbs by replacing the filaments. The company grew, moved, and took on additional partners, all the while expanding their expertise to offer carbon-filament and tungsten-filament bulbs. By 1916, a new plant started manufacturing 16,000 bulbs a day.

Around the same time Sylvania was getting started, the Osram name was registered in Europe, a name derived from osmium and wolfram, the German word for tungsten. The company was formed in 1919 after a merger among three firms, all of which had pioneered electric lighting. After WW II, the company helped rebuild Europe, expanded its materials production, and opened several new plants. Its headquarters relocated to Munich in the mid-1950’s.

Both companies continued to grow and expand product offerings as electric products became ubiquitous in the U.S. and abroad. Sylvania was noted for its ground-breaking work in developing receiving tubes for early radios and florescent lamps. Late in the 50’s, Sylvania merged with General Telephone to become GTE. By the 70’s and 80’s the company had moved away from consumer electronics to produce precision materials.

In more recent history, both companies focused on energy efficiency and longer bulb life. Developments in discharge lamp and compact florescent technologies were notable innovations. Osram Sylvania celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2001 and continues to be a leader in lighting technology and precision materials worldwide. 

The firm boasts 22 manufacturing plants and 12 research labs, and employs 35,000 people in its Osram Munich headquarters alone. Its worldwide research facility in Massachusetts is on the cutting edge of new developments in plasma physics, optics, thermodynamics, ceramics and more.

Whether you’re doing surgery with a neurosurgical lamp or lighting the world’s tallest buildings, Osram Sylvania has a lighting solution.

At Bulb Direct, we’re picky about our suppliers—and only the best are good enough for our customers. We’re here to help you solve your most challenging lighting problems. For information regarding the Osram Sylvania products that we carry, just give us a call at 1-800-772-5267 or visit our website.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How Will You Celebrate the International Year of Light?

As a lighting supplier, we’re thrilled that 2015 has been recognized as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies by the United Nations. The UN has proclaimed this International Year of Light to bring global awareness to the importance light and light-based technologies play in our life. Most consumers are aware of the role lighting plays in our home and office, but lighting has applications across a broad range of industries, including health, education, and agriculture. The initiative will help to highlight the importance of light and allow people outside the lighting industry to explore the role of light in our lives, how it will change in the future, and how it can help with the development of society.

The International Year of Light has programs and events scheduled throughout the year to educate and inspire citizens on a global scale. Some of the events happening in New York include Holocenter Summer Museum on Governors Island National Monument and Optifab in Rochester, NY, which is the largest optical manufacturing conference and exhibition in North America. People can visit the program’s website to find local events and learn more about light.

At Bulb Direct, we’re very excited to join the celebration of light and if any of our customers have any questions about our lighting products, feel free to contact us. We post more lighting industry news on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Money-Saving Lighting Tips

By some estimates, lighting is the third largest energy hog in your home. So how can you save on lighting? Try these tips:

  • Turn off lights when not in use. This common sense technique can do wonders for your electricity bill, plus it will help keep rooms cooler in the summer.
  • Use compact fluorescent (CFL), light-emitting diode (LED), or halogen bulbs. These bulbs can save up to 75% in electricity costs compared to regular incandescent bulbs and they last much longer.
  • Look for the Energy Star® label on lighting products for a guarantee of energy efficiency.
  • Unplug appliances after you’re done using them to reduce “phantom” electricity usage.
  • Choose bulbs with a wattage that is appropriate for the job at hand or the mood you want to set. Certain parts of your home, such as hallways, don’t require bright lighting and can benefit from task lighting on targeted locations.
  • Use dimmer switches to control the wattage used, especially in kitchens, bathrooms and dining rooms, where lighting usage is highest.
  • Install several switches so you can light an area appropriately and restrict lighting to areas only as needed.
  • Install motion detectors inside and out to illuminate areas only when appropriate.
  • Use solar or low-voltage lighting on paths and walkways to reduce energy usage.
  • Install skylights to grab as much natural light as possible.
  • Put lights on timers.
  • Use photo sensors to automatically turn lights on at night and off during the day (great for night lights).
  • Use LEDs for Christmas and other holiday lights.
  • Clean your windows and open the shades to maximize the light coming into your home.
  • During home construction, position rooms to capture the sun at its most intense. In northern climates, southern exposure is brighter.
Bulb Direct offers an extensive variety of bulbs for all purposes… and our customer service reps are the best! Call Bulb Direct at 800-772-5267 to learn more about how we can help you save money. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lighting For Your Health

We’ve already published a blog post about how light therapy can help improve your mood. Now lighting companies are finding new ways light can improve your health. GE recently announced that it will produce an LED bulb that changes colors. The different lighting will help to produce a more natural sleep cycle by producing light that matches natural circadian rhythm, with more blue tones in the morning to suppress melatonin and amber light at night to help users fall asleep. All of this will be automated through Apple’s HomeKit and bulbs should be available later this year.

Another connected bulb is the Silk lighting system. This bulb also boasts a design that promotes a natural circadian rhythm. This bulb will match the sun’s own color shift throughout the day and automatically calculates the perfect color temperature for the time of day. This connected bulb can be controlled through a mobile device, but can also be controlled through a traditional light switch.
Lighting Science Group also manufactures bulbs for specific times of day. The company not only believes that this type of biological lighting is better for  a person’s health, but also advocates for a change in the lighting industry. The company wants to warn consumers about the health consequences of being exposed to light at the wrong time of the day.

Another option is a full spectrum bulb, which spans all the colors and can imitate natural daylight. To learn more about full spectrum bulbs, visit our website. We also post more lighting industry trends on our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Halogen Phase-out

You’ve likely heard about Federal regulations that have phased out the manufacture of incandescent bulbs. What you may not know is that halogen bulbs are also being regulated.

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) phased in changes beginning in 2007 that required bulbs to be more energy efficient. Part of this act stated that any parabolic aluminized reflector (PAR) or reflector bulb that generates 40 watts or more cannot be manufactured in the U.S.  That affected traditional halogen bulbs such as PAR38, PAR30 (short- and long-necked), BR30, BR40, and R20.

Consumers loved their halogens, and manufacturers listened. Now you have a whole host of newer generation PAR bulbs that meet the regulations. Consider some of the benefits of using halogens:
  • They are dimmable to 0% - a great feature for hospitality uses and dining rooms.
  • They’re mercury-free and need no special disposal.
  • Unlike CFLs, they’re “instant-on” – no warm-up time to come to full light.
  • Their color is extremely accurate according to the Color Rendering Index (CRI), which measures how well electric lights deliver color.
  • They can be used indoors or out if not directly exposed to the elements.
  • They are 41% more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs.
  • Their upfront costs are about half those of LEDs.

About those shapes

The shapes of halogen bulbs are defined as A, B, G, R, and BR. Although it’s easiest to just check the halogen you’re replacing to find the right fit, you can’t do that if you’re replacing incandescents. At Bulb Direct, we can help you sort out the confusion over halogen bulbs so you get the right bulb for the right application.

Here are a few clues about halogen bulb shapes:
·        “A” bulbs offer omni-directional lighting. Osram Sylvania offers these in single (1000 hours), double (2000 hours), and triple (3000 hours) styles.
·        “BR” bulbs are reflective and provide directional lighting.
·        “B” and “G” bulbs are typically used for decorative purposes.

At Bulb Direct, we understand that the world of lighting can be confusing! We’re happy to help. Just contact one of our experienced service representatives at 1-800-772-5267

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Light Bulb Technology

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagon and although scientists knew that one atom thick, two-dimensional crystal graphene existed, it wasn’t isolated until 2004 by two researchers at The University of Manchester. The material features physical properties, including being 200 times stronger than steel, the thinnest material on earth, and one of the most conductive materials in the world. This means there are a variety of applications that graphene can be used in such as lightweight aircrafts and flexible touchscreens.

One application that is being explored is lighting. Manchester University scientists have created a graphene bulb they believe is commercially viable and could become a competitor to LED bulbs. Currently, exact details such as the price, lumen output, and date available are sparse. Scientists predict that the graphene bulb could be up to 10% more efficient than traditional LED bulbs and competitively priced. Mass manufacturing of graphene is complicated and still expensive so it may be awhile until we truly see the graphene light bulb on shelves. However, the technological and manufacturing advances are exciting to watch and we’ll be following the company, Graphene Lighting PLC, created by the university to commercialize the bulb, for more updates.

To learn more about Bulb Direct, visit our website and for more news about the lighting industry be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Case for LEDs: Churches

It’s becoming common knowledge that LED bulbs make sense for longevity, energy- and cost-savings, and convenience. More and more, churches are recognizing the benefits of choosing LEDs when it comes to long-term planning and maintenance.

Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty

A recent migration to LEDs in the Sistine Chapel highlights even more reasons to consider making the switch. Imagine seeing Michelangelo’s famed art in a whole new light. As part of other significant updates at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, 7,000 LEDs are now providing lighting via specially developed bulbs that present the artwork in a specific color temperature ideally suited for viewing. This is the joint effort of lighting engineers and art historians, who adjusted each light individually to maximize the viewing effect.

Not only were older UV bulbs removed, which had done some damage to the artwork, but the new LED installation means much simpler maintenance. Replacing light bulbs on high, ornate ceilings is a far less arduous process when the bulbs only burn out every 25 years or so, the timeframe that LEDs are made to last. Although LEDs require a significant investment up front, they pay for themselves over the long haul as compared to other lighting options.

In a similar vein, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City recently hired a consulting firm to help with custom LED installations during its extensive renovation. Historic wall sconces and chandeliers were removed from their fixtures, restored, and then fitted with LEDs. New fixtures are being installed with LEDs that will highlight the intricately carved bronze doors at the front of the cathedral.

To take a stunning virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel as it looks today, click here, and use your mouse to view all angles.

Bulb Direct offers a wide range of LED bulbs to meet most of your lighting needs. To learn more, visit our website or call us at 1-800-772-5267.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Importance of STEM Education in the Lighting Industry

At Bulb Direct, we are always following the latest lighting news and we’ve recently been reading about STEM education in the lighting industry. STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math degrees are imperative to the future of our industry and pave the way for innovation.

Students at UC Davis take a hands-on approach to lighting design in preparation for the California Lighting Technology Center competition. The center focuses on accelerating the development and commercialization of energy-efficient lighting and daylighting technologies. Students at UC Davis spend a quarter working with OLEDs to design new types of lighting, such as improved music stand lighting or reading lights integrated into furniture.

Competitions such as these not only help inspire students, but can also lead to future jobs. Competitions are judged by representatives from companies which allow students to interact and showcase their skills to possible future employers.

We’ll continue to follow the latest news in the lighting industry, and for more updates, we can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. For more information about our company and to learn about the bulbs we carry, visit our website.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Manufacturer Spotlight: USHIO

There are good reasons why certain products become household names. We thought you’d like to learn about some of the companies that supply our bulbs. Let’s start with USHIO.

USHIO, Inc. was founded in Japan in 1964 and is Japan’s leading developer of high-quality light sources and systems. USHIO America dates to 1967 and serves a global market, with a focus on discharge and halogen lighting. The firm specializes in industrial lighting and partners with other innovative companies to move the lighting industry into the future and meet the varied needs of its customers.

USHIO is a medium-sized company that can both respond to the needs of Original Equipment Manufacturers and maintain systems that offer advanced design and production capabilities. When it comes to manufacturing processes, USHIO is committed to delivering exceptional consistency in its product line, even when producing large volumes.

The company prides itself on being a one-stop resource for consumers. USHIO has developed aftermarket programs to support niche markets and the distributors that sell to them. A visit to the USHIO website reveals that the firm offers a broad range of general and specialty lighting products.

USHIO is committed to a strong environmental policy by meeting or exceeding environmental regulations. As recently as 2007, two of its California locations earned stringent ISO certification for Environmental Management Systems. In 2013, USHIO launched a Quality Assurance Center for its medical products to meet the recent ISO 13484 international standard that demands extra compliance in that industry. The company clearly practices what it preaches.

Our relationship with USHIO dates to 1988. We are a member of USHIO’s Emerald Club, which provides marketing and branding support. “USHIO has the best customer service of our major vendors,” says Randy Golisano, Marketing Specialist and Head of Purchasing for Bulb Direct. “They are friendly, engaging, and responsive to any changes in pricing or availability of their products. Their quality is consistently top notch.”

To learn more about USHIO’s product line, visit their website.

Bulb Direct selects only the most advanced suppliers in the lighting industry. Visit our website to view an extensive list of bulbs to support nearly every usage!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Frequently Asked Lighting Questions

At Bulb Direct, we have been providing specialty light bulbs since 1988 and, as lighting experts, we get a lot of lighting questions. To better serve our customers we have compiled some of our most frequently asked questions:

How much longer does an LED bulb last than an incandescent or compact fluorescent bulb?
Typically, an LED lasts about 4 times longer than a compact fluorescent and 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb.

Why is wattage so important when replacing my current bulb?
A bulb with too high a wattage can produce excess heat that can create a fire hazard or damage the fixture or socket you are putting it into. The wattage is an indication of how much power a bulb consumes.

Why should I purchase my replacement LCD projector bulb from Bulb Direct instead of someone on the web that has a better cost?
Purchasing on the web can sometimes be confusing, and while the other sites may look professional, sometimes looks can be deceiving.  Bulb Direct works with vendors that guarantee the bulbs they sell, and along with that guarantee, you know that Bulb Direct will still be here for years to come.

Where can I find the bulb code?
Different manufacturers will place the bulb code in different places.  Usually, you will find the code on the base of the bulb or on the bulb itself.  It could be 3 letters, a series of numbers or a combination of letters and numbers.

If you have any questions that we have not answered here, or on our website, please give us a call at 1-800-772-5267 and speak with any of our friendly customer service representatives. To learn more about our lighting and the bulbs we carry, visit our website. We also post more lighting and industry news on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A New Catalog!

Sometimes an old way of doing things doesn’t go out of style. While we offer a full listing of products on our website, we still print and mail a 32-page catalog that features our most popular light bulbs.

Why print when you can go online? Simple. We listened to our customers. You told us you enjoy receiving the catalog, and you missed it when it no longer came in the mail. Some of you even called to ask if we had accidentally deleted your mailing address.

So we’re returning to the tried-and-true: a printed catalog. This year, we’re featuring lots of information about many of our in-stock bulbs. You can always find complete information, pricing, and availability on our website as well.

In this year’s catalog, look for:
·        Cross-references to medical equipment to make bulb selection simpler
·        Added shape and base information with bulb codes to ease bulb identification
·        A handy ruler for measuring bulbs before you order

The new catalog also highlights specialty bulbs from our trusted manufacturers, including:
·        Osram Sylvania
·        GE
·        Philips
·        USHIO
·        EiKO®
·        TCP

Didn’t receive a catalog? Call us at 800-772-5267 or online at and we’ll get one out to you pronto!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stadiums Switching to LEDs

LEDs have been gaining momentum recently and as we’ve discussed in past blog posts, the advancements in technology are allowing for wider adapting. Homes and offices have been switching to LED lighting to take advantage of their benefits and now stadiums are also replacing lighting with LED bulbs. Viewers may have noticed a difference at this year’s Super Bowl that was lit entirely by LED fixtures. Additionally, the Seattle Mariners announced that they will install LED lights in their stadium, making them the first MLB team to do so.

Traditionally, stadiums have been lit by metal halide fixtures, which can take up to 20 minutes to warm up, one of the reasons attributed to the Super Bowl black out in 2013. Stadiums can also save money and become more energy efficient by switching to LED lights. Fans who watch the games on TV will also notice a difference from the switch to LED lights as they provide brighter, more uniform lighting to give viewers a clearer picture.

At Bulb Direct we stock bulbs from manufacturers such as Osram Sylvania, GE, EiKO, USHIO, and more. Companies that want to learn more about LED lighting options, visit our website. We also post more LED and lighting industry news on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Feeling Blue? Don’t be SAD!

It’s not news that much of the country has been suffering through one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record. But if you’re feeling particularly down, it may be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

The causes of SAD aren’t completely understood, but one theory is that a decrease in natural sunlight may cause the brain to create less serotonin, which helps regulate mood. People affected by SAD can be depressed, less energetic, fatigued, and prone to weight gain.

Although your doctor is the best authority on SAD, you might consider warming up your indoor spaces with the right light bulbs. Light therapy has been proven to assist in relieving the symptoms of SAD.

One characteristic of any light bulb is its warmth, which is measured on the Kelvin scale. The lower the number, the “warmer” the color, and the more it will have a yellow/red cast to it. Higher color temperatures have a bluer cast.

The traditional incandescent bulbs we’re all familiar with offer a low, warm light of around 2700K, depending on wattage. This compared to the sun at noon, which measures 5500K.  

If you’re looking to imitate natural daylight in your home or office, you need a cooler light bulb, such as those offered by certain LEDs and full spectrum bulbs. A full spectrum bulb spans all colors, as in a rainbow, and contains infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. It closely imitates natural sunlight and can help in treating SAD.

As an added bonus, LEDs enable you to select from a much broader range of color temperatures as compared to other bulb types. We recommend these LED bulbs if you’re looking for a mid-winter boost:

You might also be interested in our full spectrum bulbs available here.

And best of all, spring will be here soon!

Don’t let winter get you down! Call Bulb Direct at 800-772-5267 for our broad-spectrum bulbs to brighten your mood.