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.

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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.